Let’s face it. No one likes helicopter parents. But with the never-ending game of whack-a-mole with cyberbullies and adult content popping up left and right in this digital age, it’s only natural for parents to want to keep a watchful eye on what their kids are doing online.
The Bark phone is a nifty kids smartphone designed to give parents peace of mind while allowing kids to stay connected with their loved ones.
A little background on Bark is a must here. Bark Technologies was founded in 2015 by Brian Bason, the company developed a Bark app that gave parents the ability to manage certain aspect of their kids’ digital life. They came up with Bark Home, Bark Jr and Bark Premium and now their latest product is Bark Phone.
With features like cell phone calls, text messages, social media monitoring, screen time management, and location tracking, the Bark mobile phone promises to be a game-changer in the world of kid-friendly parental control smartphones.
But does it live up to the hype? Let’s take a closer look.
Let’s start with the basics: How Does the Bark Phone Work?
Before we dive into a detailed Bark phone review, here’s a quick overview of the device itself:
Bark Phone Plan
The Bark kids phone offers three Bark premium subscription tiers catering to different needs:
Starting at level one, we have the introductory plan for just $49/Month, with Wi-Fi only access. With this plan, your child has unlimited talk time and texts. However, the only drawback is that they can only use all those fun internet-enabled apps when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Moving on to level two, we have the $59/Month plan, the most popular option. This plan includes unlimited talk and text, just like the first one, but with the bonus of 4GB/Month of data. This means they can snap, tweet, and scroll all they want without worrying about running out of data!
Finally, for those who really want to go all out, you can get the $79/Month plan, they’ll get the same unlimited talk and text, but with a whopping 8GB/Month of data! With this much data, they can stream, browse and binge-watch their favorite seasons!
The Bark phone is a Samsung A13 32GB phone running Android 12. It comes with its own protective case, but if you’re feeling a little fancy, you can always hit Amazon for some personalised phone cases to show off your paw-some style! (We’re sorry, the puns are just too much fun!)
Here’s the cool thing that sets the Bark Phone apart from the pack – the hardware is included in your subscription! But here’s the catch – if you cancel your subscription, you’ll have to say goodbye to the phone too. Similar to breaking up with a pup – it’s ruff! And, if you accidentally damage the phone, you’ll have to pay for repairs or a replacement (unless you’ve been a subscriber for more than 2.5 years).
Bark Phone Quick Features
- Monitor text, apps, social media platforms and web searches
- GPS enabled location tracking.
- Block websites and apps
- Approve or deny app downloads
- Set screen time and/or app time limits
- Remote lock
- Manage calls and contacts
- Receive alerts for potential dangers
- Kids cannot delete texts without permissions
- Set your child’s alarms remotely
- Easy Order
- No Contract
- Location Tracking
- Monitors text messages & social media platforms
What can the Bark Phone do?
Bark kids phone technology is so sensitive that even a beer mug emoji in text messages can set off alerts, making it an ultra-reliable option for ensuring your child’s online safety. And the best part? You can tweak them according to your needs.
With over a dozen sensitivity categories, including violence, depression, hate speech, drugs, alcohol, and sexually explicit content, you can choose which ones to flag in your account settings. It’s a customisable automatic monitoring way to ensure your child is only accessing appropriate content.
But that’s not all – Bark software also monitors web browser activity, including private modes on Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Plus, you can block web browsing, search terms, and access to email, giving you peace of mind that your kid’s safe from potentially harmful online content.
On top of these, parents can manage calls and texts on kid’s phone, block app store access and approve apps on your childs device according to age etc.
Often, navigating through parental control app software can be a hassle, but with Bark, it’s a breeze! The website’s intuitive design makes it easy to find the next step in your process without feeling overwhelmed by unnecessary tabs or confusing options. You’ll be pleased to know that managing the Bark Phone happens in the parent app or your dashboard, just like Bark Premium, making it a seamless transition for parents. This means you don’t have to learn a new interface! Phew!
- Currently available only in the US
- Must use Bark’s Call service
- Supports only English & Spanish
Some Downsides to the Bark Phone
With the Google Play Store, it’s like diving into a black hole of unknowns. And while the Bark phone does provide app details of certain apps to parents via their parent dashboard when they’re available, you’ll have to wait in case they haven’t reviewed your desired app yet. Which might mean sifting through the endless abyss of apps on the Google Play Store to vet apps to make sure they’re safe for younger kids to access.
And if you’re looking for real-time alerts, the Bark phone will at times disappoint. Depending on the app you’re monitoring, there may be a few hours of delay, while other app notifications come through within minutes. This is due to how Bark monitors each platform. While a large majority are monitored as activity happens on the Bark Phone, others are monitored at the account level.
Final Thoughts on the Bark Phone
In a world where the digital landscape is constantly evolving, the Bark Phone is the ultimate tool for any parent who wants to stay one step ahead. While it doesn’t monitor everything across every app and device, Bark’s high level of sensitivity when it comes to content monitoring is like having a trusty sidekick to alert you to potential dangers.
However, by combining Bark with in-app privacy settings, you can create a dynamic duo that gives your child the freedom to explore while giving you peace of mind. Think of it like Batman and Robin, working together to keep Gotham City (or, in this case, your child’s digital life) safe and secure!
Well, that’s all for Bark!Let us know in the comments below what you think of the Bark phone and if you plan to join the pack!