Tired of your toddlers grabbing your smartphone when they're in the mood to play. Well, here's the solution. It's KidiBuzz from VTech. KidiBuzz is a handheld smart device designed specifically for kids who may be too young to have their own smartphones, but who very much want to feel "big"--and who could enjoy, and benefit from, a wide range of learning, communication tools and fun apps designed just for them. For those kids, KidiBuzz is definitely the answer.
Designed to look like a grown up smartphone, KidiBuzz is an android-based system that has a large 5-inch touchscreen, a 180-degree rotating camera, 8 gigabytes of onboard memory you can expand to 40 gigs and a super tough construction. Inside, it comes pre-loaded with learning games, a surprisingly good camera that can take photos and videos, a clock, calendar, notes program and much more. Additionally, the KidConnect app lets kids communicate with parents and approved friends between the KidiBuzz and virtually any device that can run the KidConnect app.
Taken all together, and realizing how much kids love to get their hands on tech, VTech has created the ultimate big-kid experience for smaller kids. As we played with it, it was obvious that this is about as close to having a real iPhone or Android device kids can get that's easy for them to use but very satisfying to play with. One of the things that really impressed us as we played was the touchscreen. It's VTech's most responsive yet--and that's tremendously important. One of the challenges of previous devices designed for preschoolers was that they were so slow. Once kids had gotten used to playing with an adult device, the slower speed became frustrating. Problem solved. No, it's not exactly as fast as an iPhone, but close enough.
You can enhance the play and learning experience with tons of downloadable content from VTech's Learning Lodge, and the device will also run apps from the Amazon app store. Parents will appreciate the ability to set time limits, allow web sites, permit the use of apps and more--all of which is virtually invisible to kids.
We found the battery life to be good, connecting to WiFi easy and the whole experience very well conceived and executed. VTech recommends this for ages 4-9--and they have content that ages up that far--but the core age may be a bit younger. It's ideal for kids to have until they they are ready to have their own phones, and that's a decision each family makes. All told, this is a terrific option and a great device. Check it out. And now, you can have your own phone back.
Kids who want their own handheld will really get into this, especially at the younger ages.
We were impressed by the camera, the software and the various different things kids could do with it.
We're not completely sure how a 4-year-old will use a calendar, but knowing them, we're sure they'll find a way to use it.
The resolution on the screen is good, too, which makes it great for watching videos.
VTech recommends this for kids ages 4-9.
We think the sweet spot for this is going to be at the younger age, but it will definitely grow with the child. Once kids have their own smartphones, which is a choice every family makes independently, this may not be as appealing.
However, we think kids and parents will appreciate the versatility and features of this, as well as the price and the overall value.
KidiBuzz also comes in a blue version.
KidConnect and the web browser have full parental controls.
This takes a while to charge up, but it runs very well. Best idea is to check the battery level at the end of the day and plug it in overnight.
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