The GizmoPal is a GPS tracker and 2 way communication device from LG available exclusively through Verizon. It is designed to help parents keep in contact with their children when they are apart. It is linked to a parents Smartphone and up to 2 addional caregivers can be added. With a simple touch of a button the child can call their parent or vice versa. It is available in blue or pink.
I tested the GizmoPal with my 11 year old son and my 7 year old. The 11 year old he in 5th grade and I’m not yet ready to give him a cellphone but at the same time I would love him to have some independence to walk to the library after school or a friends house, and I’d love him to have an easy way to call me during those times.
Look and Fit
The face of the Gizmopal is quite large but it fits quite well on my 11 year old’s wrist, on the 7 year old the face was wider than his wrist so it did look big on him although the strap could tighten enough for him to wear it. The designs of the 2 color options do look like they are for very young children it would be nice to see an older child designs, or a skin option to change the look of the device, as I think kids in late elementary school are a great target audience for this device but they may be put off by the young look of the device.
To use the GizmoPal you download the GizmoPal App (available for Android and iOS) and pair the primary caregivers Smartphone to it. You can also can adjust settings and add caregivers from the app. Two people (phone numbers) can be allocated as caregivers- each of these can not only call and be called from the GizmoPal, they can also use the app to change settings and check the GizmoPal’s location. Two more phone numbers can be allocated as contacts: these have more limited privileges they can call the GizmoPal (their calls are limited to one minute duration), but the GizmoPal can’t call them and they can not access the app.
You can set the app up to automatically check the child’s location at pre-set times of day such as checking they arrive at school on time or make it home after school. You can also check their location at any time, this can take up to 3 minutes to locate them. In the settings you can adjust the volume of the band and switch fun sounds and ringtones on or off. You can also check the battery level of the GizmoPal and remotely turn it off (though you can not switch it back on remotely). In the app options you can choose to activate auto-answer – if the child doesn’t answer the call within 10 seconds the GizmoPal will automatically answer the call, this is especially useful when using it with younger children.
Once it is set up you can call the GizmoPal just like calling a cellphone. The child can also easily call you, touching the call button gives them instructions on how to call “press call button once to call xxx” , “press call button twice to call yyy.” When you set up the contacts via the app you can choose from a variety of titles for each contact e.g. mom. mama, dad, aunt, grandma, grandpa, if the person is not listed they are called caregiver (you can’t enter a personalized name e.g. Mary.)
My older son has been wearing his GizmoPal regularly to school and it has been really useful if I’m running late to pick him up I can just cal him or if he is going somewhere after school such as to the library or a friends house I can call him to see if he arrived safely or just check his location via the GPS. It gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing if he needs me he can call just by pressing a button. I find that I typically need to charge the GizmoPal about every 5 days which works well for our schedule. He has used it on weekends too but we did sometimes have issues with not being able to use it when outside areas of good cell phone coverage. The GizmoPal is worn like a watch and he needed to remove his watch to wear it, it can tell the time (by speaking it) but has no visual display of the time, so in class it was hard for him to know the time so it would be nice to see a digital clock added to the face.
My younger son used the GizmoPal over the weekend when we were on an overnight field trip to a local aquarium with his Cub Scout pack. It was useful because he has a tendency to spot a friend and go to join them instead of staying by my side, so I’d often turn around and see he wasn’t there. With lots of different directions he could go in it was great to be able to call him and remind him not to run off and to be easily able to relocate him. I did wish at times though that I could have it pick up faster than 10 seconds as that can seem a long time to auto-answer when your 7 year-old is out of sight. It was also great for him to have a way to call me, we stopped at a local Toys R Us on the way home and he got lost amongst the toy aisles as he hunted for Legos, and he gets very worried when he realizes I’m not in sight but with the GizmoPal he could call me and tell me where he was.
There are some improvements I would like to see in future updates, I can see 2 distinct markets for the device-1) preschool and early elementary school kids and 2) late elementary school and middle school kids who don’t yet have a cellphone. For the younger kids using it I’d love to see a band that they can’t take off and a warning sent to the caregivers phone if it is removed, I’d also love an option in the app to disable switching it off at the device. For the older kids I’d love to see more grownup looking face designs, or a skin option to change the look of the device and the addition of a digital watch display. For both age groups I’d also love to see an option to switch on the tracking continually in real-time if this was on continually it would drain the battery but I’d love to be able to activate it if needed. This would be useful if they are walking from your house to a friends house in the neighborhood you can watch them as they travel, or in an emergency situation e.g. a lost child who is not answering the call you can more easily track them.
Overall, I think I think this is a really useful device and it is a great deal – it costs $79.99 to buy then $5 per month on a Verizon Wireless MORE Everything plan. I would love to see some tweaks made to the device to make it even more useful especially adding some more “tween-friendly” design options as I think the 8-12 year olds are a great target audience for this device but may be put off by its young look.
Standby Time: Up to 148.8 hrs
Usage Time: Up to 2.5 hrs.
Weight: 1.48 oz.
Width: 1.37 in.
Height: 2.17 in.
Battery: 400 mAh
Compatibility: Android 4.0 or higher, iOS 7 or higher
Requires Verizon Wireless Cellphone service ($5 per month to add to a Verizon Wireless MORE Everything )
GizmoHubby Verizon Wireless
Category: Lifestyle, Utilities
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76
Size: 33.5 MB
Screenshots(Click to enlarge)
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).