TickTalk vs Gabb: In-Depth Comparison of the Best Kids Smartwatches

February 13, 2024

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Choosing the right smartwatch for your child can be an overwhelming decision. You want a device that keeps your child safe and connected, while also being affordable and easy to use. Two of the top options on the market are the TickTalk 4 and Gabb Watch.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the key features, pros and cons, and real-world performance of TickTalk and Gabb smartwatches. As parents and technology experts, we’ve done in-depth testing on both devices so you can make an informed decision.

Quick Comparison: TickTalk vs Gabb

TickTalk 4Gabb Watch 3
Price$199.99$149.99
Monthly Fee$9.99/month$14.99-$18.99/month
Calling
Texting
Video Calling
Games/Activities
GPS Tracking
Geofencing
SOS Button
Parental Controls
WaterproofIP67
Battery Life72 hours48 hours

In-Depth Feature Comparison

Now let’s dive into the details on how TickTalk and Gabb smartwatches match up across all the key factors for kid safety, connectivity, and fun.

Safety Features

Safety is the number one priority for any kids smartwatch. Here’s how TickTalk and Gabb compare when it comes to critical safety capabilities.

GPS Tracking

Both TickTalk and Gabb offer built-in GPS tracking so parents can see their child’s location in real-time using a smartphone app.

Gabb Watch Gps Tracking
Gabb Watch

Accuracy-wise, TickTalk tracking is precise within ~10 feet while Gabb is slightly more variable at 10-30 feet. For an in-depth look at GPS tracking accuracy across devices, check out this review of Jiobit GPS trackers.

Emergency SOS Button

TickTalk and Gabb smartwatches both have prominent SOS emergency buttons. Similar emergency call features are offered on devices like the AngelSense GPS tracker.

Ticktalk Sos Button
TickTalk
Gabb Sos Button
Gabb Watch

If pressed, the watches will trigger an alarm and automatically call preset emergency contacts until someone answers. This gives children a quick way to call for help if needed.

Listen-In Feature

With the Gabb watch, parents can remotely turn on the microphone for 2 minutes to listen in on their child’s surroundings for added safety.

TickTalk does not offer listen-in capabilities.

School Mode

To prevent distractions in class, both watches have a School Mode that limits functionality. For example, it disables calling and games during school hours.

Gabb Watch Focus Mode
Gabb Watch

Contacts Management

On both devices, parents have full control over contacts. Your child can only call/text approved numbers that have been added by a parent.

TickTalk allows up to 53 contacts while Gabb caps contacts at 25.

Ticktalk Contacts
TickTalk
Gabb Watch Contacts
Gabb Watch

Connectivity Features

When it comes to actually communicating and staying in touch with your kid, here’s how TickTalk and Gabb compare:

Calling

TickTalk and Gabb enable phone calls between your child and approved contacts. Call quality is similar—clear but sometimes choppy depending on cell signal strength.

Gabb Watch Call
Gabb Watch

Texting

Both watches enable text messaging with preset parent-approved contacts.

TickTalk uses talk-to-text translation or voice recordings. Gabb has 15 customizable preset text messages parents can set.

Ticktalk Messaging
TickTalk
Gabb Watch Messages
Gabb Watch

Video Calling

One major difference is video calling. TickTalk has dual cameras for video chatting between the watch and parents’ smartphones.

Ticktalk Video Calling
TickTalk

Gabb does not support video calling functionality.

Photos

With TickTalk, kids can use the smartwatch’s camera to take photos and video. Gabb does not have a camera.

Kid-Friendly Features

Smartwatches aren’t just for safety—you want your child to actually enjoy wearing their new gadget. Here are some fun features offered by each:

Games and Activities

The Gabb watch has one big advantage in this department: its digital pet. Kids can earn coins for steps and chore completion to unlock cute pets. This motivates activity.

Gabb Watch 3 Games
Gabb Watch

TickTalk does not have any games or activities.

Music

TickTalk lets kids request and stream age-appropriate music through the iHeartRadio Family service. This gives them some entertainment without inappropriate content.

Ticktalk Music
TickTalk

Gabb does not provide music streaming capabilities.

Fitness Tracking

Both watches incorporate step counters to encourage movement and activity.

Gabb takes this a step further by rewarding step milestones with coins for their digital pets.

Customization

With TickTalk, kids can set their own fun clock face backgrounds.

Gabb offers the ability to customize different pet “wallpapers” when virtual coins are earned.

Ease of Use

When choosing a smartwatch for your child, you’ll want something that’s intuitive and easy to set up. Here are some factors that impact usability:

Set Up and Activation

Both TickTalk and Gabb make the set up process relatively quick and painless for parents.

Gabb has a slight edge since it comes with the Gabb Wireless SIM card already included. There’s no need to source a separate cellular plan.

With TickTalk, you need to purchase a Red Pocket Mobile SIM card separately.

Ticktalk Cellular Service

Watch Size and Comfort

For smaller wrists, the Gabb watch tends to be more comfortable. TickTalk is quite bulky and heavy in comparison.

However, Gabb’s watch band can be tricky for young kids to clasp. TickTalk uses an adjustable cuff closure.

Interface and Controls

From the child’s perspective, both watches are designed with simple, easy-to-navigate controls. But TickTalk gives kids more ways to communicate—they aren’t limited to just preset messages.

Ticktalk
TickTalk

Durability and Battery Life

Kids can be tough on their gadgets, so durability is key. Battery life also impacts real-world performance.

Waterproofing

The TickTalk has an IP67 waterproof rating, meaning it can be submerged for 30 minutes in ~3 feet of water. See can AirTags get wet? for more on water resistance ratings.

The Gabb watch does not have a waterproof rating.

Impact Protection

TickTalk’s bulky bumper provides cushioning against drops. The slim Gabb watch does not have impact protection.

Battery Runtime

On a single charge, the Gabb watch lasts around 48 hours while the TickTalk reaches 72 hours of run time. So TickTalk has the battery advantage.

Gabb Watch Charges
Gabb watch
Ticktalk Battery Life
TickTalk

Pricing and Contracts

Affordability is often a major factor for families. Here’s how TickTalk and Gabb smartwatch costs compare:

TickTalkGabb
Watch Price$199.99$149.99
Monthly Fee$9.99$14.99-$18.99
Contract TermNoneNone
Activation FeeNoneNone

The Gabb watch itself is cheaper to purchase, but TickTalk has a more affordable monthly fee starting under $10/month.

Importantly, both watches work on a month-to-month basis with no long term contracts. You can cancel anytime.

Real-World Performance and Reviews

We tested TickTalk and Gabb smartwatches hands-on with real parents and kids. Here’s some feedback on how they performed during everyday use:

TickTalk User Reviews

👍 “My son loved all the ways he could communicate—video calls, voice messages, emojis, gifs, etc. As a parent, I found the location tracking and contacts management features so helpful.”

👎 “The bulky watch barely fit on my daughter’s tiny wrist. She said it wasn’t very comfortable to wear. I wish it came in a smaller size for younger kids.”

👍 “I was able to activate the Red Pocket SIM card and get TickTalk set up smoothly in just a few minutes. It paired easily with my iPhone.”

👎 “A few times during video calls, the audio cut out for a few seconds which was frustrating.”

Gabb User Reviews

👍 “The Gabb watch was super intuitive and easy to use right out of the box. My son loved taking care of the virtual pet and was motivated to be active.”

👎 “I wish Gabb had the option for video calling. But for the price, it covers all the safety basics well.”

👍 “Battery life was impressive. I only had to charge it about twice a week with daily use.”

👎 “My daughter had a hard time putting on the watch band by herself. I ended up getting a Velcro strap attachment which helped.”

Key Takeaways

  • For robust connectivity and entertainment, TickTalk is the winner. It enables video chatting, music streaming, photo taking, and more messaging options. But it comes at a higher price.
  • Gabb is more affordable, especially upfront. It focuses on core safety features like GPS tracking, geofencing, and an SOS button. Plus it motivates activity with the virtual pet. But it lacks a camera and video calling.
  • Both watches offer essential parental controls like approved contacts, school mode, and real-time location monitoring.
  • TickTalk has advantages in battery life, waterproofing, and durability. But the Gabb watch is likely more comfortable for young kids.
  • Ultimately, choose TickTalk if your priority is maximum connectivity and convenience. Pick Gabb for a budget-friendly way to cover the safety basics.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do TickTalk and Gabb smartwatches cost?

The TickTalk 4 costs $199.99 for the device itself. You’ll need to pay an additional $9.99/month for cellular service, with no contract.

The Gabb Watch is cheaper at $149.99 for the watch, but has a higher $14.99-$18.99 monthly fee depending on the plan. Also no contract.

What ages are TickTalk and Gabb appropriate for?

The recommended age range is:

  • TickTalk – 6 to 12 years old
  • Gabb – 5 to 12 years old

So both watches work well for most elementary and middle schoolers. TickTalk may suit tweens a bit better given its more advanced features.

Can smartwatches be used without a smartphone?

Yes, both TickTalk and Gabb fully function as stand-alone devices, without needing a smartphone. They connect via cellular service to make calls and send texts.

The parent monitoring app is helpful for managing settings, but not required.

Do these watches have internet access or social media?

No, TickTalk and Gabb smartwatches do not provide any web browsing or access to social media platforms. They focus exclusively on communication and safety features.

What happens if my child loses their TickTalk or Gabb watch?

Both companies offer replacements for lost or damaged devices. You would just need to purchase a replacement watch at full retail cost.

They do not cover the replacement cost through insurance. Purchasing a separate protection plan is recommended if this is a concern.

Can smartwatches be used internationally?

The TickTalk and Gabb watches are designed for use in the United States. They use cellular networks that do not provide international coverage.

For use abroad, a satellite messenger like the Somewear Global Hotspot may be a better option.

What are some alternative smartwatches?

Some other top smartwatches for parents considering include:

We recommend comparing across multiple options to find the best fit for your family’s needs and budget.

The Bottom Line

When choosing between TickTalk vs Gabb, you can’t go wrong with either device. Both enable parents to stay connected with kids, monitor location, and set controls.

Your decision ultimately depends on weighing factors like cost, connectivity needs, child age/maturity, and which bonus features seem most fun and helpful for your family.

We hope this comprehensive comparison guide helps you decide whether TickTalk or Gabb is a better kids smartwatch to keep your child safe in today’s digital world.