What you need to know
- Garmin has released a new smartwatch for kids that includes GPS and LTE connectivity.
- Garmin Bounce is the company's first LTE-connected smartwatch for children, designed to help parents track their kids.
- It is available to buy for $150 and ships in green, black, and lilac color variants.
Garmin is expanding its wearable offering for children, and for the first time, it has introduced an LTE-connected smartwatch that allows parents to communicate with their kids and keep track of their location.
The Garmin Bounce smartwatch features GPS and LTE connectivity, making it a souped-up version of the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3. Like the Bluetooth-only smartwatch, the new model includes health metrics such as sleep, steps, and active minutes. It also tracks other activities including walking, running, biking, and swimming.
Parents will be able to monitor those activities via the Garmin Jr. app to keep track of their kids' progress from their smartphones. They can also remind their children to complete certain tasks by pushing notifications to their wrist. However, Bounce doesn't have heart rate monitoring.
On top of those features, Bounce's marquee capability is location tracking. Garmin positions the new smartwatch as an alternative to buying a smartphone for kids, so parents don't have to spend extra money to track their whereabouts via a fully featured handset.
Bounce also has an alert feature that notifies parents when kids leave a designated area. Meanwhile, children can send their current location to their parents or guardians as a notification through the Garmin Jr. app. Otherwise, parents can use the app's refresh button to see where their children are at any given moment. When their children are at school, parents can remotely activate a do-not-disturb mode.
Like many of the best smartwatches for kids, Bounce supports two-way communication via text and voice. Children can send text and voice messages via the Garmin Jr. app to their parents directly from their watch. They can also communicate with other Bounce smartwatches that have been pre-approved. When in need of help, kids can use the watch's Assistance feature to alert their family in the Garmin Jr. app. In such cases, their current location will be visible to the family.
Bounce also features gamification options for health and habits, where kids can earn rewards if they hit their goals. There are team challenges and educational games as well. In terms of endurance, Bounce promises up to two days of battery life between charges.
The smartwatch is available to purchase for $150 through the company's website. It ships in Green Burst, Black Camo, and Lilac Floral. Bounce's LTE connectivity also requires a $9.99 monthly subscription through the Garmin Jr. app.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.