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VTech KidiCom MAX (Blue)


£80.00

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£82.49

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£87.99

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£87.99

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VTech KidiCom MAX (Pink)


£55.00

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£78.59

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£87.99

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A SIM-free smartphone for kids? Finally! The VTech Kidicom MAX is designed to stop parents from fretting over the ‘right time’ to let their little ones into the world of Snapchat and Instagram with a completely kid-friendly device that successfully finds the middle ground between freedom and safety.

 

Any Good?

Well, it depends on your expectations. Is this a smartphone-sized tablet, or a tablet-sized smartphone? No one knows, not even VTech! VTech have seemingly tried to create a product that spans the two, bridging the gap between entertainment and communication, but they haven’t quite got it right. Yet.

As a smartphone for kids, this thing is fantastic, and pretty much groundbreaking, enabling youngsters to send messages over WiFi and surf the web in a safe and secure way… Certainly more safe and secure than we had when we were first introduced to dial up! As a tablet, it does have its faults, and VTtech have sort of missed the mark a little, being beaten by competitors such as Leapfrog and Amazon Fire.

 

As a Tablet…

The 5-inch screen is really, really small for a tablet; you’re looking at 7-inches or more before you can really say ‘yeah, that’s alright’. The 8GB storage is decent, but 32GB, or even just 16GB, would have been more ‘tablet-like’. It doesn’t leave much room for downloaded apps, of which there are quite a few hanging out in the online library (storage is expandable, however, so it’s got that going for it). Camera is OK at 2mp, but sound quality is mostly tinny, which largely rules out watching videos or playing music.

Although Leapfrog are head and shoulders ahead in terms of overall tablety goodness, the VTech Kidicom MAX does take the crown in one area: the browser. Leapfrog use their own, highly restricted browser for their tablets, while the VTech Kidicom MAX uses an open web-browser with optional pre-approval settings. For older kids, an open web browser with pre-approval is essential, otherwise they’re pretty much going to hate you. Leapfrog wins on content, screen size, and graphics, though.

 

As a Smartphone…

This is where the Kidicom MAX really shines! It offers a totally SIM-free, safe space for kids to learn about messaging and web browsing, without having to ask Mum or Dad for help. Hallelujah! It’s a little bit of much-needed freedom for the ‘tweens’ of today (who seem to be getting younger and younger every year!). The VTech Kidicom MAX is pretty much the ideal solution for kids aged between 6-10 who want access to simple digital communication and technology, without all the risks associated with ‘online’. Connectivity is only WiFi; there’s no 3G or 4G option sadly, so freedom is limited to places with accessible WiFi. It all helps with keeping the kids safe though, so swings and roundabouts, really.

 

Final Thoughts

Although you can *technically* buy a basic smartphone for much less than the cost of the VTech Kidicom MAX, you’ll never get the same level of security, or peace of mind. For kids that are in that awkward inbetween stage – they’re using iPads in school and learning about online safety, but are still too young for a SIM phone – the Kidicom MAX bridges the gap nicely. It’s never going to be able to compete with dedicated kids tablets like the Leapfrog, but it does provide more freedom for slightly older children.

What’s in the Box

VTech KidiCom MAX
Design77%
Usability83%
Battery Life64%
Display72%
74%Overall Score
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