Buying toys for infants and toddlers is more complicated than it sounds. How much does it cost? How much clutter will it add? Will your child play with it in six months? Will they play with it at all? That's what makes legos and blocks so special -- they have a long entertainment lifespan. A conventional mobile, by contrast, often stops entertaining kids within a few months.
But Fisher-Price has a solution: a device that includes a mobile and a projector, plus a slew of extra features to sweeten the deal -- all for the surprisingly affordable $70. It certainly isn't a must-buy product, but for most parents, the Fisher-Price Smart Connect 2-in-1 Projection Mobile offers a solid long-term investment.
The Fisher-Price Projection Mobile has it all. First off, it's got the standard-issue lullabies and ambient sounds preprogrammed into it. It also has a dim light for checking on your child in a dark room without waking them. Plus, the mobile can spin automatically, and the projector can shoot images onto the inner dome of the mobile. The device also listens for your child's cries, and will send you push notifications if it sounds like the kiddo is waking up.
If that sounds like a lot of features for $70, that's because it is. And you can even control all those features and set them on timers via Bluetooth using the iOS and Android app.
During my time with it, I used most of the Smart Connect Mobile's features. My son Idris loved watching the mobile spin automatically. I appreciated getting push notifications when he woke up after a nap. Even the light helped me check on him while he slept. Overall, while it can't do everything -- and definitely can't replace a standalone monitor -- the Mobile takes advantage of an impressive suite of features.
The Smart Connect Mobile isn't perfect, though. It attaches to cribs, for instance, but you can't really use it anywhere else. My son would've loved it on his sleeper or over his car seat, but that would've required considerable effort, jerry-rigging the setup every time.
The projector also misses its full potential. I love that you can remove the mobile and just project images directly onto the ceiling for older children. But kids will get bored of the same three or four animals floating above them every night. The projector's images are surprisingly sharp, so I would love to see it project star systems or the alphabet for educational purposes. Sadly it uses only one reel, so your child will quickly get familiar with the bunny, fox, squirrel and assorted birds on it.
Despite these minor limitations, the Smart Connect Mobile is a solid gadget for infants and toddlers. If Fisher-Price adds more projection reels and a flexible attachment in the future, this 2-in-1 Mobile could really do it all.