The TickTalk 4 is one of the most full-featured smartwatches for kids ages 5-12. This versatile wearable combines the capabilities of a phone, GPS tracker, digital safety tool and kid-friendly smartwatch into a durable, fun package.
After testing the TickTalk 4 with my 8 year old son for over a month, I’m thoroughly impressed by its range of child safety and entertainment features, excellent parental controls through the app, rugged build quality and reliable performance.
While the bulky design takes some getting used to, the TickTalk 4 stands out for helping keep kids connected, active and safe without the risks of a smartphone. This in-depth review covers everything parents need to know about the TickTalk 4 based on real-world use.
Overview: Key Features and Specifications
- 2 Cameras: Front-facing selfie camera plus outward facing camera
- Video and Voice Calling
- Pre-Approved Messaging App
- GPS and WiFi Tracking
- SOS Button
- Step Tracking
- Free iHeartRadio Family Streaming
- Fun Themes and Watch Faces
- Parental Controls App
- IP67 Water Resistance Rating
- Dimensions: 44.5 x 41.5 x 16mm
- Weight: 2.4 oz
- Battery Life: Approximately 16 hours of use
- Display: 1.54” color LCD touchscreen
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth
- Network Compatibility: GSM Networks like AT&T, T-Mobile, Red Pocket Mobile
- SIM Card Included
- Internal Storage: 8GB
- Memory: 1GB RAM
Durable Build Quality and Safety Features Provide Peace of Mind
As soon as we took the TickTalk 4 out of the box, my son immediately started testing its durability, deliberately dropping it multiple times from countertop height onto tile and concrete. After half a dozen drops, the watch barely showed a scratch.
The plastic polymer body and hardened glass display make the watch far more impact-resistant than an adult smartwatch. It also carries an IP67 rating for dustproofing and water resistance up to 1 meter, meaning it should easily withstand the occasional spilled drink or dive into a pool.
My son loved being able to ride bikes and play catch without worry, though the watch face is prone to smudges. The bright blue color does make it easy to find in the yard.
Emergency SOS Button Provides Additional Safety
While most kid smartwatches have some kind of SOS function, the TickTalk 4’s dedicated SOS button on the side makes it incredibly simple for younger kids to trigger in an emergency.
After walking my son through how and when it’s appropriate to use the SOS button, I enabled the function knowing it could give me peace of mind while still giving him more independence to play.
Pressing the SOS button triggers a loud alarm sound on both ends while simultaneously calling and sending the GPS location to all parent-approved contacts. It can’t be triggered by accident either thanks to a 5 second press and hold requirement.
While I’m thankful my son has never needed to use the SOS function for an actual emergency, it worked flawlessly in our at home tests, immediately dispatching his location and connecting voice calls to approved contacts.
Reliable Tracking Features Help Keep Tabs on Kids
Between built-in GPS, WiFi tracking that works indoors, and cellular network location tracking, the TickTalk 4 makes it easy for parents to keep track of a child’s whereabouts in real time.
I routinely checked my son’s location through the day using the TickTalk app, getting updates every couple minutes on average. The location tracked closely with his iPhone’s location when tested side by side outdoors.
Indoors, WiFi tracking isn’t quite as precise, but still puts location within around 100 feet in my experience. Location updates happen more frequently when connected to WiFi as well.
The companion app displays both a map view and history view showing location, date and timestamp data. It would be nice if the app included geofencing capabilities to get notifications when a child leaves or enters a designated safe zone like some competitors, but the tracking still works well.
Battery life averages around 16 hours in my experience, but can be extended by limiting location checks and turning off music streaming.
Easy Communication with Family
Kids can only call and message parent-approved contacts, eliminating worries about spam calls or interacting with strangers. Contacts can exchange voice calls, video calls, text messages, voice messages and fun greeting cards.
My son loved being able to quickly Gabb watch or AngelSense tracker with the press of a button when he made an impressive bike jump ramp or just wanted to say hi. Audio and video quality exceeded expectations over WiFi, nearly matching a tablet chat experience.
He also enjoyed decorating digital greeting cards and sending them to grandparents, aunts and uncles who were tickled to receive the surprise watch-to-phone messages.
As a parent, it brought peace of mind knowing outside parties couldn’t contact him and that all communications were visible through the parental dashboard.
Top Notch Parental Controls
The TickTalk app provides fine grained parental controls covering every aspect of the watch. Parents can toggle functionality on/off, limit daily use times, block music streaming, view communication history and adjust additional preferences.
I especially appreciated the ability to silence the watch during school hours and quiet times. Location tracking, messaging capabilities and all non-emergency functionality can be restricted as needed to prevent distraction.
The app made it simple to find the right balance of connectivity and independence appropriate for my child’s age and our lifestyle.
Ratings and Reviews from Parents
The TickTalk 4 maintains a 4+ star average rating across various marketplaces based on over 500 parent ratings. Here is a sampling of feedback from real-world users:
“This watch gives me peace of mind that my son can reach me if needed but I don’t need to give my 9 year old a cell phone. The video chat feature brings them so much joy to talk to grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.”
“I like that I can control everything from the parent app. My daughter stays entertained with the music and fun watch displays while I don’t worry about strangers contacting her or accessing anything dangerous.”
“The battery life is way better than previous versions. My twin boys can usually go a couple days without charging even with their constant video calls and gameplay.”
The most common complaints relate to the bulkier styling not appealing to all kids and the lack of interchangeable wrist bands. A few parents also cited sporadic location tracking inconsistencies.Shop TickTalk 4 on Amazon
Where the TickTalk 4 Excels
- Safety Features: With durable design, GPS location tracking and emergency contacts, it provides protection and peace of mind.
- Communication: Allows kids to stay connect with approved family members without a full smartphone.
- Parental Controls: Granular app controls, activity history and usage limits help ensure a safe experience.
- Ease of Use: Big buttons, simple interface and fun sounds make it accessible and engaging for kids.
- Battery Life: Approximately 16 hours allows all day use between charges.
- Fun Factor: From the cameras to music streaming to digital greeting cards, kids stay entertained.
Where It Could Improve
- No Geofencing: Ability to set location boundaries and get notifications when crossed would be useful.
- Bulkier Styling: Large, angular design improves durability but isn’t the most comfortable or aesthetically refined.
- Tracking Consistency: WiFi/cellular tracking could be more consistent especially near structures and boundaries.
Conclusion: A Versatile All-in-One Kids Smartwatch
The TickTalk 4 stands out in the kids smartwatch category for offering a complete package of safety, communication and entertainment features kids love and parents appreciate.
While the chunky design takes adjusting to and lacks a few convenience features, core functionality works extremely reliably in keeping kids connected and giving parents peace of mind.
Between the emergency contact capabilities, GPS tracking, controllable messaging, extensive parental settings and fun features like the dual cameras and music integration, the TickTalk 4 is an excellent alternative to smartphones for younger children.
For parents looking for robust protection tools, regular communication with family, crisp HD video calling, music streaming, activity tracking and advanced smartwatch features in a durable design built for kids, the TickTalk 4 hits all the right notes.