With the goal of bringing connectivity to kids and peace of mind to parents, Sprint just announced the WeGo phone for kids. It’s available in most Sprint stores nationwide for $0 down and 24 monthly installment payments of $5. You can also buy it outright for $120.
The phone is what most of us would consider a “dump phone” – being that it has no data or Internet capabilities. That’s all good and well for its target user, though. Sprint has a rate plan just for the WeGo, which will set parents back a modest $9.99 a month, and comes with 1,000 minutes and 1,000 text messages.
In addition, the WeGo is GPS enabled, so parents can login and find their child’s current location. There are three GPS services: On-demand location, which will find their location at that moment; scheduled find, which will perform “automatic safety checks” to make sure the child is where they’re supposed to be; and follow session, which updates the location every two minutes for up to one hour. This service is included as part of the package at no extra charge.
There are also several other child-specific features. From Sprint’s press release:
- Speed Alert: Notifies parent if the Sprint WeGo is in a vehicle that exceeds the set speed. This can serve as an Abduction Alert – if child is in a speeding car and shouldn’t be in a car for instance.
- Wake Alert: Phone can detect movement and notify parent when the child is not up by a certain set time. For instance, parent can set date and time to be notified when the device needs to provide accelerometer feedback. (e.g. child needs to be moving by 7:30 a.m. If the phone does not move, the account owner is notified via an SMS).
- School Hour Silence: Silences the phone during school, church or specified hours.
- Panic Alarm: Child pulls tether string on phone and a loud buzzer emits to alert that help is needed. An SMS notification is sent to the parent with the child’s location. The parent can call the Sprint WeGo and check on the child.
- 9-1-1 quick dial: Press OK button quickly two times from the home screen.
- Durability: Shatterproof from a drop distance of 12 feet; water resistant.
- Personalization: Child can change ringtones, backgrounds and cases.
All things considered, I’d say this is a great idea and a great service. Definitely something worth looking into for your younger ones when they’re right between the age of “no, you don’t need a phone yet” and “I want an iPhone!”
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