Hands On with the Coolpad Dyno 2 Smartwatch for Kids
Coolpad has a new version of its Dyno smartwatch for kids, and it's better in every way. The Dyno 2 is a "kids" smartwatch that slightly older kids might not be embarrassed to wear, thanks to new color and interface options. And they've upgraded the display, processor, and charging connector. It also has dramatically better LTE network support. A new feature called Quests lets parents game-ify chores. Like the original Dyno, it has an SOS button, full parental control, location tracking, voice calling, and text messaging. Coolpad it currently planning to ship it April for $190. Read on for more details and hands-on impressions.
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The most obvious upgrade is a higher-quality, all-black body. You can still use it with a colorful strap for something fun for your little one. But when your kid gets older, now you can pair it with a black strap for something that absolutely looks like a grown-up smartwatch. Smart.
Coolpad has also added a second interface option that doesn't use cartoon dinosaurs, again so your kids won't be embarrassed to wear it as they get older. It's still quite colorful, just not as cartoon-like.
The front has an upgraded, fully-circular display, instead of the "flat tire" display on the Dyno One.
Around back, you'll find pogo pins that connect to an included charging cradle. That makes it easier to charge every day compared to the finicky microUSB connector on the Dyno One.
Inside, Coolpad has upgraded from a Qualcomm 2100 chipset to the 2500 series. They've also upgraded the 4G LTE radio quite a bit for better network support and performance. Whereas the Dyno One only supported LTE bands 2 and 4 (the very bare minimum), the Dyno 2 supports LTE 2/4/5/12/25/26/41/66/71. That should translate to dramatically better coverage and service on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint.
Behind the scenes, Coolpad has switched the back-end platform from SmartCom to Smith Micro. Smith Micro also powers the back end for the company's tracker device, so Coolpad's ecosystem is a bit more cohesive now.
Trying the Dyno 2 in person, I liked it. The silicone straps are very comfortable. I have tiny, child-like wrists, so I think I'm an okay judge for how it will feel on your kid. It feels nice. The watch body feels 1000x more high-quality compared to the Dyno One. It's comfortable and ergonomic. The buttons work well. The screen is brighter, sharper, and more colorful than you might expect in this category.
The Dyno One was a promising concept, but the Dyno 2 is a far more mature, well-thought-out product. It's definitely worth a look if you're the parent of a child that's not quite ready for a phone, but you still want the safety and peace of mind that modern technology can offer.
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