How smartwatches for kids are set to get better in 2018

Smartwatches for children is a growing market for parents who to stay in contact, be able to spot track their kid's location and much more without having to shell out lots on a smartphone. The good news is smartwatches for kids are about to improve too.

Much like how most Wear OS watches for adults run the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, the company has a new iteration in its Snapdragon Wear platform for kids.

It's called the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform and it brings a series of new improvements we expect to see manufacturers of children's smartwatches make the most of over the next year or so.

The chip is specifically designed for kids watches and will bring a variety of improvements to the platform. We don't currently know the exact products that will use this tech, but at MWC Shanghai, Huawei announced it will be making a smartwatch with this new tech inside. 

The company said we'll be learning more details about the watch soon including its release date, prices and specs.

Snapdragon for kids

Children don't need all of the features of Wear OS watches designed for adults, but often manufacturers have been using similar platforms and technology to then have to dedicate time and effort into stripping away the more complicated features.

Qualcomm hopes this new platform will make it easier for third-party manufacturers to make kid's smartwatches and improve upon what has gone before.

The new platform improves power management, which means we should see better battery life on most new watches sporting this tech. Qualcomm claims this chipset is 15% more efficient than the last generation.

There's also a new lower power location tracking technology that combines LTE cellular data, satellite positions, sensors within the watch and Wi-Fi positioning to work out where your child is. 

That should again mean battery life will be stronger as the device won't constantly be searching for a GPS signal to keep track of your kids.

The new watches will have the option to run on Qualcomm's new OS as well.  Like most current children's smartwatches, the new platform will use a parred down version of Android O.

Based on Android O

This should allow for manufacturers to devote more time and effort to making unique third-party features rather than worrying about the basic OS running on the watch.

NFC is now an option with this platform too, which means you may be able to connect your child up to Google Pay in the future to make payments while on the go. There's also the option for manufacturers to put in up to 5MP cameras on devices too.

The final feature is for learning and education. It will be able to use Qualcomm's Voice Activation Platform and will mean your watch can support Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Cortana integration.

That will let you child interact with games and educational apps when on the move by speaking to the watch.

When exactly we'll see these new watches start to appear is currently up in the air, but the new platform is a good hint we'll start to see new and improved smartwatches for children hit the market before the end of the year.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.