Give your kids a helping hand learning about technology with the VTech Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch
The VTech Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch is targeted at kids aged between four and nine. It has a big, bold touchscreen so kids can navigate easily, and the user experience is intuitive for those that might be experiencing some kind of tech device for the first time. It comes in at a very reasonable £39.99 ($52).
Its primary goal is to be an educational tool and it’s jam-packed with features that stimulate learning. It’ll help your little one to tell time, first and foremost.
The pebble part of the watch itself strongly resembles the Apple Watch with curved edges on a rectangular face to allow maximum space for the touchscreen. There’s a button on the left, and that’s all a little one needs for navigation. The wristband (46mm) colour options are a little disappointing, limited to just pink or blue.
The VTech Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch comes with a plethora of features, including some that highly developed adult smartwatches would envy.
We’re all guilty of buying a watch because of the compatibility with our smartphones, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that watches exist to tell us the time. The VTech Kidizoom DX2 teaches kids how to tell time via some 50 3D clock faces aimed at getting kids to regularly look at the time. There’s a ‘Time Master’ that helps them.
Just like a smartphone, this smartwatch lets kids take selfies or anything they like thanks to the dual-camera system. For the latter, they just need to point their wrist at the subject and the photo is taken using a side camera. It comes with a 0.3MP camera on the top which can take an image of 640×480 pixel resolution – perfect for playtime. The nice thing about the camera function is the effects that come with it; filters and frames that will keep the kids entertained as they make themselves (and probably you) look silly in photos.
The side camera is located where the strap attaches. This lets the young user take a photo of the things directly in front; all they have to do is reach out and click (which in itself is fun). The cameras are also capable of recording videos of up to 60 seconds at 320 x 240 pixels (top camera) or 160 x 120 (side), though again, the resolution isn’t phenomenal. Their moments can be saved as either jpeg or avi.
The VTech Kidizoom DX2 comes with 256mb of memory which translates as 1,600 photos or 23 videos. To move these from the watch onto your computer, you’re given a micro USB cable.
The VTech Kidizoom DX2 encourages your kids to move around. You’ll find five games built into the watch and an additional three challenges and three activities that rely on the built-in motion sensor. If they get used to those, you can download Vtech’s Learning Lodge which gives you access to regularly updated content, so the watch won’t age too quickly.
Its step counter is purely there for fun as VTech says it won’t be truly accurate. It relies on the motion sensor and the games to make its calculation.
As with any toy or device, you might not want your little one playing with it for so long that it becomes detrimental. The VTech Kidizoom DX2 allows parents to put a daily limit on how long their child can play games, in chunks of 30 minutes, up to an hour and a half, or no limit at all. This might be useful, say, during school times. You can do this via an app.
The battery life on the VTech Kidizoom DX2 heavily depends on the use. VTech say a heavy user will get only a day, an average user two to three days and an occasional user perhaps a full two weeks. The frustrating thing about the VTech Kidizoom DX2 is that it doesn’t come with a charger, thanks to the fact that you use a micro USB (2.0) for data transfer. You’ll have to plug it into a computer or existing charger.
Another frustration is the lack of GPS. Some parents find peace of mind in knowing where their little one is. This could be a showstopper for some. It seems odd not to include GPS on a smartwatch where it could be a vital safety feature.
Other noteworthy features:
- Voice recording
The £99.99 ($130)XPLORA GO is another brilliant way to get your kids using mobile tech. It offers features such as calling, the GPS lacking in the Kiddizoom, safe zones and an SOS alarm. The two have different goals, in fairness. One aims to get kids active, the other to keep them safe.
Another is the dokiWatch S smartwatch for kids, at the higher end of the market at £179.99 ($233). You get what you pay for. The dokiWatch offers everything; a rugged design capable of surviving some rough and tumble. When connected to 3G it offers phone calls, messaging and video calls via a 2.0MP camera. It has an SOS alarm and GPS capability.
- Intuitive interface for children
- Helps kids learn to tell time
- Keeps kids active via activities and challenges
- Dual-camera capable of photo and video
- Doesn’t have GPS
- Splashproof, not waterproof (arguably therefore not child-proof)
This is a wonderful device to get your kids both active and learning, without them realising it! It’s a win-win. The updates from the Learning Lodge mean the novelty won’t wear off quickly and the design means it’ll withstand a bit of rough treatment.
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