Xplora X6 Play Review: Well-polished Telephone Watch for Children
Last year we tested Xplora’s X5 watch and now they’re back with the sucessor X6 Play. Xplora’s concept revolves around creating mobile devices for children who are too young for their own smartphones. In this case, we are talking about a small compact mobile device with limited features that is worn on the wrist, rather than a full-fledged smartwatch. The fact that it is designed like a watch is clever, as it eliminates the risk of the child misplacing the device.
The product is intended for children who need a mobile device but for whom a smartphone is not deemed suitable, perhaps because they need to be able to communicate when they are heading home from school without getting distracted by YouTube along the way. Therefore, the set of functions is deliberately limited and carefully curated.
How does it work?
To begin with, parents need to install the Xplora app on their mobile devices, as that is where most of the functionality is accessed. You can make calls with the Xplora watch, but only to a selected list of contacts that parents can set up through the app. Additionally, you can record voice messages or send text messages using a set of predefined options, but these messages are not sent via SMS; instead, they are transmitted through Xplora’s own chat feature within the app.
So far, we have covered the key features available in the Xplora X6 Play. It also includes a pedometer and GPS functionality. The GPS is primarily used for parents to track their child’s location. With the Xplora X6 Play, you can not only view the real-time location of your child but also access the historical data of their movements. Furthermore, you can utilize geofencing, which sends you a notification if your child ventures outside a pre-determined area.
Activate your child
The pedometer serves as a motivation for keeping the child active. Additionally, there is a gaming feature, but it is available in the parent’s app. The child’s steps earn coins that can be used in Goplay, which has both a free version and a premium service priced at approximately 1000 SEK per year. With the child’s virtual coins, they can play simple arcade games, purchase new watch faces and ringtones for the device, and participate in auctions for real-life items. They can also take part in step challenges to earn additional coins. Personally, I have some reservations about this aspect as the premium service is quite expensive, and it is unclear where the line between free and premium services is drawn.
User interface and design
As I mentioned, the Xplora X6 Play is the successor to the previously tested X5 Play. And while it doesn’t really offer any new features it feels more polished, particularly in terms of its user interface. I’m not entirely convinced that the interface has become clearer with its abstract icons without accompanying text, but it certainly looks more professional and modern. The limited number of functions makes it easy to quickly learn which icon represents what. The interface is noticeably faster, and the screen has a higher quality. While performance isn’t crucial for these functions, it still enhances the overall user experience, providing a slightly more polished feel compared to its predecessor.
A new addition is the inclusion of a rubber ring for the casing and buckle of the watch in various colors, allowing for some variation in its appearance. The wristband has a standard attachment, so you don’t have to purchase replacements from Xplora if it gets damaged or if you prefer a different material.
The overall design of the watch feels somewhat unusual, as if there is a protrusion on the underside that makes it thicker. This gives it a thicker appearance than it actually is. In reality, the watch is slightly thinner than the Xplora X5 Play. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the watch becomes quite a sizable accessory on a slim child’s wrist. However, those I’ve spoken to within the target audience still find it cool-looking.
The Xplora X6 Play does not represent a major improvement in form or function compared to the company’s previous models, but it was already a well-thought-out product for the target group, and above all the more polished user interface makes it feel a little more trust-inspiring than its predecessors. It also feels slightly faster and has a more polished look. The only major minus I can think of is the lack of USB-C for charging. Once again, Xplora has developed its own type of charger that cannot be used to charge anything else. Get rid of that for next generation of watches please.