Summary and rating
- Price (if it worked)
- Fun (if it worked)
- Parent sanity (2 return trips to UPS)
Coupled with the overall impression of build we choose not to give VTech the benefit of the doubt and call don’t buy on this product. We have bought other VTech products including the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube (the voice actor seems to be the same) and we’ve all been very happy with that – but this is not one of them.
Fool me once…
In our review of VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phones we have tested two remotes and 100% of them malfunctioned. One within 24 hours, the other straight out of the box. Now, our sample may be biased, and perhaps not all baby phones are duds. But we’re definitely not wasting another minute on these devices (right after writing this review, of course).
Reason for buying
Our daughter loooves our phones. She will snatch them at any given moment and run off (well, crawl off). Even the lock screen brings her tons of joy. So what’s the first thing you think of as a parent? Buy her a phone. Being still a baby, an actual phone seemed a little over the top. So we asked Amazon what baby phones they stocked.
Out of the box, the VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phone seems flimsy but, despite the fairly reasonable price, we expected a little more. The “swipe” function is a little rocker-type button that you can move either to the right or left position which changes the “screen”. The screen is really just like a cardboard-printed poster that folds around a spinner so either of the sides is visible. The “touch” part of the screen requires you to push fairly hard down after which the device registers the touch and plays a sound bit. Our daughter somehow – probably by being born with a touchscreen in her hand – proved much more adept at getting the touch buttons to respond. So we didn’t think too much of that.
Our daughter fairly quickly took to her new phone. Once the disappointment of not seeing her parents being bothered by her playing with this new device nor being able to lock them out by entering the wrong password 100 times, she seemed pretty entertained. She was flicking the “swiper” from side to side and punching the “touch screen” buttons much to her amusement. The device hit the (hardwood) floor a few times but from relatively safe heights (she is not that tall just yet). This may or may not have been the reason. But, in less than 24 hours after arrival, the touch screen buttons became completely unresponsive. The swipe-flicker-thing still worked as well as the call/hangup-buttons but the severely limited functionality similarly severely limited our daughter’s interest in the phone.
Since this is a toy made for babies we concluded that it should be able to withstand the few drops on the floor and decided to return this sample and order a new one from Amazon.
Already when ordering the second phone we knew that it may also malfunction soon after our daughter started her consumer report reliability test procedure. But this time we didn’t even get it in her hands before it failed. The device somehow was stuck in swipe mode playing the same tune over and over again (the sound that you hear when swiping to “screen” number two). That quickly got old. Had this been our first sample we would probably just order a new one. And while the third time is the charm, we’re not quite charmed enough by the VTech baby phone to give it one more go. Instead, we wrote this review to warn other prospective buyers.
Perhaps we have just been unfortunate by receiving two duds in a row and perhaps the majority of the VTech baby phones function just fine. Statistics can be tricky that way. But coupled with the overall impression of building our verdict in our review of the VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phones we do not give VTech the benefit of the doubt and call don’t buy on this product. We have bought other VTech products including the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube (the voice actor seems to be the same) and we’ve all been very happy with that (see review). The phone debacle won’t deter us from purchasing other Vtech products in the future but we might read a few more reviews before doing so.
We have the Fisher-Price baby remote (see review) because our daughter also loooves our remotes. While she still loves to bang our remotes against every hard surface available until they stop functioning, she has also really taken to the Fisher-price remote. The build quality and sturdiness are super impressive and the poor thing is still trotting along.
Much unlike the VTech baby mobile phone.
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