Xplora X5 Play Smartwatch Review

We compared the Xplora X5 Play to our top kids smartwatches and found that it lacks a few safety features.
Best kids smartwatch for active play
Xplora X5 Play kids smartwatch
Xplora X5 Play
4.3 out of 5 stars
  • pro
    50 parent-approved contacts
  • pro
    Location tracking and geofencing
  • con
    No video calling
Cathy Habas
Nov 09, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

The Xplora X5 Play kids smartwatch wouldn’t be impressive without the unique GoPlay platform, which allows kids to earn virtual coins and real-life swag just by being active.

The X5 Play’s next-best features include its 1080p camera and roomy 50-count contact list. Apart from that, it’s a standard kids smartwatch with GPS tracking, geofencing, school mode, and an SOS button.

pro Up to 50 parent-approved contacts
pro GPS tracking
pro Gamified activity
pro Camera
pro SOS button
con No video calling
con SIM card sold separately
con One day battery life with typical use
con Only works with T-Mobile and AT&T

Xplora X5 Play vs. other kids smartwatches

Best for
Watch price Icon 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 SOS calls
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
25Red Pocket (AT&T)
Budget pick
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
10Gabb Wireless
Best for active play
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
50T-Mobile recommended
Best for Verizon customers
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for preschoolers
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo

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

What's in the box

  • Xplora X5 Play smartwatch
  • Charging cable
  • Quick start guide

Up to 50 parent-approved contacts

The Xplora X5 Play has room for 50 contacts. There are two ways to add contacts:

  • Input contact info manually through the parent app
  • Ask potential contacts to download the mobile app, scan the watch’s QR code, and wait for your final approval

All contacts can send and receive phone calls and text messages to/from the Xplora watch. To send photos, videos, and music files, contacts must use the mobile app’s chat feature.  There’s no way to limit the permissions of each contact.

Kids can call each other’s watches

Kids can call each other’s watches, but they can’t text each other. It sounds like Xplora plans to roll out this feature at some point, so stay tuned.

SOS button with two emergency contacts

Like most kids smartwatches, the Xplora X5 Play features an SOS button for emergencies. But we think it takes too long for the SOS sequence to start. Your kid has to press the button for a full 10 seconds.

Your phone number defaults as one of the two emergency contacts available on the Xplora X5 Play. The watch will call you first and send a push notification to the second emergency contact. If you don’t pick up, the watch calls the second emergency number. Then, the process starts again.

We love the persistent nature of the SOS calls—the watch won’t give up until someone answers. But having just two emergency contacts seems limited, especially compared to other kids smartwatches. For example, the Angel Watch  starts cycling through three emergency contacts after its SOS button is pressed for just three seconds.

Location tracking and geofencing

The Xplora X5 Play includes two features we’ve come to expect from kids smartwatches: location tracking and geofencing.

Location accuracy

Xplora is up front about the X5 Play’s location-tracking limitations, explaining that GPS signals only work when the watch is outside with an unobstructed view of the sky. The watch uses nearby Wi-Fi signals to provide an approximate location indoors, and when neither GPS nor Wi-FI is available, the watch defaults to cell-tower triangulation.

The Xplora X5 Play’s location tracking is only accurate to about 25 to 100 yards, which means you might have a football-field-sized gap to cover to find your kid’s precise location.

This isn’t a unique problem among kids smartwatches or any GPS tracker. For example, one of our teammates shared a story about a child who, according to their tracker, was supposedly at the county jail. We appreciate Xplora’s transparency on the subject.

Geofencing or safe zones

You can set up geofences in the app and get alerts when your child enters or leaves that area. The Xplora app calls these “safe zones,” but you can also use it to mark unsafe areas that you don’t want your child to visit without your knowledge.

However you choose to use this feature, the zones must be at least 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) across. 

2MP, 1080p HD camera

The Xplora X5 Play’s 2MP HD camera doesn’t record videos, but it does take some impressive photos (for a kids smartwatch) with 1080p resolution.

Kids can store around 1,000 photos on this watch.

Xplora GoPlay platform

The GoPlay platform takes the Xplora X5 Play from basic to fantastic.

Not to be confused with a chat app of the same name, GoPlay is Xplora’s gamified fitness platform. Kids play games that keep them active, and the watch tracks their steps. They’ll earn virtual coins for reaching step goals and can trade those coins for real-life products:

  • Art supplies
  • Lego kits
  • Scooter
  • Swimming goggles

. . . and way more.

Coins can also be used to access all 20 games on the platform or to donate clean water to charity.

Even more fun: MP3 playlists

You (or any other contact) can text music as an MP3 file to the Xplora watch. Kids have the option to download the song to their watch’s playlist, but they’ll need to connect to Wi-Fi for best results.

Don’t worry about your kid going rogue: there’s no way for kids to access the internet or app store to download or stream music.

Extra features and specs

The X5 Play watch also includes these settings and specs:

  • School mode
  • Alarms/reminders
  • Waterproof to a depth of 3 feet
  • Bluetooth compatibility (for hearing aids or ear buds)

What’s missing from the Xplora X5 Play

The Xplora X5 Play isn’t the most feature-rich kids smartwatch. Here’s what’s lacking compared to the competition:

  • No video calling
  • No video recording
  • No included SIM card
  • No 911 option
  • No audio check-in
  • No health monitoring

In our book, the lack of video calling and audio check-ins is the biggest drawback. Both of these features can reassure parents after a stressful situation.

Final word

The Xplora X5 Play is great for kids who need a little nudge toward a more active lifestyle. Its fun features also make it easier for kids to remember to wear it. After all, you can’t keep tabs on their location if the GPS watch is still at home on the charger.

But the X5 Play lacks other safety features some parents want, like discreet audio check-ins, video calling, or a 911 option.

If you want to prioritize these features over the gamified activity, we recommend the TickTalk4 or Angel Watch. They cost just a bit more than the Xplora X5 Play but offer a better value.

Xplora X5 Play FAQ

Xplora actually sells several watches, all of which promote a more active lifestyle through games and real-life rewards.

We think the X5 Play is the best Xplora watch for kids, but the XGO2 is an affordable alternative. The XGO2 has nearly all the same features as the X5 Play but a lower-quality camera and a different core processor.

The third Xplora watch—the XMOVE—is meant for people who already have a smartphone. It’s only a health and activity tracker and doesn’t include any special safety features for kids.

Some users have reported success with using Xplora with an AT&T SIM card. However, you have to manually enter the correct access point name (APN), mobile country code (MCC), and mobile network code (MNC) for Xplora to work with AT&T.

A T-Mobile or SpeedTalk Mobile SIM card doesn’t require all of that manual finagling, which is why Xplora recommends them.

Xplora won’t work with Verizon, US Cellular, or Sprint, regardless of any manual inputs.

One of your approved contacts should text the MP3 file to your Xplora X5 Play watch. Tap the file and let the song play. Once the song is over, you’ll see an option to download the file to the watch.

Make sure you’re on a stable Wi-Fi connection to speed up the download process and preserve the watch’s battery life.

Yes, the Xplora app works on iOS and Android phones.

Yes, the Xplora 5 is waterproof. It has a rating of IP68, which means it’s waterproof to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes.

However, this assumes the watch is just dropped into water. The watch can’t withstand the extra pressure exerted on it during swimming and other aquatic activities.

In short, don’t panic if you wear the Xplora X5 Play in the rain, but do take it off before jumping in the pool.

How we reviewed the Xplora X5 Play

We reviewed the Xplora X5 Play kids smartwatch by reading the user guide, support pages, and customer reviews. We compared its features to that of other kids smartwatches to determine whether it offers a good value for the money. Hands-on testing is in the works. Learn more on the Safewise methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


*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 eight 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 is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and 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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