- Secure game play
- Dual camera with special editing effects
- Fun voice changer
- No ability to call or message
- No GPS tracking
- Bulky for pre schoolers
A best seller on Amazon, the VTech Kidizoom DX2 is the go-to gadget for anyone wanting to buy a smartwatch for a young child.
And while it can’t send messages and make calls like more advanced smartwatches can - such as the Xplora X5 Play or Vodafone Neo - the DX2 does offer kids a secure and self-contained world of play, and a fun and educating way to learn how to tell the time. On board they can also access a dual camera, creative photo effects, customizable watch faces and games and motion apps to encourage them to get moving.
It also steers clear of GPS tracking or location based peace of mind features for parents, and it only features a basic pedometer, so if you're looking for a kids fitness tracker, you're still better off with the Fitbit Ace 3 or Garmin Vivofit Jnr 3.
To find out what makes the VTech Kidizoom DX2 such a big hit with kids, we enrolled the help of two enthusiastic under tens, eager to delve into its ample offering.
VTech Kidizoom DX2: Design
The Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch is part of the VTech Kidizoom family of electronic learning toys, which includes a range of still and action cameras and walkie talkies. They all come with an unmistakable vibrant VTech styling.
The smartwatch is aimed at four to 12 year olds, and its pop-coloured watch strap certainly reflects the brand’s desire to appeal to a young audience.
With its bulky, rectangular digital interface and candy-hued finish we think the VTech Kidizoom DX2 design looks rather dated to the adult eye however, particularly in comparison to the sophisticated styling of the Apple Watch and Fitbit.
But our young testers weren’t fazed by this however, and were taken with the pop-coloured finish and enticing sound effects on the DX2.
At 1.44 inches, the watch screen is quite large, and our four-year-old tester found it a little too bulky to wear on their small wrist and preferred to hold it – all day and all the way to bed.
Our seven-year-old tester also complained that it ‘felt weird’ wearing the watch while they had their coat on, as the watch face kept getting stuck on their sleeve. It is tricky to tell, however, if this was a valid point or just yet another ruse to take off their coat.
What the DX2 lacks on the outside it more than makes up for on the inside however, with controls that are easy for little fingers to navigate.
Unlike some of the smartwatches we’ve tried that have touchscreen controls that can be a little challenging for younger users to press with accuracy – such as the Vodafone Neo and Kurio Watch 2.0+ - the DX2 colour touchscreen comes with ample-sized illustrative icons that young users will find easy to press.
Access to the side and front-facing cameras are also conveniently positioned via separate buttons around the screen, where you can find the home button too. The screen goes to sleep when it hasn’t been used for a few seconds, but one prod of the home button will make it come alive with a customizable clock face and fun sound effects. The camera feels robust and is also splashproof, which means that while it can’t be submerged in water swimming or worn in the bath, it can endure the odd bit of rain and is great for everyday play.
VTech Kidizoom DX2: Camera and photo effects
The VTech Kidizoom DX2 comes with a dual-camera option and lots of photo editing tools on board to keep kids entertained. Click the button to the left of the screen and the 0.3 megapixel side camera is ready to use.
It took a while for our young testers to work out how to position the watch so they could capture their desired photo frame, but after a few accidental snaps of the wall and floor – and a few up their nostrils - they found it easy to aim and capture a colourful photo with minimum blur. While the photo resolution isn’t high definition, at 640 x 480 pixels it’s enough to snap a decent pic and we found the crisp and vivid quality quite impressive for a sub-£50 device.
The side camera can also be accessed on the clock face itself. Photos can then be edited with illustrative cartoon pictures positioned over the top such as a spacecraft, dinosaur, unicorn, stars and more – this feature was a particular hit with our testers.
There’s also an icon to take selfies and then overlay your face with funny add-ons such as a pirate face or give yourself accessories that make you look like you’re swimming under the sea. There’s even a dedicated ‘Silly Yourself’ clown app that lets you take a selfie and save it with funny, clown features.
There’s also a dedicated icon for video footage that shoots 320 x 240 or 160 x 120 resolution with a limit of 60 seconds per file, and our young testers found this feature very easy to use. Giving your child free reign to video your every unsuspecting move whenever they like may not be the most desirable feature of this camera however, but you can take comfort in the fact that at least the footage can’t be instantly or accidentally shared on social media.
As the pictures and video can be instantly edited and saved directly on the watch kids can easily swipe through the gallery at a later date and relive their giggling fits. If by any chance your child takes a photo that’s worthy of the mantelpiece and you’d like to keep hold of it, the watch can be connected to your PC and the media downloaded.
VTech Kidizoom DX2: Apps, games and fun extras
The smartwatch comes with fun games such as ‘Mousy Maze’ and ‘Puzzle Swap’, as well a range of unique apps for kids to explore and get moving – there’s a Monster Detector augmented reality game and pedometer on board too.
We particularly liked Brain booster – a fun yet educating logic game that will test kids, while the Action Challenge app features three activities such as running, dancing and jumping that count movement during a period of time. Annoying as we adults found it after the fiftieth time we heard it, the voice recorder is also a fun addition to the watch’s set up and lets kids record their voice and apply voice-changing effects.
You’ll also find various clock displays with 3D effects on board the VTech Kidizoom DX2 that kids can instantly flick through and change depending on their mood - the Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan designs came in particularly popular with our young testers.
The Photo Clock Face Maker also lets them create custom clock faces using their selfies. Battery usage is quite decent too, with the average full charge lasting about three days, which luckily means your child should run out of juice before the watch does.
How we test