Monqi Kids Smartphone Review – Tech Advisor
Offering your kid their initial mobile cellular phone is something of a rite of passage these days. Usually this might be when they start out travelling to university by on their own, or exploring the original techniques of independence, none of which is uncomplicated on the hearts of mom and dad.
You might consider obtaining a finances cellular phone as there are a lot of selections, but there is a specially developed smartphone that’s deserving of interest.
Monqi aims to relieve kids into the world of smartphones with a new unit that shields them from the nasty facet of the net, all when supplying mum and father a significant diploma of command about their pursuits. It is low cost, but is it cheerful? We consider a glimpse at the Monqi Kids Smartphone.
For a broader preference of selections you could also verify out our Ideal Kid’s phones 2017 guidebook.
At the minute, you can acquire the Monqi (pronounced ‘monkey’) cellular phone at the Carphone Warehouse for £149 SIM-totally free.
If you choose a month-to-month tariff then you can choose for 500MB of details, 300 minutes, and 5000 texts, for £12.ninety nine per month. Upping that to 1GB of details per month will enhance the selling price to £14.ninety nine, and there are a variety of other selections readily available on the web page.
The cellular phone by itself will come in possibly black or white, with 8GB of storage, while this can be expanded up to 32GB by way of its MicroSD slot.
Style and Make
As this is a cellular phone aimed squarely at young children you might hope a modest screen to match the diminutive fingers that will be running it each individual day. This notion is dispelled as soon as you clear away the unit from the box, as it has a nice5in screen and a fair amount of heft in the entire body.
Dimensions-wise it’s type of like a portly Samsung S6, measuring a hundred forty five x seventy two.seven x 8.8mm, and weighing in a very little heavier at 165g. At initial we were being fearful that this would guide to it getting a drop hazard, but sensibly Monqi includes a crystal clear, soft plastic case in the box.
This absolutely aids grip and gives a minimum a little bit of protection for any unanticipated visits to the ground. One fast upside of the case is that young children can set issues inside of it to adorn the cellular phone without having owning to basically stick issues to the entire body.
Less than the Monqi branding is an STK 5e smartphone, which is a uncommon beast these days as it attributes a detachable battery. Snapping off the plastic again also reveals dual-SIM slots, alongside the microSD port which you will want to fill with a card on day one as the 8GB of on-board storage is woefully inadequate in 2017.
The most important camera is a 13Mp unit that returns usable, if not magnificent, final results. And the 5Mp selfie unit falls into the identical province.
Bodily buttons involve ability and quantity controls on the facet, when a headphone jack and microUSB charging port occupy the prime of the unit.
It is a reliable cellular phone, and feels like it could endure the rigours that young children set their tech by means of day by day. A screen protector is equipped as regular, but immediately after just a 7 days of use is was previously exhibiting a number of large scratches and marks. We’d advocate stocking up on a number of additional to keep issues hunting pretty.
Even though the hardware is regular finances-degree fare, the software package is what genuinely makes the Monqi an intriguing unit. Android 6. undergirds the expertise, but Monqi has overlaid it with a bespoke interface boasting some extraordinary attributes.
The initial factor to know is that the bulk of configurations and attributes are not basically on the Monqi cellular phone by itself, but somewhat in the accompanying application that the guardian needs to put in on their Android or iOS unit.
When this is downloaded and ‘bonded’ (read through paired) with the Monqi it gives the guardian an admirable amount of command about their child’s cellular phone.
The Monqi will come with a number of apps previously set up, together with a calendar, calculator, browser, plus the typical contacts, text, cellular phone, and camera selections. These can be added to by way of the Monqi Jungle Retail outlet, which is residence to five hundred+ popular apps, all of which have had the promotion and in-application buys taken off.
Monqi manages this by charging a month-to-month rate to entry this curated listing. Presently it stands at all-around £5, and if you are severe about locking up any likely locations wherever unpleasantness may possibly get in, then it’s worth looking at.
The application retail store is a little bit puzzling, as a lot of of the academic/discovering apps and game titles come to feel aimed at pretty youthful kids. There are issues like Duolingo readily available, alongside a number of classic titles these as Lower the Rope, so it’s not just for the very little types.
There are all-around 100 totally free apps, together with Spotify, WhatsApp, and many others, so you can open up up the selections to your youthful cost without having investing in the month-to-month rate.
If this all feels also restrictive, then you can permit the Google Enjoy Retail outlet application, but your kid will need to have a Google account and of course there is a lot they can uncover on there that wouldn’t be entirely appropriate for kids.
See also: How to keep young children harmless on the net.
Luckily any application they want to put in has to be permitted by the guardian, who gets a notification when the kid goes to obtain it. Monqi also makes it pretty uncomplicated to set day-to-day or weekly time boundaries for each individual unique application.
These can be prolonged on the fly also, so you can grant the kids an further half an hour on YouTube if they do something deserving of reward.
The guardian application shows all interactions the kid has on the Monqi, together with text messages, calls, and time spent in apps.
Be mindful that if you do make a decision to permit the Google Enjoy Retail outlet, then this monitoring will not be readily available for the content material of any third party apps that are set up, just the time spent working with them.
The Scheduling function signifies that you can determine when the cellular phone is ready to join to the net or open up apps, so bedtime or homework time can be totally free of distraction. This gives a number of profiles, so you can have one for weekdays and a different for the weekend if you choose.
Contacts simply cannot be added by the kid at all. Instead they’ll need to have to talk to you to input them to the guardian application, then they’ll seem on the Monqi. We presume this is to reduce them from talking to people with questionable motives, but we come to feel it would be superior carried out if it went down the approval route instead, as getting into twenty numbers of classmates gets old pretty quickly.
Monitoring is a different important function, with the GPS place of the Monqi obtainable on the guardian application at all situations. Nicely, we say that, but if the cellular phone operates out of details and is not in close proximity to a Wi-Fi link then all you will see is the very last site it was detected.
Mother and father can set up geo-fencing locations also, which mail notifications when the kid leaves or enters specified locations. This can substitute the classic trope of ‘text me when you get there’, which is fantastic for the reason that in our expertise most young children ignore to do so in any case.
There’s also a nuclear possibility readily available, wherever at the toggle of a switch the guardian can lock the cellular phone remotely. It is effectively considered out though, as the kid can nonetheless call or concept the guardian to plead their case.
In standard use, we discovered all of the attributes above to get the job done effectively and with a first rate amount of regularity. This only broke down when the details on the pay back-as-you-go SIM ran out and we were being no more time ready to keep track of the site of our junior reviewer. We’d like to see some way to know how substantially of the details allowance is remaining on the unit, so as to keep away from this type of difficulty.
Legitimate, you can set details utilization boundaries, so it’s possible that would be the closest way to make certain that the link does not die if the youthful one in concern decides to check out YouTube on the bus.
We did have one instance wherever the child’s account disappeared entirely, which was accompanied by the chilling concept ‘You are no more time in command of Holly’. As if we ever genuinely were being.
It is not crystal clear what caused this difficulty, and we were being ready to reconnect with the account at the time we were being together again, but it was an unpleasant expertise and needed the re-entry of the dreaded contacts.
Battery daily life was also an challenge, with the unit getting dead by 5pm if it wasn’t turned off when getting placed in the cellular phone box at university. Sure, it need to be turned off, but again the know-how needs to foresee the disorganised character of young children somewhat than count on them having this type of stuff right.
It should be claimed that the general performance of the Monqi left a little bit to be sought after. Sluggish responses dogged the unit, and when the interface is clean up, it does confuse at situations.
For instance, in the Display screen segment there is an possibility to alter the wallpaper, but if does not basically do anything. Instead the kid needs to go into their profile and alter it there. So why involve it at all?
A deficiency of a notifications screen also feels a curious omission, particularly if your kid has previously developed accustomed to working with a tablet.
Then of course there is the matter of the kid realizing that you are primarily spying on their every single move. For more youthful kids this might feel a very little odd, but it does present a fantastic chance for them and their mom and dad to explore the likely risks of the net, getting reachable by people without having their mom and dad realizing, and balancing the time spent on a unit each individual day.
For older young children, those people in their early teenagers, this could all be noticed as pretty major handed, and even intrusive. As normally with young children, sitting down down and talking about the causes behind the motives of working with units like this is the most effective course of motion. In the finish, it need to be about protection, somewhat than command.