|Thanks Xplora, for sending over two smart watches in exchange for our review. All thoughts and opinions are our own!|
This Christmas, did your child receive all the toys and technology that they desired? Perhaps Santa left some cash that is burning a whole in their pocket- or maybe a birthday is arriving soon. This is the perfect time to discuss smart watches with your child!
Xplora is a company that designs products specifically for children. Their products aim to connect kids with technology but also design products that let kids be kids- which means being active and not tied to a screen! We know that technology has a place in our life that is unrooted, but it can be detrimental to our health (says the girl who has to work hard to up her steps and move away from her desk every day!). Our children fall into these patterns with video games, their own computers, and things designed to limit their physical activity.
Xploras Go Play platform encourages children to move, to build their step count up, to be active. Once they hit a 1000 steps, they earn a gold coin. Coins can be saved and redeemed as future rewards on the Go Play System.
My niece received her smartwatch when I visited for Christmas. vacation For her October birthday, she finally received her own phone too. So, we created an account for her, we downloaded the Xplora App, we connected her watch to the app on her phone, and off she went. She's now used her XGO2 watch for about two weeks. We decided to hold off gifting my nephew his watch until he is a little bit older and is more understanding about its capabilities, so for now, his mom has it.
In the last two weeks, my niece has learned the different capabilities of her watch. The XGO2 is designed as a true smart watch. It uses a SIM card to activate features and a plan. It is assigned to a specific phone number. In the activation process you will have three different contract options.
- 2 year plan - $7.99 per month
- 1 year plan - $9.99 per month
- Pay as you go - $11.99 per month
Text is how you will be able to send text messages / SMS to your Xplora watch.
The Xplora Connect SIM comes with unlimited data & voice.
Voice is needed for calling to your Xplora watch, which comes with a built-in microphone.
Xplora was kind enough to send us a couple of watches that were activated for 30 days, so that we can explore all of the features. Normally, parents need to choose between a monthly and yearly plan. Watches without SIM cards are available- but note, a SIM is needed to do all the smartwatch type things
The XGO2 has many capabilities ranging from text/voice response to a built in camera. Using a GPS sensor, the watch has a capability to even let parents know where the watch (and thereby, your child) is located! This comes in handy in my sister's community as my niece is often outside with friends at her neighbors.
One of my niece's favorite features is the camera. The watch has the ability to snap photos and send them via text to preapproved contacts. She's a camera girl- she is always sending me photos- so she loves this feature!
Her second favorite feature is being able to respond to calls and or texts from her wrist. While she does carry a phone with her, she finds its easy to send an "ok" or "yes" quickly from her watch. The watch is designed for children to interact with texts and voice calls only if the numbers are preprogrammed into the Xplora Play app. We immediately preprogrammed her favorite folks- her parents, myself, her besties, into her watch so that she can interact quickly.
My niece admits that she hasn't done much with the step counter yet. She does like the ability to know how many steps she's gone in a day. She loved comparing her step count to mine and my sister's when we visited a Christmas lights walking display that week. I think it's one of those things that interests her, but she hasn't gone all out on it yet. She's looked at the Play store and recognizes a lot of the games, so hopefully she will be interested in obtaining those coins! She's fairly active as it is, so its probably second nature to her to be moving and physically active.
Overall, the XGO2 is great for those children who may not own their own phone. As my niece does, she obviously uses that to connect more via phone call and text than she would with the watch. Yet, the XGO2 is a nice watch for those who might need immediate responses- such at extra curriculars, after school or summer camps where phones might not be easily accessible.
My sister likes the idea of being able to be in touch with her child without needing an extra piece of technology (as in, if they decide to keep phones at home). The watch also has a school feature designed to prevent "playing" and interaction while in educational instruction. Both my sister and brother-in-law have strict tech rules for my niece, so they really like this feature if she becomes allowed to wear it during the day.
While yes, the smart watch does need to be connected to an app to utilize all aspects- it can be connected to an adults phone, so if you feel like your child is too young for their own phone but want a way to keep in touch with them, then the XGO2 is definitely for you. This winter, be sure to check it out and discover what Xplora offers that is good for your family!
Want it? Get it!
Find the XGO2 and more available watches from Xplora!
Want it? Win it!
One lucky MBP reader will win their own XGO2 smart watch with a 30 day free activation. Following 30 days, the winner will be responsible for selecting and purchasing a plan from Xplora.