Best GPS Tracker for Kids: GPS Watch, Phone, or GPS Tracking Device?

In Home Security by KayLeave a Comment

Keeping our kids safe is the #1 priority of parents, and knowing that they’re with trusted friends at a safe location is a big part of that!
 
Realizing “I can’t find my kid” or “He was here just a minute ago!” is a gut-wrenching feeling.
 
Fortunately, there are several good solutions to those problems!
 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

 
Just in case you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick summary of the devices we reviewed.
Tracker
2-Way Voice Calling
SOS Emergency
Cost
Battery Life
JioBit


$129.99 + $8.99 / monthly subscription
Up to 1 week
SpyTec
$49.95 + $24.95 monthly subscriptionUp to 2.5 weeks
Samsung SmartThings

$99.99 for 1 year; $5 monthly subscription thereafter
Up to 1 week
My Buddy Tag$39.99Coin-sized battery can last up to a year
Verizon Gizmo Watch$179.99 + $5 monthly subscription feeUp to 4 days
TickTalk 3$149.99 + $10 prepaid monthly fee8 - 12 hours
Lil Tracker$89.00Charge nightly
AngelSense$229 + $33.33 monthly subscriptionUp to 24 hours
Relay$49.99 + $9.99 / month prepaidUp to 3 days
AmberAlert$135 + $19.99 activation fee + $15 monthly subscriptionUp to 40 hours

There are a lot of GPS trackers available today, making picking a single one challenging. Choosing among a basic GPS tracking device, a GPS watch and a GPS phone all depends on your needs i.e. features that you think are most vital to you.

If your child is below 3, we suggest you get a basic GPS tracker since he or she can’t fully use the functions of a GPS watch or phone yet. A lot of GPS tracker devices can be clipped on to your child’s clothing, belt or bag and have anti-tamper features so your child can't easily remove it.
But if two-way calling is very important to you, a GPS phone is a must! Being able to talk to mom or dad when they’re in a difficult situation can be worth the extra cost.

For bigger kids, a GPS watch might be the best option for you. In addition to tracking ability and two-way calling, it looks cool (so that they’ll want to actually wear it), and many come packed with extra features like a camera, fitness tracker, stopwatch, etc.

Best GPS Tracker for Kids

Our Pick: JioBit

Price: $129.99
Monthly plan: $8.99
Reviews:4.4/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (4.5/5 stars) and iOS (4.4/5 stars)

Why we like it:

This may be a basic tracking device, but with the government-level data encryption, you can be assured that the data being transmitted to you is not manipulated in any way. And, Jiobit uses technology that allows it to learn your child’s routine so that any change will automatically trigger an alert. That’s pretty cool!

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Stays securely attached to your child
  • Government level encryption

Cons:

  • No calling capability
  • No location history
  • No SOS button

Jiobit is a small tracking device that you can clip to your child’s clothes, belts, pants or even shoelaces. Its technology allows it to learn your child’s routine without your programming it. So when it deviates from the routine, it knows to notify you and members of your “care” team. However, it is just that - a tracking device. If you are looking for two-way communication or would want to “listen in” or see your child’s current surroundings, then this is not the one for you.

One good feature on Jiobit is that it was constructed using government-level encryption so data being transmitted from the device can't be intercepted or manipulated by hackers.

It also needs WiFi, Bluetooth or cellular data to track kids.

SpyTec

Price: $49.95
Monthly plan: starting at $24.95
Reviews:4/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (2.2/5 stars) and iOS (4.0/5 stars)

Why we like it:

Aside from it being produced by an industry leader in GPS technology, the SpyTec tracking device offers global tracking so location and proximity will never be an issue.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Real-time tracking
  • History reports

Cons

  • No calling capability
  • No SOS button
  • Limited 2G network


SpyTecGPS is an industry leader in GPS technology. With a brand name producing security devices and with the FBI as one of its clients, it is easy to trust this GPS tracker. It offers global tracking so even if you are out of the country for work or leisure, you can still track the location of your child. It updates every 5 seconds so you can watch real-time on your tablet, smartphone or computer.

Battery life is also unparalleled with an impressive 2.5 weeks!

Samsung SmartThings Tracker

Price: $99.99
Monthly plan: $5.00 after one year
Reviews: 2.8/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (4.5/5 stars) and iOS (4.2/5 stars)

Why we like it:

This compact tracking device has a much-needed SOS button for emergencies. Your child just needs to press the power button twice and it will automatically send you an alert with your child’s real-time location.

Pros

  • Uses LTE-M, has better signal coverage
  • Live-tracking feature
  • IP68 Water Resistance

Cons

  • No calling capability


This SmartThings Tracker by Samsung measures less than 2 inches long and half an inch in thickness. So, it’s not much bigger than a keychain. Don’t be deceived by its size though, it can still can track your child’s location in real-time and allows you to set up safe zones and geofences. You can be notified once your child goes out of your preset zones or if the tracker has been turned off.

It has no two-way voice calling feature but there is an SOS option for emergencies which is activated by pressing the power button twice and it will automatically send its real-time location through the app.

My Buddy Tag

Price: $44.99
Monthly plan: no monthly fee
Reviews: 2.2/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (2.5/5 stars) and iOS (2.3/5 stars)

Why we like it:

This wristband-type tracking device is one of the most affordable in the market today. And unlike most tracking devices, My Buddy Tag can be submerged under water.

Pros

  • No monthly subscription plan
  • Can be submerged under water

Cons

  • Limited coverage area


My Buddy Tag is a wristband that uses Bluetooth rather than GPS, making it one of the more affordable trackers available. Like the others, it tracks your child when they are out of sight and allows you to create safe zones ensuring that your child is safe and doesn’t wander away. One unique feature though is that it can be submerged in water. The gadget notifies you when it has been submerged for 5 seconds, helping to prevent accidental drowning in a pool or a body of water. It also has an SOS button.

A word of caution though, it has a limited range - 40 feet indoors and 80-120 feet outside.

Because of the limited range, this one’s best for keeping track of your kids at a playground or a store.

Best GPS Watch for Kids

Our Pick: Verizon GizmoWatch

Price: $179.99
Monthly plan: $5.00 monthly subscription fee for existing Verizon customers
Reviews: 3.0/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (4.5/5 stars) and iOS (4.2/5 stars)

Why we like it:

This smartwatch is actually closer to a phone as it allows your child to call and text up to 10 programmed numbers. It uses the Verizon 4G LTE network, so cellular coverage is very good.

Pros

  • Two-way calls
  • 4G compatible

Cons

  • One of the most expensive


The Verizon GizmoWatch is a cool choice for your kids that allows them to do their own things and yet keep them in touch with you. This touchscreen smartwatch allows your kid up to 10 programmed numbers in case of an emergency.

So, this one is closer to a phone than a smart watch.

If you need to get in touch, you can both call and send a text message and vice versa. Using Verizon’s 4G LTE network, two-way calling is easy.

Similar to the others, you can also set a safe zone with this GizmoWatch, and you’ll get an automatic alert if they leave it.

An added feature is the fitness tracker, an added bonus to get your kids excited about fitness. 🙂

TickTalk 3

Price: $149.99
Monthly plan: $10.00 prepaid monthly plan
Reviews: 3.8/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (2.6/5 stars) and iOS (2.4/5 stars)

Why we like it:

This is the 3rd version of the watch with many improvements. It has combined WiFi, GPS and LBS technologies to track your child accurately. Aside from two-way calling and texting, TickTalk 3 also allows you to listen in on your child’s surroundings.

Pros

  • Water and dust proof
  • Dial pad for calling unsaved numbers
  • Group chats in smartwatch messenger
  • Two-way calls

Cons

  • Inaccurate pedometer if firmware is not updated


TickTalk 3 is a simple yet packed smartwatch. It offers two-way voice calling, two-way text messaging, SOS alerts, video chatting and location tracking. The watch also allows the parents to listen in to their child’s surroundings so you’ll know if he’s safe and is treated nicely when left with a nanny or someone else. As this is the 3rd improvement on the watch, expect that the GPS locator has been improved as well and has now combined GPS, WiFi and LBS technologies to accurately track your child.

Other added features include a calculator, a stopwatch, a calendar, a pedometer and a reminder application to help your child remember all those important things they might forget.

Lil Tracker

Price: $89.00
Monthly plan: none
Reviews: 3.5/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (2.7/5 stars) and iOS (1.0/5 stars)

Why we like it:

Aside from two-way calling, the Lil Tracker also has an SOS button that will automatically call you when there is an emergency. An added plus is that it also allows you to listen in on your child’s surroundings.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • SOS button
  • Two-way calls

Cons

  • Daily charging

This Lil Tracker smartwatch is available in fun colors so your kids will love wearing it. Like the other GPS trackers, you can create geofences and alerts for when your child arrives or leaves an area. You can also track the location of your child anytime. With a built-in, high-sensitivity mic, it allows you to listen in to your child’s surroundings.

It also has two-way voice calling and an SOS button that will automatically call you or if you don’t answer, two more people you have programmed as emergency contacts.

Best Kids GPS Phone

Our Pick: AngelSense

Price: $229.00
Monthly plan: starting from $33.33
Reviews: 3.9/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (4.3/5 stars) and iOS (3.4/5 stars)

Why we like it:

AngelSense allows you to see your child’s location every 30 seconds so you can be sure that your kid is safe all the time. It also has an audible alarm so you can locate your child in a public place.

Pros

  • Feature-packed
  • Allows you to listen in to your child’s surroundings
  • Let’s you see your child’s location every 30 seconds

Cons

  • One of the most expensive
  • Not waterproof

AngelSense is one of the most popular GPS trackers for kids because of its features. It was actually designed to help protect kids with special needs. It is not a watch though but a small touchscreen phone that allows a two-way voice call so you can talk to your child anytime. It also allows you to listen in to your child’s environment anytime so you’ll know if he’s with friends or is talking to a stranger.

The app also lets you see your child’s whereabouts during the day in 30-seconds intervals. Further, it sends you a text message when your child arrives or departs from specific locations or if something abnormal happens like your child not leaving on time.

An audible alarm is also added to locate your child in a public place. Another feature allows you to share your child’s real-time location with search groups should he go missing.

AngelSense can be attached to your child’s clothing with a lockable mechanism so you won’t have to worry about it getting removed.

Here is a review of AngelSense should you wish to know more.

Relay

Price: $49.99
Monthly plan: $9.99
Reviews: 3.4/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (3.8/5 stars) and iOS (3.4/5 stars)

Why we like it:

Though compact, Relay is both a phone and a tracking device. You can customize its channels so your child can reach the whole family in one button.

Pros

  • Cost effective
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No screen


Similar to AngelSense, Relay is also a screenless phone. It actually is both a walkie-talkie and a GPS tracker so you can talk to your child and know his location anytime.

You can customize its channels so your child can reach mom, dad or the whole family with just one button. You can also set safe zones and get notified if your child wanders away from them.

AmberAlert

Price: $135.00 + $19.99 activation fee
Monthly plan: $15.00
Reviews: 3.0/5 (read reviews on Amazon)
Compatibility: Android (4.2/5 stars) and iOS (3.0/5 stars)

Why we like it:

AmberAlert updates you every 5 minutes so you can be assured of your child’s location anytime. It also notifies you if your child be within 500 feet of a registered sex offender’s home.

Pros

  • Two-way calls
  • Text and email alerts
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life

Cons

  • One of the most expensive
  • Splash proof but can't be immersed in water


AmberAlert allows you to program a maximum of 20 safe zones to monitor your child’s location. It will update you every 5 minutes or more frequently, keeping you updated on your child’s location.

It can also be used for two-way voice calling and even has an SOS button for emergencies where a message will be sent to the parents and 10 other authorized users. A unique feature of the AmberAlert is that it sends you an alert if your child’s within 500 feet of a registered sex offender’s home.

Our Key Takeaway

Finding the right GPS tracker can be tricky as there are a lot available today. So, it is important that you know what features are most vital to you and what the deal-breakers could be. At the end of the day, we all want our kids to be safe, so take your time to find the right tracker for you.

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