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Apparently, even toy manufacturers are receiving in to the wearable tech craze. The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch ($59.99) is a camera watch which has a clock function built-in. Unlike the LeapFrog LeapBand, the Kidizoom Smartwatch isn’t designed to be a task tracker for kids. Rather, it’s area of the Kidizoom camera collection, directed at children ages 3 to 9 years old, and made to take photographs and videos on the run. Its durable design and easy-to-use interface can make it popular with the children. Just be sure to transform it off and charge it after every use; inside our tests, the battery didn’t last long as VTech claims.
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Design and Features
This toy smartwatch most closely resembles the Filip Wearable Smart Locator and Phone for Kids to look at. Just like the Filip, it’s manufactured from a rubbery plastic-type material that’s made to take the bumps and dumps of childhood, and it’s really designed to be worn on the wrist. Unlike that device, this won’t offer any phone or locator functionality. Rather, the Kidizoom is intended mainly for taking photographs or videos, and understanding how to tell time through a number of clock displays. The smartwatch also offers three built-in games, a voice recorder (with five voice-changing effects), an noisy alarms, a timer, and a stopwatch function. It will come in four colors: blue, green, white, and blue (the colour of our review unit).
The watch face includes a 1.4-inch color display which has a 128-by-128 resolution and includes touch functionality. There’s a camera located near the top of the watch face, turned outward. The camera includes a 640-by-480 resolution for photographs and will take either 320-by-240 or 160-by-120 video at 15 fps. You can download the photographs and videos to a PC or Mac. Left of the display may be the Home button, while to the proper may be the Camera button, in addition to a mini-USB 2.0 port with a removable plastic panel. A mini-USB-to-USB cable is bundled in, and it enables you to both charge the Kidizoom watch via your personal computer and hook up to VTech’s Learning Lodge iphone app store to download more games and clock displays. Also you can utilize the cable to transfer files between your watch and the computer. (The watch can look as a removable drive called VTech 1557.) The Kidizoom works with with both Macs and PCs. The watch includes 128MB of internal memory, which VTech says will do to store about 800 photographs or six 1-minute videos.
Before first use, you will have to charge the watch’s built-in rechargeable battery for at least three hours. If it is fully charged, a note will show on the screen, then switch off. It’s important to remember that so that you can successfully charge the watch, the energy switch located behind the display should be in the On position. But it is also equally essential that you turn that same On / off switch to Off whenever your child isn’t using these devices. VTech claims that the battery can last for just two to three days with typical usage, but only so long as you switch off the watch whenever your child isn’t using it.
When I first fired up the watch, a screen appeared that required me to create the date and time. That involved simply swiping up or right down to change the month, day, year, hour, and minutes to the present point. Tap the Check icon, and press the house Button get started.
My five-year-old tester, Matthew, had no issue determining the watch interface. It seemed intuitive, and the touch functionality was very responsive. He found it very simple to take both photographs and videos, and, with just a little assist from his 10-year-old brother, play them back on the display. Granted, almost all of the photographs were of our living room’s solid wall, and the main one video he shot was from the backseat of our moving car, and do not require are of an excellent enough resolution to be looked at for National Geographic magazine, however the resolution was a lot more than satisfactory for his needs. He thought it had been hilarious to utilize the voice-recorder function and play it back for his and his brother’s amusement. The three games-Super Detective, Rotating Puzzle, and Finger Dance-were fun for him to explore, but he had been asking how many other games he could download.
My only two nits with the Kidizoom watch will be the battery life and the energy switch. The switch is incredibly tiny, which is understandable, because you don’t want your son or daughter to accidentally keep carefully the watch on and drain the battery unintentionally, or have the switch rub uncomfortably against your son or daughter’s wrist. However, turning the activate and off was a pain, involving some manual dexterity and a sharp fingernail.
The battery life was more of a mystery than an annoyance. I actually charged the watch overnight, and Matthew didn’t utilize the watch out for longer than one hour. I also made a spot of switching it off when he stopped using it. Despite all that, the battery charge seemed low when I next turned it on, and I was forced to recharge it again. It’s too early to state if this will be a continuing issue with the watch, though.
Overall, VTech includes a possible holiday hit on its hands with the Kidizoom Smartwatch. Its wearable form factor can make it stick out in a toy market lousy with tablets and robots, and its own intuitive interface ensures that kids would want to play with it for an extended while. Just be certain to keep this toy watch charged, and also have some patience with the, very small On / off switch.