With a squeal of delight, Miss 9 ripped open the packaging of her new VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch and within 2 minutes had it charged at the wall and was flicking through the instruction manual. Before I knew it, she had set the date and time, taken 10 random photos and was filming me drink my up of coffee. Talk about easy to use!
This well-made, fun gadget is packed with features that is sure to keep any young child occupied for hours… well, at least until the battery needs charging and then you’ll be counting down the minutes until it’s ready to go again.
The SmartWatch features both analogue and digital watch faces, which is handy for assisting your younger ones learn to tell the time and you can set the analogue to either 12 hour or 24 hour format. Other features include an alarm, stop-watch and timer, as well as a 0.3-megapixel camera, voice recording and games, all on a neat little 1.41-inch screen.
The VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch has a colour touch screen which is a breeze to navigate – honestly, show me a 7-year-old that isn’t adept to this – and there are plenty of settings so you can choose, or play with.
The design is clean and smart and is aimed at children aged 5 to 12 – however, I think it is more appropriate for the 6 – 9 age bracket. .
It’s comfortable to wear and has a safe buckle so shouldn’t be easily lost but, with that said, I found the watch to be a little bulky and difficult to get in and our of long-sleeved tops and jackets.
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 and colourful photo frames. The photos can be downloaded to any PC using the connection cable and whilst the quality isn’t going to win any awards, the novelty of being able to take your own photo and download it to a computer is certainly something any school aged child is going to enjoy… if not teach an adult how to do!
Videos can also be taken and downloads, which are more fun than the photos and highly entertaining watching them ham it up. Kids are bound to enjoy making these, but with only a 128MB built-in memory, you’ll want to transfer the best ones to a computer pretty quickly.
Whilst quizzing Miss 9 about the best feature of the watch, she giggled a response of, “the way I can make funny voice recordings.” Yep, this cleaver little device allows you to record your voice and then lets the user hear it back through a selection of funny voice effects. I must admit, I too, found this hilarious and may be worth the price of the gadget on its own.
The pint-sized smart watch also features three built-in games and whilst not super challenging, they do provide plenty of entertainment… great for waiting rooms and any other queue where you require to keep your child entertained.. Super Detective is a simple memory game and much like other ‘brain training’ games out there. 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. Finger Dance was by far Miss 9’s favourite game and oddly addictive quoting that it was ‘fun to play, musical and challenging’.
Whilst Miss 9 was under strict instructions not to play with the watch at school, I would have liked a parental-control feature that switches off all functions except the clock, just to safeguard against being distracted at school. The watch is ‘splash proof’ which helps for hand washing and bubbler drinking.
The battery is rechargeable via the supplied Micro USB cable which connects into a computer or a wall plug adapter with a USB port and, if you’re anything like our family, you have these in abundance to cope with all the other ‘smart things’, all tangled near the kettle in the kitchen! The USB cable is also used to download photos and videos to your laptop or PC and it works with Windows PCs and Macs.
This is one gift that should definitely find itself in the Christmas stocking this year.