New cellphone for 5 year olds?

Here we go again.  There’s another cellphone on the market, but this one is for your kindergartner.

The WeGo from Sprint is designed for kids ages 5-12, and is aimed at giving parents sophisticated tracking capabilities while letting kids master basic communications skills.

“Sprint offers parents a wide variety of options to help keep their kids safe – from Sprint Mobile Controls and Sprint Family Locator to Content Filtering to the new Sprint WeGo,” said David Owens, vice president of Product, Sprint. “Sprint WeGo is the perfect starter phone to give parents peace of mind while teaching kids responsibility – how to keep track of a device, charge it and care for it – at a low price. This device has all of the basics without anything younger children don’t need just yet.”

The device has a super-simple design.  Just one button on the front for making calls, and two buttons on the side for scrolling up or down through a list of people your child’s allowed to contact.  A portal available online and via mobile application allows parents to locate their child’s device on a map, control device features such as contacts, and set up notifications.

Some of the other features include:

  • 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.
  • Web Portal access: Provides parents comprehensive control to set contacts, phone settings, GPS tracking and specific alerts to be sent to the parent/guardian either by email or SMS notifications. A mobile application version of the Sprint WeGo Portal is available via free download for Android and iOS devices.
  • On-demand location: Parents can quickly and easily locate the child’s Sprint WeGo phone on an interactive map within the portal – from any PC or Android or iOS device.

In addition, Sprint WeGo allows limited incoming and outgoing SMS texting options.  The phone can receive text messages from any of the 20 specified connections. The phone also offers 50 predetermined outgoing text message options, including: yes, no, I’m at home, I’m at school, I need a ride, Call me please, I don’t feel well, I am with mom, I need help, etc.

You might remember other trendy phones that came out a few years back that offered similar solutions like the Firefly mobile phone, or the Dick Tracy smartwatch, called the FiLIP, which had a launching price of $200.

Some moms and dads have a hard time forking over hundreds of dollars for a device for a child, who can barely tie their shoes yet.  The WeGo will set you back about $120.

The phone is available at area Sprint stores.  Customers have the option of Sprint Easy Pay, which allows eligible customers to purchase the Sprint WeGo phone with $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $5. Sprint WeGo Service is $9.99 per month (excluding taxes and fees) and includes 1,000 minutes of talk and 1,000 text messages.

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