Smartwatches with fitness trackers are useful for children as well as parents. They will give parents a good indication of how much exercise and activity their child is getting each day and are a great way to encourage children to be more active. This article looks at the Top 7 Fitness Tracker Smartwatches, for children over the age of eight years old. It looks at the advantages and disadvantages of them, so that you can make an informed decision about the best one to buy to meet your needs.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3
Find the Mi Band 3 on Amazon.com – 4 out of 5 stars – Amazon.
Whilst this isn’t specifically marketed as such, it’s an ideal device for children as it’s waterproof and it can be used in showers and swimming pools. On the smallest setting, the strap fits children’s wrists and the device is thin and sleek, making it very comfortable to wear. It only needs to be charged approximately once a month. However, you can’t set up the activity tracker and heart rate monitor for a child user unless you’re over the age of 18, and if you have more than one child with a Mi Band, you’ll need a separate mobile phone to sync each one. But you can do an approximate setting. When a child is wearing the band, the steps count won’t be as accurate, as it’s set for an adult stride, but it does allow for a rough estimate of step and activity. The bands for the watch are easy to personalise. You can set a sedentary reminder.
Xiaomi Hey+ Smart Band
The Hey Plus watch shows your steps, heart rate and sleep status. The battery lasts for approximately 16-18 days before needing to be charged. It is waterproof and won’t be harmed by swimming or bathing. It has an easily-viewed screen, even in sunlight. Its pedometer is fairly accurate. The design has grooves on the edge of the dial, which can collect dirt, but it’s biggest failing is support is only in Chinese, so you may struggle with the language settings.
Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
Garmin Vivofit on Amazon – 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
This smartwatch and fitness tracker is bright and colourful with various Disney designs (Mickey Mouse, Princesses, Spider Man, Star Wars) for the buckled watch-strap. It’s highly durable, and water resistant. The battery should last for a year – but it’s been reported to be around half that depending on use. Parents can monitor their children’s steps, sleep and activity via their mobile phone and can award points for doing tasks. When children have done one hour of activity per day they advance in a game and their activity unlocks adventures. This smartwatch does not have GPS, and some reviewers have commented that the screen is a little bit dark, but this seems to be a common complaint across various brands of smartwatches.
YAMAY Fitness Trackers
Yamay Fitness Trackers on Amazon – 4 stars on Amazon.
This is advertised as being suitable for children, with its pedometer, step counter and water resistance. It’s available with various coloured buckle-on straps. It has various different fitness modes depending on the sport or activity being undertaken, ie. running, walking, tennis, football, dancing etc. It measures steps, distance, calories burned, heart rate, activity time and sleep. It’s possible to check social media on the watch. The battery needs charging every 5-8 days. It’s easy to set up on the iPhone and can be synced with other Apple health apps.
Fitbit Ace Kids Activity Tracker
Find this on Amazon.com – 3.5 stars on Amazon.
This is similar to adult Fitbits but has slightly simplified operation and allows parents to supervise their children’s fitness tracking. It is water resistant and the battery lasts for approximately five days before needing to be charged. It tracks steps, how long the child has been active for, and monitors sleep. The trackers syncs wirelessly and automatically to mobile phones. Parents need to create an account for their child, under a family account; through this account it’s easy to monitor everyone’s progress. Children get celebration messages when daily goals are achieved, and they can collect virtual badges, for bigger milestones. Children can compete against others in step challenges to win virtual trophies, so it’s perfect for keeping the whole family active. It’s possible for families to send motivating messages and cheers to one another. You can set sedentary reminders to keep children active. 60 minutes of activity is the recommended amount.
moreFit Solo Kids Fitness Tracker Watch
View on Amazon – 3.5 stars on Amazon.com
This watch comes in a range of six different colours. It captures activities such as steps, distance, calories burned, how many minutes spent being active, heart rate and sleep patterns. There are sedentary reminders if the child has been inactive for too long, or vice versa, reminders to relax. It is waterproof, so perfect for rainy weather, or any splashes or spills. It is compatible with iOS 9.0 and Android 4.4 or higher smartphones, but it is not compatible with Samsung J3, Huawei P8, Windows or IPAD. It charges up via a USB connection.
Huawei Band 3 Pro All-in-One Fitness Activity Tracker
Find Huawei Band 3 on Amazon – 4.5 stars
This is a stylish looking watch. It’s sleek, highly functional and water resistant. It has a coloured screen. It monitors heart rate 24/7, has built in GPS, and various sports modes, including built in functionality to measure swimming strokes and laps. It tracks sleep too with an app developed in conjunction with the Harvard medical school. The battery lasts for about a week before needing charging.
So, which to choose? All of those reviewed are waterproof; but if it’s specifically intended for swimming and measuring laps, then the Huawei Band 3 seems best suited. The fitness tracker that seems most specifically tailored for children is the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2. If I was purchasing a fitness tracker for a younger child, I may be tempted by this, because of the Disney designs, and the game interaction too, I think this is a good way to make fitness fun. For a slightly older child who had outgrown Disney logos, I would buy either the Fitbit or the Huawei Band 3.