We had a really hard time when it came to deciding when was the right time for our daughter to have a phone. My husband and I kept going back and forth about the subject as he was in favor and me, not so much.
Why I gave in
I was really not in favor of her having a phone until she was going on a field trip with the school safety patrol. They were traveling to Washington DC for three days, at that point, it became a necessity as a safety issue and for peace of mind!
Expensive gadgets in kids’ hands
Let’s face it, these smartphones and smart devices are quite expensive and somehow delicate, they are not really made to withstand kids’ abuse and my daughter is a testament to that fact!
She has by now managed to kill three different phones and I don’t know what your position is, but I can’t really afford to replace her phone every 4-6 months.
That is just one of the issues that come along with a smartphone.
The financial aspect, while important, is not the only issue you will face when you give your kid a smartphone.
Smartphones these days are small computers in your hands with a great deal of information and ways to access things that kids should not have access to.
As a parent, that is one of my biggest concerns.
The problem is that as kids start having different activities away from the parental unit, safety and communication is very important. Many parents would rather deal with the internet than not have a way to communicate with their kids when they are away from them.
Trust me, I can relay to that! The fact is, there are not a lot of options when it comes to staying connected with your kids when they away from home.
A different solution
Republic Wireless has come out with a solution for parents of younger kids facing this dilemma and it is called Relay.
What is Relay?
Relay is a compact and easy to use phone for kids 12 and under and parents that need a way to stay connected with them.
Relay is a pocket-sized phone/ walkie-talkie with a single button at the top of the unit.
Kids can keep their Relay phone in their pocket or backpack and just press the button when they need to get in touch with their mom or dad, the same way you would do with a walkie-talkie.
Not just a walkie-talkie
While the use is very similar, Relay is way more than just a walkie-talkie.
Unlike a walkie-talkie, the Relay phone has a Nationwide range making it very convenient for both parents and kids.
Relay utilizes Republic Wireless for 4G LTE service, but none of the phones connected to it do not need to be used this way.
Have more than one kid? No problem, the phone is available in 5 different colors so you can give each kid a different color phone.
The phones are made from a durable and water-resistant material and feature a headphone jack on the side of the unit so your kid can have some privacy when having a conversation with you.
Peace of mind for parents
Relay offers a free app which is available for both Android and iOS which parents can use for calling all the Relays on their account.
It also gives the parents feedback on the status of each unit, allowing you to see if your kids are in an area with low cellular service, battery status, and best yet, it offers location services.
You get access to a map in the app which will show the last known location of the Relay phone you are trying to find, and you can use that to easily locate your kids when necessary.
A Good Holiday Gift Idea?
Absolutely…It is a great gift for your kids and one thing that you will really appreciate them having.
You can communicate two different ways:
Relay to phone: Your kids can press a button and speak a message. You will immediately receive that message on the Relay app to your phone.
Replying to the message is as easy.
From one Relay phone to another: Your child can easily contact a family member or friend with a Relay device once you have set up a channel to connect between.
The Channel Store
Extra features can be obtained through channels…The channels give you extra fun features and functions like the Echo, a fun voice changer that can transform anything you say into something funny.
There is also the chat which allows you to chat with a single person, you can also create new channels to talk to other Relays or small groups on the same account.
The instant chat creates a temporary chat with any Relay including those that are not part of your account….Just bump two Relays together and you are set to go!
The device also has an English to Spanish translator feature, say something in English and your Relay will repeat it back in Spanish.
More to love?
You can create a playlist from mp3s, and listen as it shuffles through your songs.
There are more channels to be added in the future to make this super handy phone even more fun.
- They will be on Target this week
- They launched on Amazon
- Also coming in a couple of days more than a dozen new languages in the translator. In addition to Spanish, Dutch, French, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Hindi, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese and Icelandic
- Open Chat – Until now, Relay has operated on a close family network, now with “Open Chat” families can extend their networks to connect and talk to approved friends and family who also have Relays.
Originally, a single Relay retailed for $99 for the device and $7 per month for the cellular service, a two-pack for $150 and a three-pack for $200, but as of November 15th are simplifying pricing to $49.99 / per Relay and removing their two-pack bundles. Making it even easier and more affordable!
Relay has kindly offered one lucky Born 2 Impress reader, the chance to win two phones with two months of free service!
To enter this giveaway, please use the Giveaway Tools form below: