The Brick Castle Review
The WATCHU GPS Tracking Smart Watch is so much more than an analogue and digital watch. It's a GPS Location Tracker and a phone. If your child doesn't respond as you'd like, you can listen in to what is happening wherever they are, and it even has an SOS Panic Button for them to use when they can't find you in the LEGO Shop...or somewhere else...
I never thought I'd really ever want to tag any of our kids, although we've often joked about tagging the teenagers. Then we had our youngest. Our sensory-seeking bundle of fun, Turbo-Boy. He gets excited and can't resist looking at everything, all at once. Knowing exactly where he is, and being able to contact him, is a huge bonus.
Inside the box is your watch of course, and your Sim Card. As this is a real phone, you are also given a number and £3 credit. You can top up easily via Watchu. The watch charges via USB (supplied) and ours has lasted over 3 days without a recharge when used exclusively as a watch. You also have instructions, which were really easy to follow and it only took 10 minutes to read, register and set up the whole thing.
This is a gorgeous watch. Available in 3 different colours, it's not heavy or uncomfortable. The specially soft anti-allergy strap is lovely to touch and my son hasn't complained even after wearing it all day. Only a bit larger than a standard watch, and classic rather than trendy, it is understated and doesn't give itself away as being something truly special.
It's ridiculously easy for children to use the watch, our 6 year old picked it up in seconds. The 3 buttons do everything, and the on-screen menu, plus only having really simple options, makes it really clear. It is possible to 'pocket dial', but frankly my partner manages it on his phone more than my son does with his Watchu.
The phone app is tiny (26.80m) and installed very quickly. It's so intuitive anyone can use it instantly. I had no problems connecting the Watchu to my app. and could instantly see where it was - on the table beside me actually. Using the app you can... Listen In: Without alerting the wearer you can listen in to the activity in the WATCHU's environment. Set who can be called, and who can call your child. View call and message history. Set up Geo Zones - an alarm sounds if the child strays from a set zone. Adjust how often location is updated. Route Playback: View the WATCHU's route history for up to the previous 30 days. Pedometer: Keep fit with the built in pedometer that can be viewed on both the WATCHU and App. View Battery Life: High capacity battery can allow up to 120 hours of usage on a single charge.
The location works incredibly well, seamlessly so far with no delays and buffering. Obviously if you lose signal then it won't work, but it seems to have at least as good signal as either my Samsung phone on Vodafone or my partner's Sony on EE. Here's part of a trip to a supermarket. I can instantly see location by opening the app, and replay the route taken to get there. I can even look at it with street view to locate which building my child would be in.
It's very easy to press the SOS panic button for the necessary amount of time, but you are unlikely to do it often by accident. When triggered it calls all of the contacts in the phone until someone answers, and instantly updates the location.
The ringtone is incredibly loud and sounds quite like an alarm. This is perfect. If I can't see my child in a crowded place then I soon will when this rings, and I'll be able to locate them even above background noise. They'll also be able to hear that it is ringing and realise I've lost sight of them. A loud annoying ringtone is also useful if your child is a bit older and you are ringing to tell them their tea is ready. There's no ignoring it and if they say they didn't hear it, they're lying.
My son wore his WATCHU GPS Smartwatch on our trip to London last weekend to the Anki Overdrive Christmas Party and the LEGO Shop in Leicester Square. There was a lot to see in the LEGO Shop and he needed to visit it all immediately. He rang us once because he couldn't find us. The other bazillion times we lost sight of him, it was us reaching for our phones ready to call him - knowing full well we'd hear the ringtone and know where to look. Never have I been so grateful for a review. Another excellent feature of WATCHU GPS Smartwatch is that it functions as both an analogue or digital watch. Your child can learn both in tandem, and if they are beginning to understand one method, they can switch between them to see the other. It's brilliant. Both of my children spent the train journey practising telling the time, and doing maths to work out how much longer our journey would be. I can see WATCHU becoming invaluable to adults with children who are on the autistic spectrum or have a learning disability, but need their independence. For any child who may not understand personal safety, or are the type who will wander accidentally. Those children who are excited by things in the world and need to look at them some more, while you turn a corner and disappear from sight. It's a truly fabulous thing for anyone who has a child who is a runner.
The built in pedometer clocked up 32,250 steps for the first full day of wearing. I'm far too old to follow 1 foot behind my 6 year old for all of that, having reliable back up can only be a wise move. Our 6 1/2 year old is ecstatic with his WATCHU Smartwatch or 'Super Spy Watch' as he calls it, and so are we. It hasn't failed us yet once, and has behaved impeccably. I cannot fault it. The only possible flaws I can see, are if a parent used it as a 'babysitter' and place too much trust in it to actually 'look after' their child, rather than remember it is a means of communication and location, and secondly that you are placing an expensive item on a child. We explained to our son that it's just like a real Spy Watch, and James Bond never gives away his secrets until he needs to...and I'm probably tempting fate, but so far despite him climbing on half of London and Greater Manchester, it doesn't have a scratch on it.