Kids Watch Review

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Usually you read about electronic components and how to use them on this blog. Often they are related to Internet-Of-Things (IoT). This post on the other hand is about an end user product. But you could also call it an IoT component. It is about a cell phone in the shape of a watch for kids with an interesting price and set of features. But as it quite often is the case with cheap products from China the manual is probably translated to English with Google Translate and so it can be a real challenge to get the watch to work. In this post I also want to give you hand with that.

The Kids GPS Watch
The Kids GPS Watch

Where to buy

I bought mine here: http://www.banggood.com/Anti-Lost-Smart-Watch-GPS-Tracker-SOS-Security-Alarm-Monitor-for-Kids-Baby-Pets-p-1025214.html?p=6R31122484684201508S

Full disclosure: this is an affiliate link, which means that I get a small percentage of the sale for recommending this product to you. If you like this review/tutorial please consider using my link. It took me several hours to write it. You will be supporting this blog!

Features

For the price the watch comes with a surprising rich set of features. The most important one is probably the phone feature: kids can call their parents in case of emergency just by pressing one of 3 buttons. You can configure the phone numbers which can be called through a smart phone app. Concerned parents can also call their children and the little ones can answer the call with the press of a button. The acoustics are OK but not great. But the built-in loudspeaker and microphone do an impressive job considering the small size of the whole package.

And this is the extended set of features

  • SOS button: press the SOS button for 3 seconds and the parent’s number will be called
  • 3 options for GPS positioning:
    • update every 10min
    • update every 60min (power save mode)
    • update every meter (they call it live mode)
  • “Baby Phone”/ Spy Feature: remotely tells the watch to call a given number. The receiver phone can then listen to everything that happens around the watch without any indication that the microphone is on
  • Two-way conversations: the kid can call one of three numbers or the watch can be called. Then the built-in loudspeaker and the microphone will be used for talking
  • Geo Fencing: you can define an area in which the kid is supposed to stay. If it leaves this area you get a message
  • Historical geo data: Up to three months of historical data
  • GSM supporting four frequencies: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHZ. I don’t know about other countries, I can only tell that it works in Switzerland
  • Time of the clock based on the GPS signal. Time zone and language can be set through the Smart Phone app
  • Pedometer: measure the steps the kid has taken

Hardware

While I initially ordered the watch for my parents in case of emergency I had to realize that it really is made for children’s arms. A grown up (man) can wear it but it is rather uncomfortable. And if you have “thicker” arms then you might not be able to close it. The display seems to be OLED technology but I am not 100% convinced. My beloved SSD1306 0.96″ OLED displays look a lot crispier than this one. The watch has four buttons: ON/OFF, 1 (for first number), 2 (second) and SOS (call special SOS number). Pressing the “1” button quickly opens the phone book and lets you choose from up to 10 numbers. At the back of the watch is a removable metal cover which hides the battery and the Micro SIM slot below. By removing a black tape it is also possible to unplug the battery which was necessary when I ended up in a state where I couldn’t even turn of the watch anymore (see below for setup). Printed on the battery are also the IMEI of the phone and another ID which will be used during the setup process. On the side of the SOS button there is also a micro USB plug for charging and data transfer. The plug can be covered by a plastic lid which is attached to the main frame.
According to the features the watch must have a four band GSM module built-in as well as a GPS module. The battery is supposed to last about 100 hours (or almost 4 days) in stand-by mode. I will give an update once I have tested that.

Watch with the battery removed. If you cannot restart the watch normally, remove the black tape and carefully push the battery plug a tiny bit out so that the watch can turn off. The put it back in.
Watch with the battery removed. If you cannot restart the watch normally, remove the black tape and carefully push the battery plug a tiny bit out so that the watch can turn off. The put it back in.

SIM Setup

Now this was the complicated part and here I hope that this post will make a difference to you. Please follow these steps in the same order. I forgot to remove the PIN lock from the SIM card and almost had to wait four days until the batteries would have shut down since I ended up in a dead-end state.

  1. Get a Micro SIM card. I bought one for a prepaid contract at the local post office for CHF 19.90 charged for CHF 20.-. The provider Yallo delivered a Multi-SIM card which means that the SIM card is actually a Nano SIM and comes with an adapter for Micro and Original SIM size. In that case you want to just remove the Nano-to-Original-SIM adapter…
  2. Insert the SIM card in a “normal” cell phone and make sure that there is no more PIN-lock enabled. If the lock is active remove it or the watch will end up in a state where you cannot do anything, not even turn it off. Should that happen look at the image above: remove the battery, remove the black tape a bit and carefully push the battery plug a bit out, just enough that the watch turns off. Then push it back in. I didn’t try it but I guess it would be a bigger challenge to put the plug back in if it comes out completely.
  3. Now insert the SIM card into the watch and lock the latch. Before you close the watch take a picture of the IMEI and the ID printed on the battery. You will need the ID for adding the watch to your account. Now you can close the watch with the tiny screws and the screw driver. My package actually had two spare screws…
  4. Turn on the watch by pressing the Power button. There will be a loud noise/ sound if you were successful

Watch Configuration

Now you have to download the App for your Smart Phone. There are versions for Android and iOS. Scan the bar code on the “manual” (sorry for the quotes, but it almost doesn’t deserve that name) with a bar code app and it will open a website from which you can choose your operating system. For iOS you can also go to the iTunes store and search for “SeTracker” app:

SeTracker in iTunes Store for iOS. Not sure how the app is called for Android
SeTracker in iTunes Store for iOS. Not sure how the app is called for Android

 

Now start it and register your account. That was the second biggest issue, since the manual wasn’t clear which ID should be used, the IMEI or the ID or something different. After a few trials I found out that the ID on the battery was meant. Now fill out the form:

Registration of the form. Enter the ID printed on the battery in the License field.
Registration of the form. Enter the ID printed on the battery in the License field.

 

  • Account: I entered an email address
  • Nickname: just choose any account name
  • P_Number: I think this will be used for password recovery
  • Password and R_password: enter any clever password and repeat it in the second field

Then press OK and you will be automatically logged in.

Now lets have a look at the different options under settings:

SOS Numbers

These are the numbers which will be dialed when the 1, 2 and SOS buttons are pressed for more than three seconds. I added them with international prefix (e.g. +41 for Switzerland) and it worked.

SOS Numbers for direct call by pressing the buttons
SOS Numbers for direct call by pressing the buttons

Monitoring

This is settings and spy feature at once: enter a phone number here and press OK. A few seconds later the watch will silently call the given number and the receiver will be able to hear what is happening around the watch without giving any indication on the watch.

Monitoring: listen to what is happening around the watch
Monitoring: listen to what is happening around the watch

Work Mode

Here you can set the GPS update interval. The first sends an update every 10 minutes, the second every 60 minutes and the third updates with every movement.

GPS update modes
GPS update modes

Do Not Disturb

Here you can define times where the watch won’t react to calls, e.g. while the kid is at school.

Do not disturb settings
Do not disturb settings

SMS Alerts

Enter a phone number which should receive SMSs in case of low battery, SOS button press or if the watch has been taken off.

Events for which an SMS should be sent to the given number
Events for which an SMS should be sent to the given number

Phone Book

Enter up to 10 phone numbers which can be chosen on the watch for calling.

Phone Book: Enter up to 10 numbers. The can be selected and called from the Watch
Phone Book: Enter up to 10 numbers. The can be selected and called from the Watch

Language and Time Zone

Set the Time Zone displayed on the watch. Weekdays will be displayed in the given language

Language and Time Zone for the Clock feature
Language and Time Zone for the Clock feature

 

Features

In this section I want to show you how some screens of the app look like. I think they are mostly self explanatory:

Critics

It is really an amazing piece of hardware that you get for this low price. Once you get by the not really helpful manual it offers many interesting features and they work really well. But I also have some reservations and they are surprisingly not of a technical nature: How you use those features is entirely up to you. With this power comes also responsibility. You could for instance easily listen to the parents of your kid’s friends during a visit while they think they are alone. Or you could rely on the technology and let your kids do things that you usually wouldn’t. You could let your kid play in a distant place just because you think you could protect it. Or just what about the fact that you basically play Big Brother with your kid? Up to what age of your children is this short leash OK? How far do you want to go? And then a totally different aspect: how secure is the system? Could it be easily hacked and even be used against you and your family? I am curious about your opinion…

Summary

It is impressive what you get for little over USD $30: an (emergency) phone, a baby monitor, a tracking device. Despite the really bad manual and the tricky setup I can really recommend this watch. But be really careful with the ID (“License”) since it can be used to get access to the watch. With many blessings of modern technology there is always a downside. You should think twice to what amount you want to track your kid, monitor what he or she is doing. After all it is some kind of Big Brothery-Thing that you would be doing.
However, the device can give you a lot of security in case your kid has to frequently walk a doubtful route or you just want an easy way for her to call you while she’s playing with her friends in the neighbour’s garden.

Did you find this article helpful? Please consider using this link to buy the watch or anything else from Banggood to support this blog: http://www.banggood.com/Anti-Lost-Smart-Watch-GPS-Tracker-SOS-Security-Alarm-Monitor-for-Kids-Baby-Pets-p-1025214.html?p=6R31122484684201508S

 

Posted by squix78

8 comments

  1. Hi Daniel,
    Very nice tool for such price!
    Thank you for the full description too.

    Can you confirm if the GPS coordinates are sent using SMS or “data” ?
    As I guess this is sent to China, I can imagine this is over “data” ?
    I guess we have no control on where those GPS data are sent… ? Could be nice to change this in the firmware and setup our own server 🙂
    Have you tried to open more deeply the device ? Possibly connect a bigger battery (if not used to track kids)

    > The battery is supposed to last about 100 hours (or almost 4 days) in stand-by mode.
    > I will give an update once I have tested that.

    Have you been able to do some battery test ? for example with the “send my position every 10min” ?

    Thank you

    • Hi Yannick
      After a normal average usage with cell phone tower localization (not GPS) I would say the batteries last about 2.5 days. I think the data is transmitted over data, not SMS, at least that is what my carrier account tells me. And yes, it probably gets sent to the (Chinese) cloud. The watch actually arrives open, so you can put in the SIM card easily. Once the watch got stuck in a weird mode and I had to reset it by unplugging the micro connector of the battery, so yes, if you find this kind of plug you probably can replace it with a bigger battery.

      Daniel

  2. I’m looking a some other details.. and it seems it may be possible in some such Chinese trackers to send SMS to change configuration.. For example with
    pw,123456,ip,1.2.3.4,8001#
    to ask the tracker to send data on the IP 1.2.3.4 on port 8001
    Then it may be possible to use your own server like https://www.traccar.org
    ?

    Did you tried such things Daniel ?

    • My family and I have similar concerns. The overall security on this device seems subpar for a child safety device. Any further thoughts?

    • I actually haven’t let my daughter wear it too often. It works very well for the basic functions, sound is good, calling in and out works well. All in all it looks and feels cheap, but it does the job…

  3. Did everything you said , still says device offline .
    cannot set nothing in the app because device is offline .
    cannot see the watch on map because ? guess what , device is offline .

    i can call the watch . it works. occasionally i get map after sending sms with the ip suggested here.
    but right after the first time : device is offline .

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