10 Reasons Why a Kids Smart Watch is Better than a Smartphone

10 Reasons Why a Kids Smart Watch is Better than a Smartphone

10 Reasons Why a Kids Smartwatch is Better than a Smartphone

Thinking of buying your child their first smartphone? Every parent knows the phone question is coming sooner or later (or maybe sooner than later).
Maybe you're wondering what the right age is for a child to get their first phone? What about all the recent news surrounding mental health, cyberbullying, toxic social media content, and screen time addiction? In our digital world, it can feel like there's more reasons than ever to worry.
At some point kids need the safety of connection, but choosing the right tools and timing can make all the difference in the world.
Over the past few years, a new option has emerged for parents who might feel like it's all or nothing when it comes to tech. It's a simpler, smarter, and ultimately safer way to start kids with their own phone: A kids smart watch.

Why Are Kids Smartwatches So Popular?

Today, kids smartwatches are actually viable and safer kids smartphone alternatives. Many parents want their kids to have a phone so they can contact and keep track of them (remember your old flip phone? Exactly.) But so-called "dumb phones" are missing important safety and practical features like GPS tracking. And smartphones designed for adults aren’t the right solution.

Internet access, unrestricted calling calling and texting, and other features simply aren’t safe for younger kids, and there are better ways to keep track of your child. Kids watch phones have become a mainstream trend just in the past few years or so, and for good reason. Some common reasons and features include:

  • - Kid-safe calling & messaging
  • - GPS tracking
  • - Unknown number blocking
  • - Extra safety features
  • - Pedometer/Activity tracking

We have everything you need to know to feel confident putting off the iPhone in favor of a kids smartwatch.


Why Aren’t Smartphones Good For Kids?

Smartphones are everywhere these days. In fact, it's hard to image life without them. So what's the problem with young kids and smartphones? As a parent, you no doubt know other parents whose elementary-school aged kids have smartphones. They may have told you they feel better knowing they can get a hold of their child when necessary, or that a tracking app on the phone gives them peace of mind. These are popular reasons why kids often have smartphones. In fact, a 2019 survey showed that more than half of kids have a smartphone by the age of 11 and that trend has only grown in the time since. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why this phenomenon is problematic.

First, smartphones are designed to be used by adults. At the root of the problem is that smartphones are adult devices, designed for adult use. While more parental control features have emerged in recent years, these have been widely recognized as unreliable. And ultimately, the same addictive programming sits inside the device, regardless of the content restrictions a parent may try and apply. In the same way as kids need special accommodations in cars during their early years, treating technology as ageless simply doesn't work.

Second, smartphones aren’t the only option for keeping track of or contacting your child. These are the two main reasons parents give for buying their kids a smartphone. The right kids phone watch allows you to call your child—but only you and other people you place on a list of approved contacts can call them. Internet access and social media apps should be completely blocked, and the built-in GPS tracker should allow real-time monitoring of your child’s location. Most importantly, these devices are designed specifically to allow kids more freedom while protecting them and providing you peace of mind.

For all of these reasons, more and more parents are searching for quality smartphone alternatives. They want a kid-first and the best kids GPS tracker, not just a generic adult device. They want tech designed for kids, not repackaged adult technology. When it comes to smartwatches for kids, it's hard not to see the advantages.

Read our kids smartwatch purchasing guide if you are considering getting one for your child.

So why opt for a kids smartwatch instead of a smartphone? Here are the top 10 reasons.

#1: A Kids Phone Watch Is Easy for Kids to Use

The demand for kids smartwatches is on the rise, leading smartwatch manufacturers to focus on designs that meet the needs of children and parents. Most have basic functions that make it easy for children as young as five years old to operate them.

On the other hand, smartphones are designed with adults in mind, making it hard to find age-appropriate mobile devices for your kids.

Because they block age-inappropriate sites like social media, and are designed specifically for children, kids phone watches are easy and simple for children to use. The ideal model should have a large, easy to clean display, with simple icons so it’s easy for a child to use. It should come in fun colors kids will want to wear, and be very durable.

The watch design is also ideal for kids because it makes it much less likely the child will lose their device. Plus, kids' phone watches are much less expensive than smartphones, so if your child’s device does get lost, stolen, or damaged, the replacement cost won’t be as high.

#2: Kids Phone Watches Have GPS Trackers

Most parents worry about their children when they are out of sight. However, with a smartwatch keeping track of where they are and where they’ve been, you can check on them anytime. The best kids smartwatches have a GPS tracker that works anywhere in the world and sends regular geolocation pings to the parent's phone. Additionally, some smartwatches have an SOS calling function that allows kids to send an alert to approved contacts in case of emergency.

Although most smartwatches for kids are designed to give details of a child’s location, not all relay that information in real-time. For parents who prefer minute-by-minute updates of their children’s whereabouts, buying a smartwatch with such capabilities just makes sense.

The watches can be programmed to give relevant information at customized times for the benefit of parents. To get the same information from a smartphone you would need to download a third party app that requires an additional subscription to access all its functions.

Smartphones usually have GPS tracking, but this function is easy to turn off. Additionally, it doesn’t work if the battery dies (and kids don’t always remember to charge their devices).

With a kids smartwatch, location data is built into the app and included with your existing kids smartwatch data plan. Plus compared to a smartphone, a kids smartwatch provides more detailed, accurate location information. The COSMO kids phone watch, for example, has real-time location updates, and the GPS tracking feature can’t be turned off. With its long battery life, it will keep working for days without being charged, so there’s less concern about a dead battery.


#3: Kids Phone Watches Help Kids Development

Kids like to know that their parents trust them and that knowledge can boost their confidence. Buying them a kids smartwatch is one of the ways to give them a sense of freedom as they move around the home or outside. You can reduce some of the stress that comes with being a parent and allow your kids to have fun being independent and confident.

With more than half of kids getting a smartphone by the age of 11, and nearly one in five having one by the age of 8, bullying has unfortunately moved online. Kids with phones often find their way onto social media, even when their parents say no. This means that bullies, a big enough problem in the schoolyard, can now follow their victims home. A child might receive bullying messages or comments on multiple social media apps, which are associated with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues.

Meanwhile, research continues into the effects of smartphones on children’s behavior. One study from Japan found “routine and frequent use of mobile devices appear to be associated with behavioral problems in childhood.” Another study published in Child Development suggested that when people consider smartphone use for kids, “it is of importance that neurological diseases, physiological addiction, cognition, sleep and behavioral problems are considered.”

On the other hand, smart watches like the COSMO Smart Watch for kids can help promote healthy development. For example, the fitness tracker helps motivate kids to exercise, and the superior location tracking features give your kids the freedom to walk around the neighborhood. You’ll feel good knowing you can always locate them. This means kids can get more exercise and spend less time staring at a screen, but you can still use the watch to call them whenever you want.


#4: A Kids Phone Watch can Reduce Distractions in Class

Screens surround all of us, whether it’s our phone, tablet, or TV. Experts recommend limiting screen time for children and ensuring that quality content is consumed when they do use screens. A kids smartwatch is a great alternative to smartphones and adds up to one less screen. Social media and the internet are blocked off on the best kids smartwatches. Not only does this mean fewer distractions, but it also prevents exposure to cyberbullies and predators, who are increasingly found to crawl social media.

Additionally, your kids' smart watch won’t distract them in class—an increasingly big problem in schools. One study found that when students are allowed to use devices in class, test scores go down—even for those students who choose not to use their own devices. This suggests smartphones end up distracting the whole class.

Not all smart watches have a “do not disturb” mode, but the COSMO kids phone watch does. You can set “class mode” times when your child can’t be disturbed by a text from a friend. And since social media and internet use are blocked, they won’t be tempted to use these applications in class. You won’t have to worry about a teacher punishing your child for having a watch on, and they will be able to concentrate on class without distractions.


#5: Kids Phone Watches Keep Children in Safe Zones

Parents want to keep an eye on their children but don’t want to intrude in their kids' lives. The COSMO parent app makes it easy to plan and check in on your child’s daily activities. Some of the kids' smartwatch functions even reward kids for completing tasks, such as steps taken and physical activity, that can be easily set up by parents.

While smartphones have GPS tracking and “find my phone” options, these aren’t ideal for parents trying to keep track of their kids. Your life is busy. You may have to go to work, take care of younger children, do tasks around the house, or run errands. That means you probably aren’t looking at your phone locator app round-the-clock, so how would you know if your child made it safely to their friend’s house down the street?

The COSMO Mission Control app solves this problem by allowing parents to set up “safe zones” for their kids. This can be their school, your home, their childcare center, their best friend’s house, etc. If your child leaves one of these zones, you get an alert on your phone. If you know they’re not supposed to be leaving, you can call and find out what’s going on. At the same time, you can keep track of where they are in real-time, so you can meet them if necessary. A typical smartphone location tracker doesn’t have these extra safety features for parents.


#6: A Kids Phone Watch Protects Kids From Predators

Unfortunately, the world is not always a safe place for children, and there are many kinds of predators who might hurt your child. Some might want to steal an expensive device, like a smartphone, from them. Sadly, that’s the best case scenario. Other predators might want to kidnap your child. Still others might use your child to get personal information, like where they live, how to get into your house, etc. Or they may want photos of your child, which could be used in all kinds of illegal activities, from charity scams to attracting the interest of child traffickers. In addition to all those possibilities, child identity theft is also on the rise, with more than a million children having their identities stolen in 2017 alone. How do you keep your kids safe from all these different kinds of predators?

A kids smartwatch can help, acting as a cyber seatbelt. A child wearing a kids GPS tracker may be less likely to be targeted by assailants because of their ability to call for help. (And if someone does try to take your child, the SOS button allows them to quickly call for help.)

Many other kinds of predators use smartphones to communicate with kids. They may pose as another child, convincing your kid they’re a “friend.” Then your child may unknowingly give them info they can use, such as breaking into your home, or even stealing your child’s identity. They might also convince your child to meet their new “friend” somewhere without telling you.

Fortunately, the COSMO smartwatch blocks both calls and texts from unapproved contacts, as well as completely blocking internet use and social media. That way you know your child isn’t conversing with criminals.

The same cannot be said of smartphones, which themselves can attract assailants that want to steal the expensive device from your child. The COSMO smart watch’s kids GPS tracker also gives parents some additional peace of mind, as you can track your child’s movements at all times.


#7: Kids Phone Watches Can Make Phone Calls

For parents looking for an all-in-one device to communicate and keep their child safe, kids smartwatches are the best bet. The kids' watch phone allows parents to make calls and send text messages, making communication fast and convenient.

Since most kids smartwatches are easy to use, both kids and parents will enjoy voice calling and text messages.. Kids smartwatches also frequently come standard with restricted calling and contact management, so strangers are blocked from contacting the device.

This is important, because you want to know who your child is talking to. They don’t need to deal with telemarketers, scammers, or potential predators. Using the COSMO Mission Control app, you can set a list of numbers that can call or text your child—yourself, other family members, their friends from school, etc. No one else will be able to call them.

Plus, the COSMO kids phone watch has several safety features—in an emergency, kids can contact you and emergency services. You can also set the watch to automatically answer calls from you, so your child can’t ignore them. In an emergency situation, this may allow you to hear what’s going on if your child is unable to answer for any reason.


#8: Kids Watches Introduce Kids to Technology Without The Risks

Are your kids begging for a new smartphone? This is very common. Kids love smart, techy gifts and often want a phone like their parents have. Unfortunately, smartphones pose many risks to children under 12 years of age, from providing opportunities for child predators to making it easier for schoolyard bullies to target a classmate. Anyone can contact your child on a smartphone, and kids often find ways around software designed to block social media apps. Worse, there are even health concerns associated with the use of these phones by young children. For all these reasons, it’s recommended that parents “Wait Until Eighth” (grade) to buy their child a smartphone.

Fortunately, kids' smart watches provide an alternative that can make kids and parents happy. These devices help kids learn about tech through simple, easy to use displays. Kids can learn to send and read texts from you and others on their approved contact list. They can always call if they need you, and can talk with friends. Best of all, you can limit usage to certain hours or time restrictions, so your kids won’t be texting their friends instead of doing homework.

If you are a parent looking for an alternative to smartphones, the kids smartwatch is the perfect gift for your child.


#9: A Kids Phone Watch is Affordable

Smartphones are popular with kids who want to remain cool and be relevant among friends. However, kids' smartwatches are more affordable and have advanced features that appeal to most children and parents. Their safety features and lack of internet connectivity make them a better choice for kids ages 5-11, who should not use the internet without parental supervision. They’re also far less expensive than a new smartphone.

The COSMO phone watch for kids is also designed to be durable. It can be easy for kids—and, let’s face it, sometimes adults—to drop or otherwise damage a phone. The enhanced durability of the Cosmo kids watch helps protect your investment—but if it does get damaged, the lower price makes it much easier to replace than a smartphone. 

The COSMO kids smart watch also has a 30-day return policy, so you can try it out and see how it works for your family. We also have support that you can contact. We frequently have sales and specials on the data plan that lets you talk, text, and keep track of your child via their phone watch. The data plan is also refundable if you need to return your smart watch for any reason.

Overall, a kids smart watch is an investment that works well for both parents and kids – parents can monitor and prevent risky behavior, and kids can enjoy one of the latest tech gadgets.

If you are uncomfortable with introducing your child to smartphones at an early age, then a kids smartwatch is a great alternative for you. Fortunately, kids smartwatches are easy to find and are sold at reasonable prices, making them the best choice for your children, no matter their age.