Like most parents, I want to keep track of my kids, but I definitely don’t want to give them a smartphone. While I like a Gabb phone or Pinwheel phone for my older kids, I still need to keep track of my preteens. They aren’t ready for a phone, so I have chosen to go with a phone watch to help keep track of them and communicate with them. The GizmoWatch2 by Verizon has been a good option for us.
This watch phone for kids has some great features that both kids and parents love. We have owned this watch for nearly a year. After testing several different safe devices for kids, I can say phone watches are a good option for kids from about 5 to 12 years old. Gizmo stacks up pretty well with the competition.
Gizmo2 Watch Detailed Review
Last Updated July 26, 2022
The Gizmo2 watch is only available on the Verizon network. You pay a monthly fee of $10 for service for the watch. Service on this watch is really good. We live in the middle of nowhere and the service on the Gizmo2 has been great for the 1 year that we have owned it.
Gizmo2 has some great features that parents and kids love.
Parents have to approve all phone numbers in order for those people to contact or be contacted by the watch. Contacts are added through the GizmoHub app. The watch allows up to 10 contacts. I love that I can decide who can and cannot be in contact with my child.
The Gizmo allows parents to set up different kinds of contacts: guardian, caregiver, and Gizmo buddy. Each kind of contact has unique capabilities.
A guardian has the most capabilities when it comes to controlling a Gizmo. Here is what a guardian can do:
-make & receive calls
-make & receive messages through GizmoHub app
-locate Gizmo watch
-turn off watch
-set to-do list
A caregiver has more restrictions than a guardian. Here is what a caregiver can do:
-make and receive calls
-send and receive messages on app
A Gizmo Buddy is a friend who also has a Gizmo to communicate with your Gizmo. Here is what a Gizmo Buddy can do:
-make and receive calls
-send and receive messages
-make & receive calls
This watch can call any of the approved numbers on the contact list. It’s a walkie talkie type of speaker. Anyone in the vicinity will be able to hear the conversation. That said, the quality of the calls is good on both ends.
The user can send text messages to approved contacts (and receive them from approved contacts). Gizmo comes with 20 pre-written text messages that the user can choose from. These include “I missed my bus”, “When will you be home”, “What’s for dinner”, and more. The user cannot write a custom text and send it. There are also a few dozen emojis kids can send. Although the child can only send pre-written texts, parents and guardians can send any message up to 120 characters.
Competitor watches allow parents to create their own pre-written text message options for kids to use, but Gizmo does not allow that. This is one thing I do not like about Gizmo.
Please note that all text messaging from the parent phone to the Gizmo has to be done through the GizmoHub app. If you try to send a regular text message to the Gizmo it will not go through. Messages from the Gizmo to the parent phone will also only show up in the app. They will not show up as regular text messages. This is one drawback of the Gizmo2 watch compared to the Gabb Watch.
Voice message recording
If the text options don’t work, the user can record a voice message and send it for the recipient to listen to. Like a text message, a voice message recording will show up in the app only. The message comes as an actual recording and is not transcribed. Sound quality is good on the voice message recordings.
Guardians can set up “quiet mode” which silences ringtones, touch sounds, and other sounds on the watch. Quiet mode can be scheduled for specific days and times.
Guardians can set up “touch sound” which allows the watch to make a sound when the screen is touched.
One unique feature of this watch phone for kids is auto-answer. If your child doesn’t answer your call after 10 seconds, the Gizmo will automatically answer, allowing you to hear what’s happening and talk to your child.
Kids can use the alarm as an alarm clock or as a reminder for appointments, chores, etc. The alarm can be set for specific days or for every day.
This is a fun feature which can be used for so many things. Kids enjoy timing themselves and their friends doing all sorts of activities.
Raise wrist function
This function activates the watch screen when the user raises his or her wrist. It can be turned off or on. Sometimes the user has to wiggle his or her wrist a few times in order to get the screen to activate.
Left or right hand orientation
The watch allows the user to wear the watch on either wrist. Simply choose left or right hand orientation.
This game is represented by a kangaroo icon. It tracks how many times the user jumps in a given amount of time. There is a goal with each level (20 jumps on the 1st level, 40 jumps on the 2nd level, etc.). Kids like to see how quickly they can get to the goal. They can even race their friends to reach each goal. My kids like to challenge me to beat them in this game.
This step counter allows you to set a daily step goal and then track the number of steps your child takes while wearing the watch. It keeps track of steps for 12 months. Kids love the step counter on the Gizmo.
The Gizmo has several sound effects that pre-teens will find amusing. They’re not my favorite sounds, but my 10-year-old and his friends think the sound effects are pretty exciting.
There are 6 different ringtones to choose from on this device. Kids love that they can choose their favorite or change it occasionally.
Kids can use this feature to record themselves and replay it later. These recordings cannot be sent to another person. For a recorded voice message to send as a text message, kids can use the messaging option.
Parents can set up location based alerts so they are notified when their child gets to a certain location. For example, when the child gets home, the parent can be sent an alert so they know the child is home.
Gizmo allows parents to set up a time based GPS alert. This option lets parents set a specific time and the Gizmo will alert the parent at that time where the child is.
This feature allows you to track your child in real-time. However, it also quickly depletes the Gizmo’s battery so you won’t want to use it often.
Parents can save specific locations so that when the child is in one of those locations, the GPS will show the name of the location rather than the address.
Check in button
When the child hits the check in button, it sends an alert to the guardians on the app giving them the GPS coordinates of the child.
One nice thing about the GPS is that it gives you the option of seeing the pin on the map or seeing an actual birdseye snapshot of the area. It shows buildings, cars, trees, water features, etc.
Guardians can set a to-do list for the child to complete. It can be set as a one time assignment or a recurring list. You can set a time for each item to be completed. The watch gets an alert to remind the child of what needs to be done. Kids can check off what they have done and the guardian can see what has been completed.
The GizmoHub app has the option to “Find Gizmo”. When this button is pressed, the Gizmo watch will play music until one of the buttons is pushed. While the GPS feature is helpful in knowing the device is in the house, the “Find Gizmo” feature helps you locate the device itself. This has saved us a lot of time and frustration!
There are 5 color options with the Gizmo2: Bright Color, Aquafresh, Moondust, blue, and pink. Kids are sure to find a color they will love.
Verizon claims the battery for the Gizmo2 will last for 4 days. However, in my experience, the battery lasts 1-2 days, depending on how much the watch is used. Parents get alerts when the battery level on the watch is getting low.
Verizon offers a limited 12-month warranty on the Gizmo2 watch.
This app allows parents to control and monitor the watch. The dashboard on the app gives an overview of activity, including location, number of steps, how many items on the to-do list have been completed, and the current battery level. It also tells how many outgoing and incoming calls there have been during the day. Parents can edit the to-do list, add contacts, and check messages from the watch.
If the Gizmo Watch gets lost, parents can use the “Find Gizmo” feature on the app. When this feature is used, the Gizmo plays music until you find it and push either button.
Overall, this phone watch is a good choice for kids. The quality of the device itself is good, and the sound quality is excellent. Kids enjoy using this device, and parents like being able to communicate with and keep track of their kids. The only real negative with this watch is that the text messages show up only in the app, making it easy for parents to miss a message.