Garmin's first kid-friendly smartwatch with built-in LTE connectivity is here at $150

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Garmin's first kid-friendly smartwatch with built-in LTE connectivity is here at $150
Children-oriented smartwatches designed to give parents peace of mind while keeping kids fit and entertained are... somewhat surprisingly not very easy to come by, especially if you want to do business with an actual (major) wearable industry player rather than a carrier like T-Mobile or Verizon.

Granted, Fitbit does sell ultra-affordable, colorful, and reasonably feature-packed activity trackers like the Ace 3, but Garmin has an arguably far more interesting value proposition in the $149.99 Bounce starting today.

Garmin Bounce

Kid-Friendly Smartwatch with LTE Connectivity, Bluetooth, GPS, 1.3-Inch LCD, Three Colors

This playful but decidedly bulky new device is explicitly marketed as a smartphone replacement, adding standalone 4G LTE connectivity (among others) to the features of something like the $89.99 Vivofit Jr. 3. Obviously, the ability to send and receive texts and voice messages without a phone in sight cancels out the key selling point of the third-gen Vivofit Jr., downgrading the "up to 1 year" of battery life to a modest two days on a single charge.

That's not so bad if you consider what many other (mainstream) LTE-enabled smartwatches are capable of (we're looking at you, Apple Watch Series 8), and as you might expect, the Garmin Bounce also comes with built-in GPS functionality to closely monitor your child's whereabouts at all times and supervise their progress towards various daily activity goals rewarding them with "collectible gems."

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That latter part headlines the fun angle of Garmin's unique new smartwatch, along with little quizzes and games Bounce users can play during "parent-approved" times. Adult supervisors can also choose to essentially render the device unusable during school hours or at night to minimize distractions, which will of course not impact the Bounce's ability to count steps and track sleep duration (based on movement).

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Tipping the scales at 37 grams and measuring 42 x 42.4 x 12.6mm, the Garmin Bounce is clearly not designed with very young children in mind, nonetheless promising to withstand the typical trials and tribulations of a playground while also surviving water immersion up to 5 meters deep. Its 1.3-inch LCD touchscreen is unusually sharp for a kid-friendly wearable as well, with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels, but one of the big things the Bounce cannot do is monitor a wearer's heart rate.

Still, the features and capabilities offered at an undeniably reasonable price are virtually unrivaled, which makes sense given that the Bounce doesn't really have any direct rivals in the nonexistent sub-$200 kid smartwatch segment.

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