Is kids’ wearable phone worth it for the value it delivers?

Most parents in New York might say that they pay almost any price to keep their kids safe from danger. Kids are often prone to getting hurt — such as sustaining a head injury on the playground — so a device that could aid parents in keeping track of their kids when they’re out of their sight could be a welcome innovation.

Well, as it turns out, there is a device that can do that for parents. But is the financial cost worth it to bear? A recent review of the Filip safety smartwatch yields a mixed bag. The device is pretty useful, but it has its drawbacks — and planned future versions of the product might make investing in one now less than ideal.

The device lets parents track their kids’ location and also call them via an on-board speaker phone. The wearer can call any of five numbers parents program into the phone. Parents must have a compatible smartphone in order for the device to work. The smartwatch is rather bulky for kids’ wrists; it might not easily fit underneath sleeves. And kids who wear it on the outside of their clothes risk scuffing the surface of the watch.

Another drawback is the voluntary nature of the product. Older kids who don’t want their parents to keep track of them simply won’t want to wear it. Younger kids might be more willing to don the watch, though at least one girl who tested it said the device became uncomfortable to wear after having it on all day.

Parents need to evaluate whether the device — which costs about $200 to buy and requires a $10 monthly fee — is worth it for them. It won’t prevent children from getting hurt, of course, but the peace of mind it can give parents might be worthwhile.

Source: PC Magazine, “Filip Wearable Smart Locator and Phone for Kids,” Sascha Segan, Dec. 30, 2013

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