Best Smartwatches for Kids in 2022

After sorting through all of the features offered by the best kids smartwatches, we pinned down a clear winner: Gabb Watch.
Best overall
gabb watch
Gabb Watch
  • Icon Pros  Light
    GPS tracking
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Games
Best for SOS calls
Angel Watch kids smartwatch
Angel Watch
  • Icon Pros  Light
    GPS tracking
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Camera
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No games
Best for video calls
TickTalk 4 Kids Smartwatch
TickTalk 4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    GPS tracking
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Camera
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No games
Budget pick
Verizon GizmoWatch 2
  • Icon Pros  Light
    GPS tracking
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No camera
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Only one game
Best for active play

A kid’s smartwatch has to balance parental control and safety with a child’s increasing need for independence and creative expression. Our top pick—the Gabb Watch—does the best job of pulling this off. It's easy for both parents and kids to use, and it includes a virtual pet to keep kids engaged. Best of all, it packs our favorite smartwatch features into an affordable, user-friendly package.

But if you’re looking for something very specific (like temperature tracking, more than 10 contact slots, or streaming music), another watch may be right up your alley. We tracked down the best options.


Bell
Watch smartwatches at school

We like smartwatches to help keep kids and parents in touch, but your child's device might not be welcome in the classroom. Schools are concerned about distraction, privacy, and cheating.

Be sure to talk to your child's teacher or principal before sending them to school with a smartwatch. And you can help educators out—use parental controls (it's called "Do Not Disturb" on the TickTalk 4) to shut down the device during class. 

Compare the best smartwatches for kids

Watch
Best for
Watch priceIcon Tooltip  Dark
Video calling
GPS tracking
Max. number of contacts
Compatible cell networks
Learn more
Best overall
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
10Gabb Wireless
Best for SOS calls
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
25Red Pocket (AT&T)
Best for video calls
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
53Red Pocket,
T-Mobile, AT&T
Budget pick
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
10Verizon
Best for active play
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
50T-Mobile recommended

*Amazon.com price as of publish date. Read full disclaimer.

Best kids smartwatches reviews

1. Gabb Watch: Best overall

Best overall
gabb watch
Gabb Watch
$149.99
plus monthly cell plan

The Gabb Watch offers a happy medium between safety-first features and fun extras that make kids want to wear it. It's also one of the easiest watches to set up—the only one our testers were able to connect on the first try.

We also like the reasonable price tag. The Gabb Watch goes toe-to-toe with our budget pick (the Verizon GizmoWatch 2) for initial cost—around $150 to get started—and has monthly plans as low as $10/month.

Check out our full review of the Gabb Watch to get the real deal from a mom who tested it with her kids.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Geofencing and GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Parental-controlled contact list
Pro Bullet SOS button
Pro Bullet Gamified step counter and to-do list
Pro Bullet Screen lock
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No video calling
Con Bullet Requires Gabb Wireless plan
Con Bullet Limited contact list

Safety-first features

The Gabb Watch puts safety first with an entirely closed network— that means the watch can't access the internet (and neither can your kiddo). We like this feature because it gives parents the extra reassurance of GPS tracking without giving kids access to social media and other risky online activities. 

There are multiple ways to track your kids with the Gabb Watch. You can check on your child's location in real-time in the MyGabb app, schedule automatic location updates every 15 minutes, or have kids update you by pressing a button that alerts you to their current location.

The Gabb Watch also features an SOS button that lets kids call for help. To activate it, kids need to press the SOS button for 10 seconds (longer than most) after which the designated emergency contact gets an alert. There's no way to call 911 on the watch, but that's not unusual for kids smartwatches.

Gamified fitness and task lists

What's better than getting your kid excited about chores? That's exactly what the Gabb Watch does with the GabbGo digital pet app. We love this parent's helper that makes a game out of chores and fitness goals. 

Kids get to choose between a cat or a dog, but as they complete tasks and earn coins, they can choose from a full lineup of interesting virtual pets. They can also use coins to teach their pets tricks like rolling over or (when it's party time) how to raise the roof. 

Gabb Wireless plan

You don't have to worry about adding the Gabb Watch to your current cell phone plan because it uses Gabb Wireless for talk and text.

All Gabb Wireless plans include unlimited talk and text, but you get a price break if you opt for a contract over month-to-month service. You'll pay about $17 per month for a no-contract plan and that gets knocked down to just $10 per month with a two-year contract. If two years is too long, there's also a one-year contract for $13 per month.

If you don't mind signing a two-year contract, the Gabb Watch is on par with the cost of the Gizmowatch since there's no activation fee. But if you'd rather pay month-to-month, the required Gabb Wireless cell plan gets a little pricey.

Limited contact list

One of our least favorite things about the Gabb Watch is that you can only add in 10 contacts. Depending on your family and your activities, that might be enough, but for older kids or households where several people share pick-up duty (after school, for sports, etc.) it might not be sufficient.

What we do like is that you have total control over the contact list, and no one can call or text the watch unless you've added them.

2. Angel Watch: Best for SOS calls

Best for SOS calls
Angel Watch kids smartwatch
Angel Watch
$179.99
plus monthly cell plan

Info current as of publish date.

The Angel Watch is a kids GPS tracker, health tracker, and phone service rolled into one. We’re impressed with the Angel Watch’s SOS feature and love that it gives parents the ability to check in on their kids without interrupting them. It’s perfect for kids with special needs who might need a little extra love from afar while discovering their independence.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Geofencing and GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Parent-controlled call list
Pro Bullet SOS button
Pro Bullet Video calling
Pro Bullet Vital sign readings
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Doesn't work well with all service providers
Con Bullet No games

New: A mix of contact control and freedom

You remain in complete control of who gets to call your kiddo. The parent app lets you add up to 10 cell phone contacts. You can also designate an additional 11 family members or friends who can voice call, video call, and text. 

One of our original criticisms was that the Angel Watch seemed to be geared toward monitoring a child rather than helping them transition to a modern digital lifestyle. Angel Watch now has a "friends" feature that gives your child a little more freedom to connect with their peers.

If your child meets another Angel Watch user at school, sports practice, camp, etc., they can sync their watches to share voice messages and pictures. No permission needed. The watches have to be connected to Wi-Fi and have their Bluetooth signals turned on. Then, the kids just have to hold their watches at least three inches apart and follow the on-screen instructions. Up to four friends can be added this way. 

Angel Watch also pairs with Line for unlimited contacts.

Persistent SOS button

You can designate three contacts as emergency numbers. When your child presses the SOS button for three seconds, the watch automatically dials each number in the list on a repeated loop until someone picks up. This is the fastest SOS button we found—and the only one that continuously tries to get a hold of someone.

Video calling and stealthy check-ins

Best of all, this kid’s smartwatch includes a camera for video calling. Sometimes you just need visual confirmation that your child is all right, and sometimes your kiddo needs the same kind of comfort. 

Want to check in discreetly? The parent app has a “sound guardian” option that lets you tune in to the watch’s audio without placing a call. Maybe you’re worried your child is being bullied on the bus; you can listen in to assess the situation.

Health monitoring features

The Angel Watch also helps parents monitor the health of their child via a vital sign sensor that rests against the skin. The watch can detect four vital signs:

  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood oxygen
  • Heart rate

As neat as this sounds, the Angel Watch Company warns that these readings may not always be accurate. It’s also totally up to the parents to monitor vital signs and take action if needed. This device won’t send out an alert if there’s a worrisome deviation from the norm.

Light Bulb
Unique feature alert

The Angel Watch is the only kids smartwatch on our list to track vital signs.

On a less dire note, this watch also counts your kid’s steps and estimates the total distance covered and calories burned. If your child wears this watch to bed, it will also track sleep quality.

Price of the Angel Watch

The Angel Watch retails for about $180. You’re strapping this to your kid’s wrist and hoping for the best, but there’s a decent chance it’s going to get chucked into a pool or smashed on the concrete “just to see what would happen.” So we understand if you hesitate at the price. However, we think the price is reasonable considering the features available. 

You also pay for convenient set-up when you buy an Angel Watch. All US customers now receive a Red Pocket SIM card with their purchase. Red Pocket Mobile uses the AT&T cellular network and offers no-contract service plans starting at $10 per month for Angel Watch customers. This integrated service offers online activation for easy, plug-and-play setup.

We wish there were games

The only thing missing from Angel Watch is some sort of game or entertainment. But some parents might consider this an advantage since it could help to reduce screen time. 

At least your kiddo can have fun choosing from a variety of wristband colors for a healthy dose of self-expression. There are seven colors available for about $15 each. The watch itself comes with either a blue, black, or rose wristband and watch face surround.

Learn more in our full Angel Watch review.

3. TickTalk 4: Best for video calls

Best overall
TickTalk 4 Kids Smartwatch
TickTalk 4
$189.99
plus monthly cell plan

*Amazon.com price as of publish date. Read full disclaimer.

The TickTalk 4 keeps parental anxiety at bay with GPS tracking, geofencing, and an SOS button. And it caters to kids themselves by streaming music or stories through iHeart Radio Family. The only downside is its price tag: around $200. Other watches have similar functions but come at a lower price, so it’s worth checking out a few of the other options (like the Verizon GizmoWatch 2) if you’re on a budget.

Check out our full review of the TickTalk 4 smartwatch to see footage of it in action.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Geofencing and GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Parental-controlled contact list
Pro Bullet SOS button
Pro Bullet Music or story streaming
Pro Bullet Video calling
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Not compatible with Verizon or Sprint
Con Bullet No games
Con Bullet Expensive up-front price

Full of features for kids and parents alike

We love that the TickTalk 4 isn’t just a smartwatch for parents; it includes features that kids enjoy too. Your child can choose how to communicate, whether it’s through video calls, voice calls, voice messages, preset text messages, emojis, GIFs, or photos. It’s just enough variety to allow them to explore some creative expression, but they won’t have access to a full keyboard.

Kids can also use the TickTalk 4’s camera to take pictures, selfies, or videos. Other features include a step counter, do not disturb/school mode, and a reminder list.

Great for kids with lots of friends or family members

The TickTalk 4 has the largest contact list of all the kids smartwatches we reviewed: up to 53 other friends or family members can be added to the “approved contacts” list. 

You have full control over your child’s contact list through the parent app. The watch includes a firewall that blocks unknown numbers from calling your child. So if you haven’t added someone’s number to the mobile app, they won’t be able to contact your kid. 

You can also set up group chats for your child via the parent app.

SOS button and 911 dialing

The TickTalk 4 includes an SOS button that dials one designated contact when pressed for five seconds. But what about 911? We’re really impressed that the TickTalk 4 designers developed a way for kids to dial 911 on a keyboard-less watch. All they have to do is press the silver button once and the red button twice to contact emergency services.

Light Bulb
Unique feature alert

The TickTalk 4 is the only kids smartwatch in our list that allows kids to contact 911.

Compatible with multiple carriers

We love that the TickTalk 4 is compatible with numerous cell service providers, including T-Mobile and AT&T. The TickTalk 4 manufacturers recommend using a $10 Red Pocket plan; this watch includes a Red Pocket-compatible SIM card.

Sprint and Verizon customers cannot add the TickTalk 4 to their current plan. 

4. Verizon GizmoWatch 2: Budget pick

Budget pick
Verizon GizmoWatch 2
$99.99
plus $35 activation fee and monthly cell plan

Info current as of publish date.

Take away the Angel Watch’s camera and vital sign sensor and you have the Verizon GizmoWatch 2. It costs $99 up front and requires a $35 activation fee. Then, you’ll pay $10 per month for service. Although it’s not necessarily cheap, it offers an impressive list of features for a relatively low price. We just wish it had a camera.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Geofencing and GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Parental-controlled contact list
Pro Bullet Reminders and to-do lists
Pro Bullet Activity tracking
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Requires Verizon plan
Con Bullet No SOS button
Con Bullet No camera
Con Bullet Only one game
Checklist
Disney Edition upgrade

Verizon also sells the GizmoWatch Disney Edition. It's not our favorite kids smartwatch because we think it's overpriced. But the Disney Edition does offer the camera and SOS button that are lacking in the GizmoWatch 2. Compare the two in our full Gizmowatch review

GPS tracking, geofencing, and quick dialing

This kids smartwatch emphasizes parental control and safe communication over games and other forms of entertainment. Built-in emergency features include real-time location tracking and a quick-dial button. Parents can also set up a geofence perimeter and receive alerts when their child strays a little too far from home.

Kid-friendly features are lacking

Kids can use these extra features:

  • Pedometer
  • Jumping game
  • To-do list
  • Timer
  • Alarm
  • Stopwatch

Our inner child isn’t too thrilled with this list, and we doubt your actual child will be either. The GizmoWatch 2 is clearly no-nonsense, and we wonder if some kids (especially those on the older side) might not feel motivated to wear it without fun features like a camera, music, or more games. If you want to keep screen time to a minimum, then a lack of games could be a major selling point.

GizmoHub app parental controls

We love that the GizmoWatch 2 is designed for easy parental control. It uses a smartphone app called GizmoHub where you can do things like updating your child’s contact list. Only ten contacts can be added.

Parents can also switch the watch to quiet mode via the app. This allows incoming calls to show up on the screen but silences the ringtone and any of the watch’s sound effects. You can also set up specific quiet times to ensure, for example, your child’s ringtone doesn’t disrupt their class. 

Another neat feature offered through the app is “auto answer.” By toggling this setting, the watch will automatically pick up your call after ringing for ten seconds. This lets you listen in to check on your child or talk through the watch in an emergency.

Communicating through the GizmoWatch

The GizmoWatch allows anyone in the 10-person contact list to send text messages as per usual. In other words, they type out a message and send it. But the child can only send premade responses or emojis. Parents customize the response list through GizmoHub. 

If your child wants to communicate something a little more complex, they can send a voice message or make a phone call.

Learn more in our full GizmoWatch review.

5. Xplora X5 Play: Best for active fun

Best for active plan
Xplora X5 Play kids smartwatch
Xplora X5 Play
$169.99
plus monthly cell plan
*Amazon.com price as of publish date. Read full disclaimer.

The Xplora X5 Play stands out from the crowd because it features games alongside the usual safety precautions. It’s also the only kid’s smartwatch in our top five list with an IP68 rating, which means it can be submerged in water. If you spend a lot of time at the pool, lake, or beach and need a watch that won’t go kaput when your kid forgets to take it off, this is the one for you.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Geofencing and GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Parental-controlled contact list
Pro Bullet SOS button
Pro Bullet High-quality camera
Pro Bullet Gamified activity tracking
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No video calling
Con Bullet SIM card not included
Con Bullet Does not work with all cell providers

Safety first

Parents retain full control over who’s in their child’s contact list. Up to 50 contacts can be added, so your kid can keep up with their ever-growing list of friends. Like other smartwatches for kids, the Xplora X5 limits the child’s text responses. In this case, the child can only send an emoji, image, or voice message. 

This watch also includes an SOS feature that activates when the side button is pressed for 10 seconds, which is slightly longer than the Angel Watch (three seconds) and TickTalk 4 (five seconds). 

Like the other watches we’ve discussed so far, the Xplora X5 Play includes a GPS tracker to help you locate your child at any time. You can also set up a geofence “safety zone” to receive an alert when your child goes out of bounds.

Selfie camera but no video calling

This smartwatch includes a 2MP selfie camera and stores around 1,000 photos and videos. We’re impressed by the video and audio quality. In fact, we expected video calling to be included in this smartwatch since it has such a nice camera. But that’s the major downside of the Xplora X5 Play; you can’t hop on a video call with your kid. 

Fun features

We understand that too much screen time is a huge concern for 21st-century parents, so you might balk at the thought of a smartwatch with games. Is your kid going to just sit around all day staring at their wrist? Not with the Xplora. 

We absolutely love that this smartwatch uses an interactive game platform called “Goplay” to encourage children to be active. With Goplay, your child earns one coin for every 1,000 steps logged on the watch. Coins can be redeemed on the Goplay platform to play virtual games or purchase products.

Light Bulb
Unique feature alert

The Xplora X5 Play is the only kids smartwatch on our list to offer both GPS tracking and games.

Physical fitness aside, we think this is a great incentive for kids to wear this GPS-tracking watch at all times.

Limited cell networks

The Xplora X5 works best with the T-mobile network and does not work with Verizon, Sprint, or U.S. Cellular. You’ll also need to purchase a SIM card separately.

Learn more in our full Xplora X5 Play review.

Final word

The Gabb Watch earned our vote as the best smartwatch for kids because it's a great blend of safety-first and kid-friendly features. It offers tools like geofencing and an SOS button that help parents relax when kids venture off on their own, and the virtual pet gives kids a reason to keep it on their wrist.

Best of all, it's affordable—especially if you opt for the two-year Gabb Wireless plan.

Kids smartwatch FAQ

No. The GizmoWatch2 is locked to Verizon. When you purchase the GizmoWatch2 online as a new customer, you’re prompted to purchase a Verizon plan for $10 per month.

The Xplora X5 Play and the Imoo Watch Phone Z6 have the highest level of water resistance of all the kids smartwatches we reviewed. The TickTalk 4, Angel Watch, and GizmoWatch 2 can handle being splashed by water but shouldn’t be submerged.

How we reviewed the best smartwatches for kids

There are a lot of features packed into smartwatches for kids. To narrow down the contenders, we prioritized the following:

  • GPS tracking
  • Video calling
  • SOS button
  • Parent-controlled contact list
  • Fun games or activities 

We scoured the internet for smartwatches that met our priority list and compared their features and prices to find the best deals. We also read hundreds of user reviews to evaluate each contender’s performance and customer service.

Related articles on SafeWise

Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

SafeWise Team
Written by
SafeWise Team
The SafeWise Team is here to help you keep your home and family safe. Whether you’re looking to pick a security system or identify and remove common risks in your home, we’re here to help you find the best products and well-researched answers. At SafeWise we combine our years of experience in home safety and security with user reviews and feedback to help take the guesswork out of living safe.

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