Are parents over-protective these days? Yes but unfortunately the world has given many reasons for the parents to be more concerned about their kid’s safety. If you are a working couple, you will be doubly anxious when you are away at work. Magnasoft, a Bangalore based company wants to address the parent’s anxiety with Toggr, a Smart watch designed with safety of kids in mind. I got the Toggr smartwatch with me, and I am a father of a 6 year old kid, so I assume am in a better place to find out if Toggr a wiser choice for your child.
We will break the review into following parts.
- Design and build quality.
- App interface
- Togger community
Design and build quality
Toggr is available in three colors – blue, green and pink, I have the blue unit with me. On a first look, it looks like a kid’s watch and it has to be. The design is straight forward and the company has stuck to the basics. Just because it is a children’s watch there is no additional fancy gimmicks, it also makes sense to make it acceptable for wider audience in this case the kids. My son has no fondness for watches and I have to pamper to make him wear it. Phew!
The watch face is oblong and the digital watch face shows information like mobile network (yes, the watch needs a SIM) , GPS, battery life, time, date and steps taken in a day (yes, it has a pedometer built-in). There is a microphone at the bottom of the front and a speaker at the top.
The right side has three buttons. The call receive button on the top, followed by power on/off which also act as call disconnect button and a third button ‘WIN’, which is the acronym for When In Need in this case.
The left side has a flap that conceals the micro USB port and a SIM port. One of my main concern about the build quality is the flap. It is cumbersome to open and I already have a fear it will snap pretty soon or at least the small protrusion to help pull the flap out might get damaged. If your child is going to try open this, then good luck! Toggr is water resistant and probably why they have a tight flap to secure the ports ( with a kid wearing, you can always expect them to wet the watch anytime) and may be after all it is very sturdy it may not break too, I have used it for just couple of days to be frank. Only a long usage can give the right picture on the durability of the flap.
My kid after I pampered him to wear the watch was comfortable with the design, so except for my little concern over the flap opening, the design looks good, functional and made for kid’s in mind.
The app is a very crucial component for the watch, in fact it is useless without the app. There is a catch too, Toggr is based on a subscription model which I will detail later.
Toggr app is available on Android and iOS. Once you download, you need to enter your name, relationship with the child, email and 10 digit phone number to register. Funnily, the app makes it mandatory for a profile picture to complete the signing up. A one time password will be send to the registered number for validation. You get a QR code along with the purchase of the Toggr watch and you need to scan it to access the home screen of the app. Apart from you, you can add up to two more family member details to whom the child’s emergency call will get through when they press the alert button. There is no restriction for the number of children though.
The app has a simple interface. The home page gives you the battery status of the watch, the steps the child has walked, and there is a locate and timeline. Locate will show the google map position of where the watch is (the child in this case when he/she is wearing it) , the timline gives you the details of the tracker movement.
There are sub menus where you can edit the data of your family, child and also places you have marked as safe zones and your account that shows the subscription details and the renewal date. The app allows you to mark your home / apartment , school as safe zones. So whenever your child leaves the safe zone you get an alert. The timeline also shows the details when the child exists and enters the safe zones in a day.
There are two basic aspects to the Toggr watch to look at. The calling and tracking functionalities. The speaker in the watch is quiet loud and the microphone gives a good clarity to the voice. You can dial the child via the app or by simply calling the assigned mobile number from your phone. Then, there is the WIN or When In Need button. When the child needs to reach out to you upon an emergency, he or she would have to long press the WIN button to connect the call the family or guardian number you have assigned on the app. It reach the pre-assigned number one after another, in case the first number is not reachable. You also get an SMS alert in case you missed the call plus the app gives out a beeping alert and a notification. The App can give the exact location of the child (or the watch). There is a small downside to the WIN. When a child presses the WIN button, it is not discreet. The people around the child can hear the dial sound, in certain situation it can bring the attention to the watch. Otherwise, both the tracking and call functionality works really well as required.
The watch face shows time in 24 hours format. My 6 year kid is yet to warm up to the 24-hours format and is annoyed it does not have a 12 hours format, a choice to choose the format would have been nicer. Plus, the display is horrible under sunlight, you cannot basically read anything on the screen. The time itself is not always-on but the power button has to be pressed each time to check the time. I assume it was made so to save power but it does not help much either.
Magnasoft did not tell me the battery capacity of the watch but the battery life is quiet disappointing. Since the GPS and pedometer tracker is constantly on, the watch drains the power like a quick sand. It lasts barely 9-10 hours and that is simply not acceptable.
Magnasoft claims Toggr as the world’s first child-centric connected family platform. So what is it? So when a child is at an emergency situation and needs your assistance and if you might take time to reach the place, you can reach out to the Toggr comunity members who are basically other parents who would be using Toggr app to see if they can help the child before you arrive. The map would show the nearest parent in the vicinity. One issue with this approach is , the community feature is not an opt-in, so your location and identity is visible to the community. Any platform that does not give me a privacy option is a big NO for me. I understand Toggr wants to build a community of parents who might be there like a knight in a shining armor whenever solicited but when we are talking about a Safety watch, it equally needs to take care of the privacy needs of the parents / guardians.
Toggr Smart watch is priced at Rs 2,499. The pricing seem to be fine with me but strangely the company says they don’t offer any sort of warranty for the product. The answer given is it is competitively priced. No dear, that is not a valid answer. Toggr works on a subscription model on top of the selling price. You need to shell out Rs 599 ( around 9 US$) half yearly , which works to around Rs 100 in a month, which might not pinch me as a parent for the child’s safety. But when you work on a subscription model and then say the product does not even cover a basic warranty, it simply is not acceptable to me. For those wondering what happens if you opt out of subscription? Well, you just have one plastic watch in your hand that can show time and steps covered.
- Tracker is efficient
- Speaker is loud
- Clear audio
- Simple app interface
- Notification on the child’s movement are good.
- Concerned about the build quality of flap that covers the ports
- Poor battery life
- No Opt-out from Toggr community
- No discreet WIN mode.
There are many child tracker devices and watches in the market but as a GPS tracker device with a call functionality , the Toggr watch does work well and helps you and child be connected and monitored constantly. But Toggr needs much of an improvement on the points I have mentioned above which hopefully the company will work at to make it a better device, a parent like me would be interested at.