2 Minute review
The WatchOut Next-Gen watch is an ideal gadget for parents who get anxious when their kids step out to play. In case these kids go out un-accompanied, this watch can help you keep an eye on your kids remotely. It has onboard GPS, a built-in 2-megapixel camera, speaker, geo-fencing and a sensor to alert you when the watch is removed from the wrist.
While it has an option for 2-way calling and even supports 4G connectivity via a physical nano sim, it also has an option to quietly listen to the sound in the background without alerting the kids.
For a concerned parent, this could be an ideal smartwatch and a smartphone replacement. However, it is far from being perfect. It’s slightly bulky, the bundled mobile app is not the most responsive and most importantly, the battery life of this watch makes it a liability more than an asset.
Since you might already have a ton of gadgets to charge every day, adding another one to the list will make life a bit more difficult. Moreover, since most kids do not have a fixed routine, hence making sure that the watch doesn’t die when your kid needs to connect with you is a task.
That said, its geofencing feature and two-way communication facility might be worth the investment for some parents and unfortunately, these options are not available in most other wearables that are priced reasonably and offer better fitness tracking facilities.
Also, there is a thin line between surveillance and ensuring the safety of kids by tracking them. Since the watch is designed to ensure that the children are safe and secure, we will let the parents take a call on the privacy invasion part.
Availability and price
The WatchOut Next-Gen kids watch is available to purchase via multiple platforms including the company’s portal, Amazon and other kids’ centric online portals. Though the watch is available at different price points at each. The official portal lists it at Rs. 10,999, while the price on Amazon as of date is Rs. 11,999 though you might find it retailing at a lower price if you just watch out for some time.
Also, the same watch can be bought from FirstCry for Rs. 8,999.00 as well. Hence do make sure that you check the retail pricing on these portals before purchasing.
The watch is available in multiple colour options including Lavender Purple, Macau Blue and Space Grey.
In terms of design, since I tested the Space Grey variant, the watch looks like any other WearOS watch that I already have. Though it comes with a front-facing 2-megapixel camera housed on the right side of the round 1.39-inch touch-friendly display. This camera helps the kids make video calls and the placement is such that the kids will always be looking at the watch while making the video calls.
On the left side of the dial, you have a sim card tray that can house a nano sim to offer 4G connectivity flanked with a round button on each side. The button at the bottom left brings you to the home when navigating in the menu while the top left button turns off the display. The big rectangular button on the right side of the frame acts as a shutter release button. Pressing it for more than 3 seconds also initiates an SOS call.
The placement and the size of the buttons make it convenient to reach, however, I found them too hard to press and the response was often a bit laggy.
A sensor at the bottom keeps you informed if the watch has been removed and there is a magnetic charging port as well to charge the smartwatch.
The watch is noticeably thicker than most modern wearables – even thicker than the TicWatch WearOS watch that is designed for us adults. The WatchOut Next-Gen watch when worn by kids aged 8-12 years looks way bigger and is an attention grabber.
Not to mention that this size is directly proportional to accidental bumps that can damage the watch or result in scratches on the display. My ten-year-old is afraid of damaging the watch and often leaves it at home when she goes to play with her friends – which defeats the purpose and is probably one of the biggest cons.
Specs and features
The watch is loaded with features that will make this kids’ favourite gadget. Since you get a small camera on board – they can click a lot of images and thanks to the 4GB onboard storage, they don’t have to worry about lack of space. Though the camera resolution is far from acceptable for selfie shots, its primary aim is to make sure that you can be assured of your Childs’ safety and that part is well taken care of. Yet a better camera would’ve made things better especially if the kids are out playing till late in the evenings.
The internal storage can also hold songs that can be played via the built-in speakers – a feature that most kids would love. There are four games -including a game of Tetris and a flappy bird rip-off that comes pre-installed and we wish it didn’t.
Playing any sort of game on such a tiny screen is not the best thing for your child’s tender eyes. Thankfully the kids won’t be able to install more games on the watch since it doesn’t come with an inbuilt app store.
The menu is simple and can be reached by swiping right on the home screen. It has a limited number of options including – contact, messages, camera, alarm, music, games and settings. While the rest is simple, there is no way a child can add a contact via the watch – it only displays the contacts that are fed in using the app. Messages show the communication between the contacts, which mostly would be the parents. Accessing settings isn’t straightforward as it is secured via a pin.
The display on the watch is bright enough and the contents can be easily seen against bright sunlight and are responsive enough while responding to gestures. The 580 mAh battery should ideally last way more than it does and offers you a one-day backup at maximum.
The smartwatch comes with a bundled app that parents can install on their phones and this app is available for both Android and iOS devices. With this app, you can set a geo-fence that will alert you the moment your child steps out of the safe zone.
Parents can also initiate voice and video calls using the app apart from keeping a check on the child’s physical activities. The app also needs polishing and though it isn't the most intuitive, it just about does the work.
While the features like geofencing, video calls etc. worked as advertised, activity tracking wasn’t the most accurate and simple hand movements were counted as steps.
The company says it is made in India, this looks identical to the Elari KidPhone 4GR. Even the app and the software in the watch does little to hide the Elari connection.
Buy it if
You want to keep an eye on your kids
The WatchOut Next-Gen is ideal for parents with kids who go out to play unattended and you're extremely concerned about their whereabouts
You want two-way communication
Since giving a phone to young kids isn't a great idea - this watch can play a perfect foil. It offers two-way communication and even has an emergency SOS calling option
Do not buy it if
You dont want to charge yet another gadget
The battery life on this watch leaves a lot to be desired. You get just about a day-long battery which means you need to charge it almost every time you want your kid to wear it
You want accurate fitness data
This watch isn't the best option for people who want accurate fitness tracking data. An affordable fitness tracker will be your best friend as it will offer more modes and a way longer battery life. But then you'd miss tracking features.