Can I help it if I wish that I had been able to watch movies during long car trips, had all of my favorite books and songs at my fingertips at all times or had been given a tablet to play on when waiting for a delayed doctor's appointment?
Similarly, the watch that I had as a child was a very standard one. It told time. That's all.
But kids these days? These lucky watch-wearers don't only get to tell time, they can now capture photos, add effects, record videos, play games and much more with the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch!
Taking the wearable technology trend to a younger level, VTech's first ever fun camera watch for kids has arrived with features and abilities that are sure to thrill any young owner. An interactive watch that allows kids to take just about all of their favorite VTech games and toys with them right on their wrist? Amazing!
Unsurprisingly, Big Sister E and Little Sister B were extremely eager to open our Kidizoom Smartwatch so that they could start using it. I couldn't blame them!
Right away I found the setup easy, as I simply used the included micro USB cord to ensure that the rechargeable battery was full and flipped the (tiny!) power switch on the back to ON.
From there it took a few taps to set the date and time and we were able to swipe between all of the great options that were waiting.
Is there anything that the multi-functional Kidizoom Smartwatch can't do?
The Kidizoom Smartwatch watch.
Perfect for kids learning to tell time, the Kidizoom Smartwatch allows users to choose their watch face (there are more than 50 digital and analog clock displays to pick from)...
...as well as use this device as a timer, alarm or stopwatch. The combination of the colors, designs, animation and tones really come together to make this a kid-friendly way to tell the time or countdown a few minutes!
The Kidizoom Smartwatch camera.
Young photographers can easily capture photos and videos while on the go with the Kidizoom Smartwatch, as the camera itself is located right on the top edge of the watch and the shutter is controlled either by the camera button on the side or the image of the shutter on the screen.
Along with snapping regular photos, the Kidizoom Smartwatch can add fun special effects such as photo frames, color filters and distortion (these options must be selected before taking the photos, however, and cannot be applied to a picture already taken).
Is there a kid out there that doesn't get a kick out of taking humorous pictures of themselves, their family members, their pets and more?
VTech made it easy to scroll back through the photos taken (or watch them in a slideshow mode) or, for even more action, the camera can record short videos as well!
The Kidizoom Smartwatch voice recorder.
This cute addition gives users the ability to record a message right onto the watch and play it back whenever and wherever they choose. Even better, another tap or two allows users to change the way that the message is played back, resulting in the voice being higher, lower, slower, robotic, etc. My kids are constantly giggling over the funny way that they sound!
The Kidizoom Smartwatch games.
This watch comes preloaded with four learning games (more can easily be downloaded from VTech's Learning Lodge), with each one providing just the right mix of education and entertainment. There is also the option to utilize the parental controls, in case you want to limit the amount of time your child spends playing games each day — no limit, 30 minutes, 60 minutes or 90 minutes.
However, as the parental controls are accessed directly on the watch screen by anyone who can read (the "password" is to press a certain color square three times), if you are trying to limit an older child's play time, they would easily be able to bypass these if they did a little searching.
As for the games themselves, it only takes a few taps on the easy-to-use 1.4" color touch screen before play can begin!
This game shows which character the user is looking for and then switches through various different faces, with the objective to only tap on the original one to collect points. There are three levels in round 1 and three levels in round 2, which get slightly more difficult as the user advances, but overall this is an extremely easy game. Skills used include recognition, matching skills, observation and more.
This timed game begins by showing a photo, either provided (e.g. flower, sheep, apple) or one of your own, and divides it into quarters. The three rounds of level 1 have one or two of the squares turned and the player taps them to get them turned upright without taking too long. The rounds of level 2 have one, two or three of the squares turned for slightly added difficulty. Skills used include picture recognition, logical thinking, small motor skills and more.
Players tap on the indicated circle in time with the jazzy classical music, adding points with each correct move. The cute, colorful animated backgrounds change each time and the movements get slightly faster and more difficult through the three levels. Skills used include concentration, recognition, reflex, small motor skills and more.
Less of a game and more of a fun way to encourage the user to help tell time using both analog and digital, players select between Hour or Minute and change them to any desired time. When tapped, the friendly owl then tells what time it is on the clock in two different ways — e.g. "It is a quarter past 8 in the morning," and "It is 8:15 am."
Little Sister B deemed Finger Dance her favorite of the Kidizoom Smartwatch games and, after playing any of them, always has a grin when she is "presented" with a trophy and congratulations messages!
Truly, VTech has found a way to make their Kidizoom Smartwatch the right combination of fun and education in a small, portable package. I appreciate that photos and videos can quickly be uploaded onto my computer, that one of the settings allows parents to raise and lower the volume (even the lowest seems loud to me when in a quiet location, so we have mostly left the sound off completely) and that it is easy to see the amount of battery left right on the screen.
At the same time, recharging is easy by plugging this watch into any USB port, although VTech states that the battery will last up to two weeks before needing to be charged. I assume that it would also depend on the amount of usage and if turned the power switch on the back is turned off to conserve more instead of letting the screen "sleep." However, turning off the power does have the downfall that the date/clock has to then be reset every time that the power is turned back on, which starts to feel like a hassle.
Overall, this is one tech toy created with a kid-durable design to withstand drops and bumps and a splash/sweat-proof coating for no worries about everyday play. I assume that VTech's Kidizoom Smartwatch is easily going to be on wishlists across the country as it's just too fun to be able to have all of this child-friendly technology (designed for ages 4+, I would recommend for ages 4-5) right at your fingertips!
Retailing for $59.99 in four vibrant color options — blue, pink, white and green — the Kidizoom Smartwatch is available now from VTechKids.com, on Amazon and in stores near you. As well as heading to the VTech website, be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about this and all of their high quality products.
And, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon get to see why their child will enjoy having the best of VTech kids' fun right on their wrist as well, because...
One lucky person will win a Kidizoom Smartwatch from VTech!
The VTech product, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by VTech. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.