The Fitbit Ace LTE Solves a Real Problem for Busy Parents - Latest Global News

The Fitbit Ace LTE Solves a Real Problem for Busy Parents

As an adult, We’ve all gotten used to the gamification of fitness trackers – all the fun little incentives to increase your step count and get moving. It’s crazy to see a kid experience fitness gamification for the first time, especially since most kids already have too much energy.

The Ace LTE, Fitbit’s new smartwatch for kids, incentivizes children ages 7 to 14 to wear their combination fitness tracker, location sensor and communication device with a proprietary game studio called Fitbit Arcade. The child can unlock activity-based games with a certain number of steps, and the games are timed so they can only play for a few minutes at a time.

Plus, it has an eSIM with built-in LTE connectivity, so you and your child can text and call each other, and you can locate them on Google Maps. Tap to Pay via Google Wallet is also coming soon. This watch solves a lot of problems for me and my elementary school-aged children. However, I’m not sure Google’s beta testers adequately prepared their software developers for my two kids, who, when they see they need 1,500 more steps to unlock a game, will sprint around the house at top speed for 20 minutes until they get it.

Mild or hot sauce

The Ace LTE smartwatch comes in two color options: Spicy Pebble and Mild Pebble. Both have a stainless steel case with plastic buttons and a woven polyester strap with a plastic clasp. It measures about 41 x 45mm – so quite large, but nothing that my 7-year-old and 9-year-old sons would find cumbersome. My son only wants to take it off when he plays the violin. It’s a Fitbit, so it works with both Android and Apple phones.

Photo: Adrienne So

The watch is 5 ATM rated, meaning it can withstand the pressure of 50 meters of water. While it offers some protection, it is not dustproof. The screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with an OLED panel that is bright enough to be seen in natural daylight. It also comes with a protective plastic bumper. I asked my daughter if she wanted to take it off to make her watch look a little more grown-up, and she said no.

It may be a kids’ smartwatch, but it’s a Fitbit and it has the full suite of sensors – an accelerometer, optical heart rate sensor, magnetometer, ambient light sensor and gyroscope. Several people have asked me in disbelief if I believe it’s true that my son takes between 16,000 and 20,000 steps a day. All I can say is, you wouldn’t be asking me that question if you could see him on our trampoline.

At the end of a full day — from 6:30 a.m. to about 7:30 p.m. for my kids — the battery is down to about 13 or 20 percent, which is a little less than the 16-plus hours Google says it will last, but it’s enough for us. Every night I put it on the charger after they go to bed at 8 p.m., and by the time I go to bed around 10 p.m., it’s always fully charged.

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