KiGO Watch Review: A Reliable GPS Tracker for Kids

The KiGO watch is not like the Apple Watch, Moto 360, or Pebble. It’s designed for kids, yet it’s not really a “smart” watch. If that’s the case, then what is it?

It’s a GPS tracker you can use to keep an eye on your kids.

Why would you want something like this?

As a parent, you need to know your children are safe. You also need easy, yet efficient ways to communicate with them. That is exactly why there are so many wearables that pander to the concept.

Right away we’ll say the KiGO is reliable. Although not perfect, it is a solid choice for anyone interested in this sort of thing.

You can chat with your kids, by sending image messages to the watch from a mobile app. Communication is limited, but functional. Children can also activate an SOS mode if they’re in trouble, and the watch will automatically alert a pre-defined set of contacts.

Of course, there are more features, which we’ll get to later in the review.

If you’re wondering whether the KiGO Watch is right for you and your child, then read on.

KiGO Watch Review

The KiGO Watch is available in several styles. Our review unit was a combination of blue and black, with a bright blue band – which you can see in pictures. It looks good and feels quite durable, especially since it’s meant for younger audiences.

kigo watch on-its-side-screen-offIt doesn’t have a clasp or metal connector like you find with most wristwatches. Instead, the band loops through a clip on the face of the device and velcros tight. The top part of the band is a soft rubber-like material and there’s a plastic part too – this houses the battery. It’s pretty comfortable to wear, which is extremely important. Your children will have it on for long periods, so it would be problematic if it wasn’t.

There are two physical buttons on the bottom, and they’re used to navigate the menus. The display is small but bright and easily readable. There’s also a flashlight on the top, which operates as a backlight for the display too.

The main screen displays the time in a cutesy, kid-themed style. There are several watchfaces to choose from, all digital. The main screen also shows notification icons, signal strength, and battery life.

The KiGO does, in fact, connect to mobile networks and includes GPS. We had service for the review unit, which normally costs $8.32 a month or $162.33 a year (European rates differ). There’s also worldwide coverage, so you can track the device no matter where it is. It would be an ideal plan if you travel a lot with your family.

The companion app – called Loox – is easy to use and fairly easy to setup. The most important feature – the GPS tracking – is accurate and reliable. As long as KiGO is connected to the network, you can see its current location on a Google Maps interface.

 

Overview

Kigo Watch Review
Overall: (4/5)  4star
Build: (4/5) 4star
Setup: (4/5) 4star
App and Tracking: (5/5) 5star
Functionality: (4/5) 4star
App Compatibility: (4/5) 4star

Ultimately, the KiGO and companion app are reliable and work great.

The battery will last for a day or so on a single charge, even when a connection is active the entire time. It only takes about 2 hours to charge completely. The only downside is that the charger is a USB cable – and while the cable itself is sturdy – the magnetic connector can be a bit finicky. It would be nice to see a charging dock or cradle for the watch. It can be a bit frustrating trying to get the charging connector to stay attached. But it works just fine when it does.

The watch is water and shock resistant. If your kids drop it or bang their wrist while wearing it, it should be able to stand up to the shock. It can be submerged at a depth of up to 3 meters. That means your children can take a shower or bath with it, wash their hands, or even hop in the pool. You don’t realize how convenient this is until you actually slap the watch on your child’s wrist. They tend to forget things like that often, so it would be easy for them to jump into water – or fall in – and damage the watch if it was not waterproof.

The band is comfortable, and the watch comes bundled with a smaller size – just in case your child’s wrist is small.

The KiGO seems remarkably durable. It will definitely hold up to standard wear and tear just fine.

The display is rectangular, and its protected by Corning Gorilla Glass so it’s shatter and scratch resistant. There are no brightness settings, but the screen is visible in direct sunlight.

Features include messaging, wrist detection, a flashlight, emergency mode and accurate GPS positioning.

It would have been nice to see fitness tracking, or at least basic health and activity monitoring features – but this isn’t a deal breaker.

All things considered, it’s an excellent tracker watch and it’s priced well too.

  • Overall: 4/5 – The KiGO watch is both durable and waterproof, and offers reliable tracking and communication with your kids.

Build

The entire watch is made of plastic, save the Gorilla Glass protected display. It’s not a bad thing at all, especially since it feels quite durable.

kigo watch in-packaging-from-the-sideThe top part of the band is a mix of rubber-like material and plastic. The bottom part is a cloth strap with Velcro. There are no metal clasps or connectors, which is probably best since the KiGO is for kids aged 5 to 10 years old.

It’s both water and shock resistant, so you don’t have to worry about your little ones breaking it while playing. It’s clear the designers cared about creating a sturdy, reliable watch, and they succeeded in doing so.

In fact, the only time you really need to take it off your kid’s wrist is when it needs charging. The magnetic connector can be a bit frustrating to attach because it often slips off. We found the best way to charge the KiGO is on its side, with the watch close to the edge of a table or desk and the cable suspended over it.

  • Build: 4/5 – The KiGO is primarily plastic, so it’s not indestructible but it is durable. Also, the magnetic charger can be a bit of a pain at times but it works fine for the most part.

Setup

It didn’t take much to get the KiGO all set up. When the watch first arrived, we had to charge it – obviously. We also had to open an activation page in a browser and enter the serial number, which you can find on the packaging.

That was it!

We were enlisted to help the KiGO team with the logistics of a software update. This had no bearing on our review. It is worth noting that the KiGO received an OTA update which added a few new features – which we discuss here.

Once the watch is active, the next step is to download and install the mobile app on your phone and then pair the two devices. This was also easy to do.

Even if you’re not the type of person that’s good with technology, you’ll have no problem setting everything set up.

  • Setup: 4/5 – The KiGO watch is easy to activate – mobile service included – and it’s easy to pair the companion app with the device.

KiGO Watch Setup and Companion App (Loox) Gallery

Companion App and Tracking

The companion app is named Loox. This can be confusing because there’s no mention of KiGO at all, nor it’s branding. But the app is defined in the user guide and on the packaging. So, unless you ignore the documentation you won’t run into any problems.

The Loox app can other devices but we’re only going to focus on the KiGO for this review.

Upon installation, it takes but a few moments to pair up with the watch.

loox-app-main-screenThe first thing you see when you open Loox is a Google Maps type interface – yes it does officially use the Google Maps API. It will show the last known location of the watch or the last device you pinged.

If you select the watch avatar on the map several options appear. You can get GPS directions to its current location – which is great if your kid is visiting someone. You can also send quick messages, which we’ll get to later in the review. Then, of course, you can change settings like current time zone, a custom label, and various options. That option menu is where you can enable or disable wrist detection, a motion sensor, a silent alarm, and more.

The next screen is the “chats” menu where you can read conversations and notifications associated with the watch.

Then there’s a “friends” menu for adding trusted contacts, and finally, a profile menu to adjust Loox profile settings.

You can also activate SOS mode if you think there’s an emergency – and your child can do so from the watch. When an SOS triggers, the watch sends detailed notifications, and begins alerting a set of pre-defined contacts.

Everything works great, especially the wrist detection feature. It tells you right away if your child – or someone else – takes off the watch.

The notifications can get annoying because they happen so frequently, but you have full control. You can disable any you don’t want to receive. It’s better to have more notifications than not enough, especially when it comes to your kids.

  • Tracking: 5/5 – KiGO’s tracking options and the Loox companion app are excellent, and both are accurate.

KiGO Watch Menu Gallery

Functionality

To keep things simple, we’ll break it down. The KiGO does two things, essentially. It allows you to locate and track its current whereabouts on a GPS map. It also allows you to communicate quickly with your child.

As we’ve already discussed the GPS tracking and the companion app, we’ll take a moment to talk about the messaging.

kigo watch messages-menuIt’s not what you’d expect it to be. You cannot make voice calls or send voice messages to the device. You cannot text it directly either. This is a little disappointing, it would be nice to see both added in the future.

To communicate, you send picture messages to the watch. For example, if it’s dinner time and you want your child to come home, you can send a related icon via the app. This image is sent to the watch, and your child will see the notification almost immediately. They can either confirm or deny the message.

If they confirm, you get a thumbs-up to let you know they saw it and that’s the extent of your communication. It’s simple yet effective, and it’s better than nothing.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to take action if your child ignores or dismisses the messages you send. Then again, if your child is that bold you’ll have a lot more concerns than the watch.

If your child is in trouble, they can hold the emergency button for three seconds and it will start a silent alarm. In order, the watch notifies all linked contacts and provides an accurate location update.

  • Functionality: 4/5 – The KiGO has just about everything you need to track your kids and communicate with them. It would be nice to see voice chat support, or at least the option to leave voice messages.

App Compatibility

The Loox app is available for both iOS and Android, which means you can track the KiGO watch from those platforms. You can also track the watch from a computer right in your browser.

If you enable the feature, every time a notification or location update is available, you will receive an email. So, compatibility is pretty well-rounded.

That said, it would be nice to see Windows Phone support added in the future.

  • Compatibility: 4/5 – The Loox app is compatible with most newer smartphones including iOS and Android. You can also track the watch from a computer via a browser.

 

KiGO Watch Review: Conclusion

If you want a reliable, well-built watch to track your kid’s location at all times, then the KiGO is one of the best we’ve sampled. Yet, if you want extra functionality – like fitness tracking or fun games for your little ones to play – this is not for you.

Aside from the tracking and simple communication features, that’s all you get. Again, this is not bad, especially since the KiGO does both of them well. But it is definitely something to keep in mind when looking at a variety of comparable devices.

Here, are some more detailed specs for the KiGO watch:

  • Display: 0.96-inch 64k color OLED
  • CPU: STM32F205VG Cortex-M3
  • ROM: 1 MB
  • RAM: 128 KB
  • 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • 3G: WCDMA 2100
  • Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer
  • Wi-Fi, GPS, and A-GPS

KiGO Watch and GPS Tracker Gallery

 

We hope you enjoyed our KiGO watch review and it proved useful in your search for the perfect wearable. Stay tuned for more coverage!

 

Where Can I Get the KiGO Watch?

You can buy the KiGO watch from the official webstore. You can also buy it from a reputable seller on Amazon.

 

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Disclaimer: The KiGO team graciously provided the review unit for our evaluation.

 

About The Author

Briley Kenney

Briley Kenney is a young tech enthusiast who enjoys all things electronic and gadget related. Currently, Briley writes for a plethora of professional websites including Vulgamer, SmartWatches, and a prominent SEO company. Recently, he served as a valuable member of the Little Killerz dev team writing in-game content and generating a web portal for the indie gem Tales of Illyria and it's two sequels Beyond the Iron Wall, and Destinies. The team is currently working on additional content for the third title.

  • diverick

    Does the watch have a geofence function? On a watch geared toward tracking a child, I’d think that function is more important than a fitness/activity tracking function.

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