mobiles2go i-Kids

mobile2go's i-Kids mobile phone lets tweens call up to four pre-programmed numbers, while the GPS component lets concerned parents keep track of their children's whereabouts.


4.5
CNET Rating
5.8
User Rating


Design
The i-Kids seems suitably designed for young children and comes in two different colour patterns -- one presumably suited for girls (pink/lime) and the other for boys (blue/azure). It has a small form factor and is very light, which helps if you'd like to string it around your child's neck. It has two horn-shaped protuberances that we assume to be the extra aerials needed for its inbuilt GPS. The battery has a child-proof, tamper-proof cover using a plug that supposedly requires tweezers to take off, though with some effort it could be removed via alternative methods. Thoughtfully, mobiles2go includes spare rubber plugs in the package.

The i-Kids has few buttons, attempting quite appropriately to be as simple and easy to use as possible. Rather than a number-pad, it has 4 parent-programmable buttons. It has screen-lock and volume control buttons, and, strangely, an earphone jack. Navigating the menu is an uncomfortable experience with one hand due to the positioning of the buttons, and changing settings is made doubly hard with the tiny size and miniature, two-line LCD screen. The i-Kids' design is suitable for its purpose, however, and once configured, shouldn't cause any grief.

Features
The i-Kids is hardly an ordinary phone due to its unique child-tracking service. Configured via the Internet, the i-Kids will for eight hours of the day record the location of your child at ten minute intervals. The places your child has visited are displayed on a map once you log in to mobile2go's Web site using your browser. Additionally, you are able to set three safety zones. If the i-Kids is detected to be outside the safety zone, a message will be sent to your phone indicating this -- though only three alerts can be sent in one month without cost. Safety zones can only be in circles, and the radius cannot be less than 250m. It took a bit of effort to find the right street using the search function to locate our CNET offices.

You can also locate your child on command via SMS or the Web. As well, the i-Kids can receive but not send SMS messages. The i-Kids service quite a pricey deal -- after paying $229 for the handset and $36 for activation, the monthly fee is $28 and includes 30 minutes talk time, 10 traces and 3 changes of settings. Once you set these up it costs money to trace your child, change settings and be alerted via SMS of their leaving the safety zone.

One of the features of the i-Kids is that it only has 7 buttons on the front. 4 of them, when pressed, will call the numbers that parent sets on the Web site. This is to stop the child calling whomever they want to. A fifth button is for emergency situations, and when pressed it will cycle through the programmed numbers and if neither one answers it will put the child through to a helpdesk.

It's reasonable that the i-Kids is so barebones to keep down on size and safety issues, but for a device so limited the cost is a bit prohibitive. Speaking of costs, the billing information site that users are sent to from the included manual wasn't operational at the time of review, which was post release, so we were unable to see how the costs would be adding up or looking at billing details in real-time. It would be worryingly hard for an average parent purchasing this in the shops to set up and understand the system, seeing the trouble we at CNET experienced. The missing billing component, talked about as operational in the i-Kids box, is fabled to be "coming soon" on the Web site.

Performance
The GPS had a lot of trouble locating the device in our office and in the more built-up areas of Sydney, which was disappointing for something hailed as a safety measure. The battery life was not an issue, though it's much less than you would expect, presumably due to the inclusion of the GPS. A handy feature is that parents are alerted by SMS when the battery is low.

Unfortunately, when we pressed the emergency button, it went through one number successfully, but when the second one's voicemail system came through, it just kept looping and looping and never went through to the help desk. Obviously the system can't handle certain voicemail types -- which is potentially a serious flaw for a child in distress.

On the other hand, we never had a problem dialing the i-Kids or dialing from it, it functioned just a mobile phone should in that regard. The setting of the safety zones is done with Java in the browser, and is slow and clunky to use -- a faster desktop option would have been appreciated. The WAP interface for phone users was awkward and limited, though we had no troubles with the SMS traces.

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PilleP posted a comment   

Where I can find manual in English? In which site I can track my child phone? I live in Estonia and use EMT mobile company.

 

Disapointed Parent posted a comment   

This is a great idea, however it seems as though there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make it more reliable & easier to use in an emergency.

<a href=http://www.set-phones.net/Vertu-Signature.html>vertu signature</a>
6
Rating
 

vertu signature posted a review   

The Good:Very light.
Very easy to use.
Small stylish design.
Finger-friendly keypad.

The Bad:Smudgy screen surface.

Simply designed for children. I buy for my little brother. Its cheap and efficient.

rusty1300
2
Rating
 

rusty1300 posted a review   

The Good:When working it shows an accurate location , and maps very clear. The idea of allowing you to update phone numbers over the web is great, it allows your kids easy contact with you.
The concept is great, It just fail when you need it for what you bought it for.

The Bad:Web site is hopeless, Regularly can't log in, will change registration without warning. Setting up the phone is difficult (I'm an IT web manager and I find it hard). Very short battery life. Can't contact Mobiles2Go except in office hours (EST). No good in emergency.

I HAD this service to protect my children. My child went missing one day, with phone attached, only to find I had to re-register online, then the system would not accept my registration. As the phone had gone flat due to it's very short battery life, I needed the GPS to find her last known location. I WARN PARENTS... DO NOT TRUST THIS SYSTEM. I have just today tried to log into the australian i-kids web page only to get it in german (I think)
PS I found my child with out the help of i-Kids. The system has great potential, but when it comes to childrens saftey ( as advertised) the unit is F*#king useless.

javapierce
3
Rating
 

javapierce posted a review   

The Good:Read my comments.

The Bad:Read my comments before considering this as a purchase.

Their recent upgrade required re-registration. Checking my child's phone I noticed the home number to be a strangers telephone no. in another Australian state and another phone number set to a complete stranger named "Peter". I called to report this and was put on hold for ages. Then I tried to login to reset everything and encountered problems. A day later I started to receive SMS's stating the phone was outside the safety zone when it was sitting on the desk in front of me. In fact I received 16 such messages! I am so unimpressed with Mobiles2Go, the product and their services. When it is sold as a safety device for children the simple expectation is that it works, the service is prompt, impeccable, thorough. -10 is my rating.

JMIT
7
Rating
 

JMIT posted a review   

The Good:Simple to use and very good GPS tracking in the ACT region.

The Bad:Difficult to find replacement recharges - in fact I have not found a shop which supplies them, even recommended resellers. A smaller unit which can be worn like a wrist watch would be great and more likely to stay with the owner as they move around.

I have bought an I-Kids phone for my elderly mother who suffers from dementia. This worked very well initially as I could track her as she went to the shops, the bank, then bank again, the shops again and so on. Unfortunately the phone will not work unless charged and elderly dementia sufferers do not necessarily remember to both charge up the phone or take it with them when they wander.

Laurel Papworth
9
Rating
 

Laurel Papworth posted a review   

The Good:A great first phone for children to learn responsible dialling. A serious means of communication if a parent is late collecting the child from school. Will SMS when child moves through zones for example, on a school bus returning from a school camp - time to pick 'em up! Peace of mind. Not a game playing, music playing toy to be passed around - therefore stays in the child's possession and doesn't show up at a friends house!

The Bad:If the GPS DOES fail it's usually a satellite issue. However, if the phone is taken into a big building and the satellite loses it, the site still shows the LAST time it registered... usually at the door of the building!

Thank you for the comprehensive testing! Yes, there was a billing problem I think in July last year - but it's been fixed and up and running perfectly for months and months and months now! *touches wood* :) A great Australian location based service product now implemented in 9 countries about to sign up more!

samau1964
8
Rating
 

"Has been a godsend for me!"

samau1964 posted a review   

The Good:Emergecy button for those situation and knowing when my son has left the safety zone. I also love the battery low message so I can recharge it.

The Bad:Took me a little while to program everything, but once it was done it is easy.

my husband and I have used this when our son caught the wrong bus. He was able to call us, we were able to fid him easily and pick him up straight away.




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User Reviews / Comments  mobiles2go i-Kids

  • PilleP

    PilleP

    "Where I can find manual in English? In which site I can track my child phone? I live in Estonia and use EMT mobile company."

  • Disapointed Parent

    Disapointed Parent

    "This is a great idea, however it seems as though there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make it more reliable & easier to use in an emergency."

  • <a href=http://www.set-phones.net/Vertu-Signature.html>vertu signature</a>

    vertu signature

    Rating6

    "Simply designed for children. I buy for my little brother. Its cheap and efficient."

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