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As you know, this year we have been working with VTech to review some of their fabulous electronic learning toys. We have always been a huge fan of the brand, having had the walker and singing Alfie bear when Harrison was a baby, to the Kidizoom camera we reviewed a couple of months ago to our latest item, the VTech KidiCom Advance, which hasn’t disappointed.
Whether we like it or not, kids love technology, and whatever you think about phones and tablets, there are plenty of educational benefits to them. The boys often watch YouTube videos that support their learning or play games. Possibly less educationally, they like to take selfie after selfie using the Snapchat filters on my phone, and I can’t count how many blurred photos I find on the iPad of feet and close-ups of eyeballs and nostrils. While tablets are great, sometimes, they want a phone just like mummy and daddy – and that’s where the VTech KidiCom Advance comes in.
What are the features of the VTech KidiCom Advance?
First of all, it looks incredibly realistic – it really does look like a big smartphone, which is part of the attraction for the kids. However, unlike my iPhone, which has seen more than it’s fair share of drops over the years, the VTech KidiCom Advance is robust and can handle them. It’s nice and chunky, making it easy for small hands to hold and grip.
It has a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 2.0MP rotatable camera and 8GB of internal memory which is expandable up to 40GB with the use of a microSD card. It also houses a built-in rechargeable battery that gives a pretty reasonable battery life.
The VTech KidiCom Advance has many of the features that you find on a ‘proper’ mobile phone – a camera, an app that allows you to silly filters as you do with Snapchat, a notes section, a calendar, clock, alarm, voice messaging, music player and much more. There are also games and the VTech Learning Lodge app, with the opportunity to download more.
The device also comes with its own internet browser that allows your child to access the internet and visit certain pre-approved websites. You can input your own, but some, such as the Cbeebies site and other child-appropriate ones are already programmed in.
Now, while the device looks like a smartphone, you can’t actually make or receive any calls on it. However, it does give your child the opportunity to send messages over Wi-Fi. They obviously can’t send them to just anyone (or vice versa) – the person they want to message has to register first and be approved by you, so it is all very safe and secure. I really like how much control I can have over the ‘phone’.
We are really impressed with the VTech KidiCom Advance, which is currently around the £160 mark on Amazon. It’s not cheap, but it’s a high quality and fun electronic learning toy, which is what I’ve come to expect from VTech!
*We were sent this free of charge as part of our ongoing partnership with VTech. We haven’t been paid, and all thoughts and opinions are our own.