Best smartwatch for kids 2021: smartwatches and fitness trackers for tiny wrists

The best kids' wearables from Fitbit, Garmin, VTech and more

The best kids’ smartwatch
(Image credit: Fitbit)

Smartwatches don’t have to be just for adults; in fact, there are now a range of smartwatch models on the market that cater to a younger audience, some offering games and learning development, which can be a great reason to invest in some wearable tech for when they’re on the go. 

These are the best smartwatches for kids, with some smart fitness trackers thrown in too.

Because during the summer holidays, you want to make sure your kids are staying active, rather than spending every day in bed playing Fortnite. Maybe they could also get creative with the best camera for kids.

If your child is a little older, then you may also want to check out the best smartwatches (for adults and teenagers).

Best kids' smartwatches buying guide

There are a range of different features you can look for in a kids smartwatch; some are purely for entertainment, whereas some have great learning development exercises such as the LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker or the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch

If you’re an active family, then the Fitbit Ace 2 and Fitbit Ace are the latest kid’s edition from Fitbit which can help motivate your children and track their activity. 

Finally, some kids’ smartwatches are designed with safety in mind, including a GPS tracker which parents can monitor to ensure the whereabouts of their children at all times. 

Whatever you’re looking for, our list below has something for everyone, read on to find out more. 

The best smartwatches for kids you can buy:

Best kids smartwatch: Fitbit Ace 3T3 Awards 2021 winner badge

(Image credit: Fitbit)

1. Fitbit Ace 3

The Fitbit Ace 3 is the best smartwatch for kids

Specifications
Best for: Fitness tracking and style
GPS: No
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 8 days
Reasons to buy
+Great battery life+Soft, super durable strap+Responsive touchscreen+Makes exercise and healthy habits fun
Reasons to avoid
-Not many games-Black and white screen

We loved Fitbit’s Ace 2 fitness tracker for kids, but the new version – the Fitbit Ace 3 - builds upon an already near-perfect tracker by adding lots more battery life. Yes, it’s slightly chunkier and pricier, but the Ace 3 boasts fresh looks and more features thanks to a heart monitor under the hood. 

The biggest boost is battery life. While the Fitbit Ace 2 had five days of battery life, the new version has eight, which seems pretty conservative, since the watch we’re testing is still going strong on day nine.

While it packs a punch feature-wise, the watch also looks great, and because there are no specific character or movie tie-ins, it offers longevity. It may even be acceptable to teenagers (maybe).

Fitbit Ace 2T3 Award

(Image credit: Fitbit)

2. Fitbit Ace 2

The Fitbit Ace 2 is still a great smartwatch for kids

Specifications
Best for: Fitness tracking
GPS: No
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 5 days
Reasons to buy
+Great durable design+Reliable brand+Fitbit app+Animated faces and challenges
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life could be longer

Fitbit Ace 2 is designed to help kids ages six and over learn healthy habits at an early age and encourage them to spend more active time with family and friends. Ace 2 has a swim-proof design with a useful bumper to protect the screen during kid-related activities all day long.

The Ace 2 is available in a selection of fun and bold kid-friendly colours. It debuts new animated clock faces, motivating challenges to keep kids moving, and colourful avatars and cover photos to personalise their profiles within the Fitbit app. Additionally, parents can stay on top of their kids’ activities with a Fitbit family account.

Garmin Vivofit Jr 3T3 Award

(Image credit: Garmin)

3. Garmin Vivofit Jr 3

Get your child active with Marvel or Disney themed fitness missions

Specifications
Best for: Disney and Marvel branding
GPS: No
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+Character options from Marvel and Disney+1-year battery life+Swim proof+Parents can manage goals
Reasons to avoid
-Child could grow out of character-Screen could be brighter

The Garmin Vivo Jr 3 isn’t just a fitness tracker for kids. It’s a handy wearable that unlocks games and adventures when paired with a phone app, which should get every miniature couch potato moving and delight constantly on-the-go kids too.

As well as being fun for kids, the device allows parents to keep an eye on their kids’ activity levels, counting their steps and sleep, and of course, children can use it as a watch too.

The gadget is packed with features to help parents out too. When it’s connected to an app, they can view their kid’s activity and sleep, as well as see if a child has completed their goals, including ‘chores’. The watch lets parents assign tasks and chores and designate a reward virtual coin value, which can be redeemed by a child for agreed-upon rewards. They can also program the watch with their kid’s emergency contact information, which could be useful, although hopefully never needed!

Available in different colours and even Marvel and Disney editions, there’s something to please everyone.

Vodafone Neo reviewT3 Award

(Image credit: Vodafone)

4. Vodafone Neo Smart Kids Watch

Animated characters, activity tracking, a camera and make calls!

Specifications
Best for: Staying in touch
GPS: Yes
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: Up to 24 hours
Reasons to buy
+Interactive Disney characters+Built-in camera+Safety features+Ability to make calls
Reasons to avoid
-Monthly subscription-Large size-Short battery life

The Neo manages to do just about everything you could want from a smartwatch, while putting Disney characters and safety features at its core. If you want to stay in touch with your child 24/7, then this is the one for you, with voice and messaging functions. 

However, the smartwatch is considerably more expensive than its less feature-packed rivals, with a large upfront cost as well as a monthly subscription. The Neo may also lose some of its magic for those that like their gadgets slim and sleek, as well as efficient when it comes to battery life. 

Children are almost guaranteed to be wowed by the incredible clarity of the screen and fun features such as the animated Disney characters, however. 

The Neo Smart Kids Watch, along with its data subscription, is now available at Vodafone.

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2T3 Award

5. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Durable, Disney-themed watch and activity trackers

Specifications
Best for: Durability
GPS: No
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: Up to 1 year
Reasons to buy
+Parents can monitor via mobile+Lots of functions+Disney/Marvel designs+Very long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Additional bands required to unlock more games

This Garmin kid’s smartwatch has a whole range of functions which can make every day a little bit of an adventure. It’s a durable watch that is fine to be bashed around, and you can award points for doing daily tasks and chores. The idea is these can then be traded for treats, so your children have an incentive to brush their teeth or play nicely with their brothers. 

The colour screen and strap are customisable, and the latter is soft and stretchy, designed to be comfortable to wear both day and night. The VivoFit Jr 2 won’t need charging because the battery lasts for 'up to' a year. It actually seems to be more like 6-7 months, but that's not bad, and will vary depending on use.

Apple Watch SET3 Award

(Image credit: Apple)

6. Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE, with Family Setup, is great for older kids

Specifications
Best for: Older children and teens
GPS: Yes
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 1 day
Reasons to buy
+Great performance+Comfortable+Clear and bright screen+Advanced health features+Stylish
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey if lost or broken-No Android phone support

The Apple Watch SE is a truly excellent smartwatch for adults and children. It looks great and it's comfortable, making it perfect if you have a style-conscious teen.

Where Apple has cut back for the more budget price, your child won't notice (unless they're really into taking ECG readings). It feels like the full-fat Apple Watch experience, with all the advantages that it brings in communication, fitness tracking, and health and safety features.

You'll also want to use Family Setup, which is particularly well suited to younger children, as it gives you more control over what they can do with their Apple Watch. 

Family Setup turns the device into a GPS tracker that also allows you to talk to them through the smartwatch. That's ideal if you want to communicate with them while they're out, such as by giving them a heads up that they need to come home soon from visiting a friend. 

Fitbit AceT3 Award

7. Fitbit Ace

Scaled-down fitness tracker for slightly older kids

Specifications
Best for: Fitness tracker
GPS: No
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 5 days
Reasons to buy
+Syncs with iOS and Android+Long battery life+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not a very kid friendly design

Essentially a Fitbit Alta with a simplified app that allows parental supervision, the Fitbit Ace is a great way to encourage and motivate kids to get moving. 

This slim kid’s smartwatch is designed to track daily steps and make it fun by providing rewards and badges for hitting certain goals. 

It’s water resistant so you don’t have to worry about them going out and ruining their new bit of tech at the first sign of rain, and battery life lasts up to 5 days so it’s perfect for wearing all week to school. You can set up a family account if you all have Fitbits so you can view your children’s progress easily, and they can customize their watch face with 10 funky clock designs. 

Xplora XGO2

(Image credit: Xplora)

8. Xplora XGO2

Great for calls and safety, but the software could be better

Specifications
Best for: Safety
GPS: Yes
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 2-3 days
Reasons to buy
+Makes phone calls+Camera onboard+Tonnes of extra features
Reasons to avoid
-Really bulky-Requires a SIM

If you measure this watch simply by its features, the XGO2 is one of the leaders of the pack. It offers more flexibility than the Vodafone Neo when it comes to sending messages and making calls, making it the leader of all the kids smartwatches and trackers we’ve tried when it comes to this feature. It similarly offers more security features than its competitors.

But the watch overall is a little lacklustre and joyless. It does a lot of things adequately, but little with any pizzazz. Photos are grainy, there’s little animation on the watch face, and the extras are pretty boring, so it feels quite pricey for £99, not forgetting you’ll need to pay for a SIM too.

If calls and safety are a priority (or your kid fancies themselves as the next Alan Sugar) this watch is a good bet, but otherwise, there are more fashionable and fun options out there.

VTech Kidizoom Smart WatchT3 Award

9. VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch

A fun and functional smartwatch

Specifications
Best for: Apps and games
GPS: No
Water resistant: No
Battery life: 2 weeks
Reasons to buy
+Take photos and videos+50 choices of clock face

VTech have created the ultimate kid’s smartwatch, that has a lot of cool features but won’t burn too much of a hole in your wallet. This watch has a camera for taking photos and videos, a motion sensor for tracking activities, and has a range of games and apps to use. 

There are over 50 different 3D-effect clock faces- both digital and analogue depending on your preference and you can download all your favourite games and apps to customise this kid’s smartwatch.

Kurio Watch 2.0T3 Award

10. Kurio Watch 2.0

Kids can stay connected with this smartwatch for apps and messaging

Specifications
Best for: Messaging
GPS: No
Water resistant: No
Battery life: 3 days
Reasons to buy
+20 pre-loaded apps+Integrated camera

This kid’s smartwatch is practically a smartphone for the wrist. Just like an adult smartwatch, it features a range of apps, a camera for photos and video, and the ability to send messages. Other features include a media player, activity tracker and a hands-free kit for use with a smartphone. 

It comes with two interchangeable straps for personalisation- one of which is a thermal colour changing one! You can expand the 256mb of memory to 32GB so you can store a wide range of apps and media on this device.

LeapFrog LeapBand Activity TrackerT3 Award

11. LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker

An encouraging fitness tracker with full parental controls

Specifications
Best for: Development
GPS: No
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 3-4 days
Reasons to buy
+The smartwatch answer to a Tamogotchi +Parental controls allow you to limit screen time

This smartchwatch from LeapFrog provides you with a virtual pet, just like the good old Tamogotchis from the 90s. You can feed and power your pet by completely activities or exercise to gain points. 

This watch is designed to teach your child core skills with a full curriculum that will have them learning how to tell the time and the importance of nutrition. There’s a range of games to play but the parental controls will allow you to limit the time your children spend playing, so that they can focus during school time and bedtime. 

Tencent Kids SmartwatchT3 Award

12. Tencent Kids Smartwatch

A funky smartwatch to give parents peace of mind

Specifications
Best for: GPS tracking
GPS: Yes
Water resistant: Yes
Battery life: 8 days
Reasons to buy
+Makes calls and send messages+Set up danger zones

For those who are a little worried about their children venturing out on their own in their younger years, this kid’s smartwatch is a great way to give both parent and child peace of mind that they can stay in contact at a touch of a button. Rather than allowing them a smartphone, this watch has a GPS tracker that will allow you to quickly and easily locate where they are at all times. 

If there is a particular neighbourhood or area you feel they shouldn’t go to, you can set up an alert so you will be notified if and when they enter a specific area. It’s easy to call and message and the watch also has a camera for taking photos. 

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