Fitbit Minions Special Edition REVIEW
If your young kids are keener on gaming than keeping fit then this Minions-themed Fitbit might be just the ticket, writes PAT PILCHER.
Smartwatches and fitness trackers for kids really is a thing now. We’d previously reviewed the Spacetalk smartwatch for kids, and now Fitbit is getting into the game. They’ve launched a Minions special edition fitness tracker aimed squarely at kids, which Fitbit says is aimed at kids aged 6+.
It’s a cute bit of gear. As you’d expect, it’s Minions themed. This translates into it sporting a bright yellow body and strap, making it less dull looking than the black-on-black you normally get with Fitbit widgets.
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Suppose a fun design wasn’t enough to get kids motivated. In that case, the Minions edition also comes with a Minions themed watch face and badges. The badges are earned in the Fitbit app based on your kid’s activity levels. The clock face is a clever touch in that the wearer becomes the Minion’s “boss”. The on-screen Minion is also a super-expressive wee dude who runs, dances, skateboards, and swims to encourage the wearer to get moving and achieve their activity goals.
My long-suffering wife might call me a big kid, but the truth of the matter is that I’m not really the right demographic to review a device aimed at kids. Navigating this conundrum involved contacting Richard, a friend whose daughter, Eva, tested the SpaceTalk watch. We roped in his 7-year-old daughter, Sofia, to try out the Minions Fitbit Editon.
I was curious to see if the whole watch face and badges thing would be enough to keep her engaged. Would it be an idea that sounds great to marketing types but results in a “meh” reaction from kids?
Minions design aside, the Fitbit Minions Edition is essentially the Ace, which is Fitbit’s tracker designed to get kids off the sofa. From a hardware perspective, this translates into a monochrome screen and water-resistant design, which handily means that it’s swim proof. It’ll also typically run 8 days between charges.
So, how did it fare? From a design perspective, it did rather well. Sofia said that she found it very comfortable to wear during the day and night. Her dad, Richard, said that “continuously wearing it over a week did cause some discomfort but taking it off for the night solved that. She liked the colour scheme. Yellow is her current favourite colour”.
My initial concerns about its bulk proved unfounded, with Richard saying that although “She’s quite small and it was a bit bulky for her, she did use it quite a bit”. From a design perspective, Fitbit has ticked all the boxes that matter for their target market.
The other big question to my mind was this: would a fitness tracker aimed at kids be sufficiently compelling to change kids’ behaviour? According to Richard, there were no huge changes, “but she is very active anyway. She does enjoy seeing how many steps she has done during the day and will tell us all about it”. So, it’s fair to say that while Sofia’s activity levels didn’t change a lot, she was made more aware of them.
It was also simple to use. According to Richard, Sofia “loves the different minion characters and how they express their emotions, which ties to the activities of the day. Like the embossing on the strap with all the different minions”.
So, while Sofia was quite taken with the Minion Edition Fitbit, how about her parents? They say that Sofia is “very active so really did not need any motivation in that regard. She did enjoy the interactive nature of the characters. I’m not sure that it added any additional spur to her in regard to how active she was, but she frequently commented about the changes in the character display.”