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    Pinwheel vs OurPact

    Where Pinwheel and OurPact Agree:
    Unfiltered Tech is Not For Kids

    OurPact and Pinwheel have taken very different approaches to kids and tech. OurPact is an app that you "add on" to an existing adult phone or tablet. Pinwheel is designed from the ground up as a kids phone, combining hardware and software in one product.


    Pinwheel designed a healthy, research-backed smartphone for raising free range kids in a digital age.Pinwheel is only available on Pinwheel phones. This is why it works so well.


    OurPact is continually playing "whack-a-mole", attempting to work on any device from the 1,000+ Android devices to the Apple ecosystem as well. This is why it doesn't work on any of them that well, has loopholes, and results in a lot of frustration.


    Contacts Safelist vs. Incoming Spam

    On A Pinwheel


    1. It's Safelist-Only. Nobody can call or text the phone who isn't on the Safelist.


    2. It's Mode-Modified. Most parents limit the phone to emergency contacts at school and at night, but enable friends, family, coaches, or neighbors during other modes.


    With OurPact


    Just Google "recycled phone numbers" and you'll see the problem here. Kids end up with old numbers these days used by someone else recently. Kids have gotten quite inappropriate calls/texts ranging from really annoying to obscene.


    OurPact doesn't prevent spam calls from strangers, however they do say their premium tier can block texts. Users have reported issues with the feature depending on the device you are using.


    Raw Customer Comments Re: Call/Text Safelist

    Setup and Maintenance

    On A Pinwheel


    You sign up for your caregiver portal online and in 5-10 minutes you make some selections about apps that are available and what time things should happen. Pinwheel phones come with Pinwheel software out-of-the-box (of course).


    On-going you can do as little or as much as you need. Setup your perfect day and leave it that way, or tailor it to your life a bit more.


    With OurPact


    Get ready for a marathon. You have 42 steps to install the app on the device and attempt to set it up. The average time is 2 hours. Many people simply never make it to the end, giving up in a fit of rage and frustration. This is especially true on Apple devices.


    OurPact tries to support everything, so when issues come up specific to your device, support is harder to find.


    Raw Customer Feedback on Setup or Maintenance

    Healthy Apps Should Grow Up with the Child

    On A Pinwheel


    We curated the entire app store with our therapist council to select the best no-ad "tool not a toy" options. You choose when to enable healthy tech like:


    A first digital wallet, Tasks & Rewards, Ninjafocus Meditation, Boy Scouts, Gospel Library, and more. These non-addictive apps help kids as they grow.


    There's no app store on the Pinwheel phone because parents have an app boutique in the portal.

    With OurPact


    Every type of app is available. You get no help with the job of curating what apps your child should be using.


    There are often conflicts. OurPact users report constant battles with getting apps to work or not work at the right times.


    The app stores are visible. Kids can be restricted from installing any app, but they can still peruse and then beg for more, increasing conflicts.

    GPS Location Services

    On A Pinwheel


    GPS is designed to work and not be disabled. But also let them find their way by learning to use maps and weather (if you want).


    With OurPact


    GPS data is reported to not work or can just be disabled by the child.



    Parent Portal

    On A Pinwheel


    • Choose Apps from Curated List
    • Mode-Switching Timeline
    • Safelist Contacts and Approvals
    • Contact Groups and Mode-Timing
    • Set Routines/Tasks (e.g. chores)

    With OurPact


    • Pairing is frequently lost
    • When it works, you can also set a schedule.

    And Then the Star Ratings...

    Pinwheel has less than 2%cancellation rate. Most of those are for personal reasons unrelated to Pinwheel.


    Pinwheel uses Ulefone and Samsung high quality models.

    OurPact has 2.7 out of 5 stars amongst parents.


    Canceling is Easy

    You can tell the quality of a service by how easy they make it to cancel.


    You manage your own subscription via the Pinwheel billing portal and can cancel or modify your service at any time.

    OurPact Users report real pain. Customer service is reported as very slow.

    Designed vs. Afterthought

    To be clear, we admire OurPact! They love kids and they want to help parents. They have just taken a technically very difficult pathway, and after many years in business it has become clear that this path doesn't work well.  


    Both company's founders faced giving their kids a phone and looked at the same research about smartphones being bad for kids (and adults). OurPact concluded that disabling adult tech could keep kids safe. Pinwheel concluded "Let's design a phone that solves those problems... for life."

    Pinwheel Reviews

    "Recently acquired a Pinwheel phone for my daughter and I can't say enough good things about it. Loving the fact I'm able to teach my child about how phones are tools not toys."


    –Laralyn Smith

    "After using Pinwheel for a few weeks my daughter is so happy with the digital independence she is developing; and I love that I get to have peace of mind knowing she is doing so in a safe and enriching digital environment."


    –Robert Stroud