Gabb Watch Review

We tested the Gabb Watch to see how it compares to our favorite kids smartwatches.
Best for younger kids
gabb watch
Gabb Watch
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    GPS tracking and geofencing
  • pro
    Limited to 25 contacts
  • con
    No camera
Contract
Plan price
Watch price
Early termination fee
Learn more
2 year contractFreeUp to $150
1 Year Contract$74.99Up to $100
No contract$149.99None

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Cathy Habas
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
November 01, 2022

Gabb Wireless, makers of the popular Gabb Z2 kids smartphone, definitely did their research when developing the Gabb Watch. They’ve managed to blend the best features of the Verizon GizmoWatch 2 and the Xplora X5 Play into one of the most affordable kids smartwatch on the market. Our tester's kids thought the Gabb Watch was easy to use, and many of its features—including a virtual pet—were a big hit with her 5-year-old in particular.

Gabb Wireless deals

🔥 Gabb's currently giving free and discounted devices to anyone who signs a 1- or 2-year service contract. 

Plus, use promo code SAFEWISE to get a FREE accessory (up to $20 value) per device.

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

Thumbs Up
New Gabb Watch features

The Gabb Watch 2 features 15 extra parent-approved contacts (25 total), a flashlight app, repeating tasks on to-do lists, new wallpapers and themes, and three new pets to unlock. 

Already have the original Gabb Watch? You can get all of the above with a free software update.

pro
Pros
pro Parent-controlled contact list
pro SOS button
pro Geofencing and GPS tracking
pro Gamified step counter and to-do list
pro Screen lock
con
Cons
con No video calling
con Requires Gabb Wireless plan

How much money is a Gabb Watch?

The full retail price of the Gabb Watch is $149.99, but you can get the watch for free if you sign up for a 2-year contract. Signing up for a 1-year contract gets you a 50% discount off the retail price.

The watch doesn't work without a Gabb Wireless plan, which costs $14.99 a month no matter which plan you choose.

There's also a $25 one-time activation fee.

Cost of Gabb Watch accessories

Optional Gabb Watch accessories include the following:

  • Equipment warranty ($4.99/mo.)
  • Screen protector ($12.99)
  • Extra watch band ($12.99 to $29.99)

Video: Kids & Parents Review the Gabb Watch

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Gabb Watch vs. other kids smartwatches

Watch
Best for
Watch priceIcon Tooltip  Dark
Video calling
GPS tracking
Max. number of contacts
Compatible cell providers
Learn more
Best overall
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
53Red Pocket,
T-Mobile, AT&T
Best for unlimited data
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
10COSMO Family Safe Network
Budget pick
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
25Gabb Wireless
Best for active play
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
50T-Mobile recommended
Best for Verizon customers
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
10Verizon
Best for preschoolers
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
N/A

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


Limited contact list

Image: Suzi Brzezinski, SafeWise

The Gabb Watch’s contact list now has room for 25 people—15 more than before—and you have full control over who gets one of those coveted spots. No outside numbers can call your kid’s watch, which protects them from spam and scam calls. 

If you're only seeing 10 contact slots on your child's Gabb Watch, check for a software update. On the watch's menu, swipe up until you see the down arrow icon. Tap it and then tap Check for update. It should update automatically after a few sections. 

"My kids could easily call me with one swipe from the home screen. Other watches add more steps in between, which can get confusing for younger kids."
—Suzi B., SafeWise product tester

SOS button

The Gabb Watch includes an SOS button to quickly reach you (or whomever you designate as the emergency contact). But kids have to press it for a full 10 seconds, and that feels like an eternity in an emergency. In fact, it’s actually faster to just swipe the screen and start a call with a couple of taps.

In contrast, the Angel Watch starts calling emergency contacts after three seconds.

There’s no 911 option on the Gabb Watch, but this is typical of most kids smartwatches.

"On the parent app, you can silence calls to everyone except emergency contacts. I couldn't completely shut that off, so my 5-year-old kept calling me."
—Suzi B., SafeWise product tester

GPS tracking and geofencing

The GPS tracker in the Gabb Watch makes it easy to find your kid any time. For example, maybe your kid had ball practice at a huge sports complex and you want to know which field they’re on. You can view their location in real-time on the MyGabb app or schedule automatic location updates every 15 minutes or so.

Our tester decided to make her kids responsible for sharing their locations—the modern version of "call me when you get there." It's as easy as pressing one button on the Gabb Watch. 

Screenshots and image: Suzi Brzezinski, SafeWise

You can also set up “safe zones” and get notifications when your kid enters or leaves these areas. Common safe zones include school, home, friends’ houses, the cul-de-sac, or the library. The idea is that you can let your guard down a bit and not worry about your kid’s whereabouts until you get that “exiting safe zone” ping.

Here's an example of what that looks like in real-life: When her kids left a safe zone unexpectedly, our tester called them through the watch to ask where they went and to remind them to play in the cul-de-sac. 

GabbGo™ for gamified fitness and to-do lists

Image of GabbGO virtual dog on the Gabb Watch. Looks like a Beagle.

Image: Suzi Brzezinski, SafeWise

We like seeing a touch of fun on kids smartwatches. The Gabb Watch features a digital pet app called GabbGo, but it’s not the screen-addicting time suck that it initially sounds like. GabbGo actually turns real-life fitness and chores into a virtual game like a cleverly disguised behavior chart.

Kids start out with either a cat or a dog. The goal is to earn virtual coins and then spend those coins building out a full menagerie of pets. Kids can also spend coins to teach their pets tricks like spin, backflip, roll over, or raise the roof. 

Coins are earned by caring for their virtual pets or completing step goals and to-do lists, which you control and approve through the parent app. It’s a way to peel kids away from their screens and get them moving.

The Gabb Watch’s extra apps and features

The Gabb Watch has no internet access whatsoever, so your kid can’t access social media or download potentially dangerous apps from the App Store. But the Gabb Watch comes preprogrammed with a few extra tools and features, including the following:

  • Stopwatch
  • Timer
  • Alarm

Parents can also lock the watch from the MyGabb app so kids can’t use it at inappropriate times, such as during school.

The watch bands come in four cheerful colors. Extras cost around $10.

Screenshots: Suzi Brzezinski, SafeWise

What’s missing from the Gabb Watch

There’s no camera on the Gabb Watch, which undoubtedly accounts for its affordability.

A camera’s nice for video calling or so that your kid can share snapshots of their day, but it’s also a distraction. Gabb Wireless’s mission is to keep kids off their screens as much as possible, so it makes sense that they’d leave a camera off this watch.

Here are some other features you can find in other kids smartwatches, but not in the Gabb Watch:

  • Talk to text
  • 911 dialing
  • Calculator
  • Health monitoring
  • Auto-answer for stealthy check-ins
  • Waterproof vs. water-resistant construction

Those are all nice to have, but we don’t consider them total dealbreakers. You still get an incredible amount of features for less than $150 with the Gabb Watch, and no other kids smartwatch can compete with its value.

One mom's thoughts on the Gabb Watch

Suzi, mom of two kids ages 5 and 8, has tested several kids smartwatches for us. She had the smoothest set-up experience with the Gabb Watch. 

"It was the first watch that connected on the first try," she said, adding that it's nice to have the cell service directly through Gabb versus a third-party like Verizon. "There were no SIM card compatibility issues like with other watches." 

Suzi also noted that the Gabb Watch was one of the less bulky kids smartwatches on the market. "It has a slim design that's hard to find."

She and her kids also tested the Gabb Z2 phone, but after three months of testing, the Gabb Watch was the clear favorite. "The watch has more features," Suzi told us. Her competitive son enjoyed the step counter, whereas her younger daughter got a big kick out of feeding the GabbGo virtual pet and sending contacts a flood of emojis. 

Final word

If you’ve been careful to keep your kid’s screen time to a minimum throughout their life and want to continue that trend, you’ll appreciate the bare-bones nature of the Gabb Watch. It offers the safety net of a phone without any internet access, stranger danger, or distracting social media apps and selfies.

If your kid is older and already has a smart device, the Gabb Watch might seem a little dull.

Overall, we’re impressed with the Gabb Watch’s balance of features and affordability.

Gabb Watch FAQ

How does the Gabb Watch compare to other kids smartwatches?

Find out how Gabb's smartwatch compares to similar watches in our Best Kids Smartwatches Guide.

You can also compare the Gabb kids watch to Verizon's Gizmo watch in our Verizon Gizmo Watch vs Gabb Watch review.

Yes, the Gabb Watch has a virtual pet game that encourages kids to develop care routines, accomplish real-world tasks set by parents, and complete daily step goals. You can’t download any other games to the Gabb Watch.

No, the Gabb Watch does not have music.

No, the Gabb Watch does not pair with any Gabb phone. If you give your kid both devices, they’ll have two different phone numbers.

Read answers to more Gabb Watch FAQs.

How we reviewed the Gabb Watch

To test the Gabb Watch's appeal, user-friendliness, and location accuracy, we asked a mom to try it out with her two kids. Then we pitted the Gabb Watch’s specs and features against our lineup of the best kids smartwatches. We also browsed Gabb Wireless’s support portal to learn more about the ins and outs of this GPS watch. For more information about how we wrote our Gabb Watch review, check out the SafeWise methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimer

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date 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.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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