If your kid wants a phone but you’re not quite ready, the Gabb Wireless watch is a great starter option. Here’s an unpaid review of this watch, and how it’s worked for our family for the last three months.
We bought my oldest son the Gabb Wireless watch. Here’s an unpaid Gabb Wireless review.
This year my oldest son is in sixth grade. He’s now at our local middle school, so he’s at a different school than my other boys with a different pick up time. So we decided it was time for him to have a way to communicate with us and settled on the Gabb Wireless watch for him!
It’s been a fantastic choice for our family, and for the month of October I have a 30% off discount if you’re thinking about purchasing one too.
Snag this watch on sale and keep it for Christmas!
This would make a great holiday gift for your tweens who aren’t quite ready for a phone. Use code MERRICK for 30% off for the rest of the month of October. (The discount MERRICK10 automatically applies when you click that link, but enter MERRICK at checkout and it’ll bump it to 30% off).
Why we didn’t buy an Apple Watch
I was planning to buy him an Apple Watch, but I had some major hesitations about that:
- They’re really expensive (no eleven year old kid needs a watch that costs $200+ and the ones that don’t connect to a phone but have their own cellular line are $400+)
- The Apple Watch comes with tons of other apps and abilities. I knew the games and apps would be very distracting and not necessarily age appropriate for an eleven year old
- Whenever my kids wear my watch (which is very infrequently) they become obsessed with closing the rings. I knew this would be a constant issue and didn’t want to deal with that.
Here’s what the Gabb Wireless watch can do
- It can text and call the numbers you’ve programmed into it.
- It cannot receive texts or calls from any number that’s not added as a contact.
- Everything is controlled through Gabb app on my phone – I choose the contacts, set limitations, see his location, etc.
- It can send audio messages and text presets. It comes with 12 text presets already programmed in, like “yes,” “no,” “I’m coming,” “I love you,” etc. And then through the app you can add up to 20.
- It tracks your steps
- It tracks your location, and you can set a “safe zone” and get an alert if your child goes outside that safe zone
- You can set a schedule for the watch to go into “lock mode” so it doesn’t become a distraction at school or at night
Why we chose the watch over the phone
Gabb Wireless also has a phone that looks like a smart phone but has the same very basic capabilities as the watch.
We decided to not get the phone right now because we want to introduce personal electronics to our children in baby steps. Even though many of his friends have regular phones, I don’t think he needs one right now and this was a good first step as we work toward being prepared for a real phone in a few years.
How much it costs
The watch itself is $99, but $30 off with code MERRICK this month.
The monthly plans start at $9.99 for a two month contract, but you can get it for $16.99 with no contract.
Here are a few of your questions about the Gabb watch
Can they call an emergency number?
- It cannot call emergency numbers and you can’t program 911 as a contact. But if they press and hold the button on the watch it will call the emergency contact set up in their contacts and also send an SOS alert to the app.
What age would you recommend?
- It totally depends on your child and your needs, but I don’t feel the need for my almost 9 year old to have one. I think middle schooler is a good age to introduce it. My oldest is eleven.
What cell towers does Gabb use?
- They use Verizon towers
Does it feel too big on a kid’s wrist?
- No. It’s just slightly bigger than my 40mm apple watch. It doesn’t bother him at all.
Can they only use canned responses?
- Yes, unless they send an audio message. An audio message is just a voice text that comes through to my text messages on my phone.
How old is your son using it?
- He’s eleven!
Is it for US only?
- Yes, sadly it’s only USA right now.
Is it waterproof?
- It’s sweat and water resistant. Tested to work for 30 minutes under 1 meter of water.
Why watch over phone?
- We’re taking baby steps into personal electronics. Many of my son’s friends have their own phones, but I don’t feel the need for him to have a phone yet. Like math, you start with learning numbers, then addition, and on until you reach calculus and other advanced math. We’re starting with super basic personal electronics and as he becomes more mature and responsible, we’ll move to other electronics.
Can you call each other?
- Yes! As long as I’m set up as a contact in his watch, he can call me and I can call him.
Does it have a GPS tracker?
- It does. You can see his location through the app.
What colors are available?
- The standard color band is black, but you can purchase other colors for $9 per strap.
Do you have to call and text through the app?
- No, it comes through my regular texts and phone calls on my phone.
Is there a limit on how many text/calls they can make?
- Nope! It has unlimited talk and text.
How many contacts can you allow?
- I don’t think there is a limit for the number of contacts. But you can only set 5 emergency contacts.
My only issue with Gabb Wireless watch
I’ve only had one issue with the Gabb watch since we got it, and that is the charger. It’s a little finicky. You have to set the watch on top of the charger and sometimes the little reader pegs won’t pick up that it’s on the charger.
We’ve found that cleaning it off with a disinfectant wipe usually works the best. Once it recognizes the device and starts charging, it never has issues. But sometimes it takes a few minutes or a few wipes to get the charger to recognize the watch.
I don’t know if others have had this issue, but it’s my only complaint!
I hope that’s helpful! This has been a fantastic tool for our family and I hope it will be for yours as well.
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