watch for 9yo - aluminum or stainless, and pair with phone with no service?

mikepro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2010
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So, thinking of getting my kid an Apple watch, but have a few questions, hopefully someone can chime in with some experience.

First, anyone get their kid a watch, and how much do they use it, what for? She's pretty tech saavy, but I expect her main use will be limited to changing watch faces, showing pics of the cat, etc. Way underutilize the potential of it. But, she's a good kid, and really wants a watch, so thinking this might be a fun "toy"

Other question is how useful/usable for a kid will it be to pair this with an iphone that doesn't have service? She currently uses my old 6s on wifi. Assuming it's possible to pair and configure with a phone with no actual service? My research seemed to say yes.

Was planning on the series 2 aluminum for the price. But... seeing as how BestBuy has the stainless for $400, thinking the sapphire crystal might be a good idea. Lots of reports of much improved performance of S4 vs S2. Maybe good idea if watch is to last a few years? Also, SS has LTE, which maybe in a couple of years once she gets an active phone will be handy. Plus, it comes in gold, which is her preferred color. Double price, which I can easily afford, but don't want to waste money if it's going to get minimal usage and aluminum is kid friendly enough. (For the 200 saved, could buy another if it breaks or in a year or 2 when series 4 is that price)


Any yes... I do recognize that this idea is rather privileged/boujee, so please be kind. If a good kid really wants a watch, just seems like the apple watch would be much more fun than a Timex...
 

mikepro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2010
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Why on Earth would you buy a 9 year old child a SS Apple Watch?
And, there it is, criticism of someone's choices and you made first post, well done!!!

Maybe for the reasons stated in the thread if you cared to read, such as increased durability for a kid and LTE as an option for their first cell in a couple years.

If you have any actual helpful responses to my questions, please carry not. If not, well, I'll just watch the show I guess. #start_the_popcorn
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,560
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Upstate NY
Being a parent, I would rather get the aluminum and buy one of those covers for it. Also bear in mind that stainless steel weighs more and the difference will be noticeable to a 9 year old.

As for pairing it with a phone with no service? No idea.
 

StumpyBloke

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2012
1,598
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England
And, there it is, criticism of someone's choices and you made first post, well done!!!
I knew it would happen, just didn’t think it would be so soon. Still, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised...this place is full of it!

Personally I would go for a series 3 aluminium. Dirt cheap and pretty resilient. And, maybe upgrade her to an LTE model in a couple of years if she’s used this one. Just wonder if it’s a novelty. And what a lot of money to spend on a S4 SS LTE if it is?
 
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Beachmusic18

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Oct 28, 2018
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Brien

macrumors 68030
Aug 11, 2008
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As a SS fan... I would still say aluminum + AppleCare. Sapphire is scratch-proof but not kid-proof.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I weigh in on this by agreeing with the aluminum sports watch, which is less expensive from the get-go, is also lighter in weight, as mentioned by others here, as well as being less of a heartbreaker if it gets lost or irreparably damaged somehow. With active, busy children that is likely to happen. A good point was made, too, about which straps might actually fit in the first place. These watches weren't intended or designed for children. Aside from that, right, a nine-year-old doesn't need LTE capability now, especially if the phone to which the watch is paired isn't set up with cellular data anyway. Don't see much point in that, and I'm not sure that someone can even pair a watch with an iPhone which isn't using cellular access.
 

iCorz87

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2019
19
6
Sydney,Australia
I would say as a start go with aluminium and see how she goes with that and if in the future you want to update/upgrade then go for it. I like that you have asked advice for something like this to people you probably don't know but at the end of the day its your call how your kids are treated. If someone wants to have the opinion that a 9 year old shouldn't have an Apple Watch then they don't have to buy one for their kid. I'm sure when they were 9 they wanted the coolest thing out and didn't fuss when their parents bought it for them. Thats my 2 cents anyway
 

mikepro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2010
420
15
I would think even the smallest Apple Watch would be large on her kid-sized wrists wouldn’t it? Plus, the nightly charging would get old pretty fast. It seems a bit much for her age group, but Fitbit makes ones for that age range, which is both a fitness tracker and a watch. It might be a good place to start. https://www.macworld.com/article/3292996/fitbit-ace-review-an-awesome-activity-tracker-for-kids-but-a-bit-confusing.html
That's good advice, I'll check into that fitbit! You know, it didn't even occur to me about problems with the band size, which in retrospect should really be quite obvious. Maybe sport loop or aftermarket would work, probably should take her to store and try on before we decide. (Of course, I've been avoiding that because... "Hey try on this cool watch you've been wanting. Nah, let's not get it after all" would suck.


Aluminum probably is the way to go if we do get the apple watch. In full disclosure... I think part of what was pushing me towards the SS at the $400 sale price was the possibility that the novelty might wear off for her, and then I would just start using it.
 

TheAppleFairy

macrumors 68030
Mar 28, 2013
2,527
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The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
And, there it is, criticism of someone's choices and you made first post, well done!!!

Maybe for the reasons stated in the thread if you cared to read, such as increased durability for a kid and LTE as an option for their first cell in a couple years.

If you have any actual helpful responses to my questions, please carry not. If not, well, I'll just watch the show I guess. #start_the_popcorn

I recently got the iPhone 11 pro max for myself. Giving my XS max to my 8 year old daughter. Maybe this post will get a like?
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
714
549
Pittsburgh, PA
Wrist size is definitely a consideration, but I'd bet a sport loop would work, those can get pretty small. That aside, I am wearing Aluminum GPS only and am perfectly content with it. While S3 is definitely attractive, there are some good deals on S4's out there to be had so don't overlook those either. Regarding an LTE watch, I'd think a phone would be a larger priority over an LTE watch but what do I know. I'm not a parent and my comment on LTE watch is not meant to be judgmental in the least bit.

As far as your question about pairing with a watch that has no cell service--I think as long as you have WiFi capabilities you can download the updates and such.

Whichever one you go with, I hope your daughter enjoys the watch!
 

Strangedream

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2019
399
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Singapore
I'm not sure there is any plan for the Apple Watch as a stand-alone yet, so you can only tether it to a phone that has cellular or hook it up to WiFi. If I were you I'd choose aluminum + LTE 40mm with the smallest band possible (S/M sport band or S modern buckle).
 

tamara6

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2004
142
25
If she is specifically asking for an Apple Watch then she might be disappointed in a Fitbit. If she is just asking for a watch, she might actually be thinking of a Timex like watch, or a watch with a pretty band that she saw at Walmart or something. I think you should try to find out exactly what she wants, so that she won't be bummed by what you get her. Even an Apple Watch might be a bummer if what she really wants is the pretty jewelry like sparkly gold thing she saw when she was out shopping.

If it is really an Apple Watch that she wants, I will point out that even the smallest Apple Watch is quite large. Mine is a 40mm and I was really surprised to see that it is essentially the same size as my husband's watch and much larger than my lady's Timex. There is no way I could have worn this when I was 9, it would have looked comical, and probably have been uncomfortable. Just a thought.
 

maka344

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2009
1,466
624
London, UK
And, there it is, criticism of someone's choices and you made first post, well done!!!

Maybe for the reasons stated in the thread if you cared to read, such as increased durability for a kid and LTE as an option for their first cell in a couple years.

If you have any actual helpful responses to my questions, please carry not. If not, well, I'll just watch the show I guess. #start_the_popcorn
A 9 year old with an Apple Watch will still beat it up whether it is more durable or not. Thus, save the cash and get the Alu with LTE.

I didn’t mean any offence and of course, it’s totally your choice.
 
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MilkCake

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2019
7
2
Michigan
I think my kids first device will be an Apple Watch with cellular. I think they will use it for reminders, the walkie-talkie, fun fitness challenges with the parents and calls/texts to a select few family and friends.

Just last week I had my son that is almost 9 try on my 40mm S4 with the s/m sport band, it fit but just barely on the first hole, I think for now I am going to get him a Timex or Fitbit(he need something for reminders) and in a year or so get him an Apple Watch.
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,621
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I'll argue that the S4 would be a better choice if she takes good care of her stuff. It'll have a longer useful life with software updates. I also think people are grossly underestimating a kids ability to tax a watch. I'd say a kid will find more uses and tax a watch or phone more than the average 40+ year old. Although those tasks would likely be much more frivolous in nature.

It's a matter of how well she takes care of her things. Not all children are rough on their possessions. There wouldn't be a market for mint condition vintage toys if kids destroyed everything.
 

noobinator

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
6,388
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Pasadena, CA
I bought a SS series 0 for my 6 year old for $20. He likes wearing it to look like Dad. I see nothing wrong with this at all. I paired it to my phone to active it then just always have mine paired to my phone so his will show the faces etc. but not actually do much. He loves it this way and feels like a cool guy.
 
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mikepro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2010
420
15
Thanks, and sorry if I came off a bit defensive. I was primed for this question going south in true Internet troll fashion, so assumed context that wasn't there.

Really appreciate all of the info/perspectives!

A 9 year old with an Apple Watch will still beat it up whether it is more durable or not. Thus, save the cash and get the Alu with LTE.

I didn’t mean any offence and of course, it’s totally your choice.