Important Note: This watch only works on 2G GSM network. From 1 Apr 2017, all Singapore telcos will stop supporting 2G network as mandated by IMDA. Read here.
Are you concerned about your young children’s whereabouts while at work? How do you track them? Smartphones already provide this function. If you enable the Google Location History, the smartphone will store the location at intervals under your own Google account. There are also third party apps like Life360 that offers interactive features where you can join a group and everyone in the group can see one another’s location.
Tracking Your Children
When my daughter began schooling at Primary 1, I would put a data-SIM smartphone in her bag so that it tracks her whereabouts, and so that she could contact us (using IP voice apps like Hangouts and Facebook Messenger) if necessary. I made sure I lock most of the apps using an AppLock app, only enabling the essential features. To reward her, I would set a timer to unlock all the apps after a certain time.
The drawback of the smartphone is that it is not always with her, for instance, during play times or when visiting the washroom. And, I do not want to nurture the habit of over-relying on smartphones.
In several overseas countries, there are already selling SIM-enabled GPS watches (check out the here) to provide some restricted but essential communication. But these products are locked to service providers with monthly subscription, and no one seems to be bringing them, so I assume it does not work in Singapore.
In comparison, the China-brand products are not subscription-bound, which means I could just buy one and try it out without any commitment.
Choosing a GPS Tracker Watch For Children
I was extremely careful when buying such technological products. First, the watch must be SIM-unlocked to support Singapore mobile network. Second, the app which runs on the smartphone to track the watch must be user-friendly or else the device is practically useless. Finally, it must be cheap enough and low-risk to purchase.
Once again, GearBest meets all the requirements. It took me a long time after browsing Taobao, Aliexpress, and many other China shopping sites before I came to GearBest. It also took me a while to research for the most affordable GPS watch with the most number of features and a nice design.
Why do I choose UPro P5 among so many other brands?
1. Overall Design
The UPro 5 is a rather normal kiddy-looking, albeit oversized, watch. The watch strap is removable and you can wear as a pendant.
The rear cover of the watch is plastic which is less harmful to the child’s skin.
2. User-friendly App
I’ve tested the official UPro P5 app before I purchase. The app looks intuitive and English-friendly. (Android app and help guide in English – download link hosted by Google Drive)
The app requires you to create an account. Once done, you register the GPS watch with the serial number. From there on, you can configure the watch settings.
Features and Functions
Here are my comments of the UPro P5 after weeks of using:
- Emergency Contact: Upon configuring the emergency contact, the watch wearer can call with the press of a button. If I miss the call, the app will remind me of a missed event.
- Remote Call Number: When a number is configured as remote call number, this number can call to the watch and auto answer without ringing so that you can hear the environment. The issue is that this number cannot be the same as the emergency contact. So I workaround by configuring the remote call number as my office number.
- Voice Quality: To be honest, I could barely hear the caller over the watch, so this watch is not going to work in noisy environment. The call volume from the caller is also not very loud and clear, but it is good enough for emergency situations – definitely not for proper voice conversations. So, when dialing in remotely, you could hear noises, but it would be a challenge to figure out the conversations in the environment, unless the speaker talks directly onto the phone.
- GPS Tracking: the watch records the position once every hour, but you can trigger a more regular update on-demand. GPS is not very accurate, but fortunately it supports Google Maps and reflects the approximate address location. It is not an issue, as I only want to know whether my daughter is at the right place, e.g. around school, around home. The watch will not be able to let me track her in, say, a shopping mall.
- Historical data: The app lets you retrieve GPS tracking history since I started using the watch.
- Battery lasts 2-3 days. The app will notify you when battery level is low so that you can take the watch from your child to charge it. Charging takes less than an hour.
- It does not work with StarHub Prepaid SIM. I am not sure if other operators’ prepaid SIM works, and I was unable to seek any technical assistance because the watch is not an iDA-approved device. Even if they want to help, the watch does not have any settings menu to change.
- Uses very little data traffic. The watch uses so little data traffic, between 70KB and 300KB daily. That was why I thought of just buying a prepaid SIM. The watch only works on 2G network, and since Singapore will stop 2G network in April 2017, I highly advise against buying this watch for use in Singapore.
I purchased the UPro P5 with an open mind, knowing well that there will be functions that will not work perfectly. For a product less than S$50, I feel it has delivered great value and offers ease of mind at times when I needed to find out where she is while I was at work.
I have uploaded the Android APK and help guide. The link below will bring you to the Google Drive folder and you can download the files.
I am unable to offer any product support other than sharing my user experience as described in this blog. If you have other technical issues, like network connectivity problem, hardware problem, app login problem, please contact the seller where you bought from. For my case, I bought from GearBest so they will offer after-sales support.
Just like many China products, they are not designed specifically to be consumed outside China, so there will always be a risk when you buy them. But we still buy them because of the attractive price. Appreciate your patience and understanding when doing online shopping.
2G Network Ceases on 1 April 2017 in Singapore
This watch will not work from 1 April 2017 in Singapore. I would discourage consumers living in Singapore to purchase this watch.