We think the GizmoWatch 2 is an excellent GPS tracker and communication device for families on a budget, but the Disney Edition is overpriced compared to other kids’ smartwatches. The new Gizmo Watch 3 is the Goldilocks model thanks to better features and an average price.
Verizon recently released the Gizmo Watch 3! We've updated our review to explain what's new.
In our Verizon GizmoWatch review
A closer look: Verizon GizmoWatch reviews
1. Verizon Gizmo Watch 3: Best for Verizon customers
To make the Gizmo Watch 3, Verizon seems to have combined the best features of the other two GizmoWatches and sprinkled in a few extras. The best part is the price: it's $50 cheaper than the Disney Edition.
Here's what's unique about the Verizon Gizmo Watch 3:
- Double the contacts: The Gizmo Watch 3 supports 20 parent-approved contacts.
- Vibration alerts: In addition to silent mode, the watch can be set to vibrate when receiving messages or calls.
- Boredom-busting games: Verizon brought back the jumping and voice distortion games and added Tic-Tac-Toe, a slider puzzle, and Gizmo Says.
- Bluetooth compatible: Kids can listen to calls, voice messages, haptics, or game sound effects through wireless ear buds.
- All the apps: Some apps didn't overlap on the Disney Edition and GizmoWatch 2, like an alarm or weather app. They're all available on the Gizmo Watch 3.
- Improved water resistance: Although Verizon doesn't recommend submerging the Gizmo Watch 3 on purpose, its IP68 rating means it can withstand a depth of nearly 10 feet.
- Location history: The Gizmo Watch 3 generates a location history report on the parent app.
2. Verizon GizmoWatch Disney Edition: Best for Disney fans
We've always held a lukewarm stance on the Verizon GizmoWatch Disney Edition. Until the Gizmo Watch 3 was released, the Disney Edition was clearly the better GizmoWatch of the bunch and the best option for Verizon customers.
But its nearly $200 price tag makes it more expensive than other kids smartwatches, including those with advanced features like longer contact lists, voice-to-text or QWERTY keyboard, and a direct-to-911 option.
Now we're doubling down on our stance because the Gizmo Watch 3 offers more features at a better price.
You might choose the Disney Edition at this point to satisfy the Frozen fanatic in your life, but we're hard-pressed to find another reason to shell out the cash for this one.
It has no games—other than some Disney-related design options—and lacks a stopwatch, alarm, and timer.
That said, the Disney Edition is better than the GizmoWatch 2 because it has a camera and SOS button.
3. Verizon GizmoWatch 2: Best for budgets
The GizmoWatch 2 is the most affordable option in Verizon's lineup and does the trick for younger kids. There's no camera, so there's also no video calling or selfie-taking.
There's also no SOS button on the GizmoWatch 2, which causes it to lose major points in our rankings.
Aside from that, the core GizmoWatch functions remain: safe calling, GPS tracking, an auto-answer feature, and just enough apps to introduce a child to their first smart device without causing them to get hooked.
What to expect from all Verizon GizmoWatches
The GizmoWatch 2, Gizmo Watch 3, and Disney Edition share the following features:
- Real-time GPS tracking
- Time-based location alerts
- Parent-controlled contact list
- Pre-defined text options
- Auto answer
- Step counter
- To-do list
- Funny sounds game
- School/quiet mode
- Remote shutdown
- Compatible with Verizon network only
- Swappable wristbands
- 36-month financing
Location tracking and check-in
Through the GizmoHub smartphone app, you can view your child’s location to confirm that they made it to school or are still at a friend’s house. Best of all, you can do so without seeming like a nagging parent, since your child won’t know that you’ve looked up their location.
Your child can also manually check in by tapping the location symbol (a white arrow on a teal background). Contacts marked as guardians or caregivers will be notified of the child’s location.
Only the Gizmo Watch 3 generates a location history report. Use the time-based location alerts feature on the GizmoWatch 2 and Disney Edition to receive updates throughout the day.
You can also receive location-based alerts. First, you have to set up and name the locations you want to monitor, such as school, home, the park, the library, or friends’ houses.
A circle appears around each location on the map. This is the geofence (digital perimeter). You’ll get notifications when the GizmoWatch enters or exits this boundary.
You can adjust the size of the circle on the map by tapping and dragging.
The only downside is that this won’t work well in apartment complexes or other large buildings. You won’t necessarily know which floor they’re on.
Parent-controlled contact list
You have full control over who can call or text your child through the phone and vice versa. The contact list has room for just 10 people on the GizmoWatch 2 and Disney Edition, but the Gizmo Watch 3 offers up to 20 contacts.
You can assign different permissions to each contact:
- Buddy: can send and receive calls
- Gizmo Buddy: can send and receive calls and texts from another GizmoWatch
- Caregivers: can send and receive calls and texts, see real-time GizmoWatch location, and receive various alerts
- Guardian: same as Caregiver but with the ability to add and remove contacts, turn the GizmoWatch on and off, and change its settings
Predefined text messages
Text content is also completely within your control. From the parent app, you can create a list of quick messages for your child to choose from when sending texts. The GizmoWatch also features a list of emojis for children to send instead.
Children can share images with the Disney Edition.
Auto answer feature for parents
All GizmoWatches feature an “auto answer” option for parents. If your child isn’t answering calls, enable this mode from the parent app to turn their watch into a two-way speaker.
School mode or quiet mode
A new smartwatch is exciting, and your child might need a little help focusing on school. You can set up a period of time when the watch won’t work (except for emergency calls on the Disney Edition). It’s called School Mode in the Disney Edition and Quiet Mode in the GizmoWatch 2.
But note that there’s no way to limit the watch’s daily use or receive alerts about excessive usage. Parents do have the option shut down the device through the GizmoHub app.
GizmoWatches connect to the Verizon network only
Many other kids smartwatches let you choose your own cellular provider, but you're stuck with Verizon if you want a GizmoWatch.
That's fine if you live in a Verizon coverage area, but stinks if you need something like AT&T or T-Mobile instead.
Verizon verifies coverage during the checkout process, so you shouldn't be in for a surprise once the GizmoWatch arrives, but it doesn't hurt to double-check the FCC’s map (check the “Verizon LTE Data” box). Zoom in to confirm your exact area is covered.
You have two color choices when purchasing the GizmoWatch 2: pink or blue wristbands. The Disney Edition comes in an off-white color with the option to add an Elsa, Darth Vader, Buzz Lightyear, or Minnie wristband for around $35 at checkout.
For kids who want something way different, other manufacturers have come to the rescue. You can find replacement 20 mm wristbands in all kinds of colors and patterns for creative self-expression:
- Nylon wristbands with Velcro closures
- Funky and colorful patterns
- Silicone bands with more sophisticated colors
The watch’s original wristband features a buckle fastener and a secondary clasp to keep the long “tail” tucked out of the way. It provides a secure fit so your kid can run around without losing the watch.
Verizon offers 36-month financing for all GizmoWatches. We aren’t aware of any similar kids smartwatch with this option other than T-Mobile's SyncUp Kids Watch.
You do have to pay a $35 activation fee for any of the GizmoWatches. And don’t forget the Verizon service plan, which runs around $10 per month.
Verizon GizmoWatches vs. other kids smartwatches
Max. number of contacts
Compatible cell providers
|Best for SOS calls||$179.99|
|25||Red Pocket (AT&T)||View on Angel Watch|
|View on Amazon|
|Best for unlimited data||$65.00|
|10||COSMO Family Safe Network||View on COSMO|
|Best for Verizon customers||$149.99|
|20||Verizon||View on Verizon|
|100||Gabb Wireless||View on Gabb|
Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
*Limited time deal. No contract required. $30 activation. New lines only.
Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.
Get the full scoop on how Verizon's three GizmoWatches compare to similar watches in our Best Kids Smartwatches Guide. Or, compare GizmoWatches to the popular Gabb kids watch in our Verizon Gizmo Watch vs Gabb Watch review.
In the meantime, here's what to think about before you buy a GizmoWatch.
No direct-to-911 option
On the Gizmo Watch 3 and Disney Edition, kids can activate an SOS button by pressing and holding for five seconds, then swiping on the touch screen to place the call.
You can set up only one contact as the designated emergency number. If you’re not available, the phone doesn’t cycle through to a back-up number. Your child would have to manually go through their contact list and place another call.
There's neither a direct-to-911 option nor a way to make 911 an approved contact. This isn’t unusual for a kids smartwatch, but if it’s a dealbreaker for you, check out the TickTalk 4.
It seems like a swing-and-miss to add Bluetooth earbud compatibility to the Gizmo Watch 3 but fail to offer music of any kind. The TickTalk4 and Xplora X5 Play do play music.
No health monitoring
Aside from the pedometer, there are no health-tracking features for active kids. The Garmin Bounce and Angel Watch offer health-tracking options.
No voice-to-text or text keyboard
Older kids might feel frustrated by having to use pre-written text messages on the GizmoWatches. There's no talk-to-text or keyboard to allow them to write whatever they want.
While both of these features are rare among kids smartwatches, talk-to-text is available on the TickTalk4 and a full QWERTY keyboard is found on the SyncUp.
Doesn't work worldwide
Don't count on a Verizon GizmoWatch to help you keep track of your kid on an international vacation—it won't work. The TickTalk4, Angel Watch, and Xplora X5 Play do have worldwide coverage.
After comparing all of Verizon's kid smartwatches, it's easy to see that the Gizmo Watch 3 offers the best features—including a location history report—at a price that shouldn't break the bank.
But sometimes simple features are better, which is why the Verizon GizmoWatch 2 is an excellent choice for kids who are too young for a phone but still need a way to contact their parents.
We have a hard time recommending the Disney Edition since there are more affordable kids smartwatches on the market with the same features, like the TickTalk 4 or the Angel Watch. That said, if your kid's a big Disney fan, it's worth it.
Verizon GizmoWatch FAQ
There’s no built-in report on the GizmoWatch 2 that shows your child’s location history or traces their steps. But you can set up the next-best thing: time-based notifications.
- Start on your child’s profile page.
- Tap Add Location Alert followed by Time-Based.
- Next, select Time Range.
- Choose the dates and times when you want to know your child’s location, as well as how often you want the check-ins to take place.
For example, you could set up the app to tell you where your child is every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., every single day. Or, you could just focus on the times when your child is traveling to and from school, sports practice, a friend’s house, etc.
On the app, you’ll see a full list of your child’s locations during these scheduled check-ins. It’s not minute-by-minute historical tracking, but it’s pretty close.
The only downside is that you’ll drain the GizmoWatch’s battery life with more frequent check-ins.
Verizon GizmoWatches can only be charged with the included docking station. Your typical smartphone charge cord won’t work. So add it to vacation packing lists, because you’re unlikely to find a replacement at a convenience store.
On the plus side, it’s a USB charging station, so it should work with most car charging ports for on-the-go power-ups.
We recommend buying a couple of compatible chargers to keep on hand. One in the car, one at home, and perhaps one at a caretaker’s house will ensure your child can keep this safety device charged and ready for adventure.
You can view the watch’s battery level in the GizmoHub app.
A Verizon cellular data plan for GizmoWatch costs $10 per month. If you choose to finance the watch, you can make payments of around $2.77 per month for 36 months for the GizmoWatch 2, $4.16 per month for 36 months for the Gizmo Watch 3, or $5.55 per month for 36 months for the Disney Edition.
There’s also the option to pay about $14 extra per month for a Verizon Mobile Protect plan.
Verizon doesn't recommend wearing any GizmoWatch in in the pool, bathtub, shower, etc. Doing so may void your warranty.
That said, the GizmoWatch 2 and Disney Edition are rated IP67 and the Gizmo Watch 3 is rated IP68—which means all of them should survive if accidentally dunked into water less than 3 feet deep. The Gizmo Watch 3's higher rating means it could be dropped into a pool almost 10 feet deep and still work.
Yes. The GizmoWatch allows kids to send pre-written text messages. You can text a custom message to your child’s watch via the GizmoHub app.
No, the GizmoWatch can’t call 911.
Yes, both parents can have the GizmoHub app. Whoever sets up the account can grant the other parent Guardian access. This allows both parents to have the same level of control over the GizmoWatch.
Ages 6 through 12 will get the most use and enjoyment out of a GizmoWatch.
Yes, the parent app GizmoHub works with Android phones running version 8.1 and above.
No, you have to use Verizon with the GizmoWatch. But that doesn't mean you have to be a current Verizon customer to buy the GizmoWatch. You’ll buy a monthly plan during the checkout process.
The differences between the Gizmo 1 and Gizmo 2 include the following:
- Back button and power button moved from the front of the watch to the side
- Slight increase in touchscreen display size (1.4 inch, 300x300 pixels in GizmoWatch 2 versus 1.3 inch, 240x240 pixels in the original GizmoWatch)
- More powerful processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon 2500 in the Gizmo 2 versus the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 in the Gizmo 1)
- Slight difference in dimensions (1.71 x 1.77 x 0.53 inches for the GizmoWatch 2 versus 1.65 x 1.85 x 0.6 inches for the original GizmoWatch)
The original GizmoWatch and the GizmoWatch 2 share the same features, memory (4 GB), and battery time (about four days of average use).
The LG GizmoPal has a much larger screen than the GizmoWatch, so it's a little too bulky for smaller children. The GizmoWatch uses 4G LTE technology, so it has a faster connection than the GizmoPal's 3G capabilities. The GizmoWatch is also more expensive than the GizmoPal.
How we reviewed the Verizon GizmoWatch
For our Verizon GizmoWatch review, we talked to Verizon and downloaded copies of the user manuals. We read what other parents were saying in dozens of reviews and used our industry knowledge of other kids smartwatches to put the GizmoWatch’s features into context. Learn more on the SafeWise methodology page.
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