To the extent that it has an actual pull-string, the WeGo looks like a cute toy phone that makes calls and sends texts. For parents, though, it’s a GPS-enabled tracking device with a built-in panic alarm.
Sprint’s new WeGo phone is an ultra-simple device with one big button, an LCD screen and a pull chord that sounds an alarm. It can be programed with 20 numbers that are allowed to send/receive calls and texts. The user can send text responses from a curated list of 50 responses. Beyond that, the child can change backgrounds and ringtones and maybe convince their parents to buy them a new case. And Sprint promises it is water resistant and can withstand falls from up to 12 feet, so the biggest concern is the child misplacing the device.
For the parent, the WeGo packs tons of alerts so parents can be notified if the battery is low, if texts have been read, if the device is off, if the panic alert is triggered, etc. The alerts come via SMS and/or email and the parent or guardian can also control the device via a web portal.
Besides being a safety device, Sprint suggests the WeGo as a “training” tool.
“Sprint WeGo is the perfect starter phone to give parents peace of mind while teaching kids responsibility – how to keep track of a device, charge it and care for it – at a low price. This device has all of the basics without anything younger children don’t need just yet,” David Owens, vice president of product at Sprint, said in a statement.
The WeGo sells for zero down and $5 per month for 24 months. The service plan runs $10/month and includes 1,000 anytime minutes and 1,000 texts.