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Coolpad is moving away from smartphones, aiming for a family-focused future
The Chinese smartphone market is becoming a crowded place, though dominated by the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei, vivo, and others. For Coolpad this crowded space represented a chance for a new opportunity. Instead of focusing its efforts on budget Android devices across the globe, the company is shifting focus towards kid and family-friendly market with its efforts mostly aimed at U.S. consumers.
This new direction begins with the Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch. Before we talk about where Coolpad is heading, let’s first take a look back at their history.
Looking back at Coolpad’s past
Coolpad started selling smartphones in the U.S. in 2012, beginning with the Coolpad Quattro 4G for the no-contract carrier MetroPCS (now Metro by T-Mobile). It was the first smartphone from the carrier with support for 4G LTE networks and was priced at $99.
In 2015, the company launched the Coolpad Rogue for T-Mobile. It was the first Coolpad prepaid phone sold by the carrier, and the 4-inch smartphone cost just $49.99. Coolpad continued working with T-Mobile and MetroPCS with budget-themed phones like the Coolpad Defiant in 2017, while also launching phones on other carriers like Sprint and Cricket Wireless. It also launched unlocked GSM smartphones on its own, including the Coolpad Conjr, also in 2017.
More recently, Boost Mobile launched the Coolapd Illumina, a 5-inch Android 8.0 Oreo (Android Go) smartphone that’s currently priced at just $29.99. It also just released the Coolpad Surf on T-Mobile, a new stand-alone mobile hotspot device that’s also the first one to use the carrier’s 600Mhz spectrum.
The new Dyno Smartwatch is the start of Coolpad’s future
In 2018, Coolpad decided to make a radical switch and started developing technology and smart devices centered on kids and families. The first product to come out of this new direction is the Dyno Smartwatch, which was first shown off earlier in January at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch is made for kids age 5-9, and the device itself has been designed to appeal to that age bracket, with colorful pink and blue bands and a user interface that’s not only easy to navigate, but also has lots of great cartoon-themed art and animation that should keep young children happy and occupied.
The large display on the Dyno Smartwatch has been made more resistant, thanks to its Dragontrail glass exterior. The smartwatch,which is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, has an IP65 rating for dust and water resistance, which means kids can wear it and not have to worry if any water splashes hit it. The 605mAh battery inside the Dyno Smartwatch is designed to last up to 2 1/2 days on a single charge, which means children will be able to keep using and playing with it without having to worry about it running out of power by the end of the day.
The smartwatch is an excellent way for parents to keep track of their children. The Coolpad Dyno smartphone app for Android and iOS can be set up by parents so they can locate their children if they are wearing theDyno Smartwatch watch. The app also allows parents to set up “safe zones” in their neighborhood, so if their kids go past those zones, the smartwatch will send an alert to their mom and dad.
Kids can keep in touch with their parents, and vice versa, with both voice and text messages with the Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch. One of the best features of this device is full 4G LTE support, with the cellular connection provided by Airfi Networks. The cost to connect the watch to the network is just $9.99 a month, which is a small price to pay for a parent to keep track of their kids from virtually anywhere in the U.S. The watch even has a dedicated SOS button. If a child presses it in an emergency, it will send an alert to one of their pre-approved contacts.
Best of all, the Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch is one of the most affordable devices of its type available. Coolpad is currently selling the smartwatch directly on its website for $149.99, or for three monthly payments of $50 each.
Coolpad begins its family-friendly device journey
With the launch of the Dyno Smartwatch, Coolpad has started on its new path towards releasing smart devices made for kids and families. In a recent press release, Casey Ryan, the President and CEO of Coolpad Americas, stated that the company has been listening to consumers who he says are getting tired of overpriced devices. At the same time, he said that there is also a “hunger for families to stay connected in a more seamless and secure way.”
Ryan believes this is an untapped market and that Coolpad’s new direction will allow it to become the “leading provider of technology made with family in mind.” With the launch of the Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch, it looks like it is already on the way to achieving that big goal. And that’s just the beginning.
In addition to the smartwatch, Coolpad also plans to develop phones with kids in mind. While Android-powered devices may be a possibility in the future, Coolpad seems especially interested in feature phones for younger children that might not be ready for the full responsibility of a smartphone (and all the access that comes with it). In fact, Coolpad recently hired a new head of R&D, Steve Cistuli. What makes this interesting is that the former head of Alcatel helped lead an effort to push kaiOS, an advanced feature phone OS that has seen a fair amount of success in India with the Jio Phone.
As the age for getting your first phone continues to decrease, Coolpad’s new direction makes a great deal of sense. Whether it works or not? Only time will tell, but we’re certainy intrigued to see where this is headed.