G-mee is the brainchild of Charlie and Rachael Brown – you may know him from the Channel 9 Cybershack TV show.
Long story short, Charlie and Rachael have young kids and decided to develop a kid’s safe Android ‘phone’. G-mee was born after a long gestation. So, what is a kid-safe phone?
Charlie summed it up, “Mate, it is a phone without a phone or a camera so kids can’t abuse it. It focuses on 6-13-year-olds and takes out the things they should not use.”
To be correct, only one of the three models has a phone.
G-mee is really a personal content player that integrates measures for safe exploration of smart technology. It has an innovative pre-installed ‘G-mee app lock’ to guide the user’s smart device experience, and curb temptations to over-share or exposure to online risks, such as cyber-bullying.
The app lock feature works on any downloaded app to block distractions caused by unwanted alerts, status updates and reminders.
You can block apps such as Facebook, YouTube or streaming services that can expose users to unsuitable content, or place them at risk of cyber-bullying. It is parental control on the device!
GG: Won’t the kids get a little miffed?
CB: What would you rather have – miffed or safe?
So, we decided to review the phone. And that is in two parts. Less important is the hardware. Most important is the app lock.
There are three models (we have the G-mee Plus). We will list all the common features and then any unique ones.
Australian website here
G-mee – $99.95
- 5-inch plastic touch screen
- Android Go 8.1 OS
- Expandable memory via SD
- 3.5mm headphone jack and in-built mono speaker
- G-mee app lock feature to manage the user’s engagement with safe and suitable content.
G-mee Plus – $119.95 ($99.95 during pre-order period)
- Add access to Google mobile services (Google Play) over Wi-Fi
G-mee Connect – $149.95
- 4G phone calls, SMS and data
We can tell you that Rebound Telecom in Shanghai China makes it. Rebound is a small ODM – you tell it what you need, and it produces a phone to those specifications. It has full QA certification and is a Qualcomm licensee – that is hard to get.
Charlie could have had the choice of dozens of ODMs – this one has a good reputation. But ODMs do not usually worry about Google Security Patches or OS updates so what version OS you buy is what you get.
We understand that all three models use the same base.
Tech specs (G-mee Plus)
- Screen 5.46″ 864×480, 179ppi, plastic TFT – quite bright
- SoC 28nm Spreadtrum SC7731E, 32-bit, quad [email protected] and Mali-T820 GPU. The performance is about 21,000GIPS. Supports H.264 video decoding
- RAM 1GB
- STORAGE 8GB (4.3 free) plus microSD slot tested to 64GB
- Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz, -28dBM signal strength (excellent) 65Mbps
- BT 4+ with SBC and AAC codecs
- Phone – nil
- Camera – nil
- Removable battery 1900mAh, 5V/1A micro-USB charger. Recharge time approx. 6+ hours, Discharge at idle – approx. Seven days standby
- 3-axis accelerometer
- Android 8.1.0 Security Patch 5/10/19
- Google Go, YouTube, Gmail, Google Assistant, Google Maps, SMS, Chrome, Calculator, FM radio
- In the box: Device, charger ad cable, clear plastic bumper case and earbuds
The processor is the same as used in the 2019 Alcatel 1C. Remember this device (apart from G-mee Connect) is not a phone – its prime purpose is to consume approved content.
A nice feature is a set of kids stickers in the box – let’s make it fun.
Initially, it is a simple App Lock – essentially you can either use it to lock or unlock every app on the device.
Charlie and his wife are working on a dedicated G-mee app to offer more functionality. It will come as an over the air future update.
GadgetGuy’s take – G-mee is a brave move by locals Charlie and Rachael
G-mee is a move that we wholly support to help keep kids safe. But it is an evolving thing that needs more work on the dedicated G-mee app before we can give it a formal rating.
You can see the G-mee YouTube Channel here, and you can see that they are serious in bringing this product to market.
In our experience, we see the G-mee Plus as the main seller, but the idea of having 4G (and being able to lock it down) is appealing.
The only other downloadable on-phone app is Family Safe and that has a $69 annual subscription.