VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch review
VTech’s Kidizoom Smart Watch Plus, recently updated, is a well-made, fun gadget packed with features that should entertain young children, if not educate them or keep them fit like other kids’ toys.
It features both analogue and digital watch faces on its 1.41-inch screen, an alarm, 0.3-megapixel camera, stop watch and timer, voice recording and games.
The design is clean and smart, and the specs are reasonable for something at this price (around £40, but closer to £30 online; see the bottom of this review for the best prices). It’s aimed at children aged 5 to 12 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few adult hipsters wearing it for fun. Yes, it really is that cool – especially in white – but poses little competition to the more serious smartwatches.
It’s comfortable to wear and has a safe buckle so shouldn’t be easily lost. Our eight-year-old tester Lexi found the strap to be “comfortable and smooth,” although it’s perhaps a little too large for everyday wear.
The VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch features a colour touch screen so kids can navigate easily through taps and swipes – the usual stuff they’re so adept at. There are tons of settings so you can choose your optimum setup – brightness, volume, menu layout, etc.
As a watch it should tell the time well, and this it does with a wide choice of around 50 analogue and digital faces – just like the Apple Watch. Well, they’re not quite as stylish but the functionality is there. Even the Stopwatch has five different styles to choose from.
You set the time and date when you first turn the Smart Watch on. You can set the time to either UK or US date format, and pick between 12-and 24-hour clock.
A game based around telling the time would have been great, as this is the primary function of a watch and would have added an educational element.
Also read: How much screen time is healthy for kids.
The 0.3-megapixel camera – 640-x-480 photo resolution, and 320-x-240 video – isn’t going to win any prizes for photo or video quality, but it’s for fun snaps rather than forever keepsakes. The Smart Watch allows you to add various effects to the photos, mostly pretty naff and overly colourful photo frames.
The problem with cameras on watches is that images are often blurred through movement, but the camera placement at the top is neat, and you can always take the watch off when taking a few snaps.
You can do the same with videos, which are more fun than the photos. Kids are bound to enjoy making these, but you’ll want to transfer the best ones to a computer as the 128MB built-in memory is sure to fill fast.
What may be the VTech Smart Watch’s killer feature is the Voice Recorder that records your voice and then lets the user hear it back through a selection of funny voice effects. This can be hilarious and may be worth the price of the gadget on its own. I can see this being a lot of fun at Christmas and birthday parties. I bet Apple isn’t smart enough to add this to its Apple Watch. It should.
There are three built-in games. Super Detective is a simple memory game. Rotating Puzzle is even simpler, and sets you the task of getting the picture in the right order by moving a jumbled section. Finger Dance pits you finger tapping skills against appearing musical notes.
The first two are way too simple – especially Rotating Puzzle, which is unfathomably boring it’s so easy. Finger Dance isn’t much harder but our tester found it oddly addictive. VTech could do much better with the games; see my I’d have thought obvious suggestion above for a time-telling game.
We’d have liked a parental-control feature that switches off all functions except the clock so that kids aren’t distracted at school. The rival Leapfrog LeapBand has this handy feature. Read our comparison review of the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch vs Leapfrog LeapBand.
Thankfully the battery is rechargeable via the supplied Micro USB cable. You’ll need a computer or a wall plug adapter with a USB port; if you don’t have either Duragadget offers a mains charger for the Kidizoom, but any make will do. The USB cable is also used to download photos and videos to your laptop or PC. It works with Windows PCs and Macs.
The design falls down on a couple of issues, but these aren’t deal breakers. The On/Off button is tiny and too fiddly, and the soft cover for the USB charging and syncing port feels a flimsy.
The new Plus version is pretty much the same as the original but now links directly to VTech’s Learning Lodge, where you can download new apps and games.
The VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch costs £40 and is available in white, blue, purple, light blue, pink, and green. See below for the latest best prices.
VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch Plus: Specs
- Rechargeable battery
- Rechargeable battery
The VTech Kidizoon Smart Watch Plus is a good-looking wristband that’s packed with fun multimedia functions. The still and video camera plus voice recorder with effects will liven up any party. There are tons of analogue and digital watch faces, plus a stopwatch and timer. The three built-in games are the weakest part of the package, but the rest of the features make the Kidizoon Smart Watch Plus a fun wristband for kids or irony-friendly hipsters.