My youngest, 11, has been asking for an iPhone. “Mom, everyone at school has a phone, everyone!” Oh, really! Well, I have been trying to hold off getting him yet another screen for as long as I can. My husband came across a phone alternative for kids called the Relay. The Relay, from Republic Wireless, sent us a pair of their innovative connected communicators. We have been using them for a few weeks, and I have to say I am impressed.
The concept is a supercharged walkie-talkie that we all had as kids… or we can still buy today. But supercharged they are. They run on the same network as your cellphone, so the range is nationwide, they connect fast without static or delay.
Two of the units run $100, and you can link up to ten units. For parents or maybe elderly caretakers, you can put an app on your phone to be included in the communication. You actually need the app to set them up to use WiFi (available for both Android and iOS), add track location and other easy admin functions. Setup was fast and easy. We were talking and having fun with my son in less than 5 minutes for both units.
You can use the app as a device to talk and listen. You can also track where the unit is from the app, check the battery level and manage the account. The units come pre-named (like Peaceful Tiger or Awesome Bear), but you can change the name as my son did to Fortnite King.
Again, because they run on the cell phone network the range is as good as cell service in your area – you could have one, and the other could be cross country and no problems.
These are ideal for kids that are not quite ready for a pricey phone and monthly plan but still want to be in touch – practice, friends house or just out being a kid. Because you can track them via the app parents, have peace of mind. Other ideal use would be an elderly parent or relative. With only three controls on the unit, it is easy and simple to stay connected. I can also see these as great for multi-car road trips, camping or out on the water. Again, the only limitation is having cell service. We had no challenges in our few weeks of use.
My only real gripe is they need a proprietary cable to charge. If you leave it behind or misplace it, you will be out of luck. Stores won’t carry, and you will have a dead unit. So, don’t lose it.
The monthly service runs $9.99 + taxes per Relay will be charged at activation.
Fun. Easy. Inexpensive. Grab a pair and get your Relay on.
Let’s Chat: What Do You Think of These Relay Units?