During the 2000s, several manufacturers such as Blackberry, Nokia and Microsoft started playing with what could be done with the mobile phone in order to try and gain a greater percentage of the market. Models began to be developed which featured QWERTY keyboards or touchscreens for device input. Other features included push email and connectivity to wireless internet. When Apple joined the fray in the late 2000s things began to really take off with lots of new features and above all a move towards ensuring the aesthetics of the device were almost as important as functionality with phones becoming ever thinner whilst at the same time boasting bigger, brighter screens and better battery life.
This trend has continued with the likes of Samsung and Apple fighting it out for dominance of the smartphone market. With the best of the best coming in at well over £1000, such handsets are not within the reach of everyone and so in this article we take a look at the top 5 smartphones that come in under £500.
1. Vodafone Neo
One of the tricks you could use to ensure that any smartwatch designed for kids is likely to be attractive to them and therefore worn by them is to get the support of one of the largest kids brands on the planet, namely Disney, and that is exactly what Vodafone has done with the Neo.
The tie in with Disney means that the wearer can choose to personalise their Neo smartwatch with characters from not only Disney itself but also from its other franchises, including Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.
The Vodafone Neo is also a very practical watch as well which enables instant calls an messages with up to nine contacts able to be added. Parental controls allow for screen time to be managed too.
The Vodafone Neo also has a camera, activity tracker, calendar, GPS location and a built-in Smart SIM card to enable the wearer to stay in touch even over long distances. Its also very durable, IP68 waterproof and has a battery that can last for up to 24 hours.
The Neo connects to the Vodafone network and so a 12 or 24 month contract is required.
2. Jaybest Kids Smartwatch
Considering its comparatively low price point (less than £30) the Jaybest kids smartwatch is packed full of features. It comes complete with everything you want in such a device including two-way calls, music, games, camera, SOS capability, microphone, alarm, calculator, stopwatch and much more.
The Jaybest kids smartwatch is able to accommodate a 2G SIM card which allows for calls to be made and answered and 10 contacts including 3 emergency contacts can be set. If they feel they are in danger the wearer can press the SOS key for 3 seconds to make a call to the stored emergency numbers, alternating between them until someone answers.
Its not all serious stuff though as the Jaybest kids smartwatch has 7 built-in educational games that can be played using the touch screen and it also has a dual camera function which can be used to take photos and videos as the wearer plays with their friends.
What’s more, this smartwatch is very easy to setup through the interface on the watch itself. There is no need to partner it with a phone or download and app.
3. VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch
Designed for kids aged 4+, the VTech Kidizoom smart watch is a relatively inexpensive but feature packed first smartwatch for kids and is a great introduction to the world of tech for your little one.
This watch is not only functional but it is also durable and splash-proof making it relatively resistant to the day-to-day wear and tear created by children as they go about their day.
It should be noted that the VTech Kidizoom smart watch is not able to be connected to a phone network and so calls cannot be made and received.
However, it does have games built in and the ability to take photos and videos with its built in camera. There are also 55 pre-loaded watch faces to choose from.
4. Xplora XGO 2 Watch Phone for Children
The Xplora XGO 2 watch is a very stylish fully-featured watch which allows you to stay connected to your kids at all times. This device should really be considered to be a fully featured mobile phone which is designed to look and behave like a watch for your child to wear.
The Xplora XGO 2 features aGPS, active Wifi and GSM triangulation to enable you to get an exact location of your loved one whenever you like. You can also setup Geofences, or safe zones such as home, school etc, allowing you to be alerted if your child wanders off outside of these areas.
Other functions include a calculator, torch, calendar, as well as the ability to make voice calls, record voice messages and use emojis. It even features contactless magnetic charging.
The Xplora XGO 2 is a premium quality smart watch designed for use by kids aged 5 to 12 to help them stay in touch.
5. PTHTECHUS Smart Watch for Boys and Girls
The PTHTECHUS smartwatch for boys and girls is a fully multifunctional smartwatch for kids and comes in lots of different colours, making it attractive to both boys and girls no matter what their taste.
Not only does the PTHTECHUS smart watch feature two-way calling capability with one button SOS calling but it also features an alarm clock, built in puzzle games, and a calculator.
Its built in camera also allows for photos to be taken and the watch can also be used for playing music.
There is also a parental control feature so that limits can be placed on how long games are played etc.