GizmoWatch vs Apple Watch: The Best Smartwatch for Kids

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Gizmo Watch Vs Apple Watch

Smartwatches offer a safe way for kids to communicate and be tracked without the risks of smartphones. Two top contenders are the kid-focused GizmoWatch and the feature-rich Apple Watch. But which is the better choice for your child?

As a parenting expert who has tested dozens of kids’ wearables, I’m going to take a deep dive comparing the GizmoWatch and Apple Watch on key factors like:

  • Price
  • Safety features
  • Communication abilities
  • Durability
  • Entertainment options
  • Ease of use

Whether you have a young child just starting to explore tech or a teen ready for more responsibility, by the end of this guide you’ll know which smartwatch is the best match for your kid’s age, needs and your budget. Let’s get started!

GizmoWatch Overview: A Basic Smartwatch Made for Kids

Gizmowatches Communication

Verizon’s GizmoWatch is an affordable, no-frills smartwatch line designed specifically with young kids in mind. There are four models to choose from:

  • GizmoWatch 2 ($99.99)
  • GizmoWatch 3 ($149.99)
  • GizmoWatch Disney Edition ($169.99)
  • GizmoWatch Marvel Edition ($169.99)

All include calling, texting, activity tracking and parental controls through the GizmoHub app. The base model lacks GPS tracking, while the pricier options add real-time location monitoring.

Key features of the GizmoWatch include:

  • Price: $99.99-$169.99 + $10/month cell plan
  • Parental controls: Contact approval, geo-fences, school mode
  • Communication: Calls/texts to parent-approved contacts only
  • Apps: Basic games like Tic-Tac-Toe built-in, no downloads
  • Simple, intuitive interface for young kids
  • Durable, water-resistant to 1 meter (not swim-proof)

Overall, GizmoWatches focus on core communication and tracking features in a streamlined, easy-to-use design perfect for elementary schoolers. With limited frills, they can withstand some rough play without risking a huge investment. For a deeper look, check out our full GizmoWatch review.

Apple Watch Overview: A Mini-Computer on Their Wrist

Apple Watch Apps
Apple Watch

For older kids and teens, an Apple Watch unlocks expansive features and the full iOS app ecosystem on their wrist. Using Family Setup, you can program a standalone Apple Watch SE or Series 7 for your child with robust parental controls and no need for their own iPhone.

Here’s a rundown of what an Apple Watch offers kids:

  • Price: $249-$399+ for GPS + Cellular model
  • Safety features: Location tracking, heart rate monitoring, Emergency SOS
  • Open communication with calls, texts, email
  • Access to App Store’s music, games, social media, etc.
  • Advanced activity/fitness tracking
  • Highly durable, swim-proof design
  • Modern, stylish look

With an Apple Watch, tweens and teens get a socially coveted gadget that can support their schoolwork, creativity and independence. But that freedom comes at a high price, complex setup and need for active parental monitoring. See how it compares to other contenders in our Apple Watch vs Gabb Watch face-off.

GizmoWatch vs Apple Watch: Key Differences Compared

Now that we’ve laid out the key features of both smartwatches, let’s compare them head-to-head on the factors that matter most for kids:

FactorGizmoWatchApple Watch
Safety FeaturesGPS tracking, SOSGPS, heart rate, SOS
Parent controlsGizmoHub appScreen Time,Find My
Calling & textingOnly approved #sAny contacts
Apps/EntertainmentBasic games onlyFull App Store access
Ease of UseSimple interfaceMore complex OS
Battery life2-4 days18 hours
DurabilityWater resistantSwim-proof to 50m

As you can see, the GizmoWatch is the clear choice for younger kids with its cheaper price, basic features and tighter parental controls over communication. The Apple Watch becomes more appealing as kids mature, offering an open platform they can grow into with far more capabilities.

The smart choice depends on your child’s age, maturity, and need for features beyond core communication and tracking, as well as your budget. Let’s break down some general guidelines.

When to Choose the GizmoWatch

Gizmo Watch 3

The GizmoWatch is likely the better smartwatch for kids under 10 because:

  • Sub-$200 price is easier to afford/replace
  • Large icons and simple menus are easy for small kids to navigate solo
  • Rugged, colorful designs appeal to young children’s style
  • Preset contacts limit communication to family/friends
  • Built-in games offer just enough entertainment without app overload
  • School mode and longer battery support learning
  • Basic water resistance can withstand recess and spills
  • Parental app provides full monitoring without complex setup

If you want an affordable training wheel for elementary-age kids to practice communicating and build responsibility with strong guardrails, the GizmoWatch is a perfect pick. It also compares favorably to other basic kid watches – see how it measures up in our GizmoWatch vs TickTalk showdown.

When to Choose the Apple Watch

Apple Watch

An Apple Watch is the smarter choice for tweens and teens looking for:

  • A status symbol coveted by their peers
  • Open platform for music, games, educational apps
  • Advanced fitness features like cycle and swim tracking
  • Digital wallet for learning money management
  • Sleek, stylish customizable bands and faces
  • Support for schoolwork, navigation, reminders
  • Sync with other Apple devices and services
  • Durable design to support sports and outdoor adventures

Investing in an Apple Watch for an older child gives them a powerful productivity tool to support academics, health, creativity and responsibility under your supervision through ScreenTime tools. Just be prepared for a learning curve and some upfront setup time. For a similarly featured but cheaper pick, consider the Gabb Watch as an alternative.

Key Takeaways

To recap, here are the key things to know when deciding between a GizmoWatch and Apple Watch for your kid:

  • GizmoWatches are affordable, simple smartwatches with core calling, texting and tracking features ideal for young kids.
  • Apple Watches are pricier, more advanced wearables that give tweens and teens powerful connectivity with parental oversight.
  • Key differences are price, ease of use, communication limits, available entertainment, and durability.
  • Choose GizmoWatch for under $200, simple controls, limited contacts, basic games, and core tracking for ages 4-10.
  • Pick an Apple Watch to invest in a mini-computer with open apps, advanced fitness, Family Sharing controls for ages 10+.
  • The right choice depends on your child’s age, maturity, feature needs, and your budget.


  1. What age is best to give a kid a smartwatch?

Around 8-10 is a good age to consider a basic smartwatch to practice responsibility. Assess your child’s maturity more than numerical age. See our TickTalk vs Angel Watch comparison for two options for this age range.

  1. Do kids’ smartwatches require a cell plan?

Yes, most kids smartwatches need a cellular plan for calling, texting and location tracking, either through your carrier or the watch provider.

  1. Can you track your child with a GizmoWatch?

All GizmoWatches except the $99 base model include real-time GPS tracking through the GizmoHub app. You can see your child’s location at any time.

  1. Can you set parental controls on an Apple Watch?

Yes, Apple’s ScreenTime tools let you manage contacts, apps, downtime and more on a child’s Apple Watch. You set it up through your iPhone’s settings.

  1. Is a GizmoWatch or Apple Watch more durable for active play?

Apple Watches have much higher water resistance (up to 50m) and durability than GizmoWatches, which are rated for only 1m. For very active kids, the Apple Watch can withstand more.

  1. Can I listen in on my kid’s smartwatch?

No, neither GizmoWatches nor Apple Watches support remote audio monitoring for privacy reasons. You can view contacts and certain communications through parental control apps.

  1. What’s the cheapest kids smartwatch option?

The base model GizmoWatch is the most affordable option at $99, but it lacks GPS tracking. The next cheapest would be the GizmoWatch 2 at $149 with location monitoring.

The Bottom Line

Both GizmoWatches and Apple Watches can be great smartwatches for kids with the right match of age, features and parental oversight. GizmoWatches win out for young children with their simplicity, affordability and communication guardrails. Apple Watches are worth the splurge for tweens and teens ready for an advanced connected tool with your supervision.

Consider your child’s responsibility level, interests and need for features like tracking, fitness or apps to decide which model is worth the investment for your family. Whichever you choose, a smartwatch is a great way to keep kids connected to you and the world around them more safely than a smartphone.

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