Sooner or later, parents are faced with the question: When will my child get their first mobile phone? On the one hand, it is nice to know that the child can call at any time, on the other hand, a smartphone is a distraction and can hardly be secured in a child-friendly way, and there is a risk of it being lost. Children’s smartwatches launch at this time, including the Xplora XGO3. COMPUTER IMAGE student intern Johanna Jolie Schmidt tried them out.
Here’s how the setup works
To set up and use the child watch, use the Xplora app on the parent’s smartphone. It is available for free for Android (from version 6.0) and iOS (from version 12.0). But before that can happen, a SIM card must first be inserted into the watch. An included tool helps open the SIM card slot. The app on the smartphone can only be used if the parents create a user account with Xplora that contains their phone number and email address. Then use the app to scan the QR code from the attached quick start guide. Our test sample first needed a software update so that the watch, Vodafone SIM card and smartphone understood each other. For the update, the watch must be connected to the WLAN in which the parent’s smartphone is located. This can easily be set up in the clock settings.
comfort and design
The Xplora XGO3 is 45 millimeters tall – as tall as a larger version of the Apple Watch for adults. With its 15 millimeter thick case, it looks very bulky; it is also quite heavy, weighing a total of 47 grams. The watch is intended for children aged four and over. However, the Xplora is far too big for its age; even on an adult, the watch looks large. In addition, in the practical test, the watch slid down so far that it hurt a little when you moved your wrist. The watch and bracelet are made of plastic. The screen is very small due to the wide bezels and difficult to use because there is only a relatively small area for swiping movements. This can be a problem, especially for small children.
Xplora XGO3 colors and strap
The manufacturer provided us with the black watch for the hands-on test. The watch is also available in other colors: blue, pink, green and orange. The bracelet is always included; Unfortunately, Xplora does not currently offer interchangeable straps for this model.
Xplora XGO3: These features are there
Now we come to the range of features of the Xplora XGO3. The following features are on board:
- The watch has several tracking functions: It shows the current location with street and house number via the app. The smartwatch updates every hour where it is accurate and also shows the time. Over Route It is possible to determine where the child was before. The watch can even do one safe zone having. The parents thus determine an environment where the child can move freely. If the child leaves the safety zone, an alarm is triggered. The range of the safety zone can be set from 300 to 5,000 meters. Finally standing still live tracking for disposal; With this function, the parent’s smartphone sends a signal to locate the child’s location.
- Call: The Xplora XGO3 makes calls in the LTE network. The child can call contacts and vice versa. Numbers that are not saved cannot be called or called by the child – for the protection of the child. Up to 50 contacts can be saved.
- Messenger: As on any better smartwatch, there is a small program that can be used to send and receive messages. A voice message function and various emojis are available. This works between the smartwatch and the Xplora app on the parent’s smartphone. This worked quite well in the hands-on test, although as I said the display for input is quite small.
- voice messages: Inside Messenger, there is a microphone icon. If you press it, you can send short voice messages to the parent’s mobile phone.
- school status: If parents enable this function, they can set a period (days and times) when the child cannot operate apps on the watch. Don’t let this distract you from the lesson.
- SEA: If the child presses the button on the side for a long time, it goes into SOS mode and makes an emergency call to two previously defined contacts.
- Pedometer: Xplora takes a few seconds to track cadence. But then she does it reliably. Small games are linked to the pedometer on the parent’s smartphone, which rewards the child for covering a certain distance, for example in the form of competitions such as Goldrush treasure hunt, where the child must reach 150,000 steps. The child wins coins by taking steps, and with the coins they can play games in the app.
- Robustness: The smartwatch is waterproof according to IP68, which means it survives a downpour or hand washing without damage – also in our tests.
- More apps: There is a calculator, stopwatch, alarm and camera app on the XGO3. A small Seflie camera is built into the top of the screen. It takes small snapshots that you can then send to your smartphone. The recordings are not particularly good.
Xplora XGO3: battery level test
During the practical test, the smartwatch constantly sucked battery power – even if you put it aside overnight. The (rough) battery status indicator is somewhat hidden and can be found by swiping from top to bottom. With intensive use, the watch had to be connected to the network every day in our practical tests. The manufacturer has installed a battery with 850 milliampere hours – a rather generous capacity. A micro USB cable for charging is included.
How much does a children’s smartwatch really cost?
Xplora sells the XGO3 for 149.99 euros; However, they are already available in stores at prices starting at 130 euros (as of September 28, 2022).
Important: Buyers must have a Nano SIM card (from Telekom, Vodafone or O2) with at least 150MB of data volume to use the watch. Deactivate the PIN code on the SIM card in advance. You can do this using your smartphone.