PROS / It has unmatched functionality plus voice-to-voice calling and a panic button.
CONS / Its battery life isn’t great because it doesn’t have motion-activated tracking.
VERDICT / The Amber Alert GPS gives you more tools to keep your child safe than any other GPS tracker.
The Amber Alert GPS is a GPS tracker optimized for kids. It has the most features of any GPS tracking device we tested, including two-way calling, a panic button and live tracking. It also has customizable geofence zones and a myriad of alert options. For its exceptional functionality, the Amber Alert GPS is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
Like every other GPS tracker for kids that we reviewed, the Amber Alert has real-time GPS tracking, which means you can see the location of the tracker on a map. You access the map using either a mobile app or Amber Alert’s web portal.
Most trackers allow you to choose the update interval for the tracker, ranging from as frequent as every 10 seconds to just every six hours. This tracker has a set five-minute location update interval. Despite this lack of flexibility, we found five minutes to be a useful interval setting as it provides a good mix of battery life preservation and accuracy. To help counterbalance this setting, you can also manually ping the device to get its location in between updates.
One of its most useful features is two-way calling, which allows it to communicate with one phone number of your choice. You can call your child from that number at any time to check in on them. The Amber Alert does not ring; your child only knows you’re listening when they hear your voice. This also enables you to listen to your child’s surroundings without them knowing.
Another feature enabled by two-way calling is Amber Alert’s SOS button. When your child presses this button, the device immediately calls you and sends text alerts to up to 10 devices of your choosing, with the tracker’s street address in the text message. This enables your child to call you anytime they choose.
A feature essential to the best GPS trackers is zones. The Amber Alert allows you to designate zones on an online map. These zones could cover a neighborhood, a row of houses or even another city. You can tell the app to notify you whenever the tracker enters or exits one of these zones. This is a good way to ensure your child stays where they should and away from dangerous areas.
One feature unique to the Amber Alert is the predator alert. If you enable this feature, you will be alerted when the tracker is near a registered sex offender’s residence. This keeps you aware of possible threats.
The tracker also has a speeding alert function. You can set a maximum speed that the device is supposed to travel. If the device goes faster than that speed, then you will be alerted. This helps you keep your teenage driver accountable for speeding. It also serves to inform you if your young child is probably walking, riding a bike or being driven in a vehicle.
This GPS has the approximate dimensions of a typical garage door opener and weighs just over 2 ounces. It features an SOS button and two volume keys. It also has a micro-USB port for charging. The small unit has an exceptional build with high-quality buttons that click firmly. It also has tight-fitting covers for the power and SIM card ports.
Its battery life is not one of the device’s strong points. On a single charge, and with minimal use, it can only last up to two days, which is quite short among the trackers we tested. Beyond this, a feature that we wish the tracker had is motion-activated tracking. Several of its competitors go into sleep mode when they’re not moving, thus prolonging battery life. Several accessories are available to buy for this tracker, including colorful nameplates that snap onto the plain black body. You can also buy a protective sleeve that is perfect for hooking onto your child’s backpack.
You can track the Amber Alert GPS from either an Android or iOS smartphone using its free companion app, or on a computer using its web portal. The app shows a map with the location of the tracker superimposed over it. In our testing, we found the app to be intuitive, although the graphics seemed a bit outdated when compared to other apps in our lineup.
One useful feature we found is that when you go to the history pane, the app shows the battery level of the tracker next to every location update. This can show you exactly when the device will run out of power and help you approximate future battery life expectancy.
One feature that the Amber Alert lacks is the ability to create zones directly from within the app. Instead, you have to log in to the web portal to create the zones, which can be a bit of a hassle. Despite this shortcoming, the app is still above average because it’s so easy to use.
Support & Costs
The GPS ships with a one-year limited warranty that protects you against manufacturing defects. The company also offers phone and email support, as well as a FAQs section. Cellular service for the device goes through AT&T, with a monthly cost of $15 to $18, depending on which play level you choose. Obviously this cost isn’t as much as that of a cell phone, though it’s toward the more expensive end of our cost range.
The Amber Alert GPS is the best GPS tracker you can buy because of its immense functionality. The predator alert is a one-of-a-kind feature, and the apps and web portal make it simple for even non-tech-savvy parents to monitor their children.