Choosing the right smartwatch for your child can be a difficult decision. Two of the most popular options on the market are the TickTalk and Gizmo smartwatches. Both offer a range of features to keep kids connected and give parents peace of mind. But which one is the best choice for your family?
This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between TickTalk and Gizmo kids smartwatches. We’ll compare the designs, features, connectivity, safety, apps, battery life and more to help you determine which is the better pick.
Overview of TickTalk and Gizmo Smartwatches
TickTalk and Gizmo are designed specifically with kids in mind. They both allow children to call and text parent-approved contacts, use GPS tracking, and leverage safety features like emergency SOS calling. However, there are some notable differences:
- Models include TickTalk 1, TickTalk 2, TickTalk 3 and TickTalk 4
- Rectangular design with protective bumper
- Uses nano-SIM card
- Compatible with GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile
- Contract-free plans start at $9.99/month
There are other kids’ smartwatch brands like Gabb that also provide calling and tracking capabilities. See how TickTalk compares to the Gabb Watch.
- Models include Gizmo Gadget and GizmoWatch
- Round smartwatch design
- Only pairs with Verizon Wireless
- Plans start at $5/month with two year contract
Now let’s do a deep dive into how TickTalk and Gizmo smartwatches compare across the key factors parents should consider.
Design and Durability
The designs of TickTalk and Gizmo watches cater to different preferences.
TickTalk smartwatches have a boxy, retro look with a thick protective bumper surrounding the screen. Models come in different colors like blue, pink and camo. The bumper adds durability but also extra bulk.
The watch bands are removable and replaceable. Bands stretch to fit wrists up to 7.5 inches in circumference.
These watches have an IP67 water resistance rating, meaning they can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without damage. The Gorilla Glass display is scratch-resistant as well.
Gizmo smartwatches have a more classic round watch face design.Bands come in vibrant colors and have a contrasting loop.
The nylon watch bands are adjustable but not interchangeable. Gizmo watches are IP68 waterproof, able to withstand immersion in 1.5 meters of water.
Gizmo smartwatches are lightweight and comfortable for younger kids compared to the bulkier TickTalk models. However, the plastic body may be more prone to scratches.
Both brands offer durable smartwatch options for active kids. Gizmo pulls ahead in terms of comfort while TickTalk provides more protection.
Features and Capabilities
TickTalk and Gizmo provide calling, messaging and tracking features tailored for kids. Here’s how they compare:
- Calling: Both allow kids to call approved contacts either from the app or directly on the watch. Calls use WiFi or cellular networks. For more on how AirTags compare to other tracking devices, see this AirTag vs Jiobit comparison.
- Messaging: TickTalk has a keyboard for typing texts. Gizmo can send pre-set messages and emojis.
- Notifications: App alerts for calls, messages, reminders and more are configurable on both.
- GPS tracking: Available on both to view real-time location through the app.
- Geofencing: Create virtual boundaries and get alerts when crossed. Available for Gizmo but not TickTalk.
- SOS button: Lets kids call emergency contacts. Included on both watches. AirTags or other Bluetooth trackers can also be used for location tracking but work differently than the GPS on these watches.
- Games: Gizmo has more pre-loaded games and rewards. Some pet trackers like the Pawscout allow you to reward good behavior too.
- Camera: Lower resolution cameras are on TickTalk 3 and 4 models. Not available for Gizmo.
- Activities: Gizmo has step challenges and chore reminders. TickTalk lacks these motivational features.
TickTalk has a slight edge for connectivity while Gizmo offers more robust safety options and kid-friendly features overall.
Connectivity and Plans
Gizmo and TickTalk take different approaches when it comes to cellular service.
TickTalk smartwatches use nano-SIM cards to connect to GSM networks. They work with AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States.
You can bring your own nano-SIM card from an existing provider. Or bundle the watch with a Red Pocket Mobile plan starting at $9.99/month with unlimited talk and text. There are no contracts.
Gizmo smartwatches require service through Verizon Wireless. You’ll need to activate a new line for the watch, with plans starting at $5/month for basic features. Contracts are two years.
Both connect via WiFi as well for calling and messaging when cellular service is unavailable. TickTalk is more flexible if you want to use your existing provider. But Gizmo ensures reliable coverage through Verizon’s extensive network.
Apps and Parental Controls
The companion apps allow parents to configure settings and track their child’s activity.
The TickTalk app has intuitive parental controls for:
- Approving contacts
- Setting up geofenced safe zones (TT3 and TT4 models only)
- Blocking numbers
- Limiting use during school with ClassMode
- Monitoring texts and calls
Alerts provide notifications when your child leaves designated areas or receives texts and calls. The interface is easy to navigate, similar to Find My for AirTags.
With the GizmoHub app, you can:
- Add approved contacts
- Check location
- Set quiet times
- Reward good behavior
- Review messages
- Customize watch faces
While GizmoHub covers the basics, some users report bugs and unintuitive controls compared to the TickTalk app.
Both platforms provide necessary parental oversight. TickTalk’s app stands out as more polished and user-friendly.
Long battery life allows kids to use smartwatch features without constant recharging.
TickTalk watches generally last 1-3 days depending on usage. Turning off cellular connectivity extends battery duration. Charging the included 600 mAh battery takes 1-2 hours.
GizmoWatch has a 500 mAh battery that lasts 1-2 days on average. A full charge takes about 2 hours. Battery saver modes are available to extend usage.
In real-world usage, both brands deliver similar battery performance. GizmoWatch may need nightly charging for heavy users. TickTalk lasts a bit longer between charges.
Price and Plans
The upfront and ongoing costs of Gizmo and TickTalk vary significantly.
|$129.99 – $199
|$99 – $175
|$5+ (with 2 year Verizon contract)
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TickTalk offers more flexibility without carrier contracts. But Gizmo plans can be slightly cheaper monthly with the long term Verizon agreement.
Over two years, the total costs are fairly comparable. But TickTalk avoids lock-in and has wider carrier compatibility.
The Verdict: TickTalk vs Gizmo
So which kids smartwatch reigns supreme – TickTalk or Gizmo?
TickTalk wins out overall based on its more flexible connectivity, better parental controls and apps, and improved messaging capabilities. While the design is chunky, the durability and replaceable bands are advantages. Lack of geofencing on some models is a drawback.
Gizmo smartwatches will appeal to parents who want the reliability of the Verizon network. The fitness features and games make it fun for younger kids. But limited messaging options and connectivity restrict its capabilities compared to TickTalk.
Ultimately it depends on your priorities. Here are some guidelines:
- TickTalk for older kids who need more smartwatch functionality
- Gizmo for Verizon customers wanting a basic connected watch
- TickTalk for more design options and no contracts
- Gizmo if you want robust parental controls and geofencing
Whichever you choose, take time to establish guidelines with your child on smartwatch usage. With proper precautions, these devices can provide peace of mind while allowing kids independence. Just be sure to balance use of the watch with other activities for a healthy lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions About TickTalk and Gizmo
At what age are TickTalk or Gizmo smartwatches appropriate?
Most providers recommended TickTalk and Gizmo watches for ages 4 and up. Consider your child’s responsibility level and need for connectivity when deciding if they are ready.
Can smartwatches be used without an active cellular plan?
Yes, both TickTalk and Gizmo can make calls and send texts over WiFi without cellular connectivity. However, GPS location tracking and alerts will only work when connected to the cellular network.
No. For safety reasons, neither TickTalk nor Gizmo provide any way for kids to access social media, web browsing or apps beyond those pre-installed. Some smartwatches for teens may offer more connectivity.
Can kids take the SIM card out and put it in a phone?
No. The watches have proprietary SIM cards that only work when installed in that specific device. Kids can’t remove the SIM and put it into a phone.
Can I use TickTalk or Gizmo internationally?
Both watches only work in the country where service was activated. For example, TickTalk currently only supports US networks. You’ll want to choose a different smartwatch model if your child will be traveling overseas.
What happens when the contract ends on a Gizmo smartwatch?
Once your two year Verizon contract expires, monthly payments will continue at the same rate on a month-to-month basis. You can also upgrade to a newer model. Cancelling service will terminate any associated line charges.
How do I add extra emergency contacts?
Most smartwatches for kids allow adding one main emergency contact. To reach additional trusted people in an emergency, kids can call contacts that were previously approved in the app.
Can I track my child’s location in real time?
The companion apps will show a real-time location on demand. Geofence alerts also notify parents when kids enter or leave specified zones. Both capabilities work when the watch is connected via the cellular network.
Do smartwatches impact a child’s health?
Moderation is key. Set limits on use and emphasize that the watch is for safety, not entertainment. Research shows excessive technology use can negatively impact sleep, mental health and social development.
Key Takeaways: Choosing Between TickTalk and Gizmo Smartwatches
- TickTalk offers more messaging options, open carrier compatibility and better app controls.
- Gizmo has some safety advantages like geofencing but requires Verizon service.
- Both watches enable emergency calling and GPS location tracking when on cellular networks.
- TickTalk has a bulkier, retro design while Gizmo is more slim and modern.
- Battery life up to 2 days is similar for both brands in real-world use.
- Gizmo costs less monthly with a Verizon contract but has lock-in; TickTalk plans are flexible.
- Set expectations on usage time and responsibilities to keep kids safe.
- Consider your child’s age, needs for connectivity, and your budget when choosing.
- Test drive app controls and messaging options before handing the device to your child.
- If you want a simple tracking device instead of a full smartwatch, AirTags or the Tile Pro provide basic location tracking without monthly fees.
Hope this guide gives you clarity on choosing the best smartwatch for your family! Let me know if you need any other details on comparing TickTalk and Gizmo models.