GPS watches for kids are all the rage at the moment. Parents want to keep track of their kids, plus it’s a fantastic way to enable communication without forking out for expensive phones and contracts, especially if you don’t think your child is ready for a smartphone.
I’ve tried several of these types of devices before, and they mostly tick some boxes but not all. They might be less than attractive, very tough to set up, or the GPS locations are way off base. I’ve experienced all of these things with other devices, but our recent trial with the new to SA Tinitell from Vigitech, yielded none of these issues, aside from initial issues of opening the SIM card slot with the tiny screwdriver that came in the box.
Tinitell, which is Swedish made, is one of the most good looking and unobtrusive GPS devices I’ve seen, and there are four colours to choose from. So, what is it, exactly? It’s basically a GPS mobile phone that kids wear on their wrists, with calling functions (making a call and receiving), and which, through an app, parents can track their kids.
The Tinitell is made of durable materials and is water and dirt resistant, but not suited for swimming.
Once you’ve inserted a micro SIM card (you don’t need a contract for this – you can use a prepaid option), the setup is easy, and is done via the free iOS or Android app.
Via the app, you can customise and set up the watch. You can input up to 20 phone numbers that your child can call, and there’s no chance of them contacting anyone not on the list, or them pocket dialling Mongolia, for example. There’s also an option to block numbers.
You can customise each number with a name, photo and voice message, which announces each contact. This is cool for kids who can’t read, plus it also gives them instant info about who’s calling. For example, when I call my son, he would hear: “It’s mom, please answer”. (one could have fun with this feature too – next time I might set that option to “It’s the best mother in the whole wide world here”.
The interface is easy, and I can’t imagine kids will have a problem figuring out which buttons do what. Kids have to speak directly into the speaker on the watchface, much like Michael Knight did back in the day when he wanted to contact KITT on Knight Rider.
Tinitell also has a watch feature, which might sound obvious, but some of these trackers don’t have them. If you press and hold the ‘-‘ button, Tinitell will call out the time and illuminate the corresponding LEDs. In a classroom situation your child can set Tinitell’s volume all the way down and the watch feature will then only light up the LEDs.
Depending on how many calls are made and received, you’ll probably need to charge every two to three days, but I’d play it safe and charge every night. The reception and sound quality are pretty good, considering that this is a tracker and not a smartphone.
The GPS results and call features worked superbly, which I haven’t always experienced with other devices.
The Tinitell is available here for R1899. To learn more about the device, watch the video here: