Remember when we were kids? I remember being a kid, playing with my friends and we would go biking around the block and hang out at each other’s houses. Our parents would just let us play outside all day, with the promise we’d return when the sun went down, or when we got hungry. Your parents would call your friend’s house (on a landline!) and ask their parents to check in, or to ask to send you home when dinner was ready. Growing up, we didn’t have cell phones and didn’t have to worry about cell phones. Times sure have changed since we were kids, and we now live in a world where technology is all around us. Along with that, communication tools have changed. There is a growing trend and often pressure, to get kids a cell phone at a younger and younger age.
Our kids are at that age, when they’ve asked us a common question that most parents hear these days, “When can I get a cell phone?” We’ve heard this question in our family quite a few times, and with the upcoming school year, I’m sure we will be asked again very soon. As parents, we are not quite ready for our kids (ages 10 & 7) to have a cell phone. Though, it would be a huge plus to have a way to communicate with my kids, since they are becoming more and more independent. Despite many of their friends already having cell phones, we feel they are a bit young for the responsibility of a cell phone and hope to wait a few more years. Having a cell phone is a big investment, and a lot of responsibility for an elementary school student. By saying “no” to a cell phone, we risk the chance of being the “uncool” parents. However, we are willing to take that chance!
Maybe you have kids in the same age group, and maybe you’ve been faced with the same dilemma. And, maybe you’ve been looking for options for back to school time. That’s why when we recently had the opportunity to review the Relay Device, we were excited at the chance to give it a try to help make our decision. What we found was that the Relay Device as a great alternative to a cell phone. And, we thought we’d share the reasons why.
The Relay is a pretty cool communication device, ideal for kids ages 5-11 y.o. It has a sleek 1-touch button design. It’s powered by 4G- LTE, just like a cell phone. It allows you to talk device-to-device or device-to-phone app, with the touch of a button. Parents can download an app to chat with their kids over the Relay, and you talk right into it, similar to a walkie-talkie. The Relay comes with built in GPS tracking and an SOS system for emergencies. The device costs $49.99 and is sold on RelayGo.com, Amazon and Target. You’ll also pay $9.99 for a monthly service plan. Accessories (like a lanyard) are sold separately.
We’ve had fun testing out our Relay devices. Here are a few reasons why we love our Relays!
Easy to Use & Easy Communication:
The Relay has a simplified design, a one button function to communicate back and forth with one another. Parents can download the Relay App on their phones and communicate to anyone with a Relay device. Our main goal is to communicate with our kids, and the Relay does just this. It works like a walkie-talkie, and my kids loved being able to communicate not only with me through the app, but also with each other on their Relays. It also holds voicemail messages, similar to a cell phone. The Relay features make it super easy for kids to use and figure out. Bonus that it’s screen free, which means kids aren’t distracted by any games or videos like cell phones.
The Relay’s small size makes it easy for kids to put it in their pocket, attached to their backpack, or bike. And, it’s designed with kiddos in mind, built to take the wear and tear of kids handling. The Relay is a compact size and perfect for smaller hands. It earns extra points for also being water resistant. Can you imagine if your kid dropped a cell phone?! Yikes! My son loves to carry his Relay on his lanyard and bring it to the playground.
Fosters Independence and Responsibility:
The Relay gives kids a chance to venture out a little bit more from mom and dad. For my 10 y.o., I was able to give him more independence while riding his bike around the neighborhood, and I felt better knowing he had his Relay with him. Plus, it gives kids practice in being responsible for taking care of a device that is theirs.
Peace of Mind:
Knowing my kids have their Relay with them helps with my peace of mind, knowing I can reach them when I need to. I feel better knowing that we can communicate and chat any time of the day. It’s perfect for traveling or for that quick check-in with the kids when they are at their grandparents. And, it will be perfect for a check in while they are at their after school activities this school year. The Relay also has the feature of real time GPS tracking. If we were to get separated in a large crowd or at the amusement park, this would be a helpful feature. I love the idea of knowing where the kids are and knowing their location. We recently went on vacation to Colorado and we took our Relay devices with us.
Here we are on vacation in Colorado and my kiddos had their Relays with them
The Relay relies on cellular data (4G-LTE), but can also be connected through Wi-Fi. It’s a cost-effective solution, considering a cell phone and cell plan would be quite expensive. Battery life on the relay has been good, and it will notify the parent when they battery on the device is low. In addition, the Relay has other cool functions such as a language translation channel, group chat ability, and my kids personal favorite, the “joke of the day” which tells them a daily funny. Extras that make it fun for kids!
Talking to his brother on the Relay
Great Customer Service:
Customer service is always a plus in my book, and we’ve found the Relay customer service to be exceptional! On their website, they have easy “how to use” instructions and product videos. When I’ve had questions, I’ve been able to chat with someone from customer service via the chat function and their responses have been helpful and timely.
Happy Relay customers!
All in all, the Relay’s functions and features outweighed our decision of getting a cell phone for our kids. With back to school on its way, it’s the perfect device for kids this upcoming school year. And the best part? I like to think it will up our cool factor with the kids!
Ready to learn more about the Relay and to test it out this school year?
Just in time for back to school...Target is offering 40% off Relay devices until September 14. On Target.com, you'll receive 40% off from August 11-September 14. And, in Target stores you'll receive 40% off from August 25- September 14.
Thanks to Relay for the review opportunity. In exchange for this review, we received Relay devices to use and test. All opinions are strictly my own.