The Spacetalk Adventurer is perfect for intrepid kids wanting to explore, and parents who want to give them this freedom… while keeping an eye on them. Yes, it’s bulky compared with the Fitbit Ace 3 and Garmin Vivofit Jr 3, but it can’t be compared directly, because it does so much more than count steps.
This device squeezes a 5MP camera, GPS tracker and space for a SIM card into a well-built case. It also has a bright touchscreen, making it more like an Apple Watch for kids than a fitness gadget. While children will love taking pictures of their adventures, parents will appreciate the ability to call their kids and monitor their whereabouts.
What did our Mini Reviewer think? Does it deserve a place in our best smartwatch for kids guide? Read on to find out…
Spacetalk Adventurer Watch Review: Design
The first thing you notice about the Spacetalk Adventurer watch is that it looks and feels solid and well made. Its bezel is a really nice, smooth mottled plastic that slightly resembles terrazzo, while the polyurethane strap is soft and flexible. The watch comes in five different colours that are bright but wearable and pleasingly unisex. If Disney princesses are your child’s thing, this watch might not be for them.
The screen comes to life with a tap and shows the time on a clear watch face with no distractions, while further swipes reveal the many features available to the wearer in colourful circles. It’s practical and simple to use with the ability to make calls and take photos from your wrist creating the wow-factor, rather than animations or sound effects, which you get on the comparable Disney Vodaphone Neo watch for kids.
This less-is-more approach carries through the set-up and phone app too. You get a prompt to pair the watch as soon as you insert the SIM card (the compartment being easily accessible using a pair of tweezers on the back) and the design of the charger is equally easy to use.
Having set the watch up and handed it to our mini tester, it took her seconds to start swiping and she was able to use the camera (badly) and find the torch easily, which it turns out is more desirable than talking on the ‘phone’ when you’re five.
All features are super intuitive. The only annoyance for a grownup is that it can be a little difficult to close them by pressing on the ‘x’ in the top left corner. I’d personally prefer to swipe from one function to the next. However, kids with smaller fingers find this process much easier!
A good picture (and a tonne of features) does however come at a cost, because the watch weighs 60g, while the square-ish face measures 4.7cm x 4.5cm. It’s also 1.6cm in-depth, which means it sticks out a lot. This makes the watch a bit too cumbersome and heavy for our mini tester, but then again, she is right at the bottom of the age range, with the device is aimed at five to 12-year-olds.
Overall, the watch’s interface feels intuitive and relatively no-frills. It will do everything you need it to quickly and easily, without a tonne of distractions, which, if you’re after a smartwatch for practical features is a real win. However, it lacks some of the fun of the Neo, which boasts animations and Disney sound effects.
While the size of the gadget may be a strength or a flaw – depending on the age and preferences of your child – it certainly has the wow factor. People ask what’s on your wrist and are impressed by its abilities.
Spacetalk Adventurer Watch Review: Display
The Spacetalk Adventurer’s OLED screen is crisp and bright. It’s easy to see in daylight and clear enough to view small icons and writing thanks to the 1.4-inch, 360x320-pixel display. Vodafone’s Neo smartwatch is probably the most similar in spec and size, despite its screen being circular unlike the Adventurer’s.
But like the Neo, this watch’s large screen is its saviour and slight downfall, because it’s big on little wrists, making it more suitable for pre-teens than fiver-year-olds … although every child is different. Both watches have capacitive touch screens, although this one lacks a physical button. For the most part that’s fine, but the screen might seem a little unresponsive to grownups who are used to fast, premium products.
The Spacewalk Adventurer’s Gorilla Glass screen should, however, allow it to withstand playgrounds and rough and tumble, and the device is waterproof which is a big plus for a kids’ gadget.
Spacetalk Adventurer Watch Review: Functions
This watch packs a serious punch when it comes to features. It’s more like an Apple Watch for kids and can’t be compared to Fitbit and Garmin’s offerings. However, it faces stiff competition from the Neo.
One rare feature among kids’ fitness trackers and smartwatches is the Spacetalk Adventurer’s connectivity. Because it there’s room for a SIM card, parents can stay in touch with their kids with calls and text messages. It’s simple to add contacts using mum or dad’s phone, so kids can’t call just anyone and there’s no ability to browse anything they like online too, which is a big plus for security. It’s also good to know that the wearer could use the SOS alert button to call the emergency services if they got in trouble too.
The only downside is that this connectivity comes at a price, as this gadget effectively needs a phone contract linked to the nano-SIM card inside it and a subscription to access Spacetalk’s companion app. But, there are advantages, such as it might stop a kid from needing a smartphone, which parents are less able to police.
As well as being able to get hold of a child, the Spacetalk Adventurer has a host of other safety features. Most importantly, there’s GPS so family members can see where the child wearer is from their phone thanks to the Spacetalk app. There’s even the ability to set up safe zones and receive alerts if your child strays from where they should be.
Like every other kids’ fitness tracker, the Spacetalk Adventurer counts steps, but it also has a heart rate monitor like some adult watches. There’s a 5MP camera, which is simple to use and produces good enough shots to enjoy reviewing in the photo album built into the watch. This was the stand-out feature for our little user (alongside the torch). There’s also a neat weather forecast feature that’s helpful and also fun. It too went down well with our little reviewer.
While this watch offers fewer fun features (or gimmicks depending on your preferences) than some other smartwatches, which may disappoint some kids, parents will love the watch’s School Mode, which allows them to turn the Adventurer into a regular watch during school hours. This means, no games, apps, alerts, reminders or any other bells and whistles to distract a wearer from their lessons.
Spacetalk Adventurer Watch Review: Battery Life
It will come as no surprise that a watch with a big-ish colour screen and 4G connectivity needs charging fairly regularly. Yes, this means it doesn’t last more than a week like some fitness trackers, but the battery life isn’t bad. Spacetalk says the watch lasts around three days, but this time is less if you use it a lot, for taking photos, for example. On the plus side, it charges pretty quickly.
If charging gadgets is a bugbear, the battery in Garmin’s vivofit jr. 3 tracker is said to last for around one year, but the watches are chalk and cheese when it comes to features, with the Adventurer offering far more perks including 4G connectivity.
Spacetalk Adventurer Watch Review: Verdict
The Spacetalk Adventurer packs a lot of punch, from offering a way to stay in touch to taking snapshots of the day. Its array of practical functions are impressive.
However, the smartwatch is less fun than the Disney-powered Neo and considerably more expensive than its less feature-packed rivals. It costs £189 upfront and requires a Nano SIM card and a Spacetalk app subscription for £3.99/month. There’s also no getting away from the fact that this is a big watch for little wrists, so if sleek and slim gadgets are preferable, the Adventurer won’t be for you.
But, if you’re looking for an Apple Watch-type gadget for kids that’s heavy on productivity and safety features and light on distractions, this is a good option. Yes, it’s a pretty expensive gadget, but for parents or guardians of adventurous kids who like to break a few rules, being able to keep in touch and stay on top of their whereabouts will likely prove priceless.