Watch out Garmin, Google has just launched a new kids' smartwatch to compete with the Bounce

Fitbit Ace LTE children's smartwatch in two colors, on purple background
(Image credit: Google)

Google has launched a new children's smartwatch with two-way messaging and GPS to give parents peace of mind, plus games and activity tracking to encourage kids to stay active. The Fitbit Ace LTE, which was unveiled yesterday and is available to pre-order now, has a lot in common with the Garmin Bounce, but with an AMOLED display (rather than LCD) and a higher asking price.

The Ace LTE and Bounce watches are strikingly similar at first glance. Both have a squared oval case, and come in a choice of fun, child-friendly colors, though the Ace LTE is marginally smaller and about 10g lighter. The Ace LTE also comes with a detachable bumper (shown in the picture above) to help protect the screen and case from knocks.

Both watches include games to encourage kids to stay active, but those on the Fitbit Ace LTE offer smoother animations and higher resolution graphics thanks to its AMOLED screen. Google has also promised that new games will be available for the watch via Fitbit Arcade "every few months". The watch also comes with a Tamagotchi-style virtual pet called an eejie; clocking up more steps makes the eejie 'happier' and unlocks extra customization options.

Like the Garmin Bounce, the Fitbit Ace LTE lets kids and guardians exchange text and voice messages via a dedicated app on the adult's phone. This app also lets you see your child's location via GPS. As Polly Allcock of Notebookcheck explains, early prototypes of the Fitbit Ace LTE showed a camera built into the watch housing, but this has been dropped for the final design. 

Like the Garmin Bounce, the Fitbit Ace LTE requires a data subscription plan to unlock its messaging and GPS tracking functions. The Fitbit Ace Pass costs $9.99 a month, or $119.99 per year when purchased annually (with an extra watch band included). For comparison the Garmin Bounce subscription plan is $9.99 per month, for $99.99 when you buy a year's membership up front.

The Fitbit Ace LTE is available to pre-order now from the Google Store or Amazon, and is due to start shipping on June 5. If you subscribe to the annual Fitbit Ace Pass before August 31 you'll get 50% off the cost of the plan, bringing it down to $59.99 for the year.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.