At Mommy High Five, we’ve been on a quest to find the best tech gadgets for kids that not only deliver on functionality but also prioritize safety. We’ve had our experience with the Gabb Watch and its successor, the Gabb Watch 2. So, when Gabb announced the release of the Gabb Watch 3 a few weeks ago, we were buzzing with anticipation. After using it extensively, we’re here to share our insights.
Parents want a way to communicate with and keep track of their kids, but a cell phone isn’t the answer for younger kids. Whether it’s a simple check-in after getting to a friend’s house or seeing a child got home safely from school, this communication is important for both parent and child.
Introducing the Gabb Watch 3
The Gabb Watch 3 positions itself as a kid-safe watch phone, enabling children to call and text. But here’s the catch – it’s not an open line to the world. The watch allows communication only with a whitelist of contacts pre-approved by parents. This ensures that our little ones can enjoy the perks of technology while staying shielded from potential threats.
I have been pleasantly surprised at our experience with the Gabb Watch 3. I can see where my child is, and he can easily communicate with me. This watch is definitely an excellent choice for younger kids and tweens. We recommend it for kids 4-10 years old.
The Gabb Brand Journey
Before diving into the features of the Gabb Watch 3, let’s take a moment to appreciate the brand’s journey. Gabb set out with a clear mission: to create technology that keeps kids safe while allowing them the freedom to communicate and explore. Over the years, they’ve fine-tuned their products based on feedback from parents like us, leading to the creation of the Gabb Watch 3.
Deep Dive into Gabb Watch 3 Features & Benefits:
This is a feature that stands at the core of Gabb’s philosophy. It’s not just about limiting numbers but about ensuring our children’s safety. By allowing parents to control the contact list, Gabb ensures that kids don’t accidentally communicate with strangers.
To create the list, parents simple go to the MyGabb app and add contacts to the list.
I love that there is a whitelist with this device. It means I know who can contact my child and keeps spam calls and texts from coming in.
Unlike similar watches, the Gabb Watch 3 does not require contacts to download an app in order to communicate with the watch. As long as the contact is added to the whitelist, that contact can send or receive texts or calls to or from the watch.
The Gabb Watch 3 allows up to 100 contacts, which is considerably more than the competitors allow.
The GPS on this wearable phone for kids has a few different options. You can hit the “locate” button on the parent app to see the current location. Or you can choose the “Active Tracking Mode”. This mode updates the device’s location every 30 seconds for 10 minutes. However, this does drain the battery more quickly.
We have found the GPS to be quite accurate with this device. Gabb recently updated the software for the GPS. You can trust that the location function on this watch will give you correct information on where your child is.
Text messaging and calling
One of my favorite things about the Gabb Watch 3 is that text messages and phone calls show up on my phone as regular texts and calls. Other watches send their messages and calls through their app, which makes it harder to notice when your child is trying to contact you.
With Gabb, your phone rings and/or vibrates as normal so you know you are being contacted. For me, that is huge. I want to be able to respond to my child right away instead of having to remember to constantly check an app.
This newest Gabb Watch iteration allows kids to type their own text messages rather than having to rely only on preset messages. A keyboard makes it easy to type out whatever your child wants to say. For younger kids, preset messages are available to send.
In addition to the regular GPS, the Gabb Watch 3 allows parents to set up safe zones. These can be areas like home, school, day care, etc. Parents set up the radius they want around each safe zone, and then the app will alert parents when the child enters or exists a safe zone. This is a great way to help keep kids safe and gives parents peace of mind.
The app sends an alert to the parent when the watch battery is running low. Parents can also check to see the current battery level on the app at any time.
Text messages and voice to text
One of the best updates to this iteration of the Gabb Watch is the ability for kids to type their own message, rather than just sending a preset text message. The watch also comes with preset texts including “I’m here”, “I am on my way home”, “I will call you soon”, and others which kids can select and send. A parent can also use the MyGabb app to customize additional text presets. There is a 25 character limit for these customized text messages.
Worried about the watch being used during school or at other inappropriate times? Parents can set the focus mode to keep calls and texts from being made. Focus mode can be set to specific times for each day. Although the watch is locked, kids can still contact parents or the SOS if needed. If a parent needs to contact the watch while it’s in the focus mode, they simply get on the app and switch it out of focus mode.
In addition to Focus Mode, you can choose Silent Mode, which is basically just turning of the ringer. The call or text will still go through and the child will see on the screen that a call or text is coming in. There is also an option to have vibration. Calls can be answered even on silent mode.
A child can check in with a parent through the watch. They simply swipe down on the watch and click on the location icon. The parent then gets notification with GPS coordinates showing where the child is.
The child can make an SOS call to a parent and/or others (predetermined by parents). To make the call, simply hold down on the top button for 10 seconds. The app alerts parents of an SOS and the phone rings the call through. SOS will only call those specified. It cannot dial 911. However, you can add your local police department as a contact so your child can call the police in case of emergency.
Gabb Move is a fitness app that’s new for the Gabb Watch 3. It keeps track of steps as well as other physical activity. There are 12 activities to choose from including basketball, dance, gymnastics, and more. The child selects the activity they want to do and the watch keeps track of the length of time they do the activity as well as the steps they are taking while participating.
We are finding our child loves using this app and is more physically active because of it.
Gabb Go Game
Gabb Go is a fun, short game kids can play on their watch for a few minutes a day. They start with a cat or a dog and used earned coins to feed it, teach it tricks, pet it, etc. Other pets are available to purchase with coins. To earn coins, kids complete tasks customized by their parents through the MyGabb app.
For example, a task might be for a child to make his bed. The parent enters the task and how many coins the child can earn by doing that particular task (from one to three coins per task). A child can be assigned up to 3 tasks at once. Once a task is approved, another task can be assigned.
After the child has completed the task, he clicks the button indicating he has finished the task. The parent then receives a notification that the task has been completed. Then the parent can either approve or disapprove the completion of the task. Once the task is approved, the coins are awarded through the watch. If a task is disapproved, it can be redone and then approved.
This is a simple game with rewards, but kids seem to be motivated by it.
This game is new to Gabb Watch 3. It’s a memory game with shapes. The watch shows four different colored shapes and lights them up in different sequences. The user memorizes the sequence and pushes the buttons in the memorized order. Each round gets more complicated. With an easy and hard level, it’s fun for kids of all ages.
Has your child misplaced his watch? Open the MyGabb app and hit the “play sound” button. It will ping the watch so you can find it. Note: If you’re trying to locate the watch, make sure “Silent mode” is turned off.
Choose whether to have the watch orientation on the left wrist or right wrist. This keeps your step count accurate.
Ring tones/Message tones
The watch comes with 6 different ring tones and 7 different text message tones.
Alarm, Timer, and Stopwatch
Kids love the alarm, timer, and stopwatch Gabb has included on this device.
Volume and brightness control
Both the volume and the brightness can be controlled on the watch itself. To change them, swipe down from the top of the watch screen. Then slide along the bar until the desired effect is achieved.
MyGabb Parent App
The MyGabb app is easy to use. As you read above, this app is used to monitor and control functions of the watch. It is very user-friendly and simple. From GPS tracking to managing the contact list and getting software updates, this app has everything parents need to make using the Gabb Watch 3 a good experience for both the child and the parents.
Gabb Watch 3 comes with an upgraded wireless charger that makes it so much easier to charge. The charger is similar to an Apple Watch charger and is excellent quality.
Gabb Watch 3 vs. Gabb Watch 2: A Closer Look
While both watches share the brand’s core philosophy, the Gabb Watch 3 brings significant improvements:
- Messaging: The Gabb Watch 3 recognizes the growing communication needs of kids, offering more freedom and options. Kids can type out their own text messages on the keyboard without being restricted to preset text messages.
- Charging: The wireless charging feature in Watch 3 addresses a major pain point from the Gabb Watch 2. The new charger is a wireless charger that charges quickly and easily.
- More sophisticated look: The Gabb Watch 3 comes in black or silver and looks more like an adult watch, which kids love.
- Enhanced Water Resistance: While we still don’t recommend swimming with it, the improved water resistance is a nod to kids’ active lifestyles.
General Phone Watch Specifications
This watch phone is very safe. It can contact only numbers that have been approved by parents. GPS helps parents track their child’s location. There is no internet with this device. Unlike with some other devices, there are no loopholes kids could find to get into trouble with this watch. It’s an excellent choice for kids.
This watch and the parent app that goes with it are both easy to use. A touchscreen makes the watch simple to navigate. Even young kids have an easy time using this watch. The watch touchscreen is used by swiping and tapping.
It takes 2 hours to charge the watch battery when it is completely dead. The battery can last as long as a few days, depending on how much it is being used.
The watch itself costs $149.99. The service fee is $12.99 per month with a 2-year contract, $14.99 per month with a 1-year contract, or $17.99 per month without a contract.
The Gabb Watch 3 can be used only on the Gabb network. This network is available throughout the U.S. and has excellent coverage even in rural areas (believe me, it can be a real struggle to get good service when you live in the middle of nowhere).
The sound quality through the watch is good. It’s significantly better than a walkie talkie and not quite as clear as a phone–it’s similar to speaker phone quality. On the parent’s end, the sound quality is good.
The quality of this watch is good. It comes with a durable silicone band. If your child is anything like mine, you will likely want to purchase a screen protector for the watch face. Gabb has those available on their website for purchase as well.
The Gabb Watch 3 has a water resistance rating of IP68, as determined by the International Electrotechnical Commission. This is the highest water resistance of any kid safe phone watch on the market. While we don’t recommend swimming or showering with the device, you can be sure it will hold up to hand washing or walking in the rain.
The Gabb Watch 3, with its blend of safety features, communication tools, and fun apps, is a worthy contender for the title of the best kid-safe watch in 2023. Its upgrades, based on real feedback, showcase Gabb’s commitment to evolving with the needs of families. For parents looking to introduce tech to their kids in a safe and controlled manner, the Gabb Watch 3 is a top pick.
Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a cautious parent, the Gabb Watch 3 caters to all. It’s not just a watch; it’s a statement of care, safety, and progressive parenting.
Does the Gabb Watch 3 have internet?
The Gabb Watch 3 does not have internet. It is safer alternative to a phone or smartwatch.
Are there apps on the Gabb Watch?
No apps can be used on the watch itself. Parents can change settings and check GPS on the MyGabb parent app.
What ages is the Gabb Watch 3 good for?
The Gabb Watch 3 is a great choice for kids around 4 to 10 years old. For older kids, the Gabb phone is a good choice.
What network does the Gabb Watch use?
Gabb Wireless has its own network which all Gabb devices run on. You have to use the GabbWireless Network with the Gabb Watch. The network is very reliable and has good coverage even in rural areas.