Deutsche Telekom said it has introduced a new generation of smartwatches for children, the Xplora X5 Play eSIM. Fitted with an eSim, the watch offers the functions of a mobile phone for children with additional security functions such as a GPS tracker and SOS button.
The GPS function enables parents to see the location of their child in real time and to define so-called safe areas. If the child leaves this area, the parents will receive a message. Children are not able to surf the internet with the smartwatch or to play games, and a “school mode” function can be activated to limit use during class so that only the time function and the SOS are available. Up to 50 contacts can be saved by the parents in the watch.
The Xplora X5 Play eSIM is available with the Smart Connect S tariff. The tariff carries a one-off fee of €97.44 (US $114.55) with a contract of 12 months, and customers pay €4.83 (US $5.68) per month. With a contract for 24 months, customers pay €0.97 (US $1.14) once for the smartwatch, and €9.70 (US $11.40) per month for the contract. Customers who buy a Smart Connect S with a 24-month contract by 30 September will save the basic monthly fee for the first six months of the contract.
As it becomes more and more usual for children, even young ones, to have mobile devices, a variety of products are being marketed to them and their parents. The idea of a smartwatch for children, as opposed to a smartphone or tablet, seems to us to be a sound one. Children are more inclined that adults, on the whole, to lose devices, so having it strapped to the wrist would tend to solve that problem. And since the primary purpose of this device is safety—monitoring the child’s location and enabling the child to communicate with the parents while away from home—making sure it stays with the child is key, and a smartwatch fulfills the purpose very well. That should help the device and DT’s service plans get some traction in the market.
On the other hand, the rather spartan offerings—no internet access, no games—could make this smartwatch less appealing to children themselves. And to the extent that parents are influenced in their buying choices by their children’s expressed desires, this could count against the Xplora X5 Play eSIM. In that connection, we might point out that as far as the plan details are concerned, DT is selling the 24-month option aggressively, by nearly eliminating the initial fee and forgiving the first six monthly payments if the subscriber opts for 24 rather than 12 months. But considering how much children change in two years; this device could cease being appropriate for its user within that time frame.