Pros / Your child can’t remove it from their clothing.
Cons / It’s rather large.
Verdict / AngelSense GPS trackers are ideal for keeping track of children, particularly those on the autism spectrum.
The 2018 AngelSense model is accurate and its two-way calling feature means you’ll always be able to get in touch with your child no matter what. These reasons along with it’s very reasonable price tag make it the best option for parents.
We tested two models of this GPS tracker, the original and the new 2018 model. The original AngelSense is slightly smaller and as of the summer of 2018, doesn’t yet have the two-way calling feature, indoor search capability using a building’s different Wi-Fi signals and alarm bell function of the new model. A customer service representative said the company is working toward making those functions available on the original AngelSense sometime in 2018, but both devices cost the same so the one that’s most appropriate for you will depend on your personal needs.
These trackers work with a free smart phone app or desktop browser, so you can track on your phone or a computer. Along with buying the device you’ll need to sign up for a subscription to use it. There are several subscription options to choose from, including month to month or an entire year at a time. What makes this device stand out is the special pin and key system used to attach it to your child’s clothing. The design is similar to anti-theft devices at department stores and requires a magnetic key to unlock it, which comes with the kit no matter which device you order. You can just use the trackers themselves in a bag or pocket, the fabric case and pins make it impossible to remove if your child has sensory issues. This could also be useful if you’re taking care of an elderly family member who tends to wander off as well.
The 2018 tracker has a lot of useful features, so it’s the one we recommend. You can use geofencing to set up zones and receive alerts if the device crosses those predetermined boundaries. If you take the tracker to specific locations repeatedly, like a grocery store, it will prompt you to set up a zone there as well. You can also set timed alarms to notify you if a device doesn’t cross the line of a predetermined zone at a certain time which we could see being useful for making sure school aged children are going where they’re supposed to. It’s also splashproof so there’s no need to worry if you get it a little wet.
The 2018 AngelSense model has an Angel Call mode, allowing you to call the device and have it automatically connect after a couple of rings. This would be ideal if you noticed your child was on an incorrect school bus route, for instance. There is also an alarm feature you can use to locate your child if they’re hiding or somewhere you can’t see. You can view the device’s location history down to such detail that you’ll know how fast someone was driving if your kid wears the device in a car. It’s indoor search function is also incredibly accurate because it triangulates a location using a building’s indoor Wi-Fi signals. The “listen in” feature means you can tune in silently and listen to your child’s surroundings, but we don’t recommend abusing this feature. If you’re planning on using this device with a school-aged child, coordinate with your school administrators about appropriate use throughout the day. On top of that, it’s not easy to hear exactly what is happening through the tracker’s fabric sleeve so don’t expect crystal-clear reception.
Now, like almost all GPS trackers, this unit relies on cell phone service and Wi-Fi to work, so if you’re in a very remote area there’s a change the tracker will stop working. We took it deep into the mountains and like most of the trackers we tested, it stopped working. It did, however, send a tracking beacon back to the app all the way to the start of a hiking trail, so if a person were to, God forbid, take your child somewhere secluded, you would at least have a starting point to search from.
In our tests, the AngelSense only had a delay of about 30 seconds when we drove it around and noted where the app said the tracker was in comparison to where our driver said they were. This was common among the trackers we tested but substantially better than the SPOT trackers we used, both of which had a lag time of several minutes. Its discovery range of about 100 feet is also common among the GPS trackers we used so finding your child is easy. It had one of the best batteries we observed in our tests, lasting a full 23 hours. This means you won’t have to worry about recharging daily. When you plug the 2018 AngelSense in, a voice says “charging” so you won’t have to wonder if its connected.