Wearable Device Review: Phoenix Watch
A child becomes lost. A grandparent with dementia wanders far from home. A senior living alone has a fall. The fitness and medical alert marketplace offers a variety of different “family locator” apps and devices to protect vulnerable people in situations like these. But the Phoenix Watch Phone from iGPS combines an SOS button, two-way voice calling and GPS tracking, plus multiple other connectivity and safety features, into a single, stylish watch that provides peace of mind for parents, guardians and caregivers.
Digital Technologies Keep Watch Over Loved Ones
Innovative new technologies are making it easier than ever to keep tabs on children and vulnerable adults, while giving them the freedom to explore and enjoy the world. With GPS tracking and instant alerts, older children and teens can enjoy time alone or with friends while parents always know where they are.
Seniors and those with disabilities can live independently, thanks to medical alerts that summon help instantly in case of a crisis. And people with Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of cognitive impairments can enjoy greater freedom of movement with devices that map out carefully defined safe zones and deliver reminders for things like eating breakfast or brushing teeth.
The iGPS Phoenix Watch connects to a support app that delivers immediate information about where the wearer is and whether they’re going where they’re supposed to go, along with multiple help functions, calling features and programmed reminders for things like medications, exercise and appointments.
How Does the Phoenix Watch Work?
The Phoenix Watch for adults comes in five different color schemes for both the wristband and the device face, which also offers customizable display modes in large, easy-to-read fonts. It has an array of customizable features that allow users to:
- Contact and connect from anywhere, at any time. The Phoenix watch includes two-way calling and both voice and text messaging functions. Parents and guardians can also set up emergency and approved caller lists.
- Locate loved ones through multiple tracking features. The Phoenix watch includes live GPS tracking with the Phoenix app, “take me home” mapping that can help someone find their way home from an unfamiliar place, and an option for setting up safe and danger zones, with alerts whenever someone strays from the designated areas. The Phoenix watch can also pinpoint someone’s last known location.
- Monitor a wearer’s health and fitness with an activity tracker and step counter. The Phoenix watch can also set a number of schedules and reminders for activities such as getting up, eating a meal, or taking medications. It also includes a history playback feature to help track a wearer’s behaviors over time.
- Protect wearers from dangers such as getting lost or falling. The Phoenix watch includes a one-touch SOS button and emergency contact auto-dialing for help in case of emergency, plus a “Find Me” Navigator to help locate a lost loved one.
The Phoenix Watch also comes in a special version just for children, called the Wizard Watch. The Wizard Watch has all the features of the adult version, in kid-friendly bright colors and with rockets and stars on the face.
Optional add-ons include the tamper-proof Band Smartlock, which makes sure that the wearer can’t remove the watch, a multi-pack of screen savers, and an extra charging cable.
The Phoenix watch syncs with a companion app for both iOS and Android systems and requires a monthly cell plan. The app can be downloaded from the iGPS site upon purchase of any Phoenix watch, and it can be completely customized for each user. The Phoenix app can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet or desktop to give parents and caregivers updated information at any time, from anywhere.
How Much Does the Phoenix Watch Cost?
The basic Phoenix Watch currently costs $129.95USD for any color and display scheme. Additional costs include an activation fee of $15USD, plus a recurring charge of $14.95 for the cellular service plan, which includes access to the tracking and communication features of the app. The Wizard Watch sells for $119.95, plus activation and service plan.
The Phoenix Watch isn’t the only entry into the fast growing “family locator/GPS tracker” market. Other alternatives for both children and adults include:
hereO, which claims to be the world’s smallest cellular connected GPS tracker. hereO is aimed at children ages 3 and up, but this product can work for any family member. The accompanying app allows users to track a wearer’s whereabouts and provides directions for getting to their location, plus a number of other features such as text messaging, two way phoning and GeoFencing for establishing safe and danger zones. The device plus app and service plan costs around $199.
Acer LeapWare, a full-featured fitness tracker/smartwatch that includes both activity tracking functions and an advanced GPS locator. It retails for $199 and comes with access to the LiquidLife app for managing its functions and setting GPS preferences. The Acer LeapWare doesn’t include calling and messaging features.
The Laxcido 4G GPS Smartwatch, designed for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. This smartwatch retails for $145.99 and provides GPS tracking, GeoFence zones, video calling and an SOS button, along with tracking health metrics including heart rate, blood pressure and steps taken. Laxcido offers lifetime free service for the Android and iOS app.
What People Are Saying About the Phoenix Watch
Reviews for both the standard Phoenix Watch and the Wizard Watch are mixed. Users like the easy-to-use interface and the abundance of features for communicating as well as tracking locations. But consumers also complain that the cell service plan that goes with the watch has limited coverage and the GPS functions don’t always work consistently. The iGPS company is also the target of numerous complaints about poor customer service and difficulty getting watches repaired or replaced.
Family locators can help parents, caregivers and at-risk family members stay in touch. The iGPS Phoenix Watch has plenty of features for keeping people of all ages as safe and independent as possible, but users might face a rocky road with getting customer assistance and repairs.