Relay Review: An LTE Walkie-Talkie For Kids (Of All Ages)



in a world of smartphones that do everything it's refreshing to try a gadget that does one thing I'm mr. mobile and the closest thing I've got to a kid is giba the social robot but if I had any human offspring I might just buy them one of these this is real a which was built by the people at republic Wireless Sascha Segan at PC Mag called it the anti smartphone for kids and I have yet to hear a better summation essentially it's a walkie talkie that works over cellular and Wi-Fi networks remember those ATT push-to-talk phones I covered last year or even the old Nextel phones from the dustbin of history relay works much the same way it just can't make phone calls man it comes in a kid-friendly water-resistant package here's how it works you buy relay in a pack of two and once you set them up they share a virtual Channel push the button on one say your message release the button and it'll come through on the other relay speakerphone there is a headphone jack as well for a measure of privacy but the size of the speakerphone makes it pretty clear that these are meant to be used out loud there's a volume control and a power key and a notification ring light and that's the extent of the user interface relay was built to be dead simple to operate and it is of course there's an app for iPhone and Android which opens up a bunch of features parents can see where any relay is at any given time or check its signal strength and battery level when the app is open the phone essentially acts like another relay you push the virtual PTT button to talk and listen to the replies through your phone's speaker phone if the app isn't open conversations between the relays don't automatically get copied to the phone but kids can alert the parent to pick up by pressing and holding the volume button and if the relays are having connectivity problems parents can use the app to see if there are any Wi-Fi hotspots near the relays and then the parents can sign into those Wi-Fi hotspots remotely that's not a situation I expect to be very common I just think it's cool from a geeky standpoint the batteries inside each relay aren't huge I was getting about a day of intermittent use out of them between charges I could see myself running one drive pretty easily with heavy use the charging is accomplished with a proprietary magnetic cable kind of a bummer if you leave the cable at home and need to charge with a quickness testing relay over the course of about a week in Boston they mostly did what they promised I say mostly because I did run into connectivity issues where the relays just wouldn't reliably deliver messages and frankly that was pretty frustrating when I reached out to Republicans for relays with t-mobile SIM cards see republic Wireless is what's called an MVNO or mobile virtual network operator all it means is that republic doesn't own its own network it leases space on both Sprint and t-mobile apparently my review devices were on Sprint which isn't very good in my part of Boston I reached out to Phil Nick Anson aka modern dad down in Pensacola Florida though and he had no such problems on his sprint powered relay yeah ditto Russell Holly of Android Central on his t-mobile powered relay all's well down in Baltimore Republic is dealing with these issues correctly it's offering to swap relays for another set on a different carrier when customers complain about coverage problems and that's great on the other hand I know it sounds so simple walkie talkies right but IP based push-to-talk is not an easy thing to make work I've been following the drama for the past 15 years as every US carrier has tried to implement a data based walkie talkie product in the style of Nextel and nothing has ever been as reliable or as fast as that old Nextel network so the frustration I felt when relay wasn't working was all too familiar if I did indeed have kids depending on these four communication well I'd want a more thorough assurance of reliability before committing like I say relay has promised to send me replacement units and also I will say that I was operating on pre-release software on at least one of my models and this is just the beginning for relay right now the only additional feature is an echo distortion function there's a lot more on the horizon with Google assistant integration music trivia games live language translation all of those promised for the future and more once those features go through their kid friendliness testing and eventually get rolled out I feel like relay will have an easier time justifying its price point even right now though it's still cheaper than most smartphones and the underlying notion that of a straightforward communications tool for parents who are concerned about their kids screen time it makes a lot of sense and it should do quite well assuming it can deliver the reliability that's such a device needs to guarantee folks at press time we're coming up on Amazon Prime day don't forget to visit my sponsor thrifter dot-com for all the greatest deals on that prime day relay is probably too new a product to be featured there but keep an eye on it anyway if you want to learn more about relay from the perspective of an actual father well Russell Holly's review at Android Central is quite good and the Afra mention modern dad we'll be covering these as well I'll drop links to those gentlemen in the description below until next time thanks for watching and stay mobile my friends you

40 Replies to “Relay Review: An LTE Walkie-Talkie For Kids (Of All Ages)

  1. EDIT: Aaaaaaand, forgot a pretty massive detail. Monthly cost for maintenance is $6.99 per Relay per month. Sorry for the omission, all! Don’t edit videos while tired.

  2. I already have a T-Mobile sim card, I know the first payment purchase is with the purchase of the Relay. But, after I pay that would I be able to cancel it and put my sim card in it?

  3. This seems like it could be good for adults too, especially for say a loved one who's struggling with depression and needs to avoid their phone for the most part. A dedicated channel of communication is something I've been looking for. <3

  4. Gizmo gadget is way cooler – it's a watch – it has a screen – but no internet access and it calls like a phone only to numbers you allow – along with GPS… highly recommend if you're looking for something like this👍

  5. Good video! did you every get the replacement relays? Have you looked at the device again more recently? The website claims to have some of those additional features available.

  6. 3:14 sprint in general sucks. I've been thinking about moving to T-Mobile as the merge won't happen until about 2020. In Michigan the coverage is very spotty. Hell, even in DC or Cali it sucked. (Mostly)

  7. This would be much better if you only need ONE relay that would work and paired with mobile app (or even two different phones)

  8. In Vietnam parents just give kids Nokia feature phones and that's it. I know Relay is a different kind of product but in my country, Nokia works just well. And they're so cheap and reliable.

  9. yeah fantastic but as a child my phone costs less and i can kinda sorta can do school work on it. the only upside is that i wouldn't be able to do anything else but talk with it. Even then, school work.

  10. Not even gonna buy it…I opened this video to just hear your voice…damn that narration 😍😍😍.love ur videos by the way

  11. Mosss seu video pode ser sobre um produto q eu nem ligo e msm assim eu vejo pq vc é foda, melhor analisador de qualquer coisa, bjs do brasil

  12. So it seems this uses Data rather than voice channels. Am I right? If that's the case, to use it with a different carrier than the one provided would require a data plan? It would be cool if someone could test these on FreedomPop.

  13. My big question is whether it needs an active internet and whether it is suited for African nations where maintenance would be challenging to say the least

  14. When even a colorful walkie-talkie manages to have a headphone jack unlike some other fruity company…

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