If there's one item that regularly gets requested by kids, at least by my 8-year-old, it's a phone. If they aren't ready for one yet, get them a cellular kids smartwatch instead. The TickTalk 3 is an excellent smartwatch for kids because it offers many of the fun features they like plus safety features you'll love. This Black Friday, you can save $50 on the watch and many phone requests down the road.

TickTalk 3

Seeing is believing: TickTalk 3

Your child can message, call, or even video chat with you all from their wrist, and there's no worry of them losing it since it's strapped to them. Plus, with the location tracking feature, you can find the watch should they somehow misplace it.

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TickTalk 3 video chatSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

My son has been asking for a phone for at least two years now, and at 8, I still don't think he's ready for one. However, now that he's riding the bus and becoming more independent, my wife and I wanted some way to keep track and in contact with him — enter the TickTalk 3.

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While it may look like a typical kid's watch, the TickTalk 3 is a Wi-Fi and cellular-connected smartphone on their wrist. When I say smartphone, I don't mean that it can download apps or play games on it, but it has some fun pre-installed apps and features that kids and parents can enjoy.

TickTalk 3 smartwatch clokcSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

Getting started with the watch is simple; you'll need a SIM card from either TickTalk's partnered provider, Red Pocket Mobile, that will cost $10/month, or you can use AT&T or T-Mobile. Once you get your provider chosen and installed into the watch, you can download the companion app onto your phone. This app lets you choose what contacts your child can call or message and who can contact them—no worries about random people talking to your child.

Messaging from the watch is easy, and while there isn't an onscreen keyboard, your child can send you emojis, voice messages, choose from pre-set messages or ones you create for them, or send you video messages. Yes, I said video messages. There is a camera on the watch that allows for video calls or messages to you.

Getting messages from my son just to say "I love you" or tell you me a silly thing that happened in his day is well worth the cost of admission.

The companion app is the control center for you and all the parental controls. Messages to and from your child are handled entirely in the app. You can also use the app to locate your child and even see your child's path to get to the location they are currently at for added peach of mind. You can also set up reminders and schedule to help your child stay on task for the day. Then for the times when your child needs to stay focused, you can put the watch into DND mode.

The TickTalk 3 is a durable watch with an IP67 dust and water resistance rating, so those times when it inevitably gets wet, you don't have to worry that the smartwatch is ruined. Your child can customize the watch with any 23mm strap so it can better fit their personality. The TickTalk 3 is a fantastic option to consider for your child on the cusp of being old enough for a phone, but you may not be.

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