Vodafone V-Kids Watch (Ireland) Review

I have 8 year old twins. They get lost…

By lost I mean they are nearby, but they are hiding from us – like silent Ninjas. They are up a tree, sitting in a car reading a book, pondering unicorns under a bed somewhere, in the shed building a rocket. By lost I also mean walking out of school so slowly that even Sloths look at them and say to themselves “Wow, those kids are SLOOOOOW – I wonder if their parents know where they are while they amble out of school”

I need to send my kids a message, but I have absolutely no interest in a phone for a set of 8 year old. Step up a kids smartwatch.

We have looked for months at various different devices available on the market. The SpaceTalk watch is excellent, but lacks any real water protection. The Xplora 3S is a 2G network only device so will need a more expensive plan in Ireland, and will have not-great GPS tracking ability. We therefore settled on the Vodafone Ireland V-Kids Watch, which is a TCLMove watch with Vodafone Branding. (Note I see on their site a 4G new version coming soon).

All in all these watches are impressive and “fit the requirement” for a 8 – 10 year old kid. The TCL Move app allows the parent to send emoji messages, see the childs location, set safe zones, set school hours, limit contacts. The parent and the child can send 30 second recordings to one another over the 3G network. The child has an SOS button they can press and hold so send an emergency message to all the adults in the family. Its all quite impressive.

But there is always an issue, and for me that issue is this….

I am a techie and I like to think I know my stuff. But this setup almost killed me. Lets put it this way….. I now know the main tech in the “V” data team by name now 🙂 Here is the reason why….

The Vodafone shop staff have not been well enough trained on the product and its setup. Its actually quite simple when you figure it out, but I was unlucky at a few steps. Some hints for you all below:

  1. The V-Sim app system is completely separate registration to the TCLMove app registration. i.e you have one app for the SIM card management and one app for the Watch registration.
  2. If you have a “business” account with Vodafone, like I do, the master phone which you setup the sim card plan on will not work. But worse, it will completely crap out and you will have to go get another V-sim from Vodafone.
  3. If you have a business account, you will need a Ready to Go sim from Vodafone shop that you will top up to pay for the €2.99 subscription on. However! don’t let the shop make the same mistake as they did for me (training on the product) and setup that Pay as you go as a call and data plan. You only need a Pay as you go Call sim which means that the credit you put on it is ONLY for the 2.99 a month.
  4. You can still, with a business mobile, have the Pay as you go number registered on your business phone. But you will need a security code that is sent to the sim card for the PAYG account once
  5. If you are super unlucky like me, you could end up with a watch that for some reason shows as already registered to another account. (This happened unbelievably) and if that is the case Vodafone can take 5 days to undo that mess, so we went back and got another watch that was not unpacked before.

Its worth noting that this week they reduced the price from 130 to 100 Euro, I can only assume because a new model is on the way. Ciara O’Brien wrote a review for the Irish Times a while back and gave this a 4 out of 5. I would agree, but those lads in Vodafone need to seriously improve the onboarding experience for the parents 🙂

  7 Replies to “Vodafone V-Kids Watch (Ireland) Review”

  1. RM
    September 8, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Where did you see details of a new V-kids watch model as I have looked and cannot find any details.

    • Nick
      September 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      I found it here from memory:

      To be honest, if Sky Ireland can get there hands on the Spacetalk watch, I think its a better offer. The only issue with that device is that the monthly rental will not be 2.99 Euro a month, but nearer 20 Euro a month from what I can make out.

  2. Nick
    October 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Anyone reading this may want to read the review I just did on the Spacetalk watch.

    • Suzanne
      August 8, 2020 at 7:10 am

      Spacetalk watch unfortunately isn’t available in Ireland because you need Sky mobile to link up to it. Can I ask you, is there a watch like the Vodafone V where you can play games as well as keeping the tracking devices on it?

      • Nick
        August 8, 2020 at 8:58 am

        Gaming on watches is out really… But did you read my other blog post on the Spacetalk?

  3. John
    August 5, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Hi, i see that (as at 5th aug) amazon.co.uk have the xplora 4 for £156 where you get back a €120 amazon voucher if you buy the watch and use it/activate the Vodafone ‘smart s 250 mb’ tariff…… but that turns out to be a Vodafone germany tariff. I doubt the voucher would be given for Vodafone IE or UK tariff….
    Anyway, the Xplora4 looks an interesting improved option over the xplora Go and over the Spacetalk (user reviews show some issues with build and reliability issues) and V-kids. Does anyone have any experience of the Xplora 4?

  4. Natasha
    October 20, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Had same problem that the watch was set up on another account and still waiting till 5 days till sorted. Wasn’t impressed they blamed me setting up my account wrong … how do you setup a email and password wrong and put it under another account.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.