Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Smartphone or Watchphone for Children? A review for myFirst Fone R1s watchphone

What would be a good age to let children have their first phone? It's a question that most parents would ask at some point. 

Gone were the days when the children get their first communication devices in their teenage years. These days, we are seeing children getting their devices like smartphone earlier as there is an increased needs for connectivity. 

Upon seeing her friends having their own smartphones, Emmalyn started asking us to give her one earlier this year. Her friends have been chatting on whatsapp and she reasoned that sometimes she needed to talk to us when she is not with us. She also noticed that we have extra smartphones lying around at home. However, we felt that she isn't ready for smartphone yet and it will be hard to control her usage and exposure to the social media & internet. At 9 years old, I think it is important to guard their cyber safety. Personally, I prefer her not to be on the internet without supervision. 

I got to know about myFirst Fone from my friends last year and found them a good alternative to smartphone for young children. Along with some useful features, myFirst Fone offers messages and calls function. I like that it doesn't allow children to go onto the web or download apps like instagram or tik tok. 

It has been a month since she starts wearing myFirst Fone R1s and she's really loving it. It gives her some form of independence and connectivity. It's great to be able to stay in contact with her throughout the day. She recently started a maths enrichment class at a centre near her student care and walks over with her friends without adult supervision. I felt more assured when she could communicate to us especially in times of emergency. It also helps to facilitate pick up especially after her CCA as Hubby sometimes end later and needed Emma to wait at school. 

So, what are the features of myFirst Fone R1s?

1. Message functions
This is one the most used features. Children can send messages via text (in the parents' phone app), voice messages, emojis and photos to people on the phone list. As time at home can be short and busy, being able to message with each other outside home help to improve our communication. It doesn't allow download for apps like whatapps or telegram so I don't need to worry about spam messages. 

2. Call and video call functions
Besides chatting through messages, we could also call or video call each other. It's nice to see her face on our app. It's really nice to be able to see her face on the phone in the middle of the day!

3. Camera function
It has a 2MP front camera and it gives her joy to be able to use it to capture little things throughout her day.

4. Customisable watch face
This is another features that Emma loves! She has a album of our family photos which we sent her via messages and use them as the background of the watch face. How nice is it for her to keep seeing us on their watch face. Her favourite backgrounds are our family photos and those of baby Ezra as he's so cute! 😅

5. Class mode
Myfirst fone has class mode which turns the smart watchphone into a simple watch. This way, we ensure that she won't be distracted by the watch during class.

6. GPS tracking and safe zone
It has real time GPS tracking so I know exactly where she is located. As an extra safety features, parents could also set safe zone on the app and get alerts when the child step out of the zone.

7. One-Touch SOS
All fun aside, myFirst fone has an one-touch SOS button that send distress signals. Once activated, parents will receive an emergency location alert with a 30 seconds live recording of surrounding sounds.

8. Other features
A month into usage, the watchphone is still in good condition. It has improved water resistance. In addition, it tracks steps and monitors heart rates. It also has alarm clock and songs to keep her accompany when she needs. 

Overall, it's a very functional and child friendly watchphone. It offers connectivity without compromising on safety. It also helps to maintain a greater level of closeness between Emma and I as she can message us when she miss us. She loves sending emojis to us!

If you are keen to get one for your child/children, you can choose to buy the watchphone (Quote "Ashlyn10 for 10% off the watchphone on myFirst website) and get a data plan (here) OR get the watchphone on lease with a monthly subscription fee of $28 and $40 upfront payment for R1s.

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