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Friday, June 18, 2021

Watchout Next-gen review: A timepiece to keep an eye on your kids

Should you get the Watchout Next-Gen smartwatch for your kid? Here's what we think about the wearable in our full review.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 8,999
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 31, 2021 8:12:03 am
watchout smartwatch, watchout smart watch, kids smartwatch,Here's our full review of the Watchout Kid's smart watch (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Nandagopal Rajan)

I love this watch. I can listen to music and play Tetris on it. But add more games, maybe Flappy Bird. 
The main problem is the step count. It shows triple the steps I have taken and I just need to move my hand for that. 
This needs a better camera, the quality does not look good. 
You can’t add any contacts. I set a timer and I never heard any alarm.
The music is perfect. 

That is my nine-year-old’s to-the-point review of the Watchout Next-Gen, a smartwatch meant for kids like him. 

Watchout has been bringing out some innovating smartwatches in recent times, like the one with gesture controls we reviewed last year. This new watch is clearly meant for active children and for parents who want to keep an eye out for them with an easy communication mode too.

The Watchout Next-Gen is a large watch, more in the G-Shock styling than leaning towards the Apple Watch. This also makes it a big watch for small children. My son found it interesting and wore it while playing, but also kept removing it because it did not really fit him all that well. However, this could be the sort of gadget they would not mind wearing to school, whenever that reopens. It has a certain show-off value.

watchout smartwatch, watchout smart watch, kids smartwatch, The WatchOut smart watch doesn’t let you load more games on the device. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Nandagopal Rajan)

Setting up is easy because the watch has a built-in SIM. The accompanying ELARISafeFamily app is more for the parents to keep an eye on the kids. However, this app has not yet been customised for Watchout and has a lot of Russian text in it. It is still usable and easy to understand.

From a parent’s point of view, the Watchout Next-Gen has some very good features. First, it lets you track the exact location of your child on the app. Using the apps you can set a periphery and you will get an alert if the child moves outside this area. Also, you get alerts every time the child removes the watch, which was quite often in my case.

The other good feature is that you can communicate instantly with the child using the watch. On the app you can choose to do this via voice or as a video call and the watch will start ringing for the child to pick up. This is a great way to keep in touch with your ward without giving them access to a smartphone.

Frankly, I would buy a smart watch for the child just for this. I really don’t care if the gadget gets my son’s step count right or can track his heartbeats.

watchout smartwatch, watchout smart watch, kids smartwatch, The WatchOut Next Gen smart watch can be controlled via the ELARISafeFamily app. (Express Photo)

On the watch side, the features are good, especially for children. The camera quality is not as bad as my son makes it out to be. The idea here is to make a quick call and not to compete with the iPhone. Still, as my son figured out, the camera can be put to some photography use too.

I did notice that the Next-gen watch becomes another gadget for the kids, just adding to the excess screen time fears. So the app offers an option to go into a class mode where all features are disabled and this becomes a regular watch. In fact, the app offers a host of controls and customisations for the watch, which is pretty good.

The battery life should be able to last a full school day even with the child playing with the camera and going for games every now and then. The watch comes with its own charger which the parents will need to manage themselves.

One grouse with the device is that it does not let you preload more apps (and by this I mean games) as children do tend to get bored of stuff quite easily.

Should you buy the Watchout Next-Gen?

Yes, if you are a parent worried about the safety of their children all the time. As a gadget that helps you create an additional layer of security for your children, the Watchout Next-Gen is a perfect device. However, the problem is that it’s come out at the wrong time, when all children are home and not really stepping out. You could wait for schools to reopen and go back to normal so that the team at Watchout can add some more tweaks to make this a seamless device for both the parents and the kids.

With inputs from Anay Nandagopal 

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