Verizon GizmoWatch Review

We evaluated the GizmoWatch 2 and Disney Edition and compared them to the competition.
Budget smartwatch pick
Verizon GizmoWatch 2
  • Pros
    Parental controls
  • Pros
    GPS tracking
  • Cons
    Limited Verizon coverage
Cathy Habas
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
Read More
Published on August 26, 2021

Verizon sells two smartwatches for kids ages 6 through 12: the GizmoWatch 2 and the GizmoWatch Disney Edition. 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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Full parental control over contacts and texts
Pro Bullet GPS and geofencing
Pro Bullet Colorful bands available
Pro Bullet Easy-to-use parent app
Pro Bullet School mode
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No video calling
Con Bullet SOS button in Disney Edition only
Con Bullet Small contact list (10 max.)
Con Bullet Requires Verizon plan

What’s in the box

  • GizmoWatch 2 OR GizmoWatch Disney Edition
  • Charging station
  • USB wall outlet adapter
  • Quick reference guide
  • Three different-colored loops for holding wristband (Disney Edition only)

Compare GizmoWatch products

Price
Camera
SOS button
Calculator
Timer/Stopwatch
Jumping game
Learn More
GizmoWatch 2
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
gizmo-watch-disney-editionGizmoWatch Disney Edition
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo

GizmoWatch 2 vs. GizmoWatch Disney Edition

The GizmoWatch 2 and the Disney Edition share the following features:

  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Geofencing
  • Time-based location alerts
  • Parent-controlled contact list
  • Parent-controlled text response list
  • Auto answer
  • Step counter
  • To-do list
  • Funny sounds game
  • School/quiet mode

A few extras were added to the Disney Edition:

  • Selfie camera
  • SOS button
  • Calculator
  • Weather app
  • Orange, green, and blue loop straps

Plus, there are cool Disney-themed backgrounds, photo frames, and characters to interact with on the special edition.

A timer, stopwatch, jumping game, and voice distortion app are available on the GizmoWatch 2 but not on the Disney Edition.

Cost of the GizmoWatch: Financing available

The GizmoWatch 2 costs around $100, making it one of the most affordable but functional kids smartwatches on the market.

The Disney Edition has the opposite problem. Its nearly $200 price tag makes it more expensive than other kids smartwatches, including those with advanced features like video calling and longer contact lists.

There’s also a $35 activation fee for either watch, which bumps up the total price. And don’t forget the Verizon service plan, which runs around $10 per month.

If your kid’s a die-hard Disney fan and needs this watch, Verizon offers 24-month financing for either GizmoWatch. We aren’t aware of any similar kids smartwatch with this option.

Excellent parental controls

The GizmoWatch gives your child a chance to call you without being exposed to spam phone calls. It’s the watch’s primary function, and we think it does a great job thanks to the options available in the parent app.

Limited 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, and you can assign them different permissions.

  • 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
Light Bulb
Ten contacts isn’t a lot

You’re one of them, so really there are nine spaces left. Your child might outgrow this list before you know it.

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, but there’s no video calling.

Screen time limits

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.

Location check-in features

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.

Our hack for historical location tracking

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.

  1. Start on your child’s profile page.
  2. Tap Add Location Alert followed by Time-Based.
  3. Next, select Time Range.
  4. 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 2’s battery life with more frequent check-ins.

Geofencing

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.

SOS calling in Disney Edition only, but not to 911

One feature missing from the GizmoWatch 2 is an emergency/SOS button. The Disney Edition does have a recessed emergency button on the side. Kids can activate it 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.

Neither GizmoWatch can place calls to a number not in the contact list, including to 911. You also can’t 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.

Auto answer feature for parents

Both versions of the GizmoWatch 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.

Lukewarm fun for kids

Neither GizmoWatch features a ton of games or other entertainment. If you’re concerned about screen time, this is definitely a bonus, but your kid might feel disappointed.

The GizmoWatch 2 features three activities that don’t have a lot of replay value, but they seem fun enough for younger kids:

  • A jumping game: Complete a certain number of jumps in a row to advance to the next level.
  • Funny sounds: Tap different icons to hear funny sounds.
  • Voice distortion: Record a voice clip and play it back with different distortions.

The Disney Edition includes the funny sounds game, but not the jumping or voice distortion activities. Since that version has a camera, kids can entertain themselves with selfies and photo stickers.

Both watches also include a step counter, which could be turned into a fun challenge in a pinch. (“I bet you can’t take 100 steps!”)

If you gotta have games, we recommend the Xplora X5 Play.

Secure wristbands that are easy to swap out

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:

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.

Checklist
Prevent screen cracks

While you’re at it, get a screen protector too. Kids fall over all the time, and this watch will be toast if they land on it.

Proprietary charger

The GizmoWatch 2 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.

Check Verizon coverage map before you buy

The GizmoWatch requires a Verizon service plan ($10/month). You can’t use it with T-Mobile, AT&T, etc. Make sure your area has Verizon 4G LTE coverage before you buy.

View Verizon’s coverage map and double-check it with the FCC’s map (check the “Verizon LTE Data” box). Zoom in on both maps to confirm your exact area is covered. There are pockets throughout the country that don’t get Verizon cell service, especially in mountainous or rural regions.  

Verizon GizmoWatch 2 vs. other smartwatches for kids

Product
Watch priceIcon Tooltip  Dark
Video calling
GPS tracking
Max. number of contacts
Compatible cell networks
Learn more
Best overall
TickTalk 4
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
53Red Pocket,
T-Mobile, Metro PCS, SpeedTalk
Best for SOS calls
Angel Watch
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
25Red Pocket (AT&T)
Budget pick
Verizon GizmoWatch 2
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
10Verizon
Best for active play
Xplora X5 Play
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
50T-Mobile recommended
Best for younger kids
Little Tikes Tobi Robot
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
N/A

Amazon.com price as of 8/26/2021 at 3:00 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Final word

We think 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. It also helps parents monitor their child’s newfound independence with GPS features.

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.

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.

Verizon GizmoWatch FAQ

A Verizon cellular data plan for GizmoWatch costs $10 per month. If you choose to finance the watch, you can make payments of around $4.16 per month for 24 months for the GizmoWatch 2, or payments of around $8.33 per month for 24 months for the Disney Edition. There’s also the option to pay about $14 extra per month for a Verizon Mobile Protect plan.

The Verizon GizmoWatch is water resistant, which means it works even if splashed, but it shouldn’t be worn in the pool, bathtub, or shower.

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 5.0 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).

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimer

*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.

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.

Recent Articles

happy older women sitting together
Best Medical Alert Necklaces
If you find yourself in an emergency, a medical alert necklace can contact trained professionals...
Large craftsman style house at twilight with lights on
Best Home Security Systems of 2021
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...
watching camera feed on tablet
Best Wireless Security Systems
Wireless home security systems are more popular than ever. They’re easy to install and hard...