Discover what the internet is saying about Pinwheel.

Pinwheel Review

Yay or nay?

Upgraded Reviews scanned the web to find out what real users are saying about Pinwheel.

See the highlights below and decide for yourself!

Pros and Cons

Table of contents

✅ Pros

Since Pinwheel has been around a bit longer, the curated app store has more options at the moment.
Review Pros
It has partnered with Bark for added protection.
For a small monthly discounted fee, you can add Bark monitoring to your Pinwheel, which some parents will appreciate.
You can view the GPS location of your child.
It contains approved contacts only.
It provides age-based levels of functionality.
We love the fact that you can use your own cell phone carrier with the Pinwheel phone.
The subscription includes access to the Caregiver Portal and the software for the child’s device.
You can enable and schedule app permissions.
It has excellent parental controls.
Pinwheel has selected therapists and child-development specialists to help them define clear criteria for safe and healthy apps.
We found the parental controls easy to use while setting up the Pin.
Parents can add Pinwheel’s therapist-approved apps to their child’s phone as they deem appropriate (or have no apps at all!)
Parents can monitor text and call history.
It allows safe contacts, texts, and voicemails only.
It offers easy-to-use remote management.
You can add tasks and chores from your phone to theirs.
The Pinwheel phone is a great way to keep kids safe and connected.
Pinwheel also has the ability to create various “modes” that allow different categories of apps during different times of the day.
There’s no internet browser or app store.
You can set modes and routines.
You can view texts/calls from adult’s phone.
The goal of the Pinwheel design is to grow along with the child.
It teaches healthy digital habits.
It shows real-time GPS location.
There is no social media access.
Pinwheel has excellent customer service.
You can choose when your child can use certain approved apps, their amount of screentime, and how they text and call certain contacts.
It’s safe.
You can add the Pinwheel phone to your current cell phone plan to make sure your entire family is on the same plan.
The platform is capable of growing with your child.
It only allows parent and therapist-approved apps – no social media or mindless game apps whatsoever.
It allows you to set time limits that implement digital wellness.
Pinwheel’s caregiver portal offers a lot of options for parents to create customized days and modes.
It’s high-quality and affordable.
Because Pinwheel has been on the market longer than Troomi, it currently has more apps available.
Parents can set time limits for phone use (such as turning it off during school hours or at bedtime).
The program is easy for kids to use because of its simple interface.
Multiple phones are available.
There is no internet access.
GPS tracking and geofencing can keep digital tabs on your child.
With Pinwheel, there’s no need to worry about social media, an ad driven app, or spam calls or texts.
You can add Bark monitoring to the Pinwheel phone to get alerts about concerning content.
The Pinwheel phone can be set in different modes during parts of the day.
Even though there is no social media available for Pinwheel, and you can view all of the text messages that have been sent and received.
You can even disable certain apps before your child takes their phone to school.
They have partnered with Bark to monitor messages and e-mails for dangerous, predatory or suicidal behaviors.
It can safelist only calls and text messages

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❌ Cons

When the phone doesn’t have cell coverage or is off, the location services don’t work. Therefore, if phone coverage is spotty, it will be an issue with the entire phone.
It requires you to set up a carrier, but this can be a pro for some.
Older kids may still resent the fact they can’t use social media or games of their choosing.
There is no web browsing capability.
The parental control app is a bit confusing, making it hard to quickly see what apps have been put on the device.
It is more expensive than some other options (up to $329 for the phone, plus a $15 a month Pinwheel subscription in addition to your carrier’s data/cellular fee).
Lowest priced phone only works with Mint Mobile.
It is slightly more expensive, depending on which phone you get.
It is a bit pricy.
You must purchase the device from Pinwheel.
There is no app store.
There is no coverage directly from Pinwheel.
It is difficult to connect with a Family Link Google account.
Some loopholes may allow kids to get onto the internet (via links sent in e-mail, for instance).
All phones except the Pinwheel Plus are not compatible with AT&T or VERIZON.
It doesn’t provide mobile service.
It has limited phone case color options.

⚖️ Final Say

Read the summaries of what reviewers think about Pinwheel below.

Review Summaries
Billing itself as a “phone that grows up with your child,” the Pinwheel may be the best of both worlds for your little techie: It has tons of apps for your kid to peruse—but they’re only apps deemed educational or enriching by Pinwheel’s team of curators.
The Pinwheel phone has more features than the Gabb Phone, including: Safelist contacts, remote management, review text history, music streaming, finance and banking apps (Greenlight Card app, which is awesome for teaching kids money management). It’s compatible with Bark (parental control app), supports multiple carriers, doesn’t sell your data, spam call data, and has no streaming.
Maybe it’s time to give your child a phone of their very own. What age is the right time for a phone? It can vary definitely by situation and family. A reimagined experience allowing children to safely take advantage of education, skills mastery, music, and more through the use of a useful tool like Pinwheel makes sense! The therapist-approved smartphone operating system will allow parents control while keeping kids safe from bad social media or sites on web browsing that can be downright dangerous for young minds.
One thing is sure; lots of screentime isn’t healthy for your kind. But even with that, your kid will keep asking you for a smartphone even before you think they are ready. Fortunately, the Pinwheel phone is a smartphone specifically designed for your child. With this phone, your child will learn the ins and outs of using a smartphone without you worrying about their safety.
Although Pinwheel doesn’t protect kids and teenagers from everything, it provides the tools necessary to teach your child in a healthy way. I love it so much and I would recommend it to everyone who wants a safe cell phone for their kids.
Pinwheel is a very impressive platform for kids to experience a smartphone, while making sure parents have peace of mind that it is a safe one. Thanks to expansive parental controls and layers of protection levels, your child’s Pinwheel phone will be able to grow with them.
Simply put, Pinwheel delivers a smartphone that has no ad-driven apps, no social media, no games, and no browser, with a caregiver portal that gives parents options to baby-step their child toward healthy tech use. It’s a win-win for parents and kids!
The Pinwheel phone is perfect for parents that want their kids to have a “real” phone but want to fully customize their child’s experience. The only major drawback we found is these phones don’t come with mobile service, and only one of the phone options is compatible with all major brands.
Pinwheel focuses on what most parents and caregivers want in a cell phone for kids: safety. The company’s three service options have been customized just for kids. Plus, you can add tasks from your phone to theirs, such as a reminder to finish homework.
Even though there is no social media available for Pinwheel, and you can view all of the text messages that have been sent and received, you can add Bark monitoring to the Pinwheel phone to get alerts about concerning content. If you think of it as just paying for a parental control program, it’s on the more affordable end of the parental control options, and there is less of a chance that your child can circumvent the controls like they can on a standard iPhone or Android device.

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