Relay kids screenless smartphone put to the Deal or Dud test

Plenty of kids want a cell phone and find their parents say, “Not yet.” There's an alternative that might help. It’s called Relay.

You could think of it as a walkie talkie, but it works on cellular signals or Wi-Fi.

You can talk using Relay to Relay. There’s also an app to download to a smartphone that works like a Relay.

This allows a parent to use their phone to talk with their child using the Relay.

We asked father and son, Sherman and Maximus Mason, to try out the Relay and phone app for us.

Traveling around putting distance between them, they found the audio was clear.

They liked the push to talk convenience of the product too.

Here’s one issue: When Relay is on with the volume turned up, the message comes through without warning. There's no ringing or alert.

Maximus says this could be interesting if he’s playing with friends and he suddenly heard his mother or father talking.

If Relay is off, the person trying to talk to you gets a message saying their message is not delivered.

Relay engineers are currently working on a voicemail system to fix this issue.

One feature that Rev. Mason loved is the GPS tracking. He used the app to track the Relay Maximus was holding as we traveled to a park.

"It pinged reliably and I got a benchmark along the route so I saw where he was and how he got there," he said.

When you add the ability to communicate, this father and son say Relay could come in handy.

Mason told FOX8, “The clarity was great."

As far as the drop out, if you think of it as a cellphone you will be disappointed.

"If you think of it as a walkie it was exceptional.” they both agreed. “Deal!”

The Relay device costs $50. The monthly service is $9.99 a month. You don't have to sign a contract.

The app for your smartphone is free.

You can buyRelay on Amazon.com and Target.com.

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