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Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer review: The Kinsa Ear Thermometer keeps parents prepared

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The Good The Kinsa Ear Thermometer gets quick and accurate readings, and the app organizes that information intuitively.

The Bad Kinsa can't quite justify its price -- especially when some parents might only use it a few times.

The Bottom Line Kinsa is useful, especially if your child has known health concerns and you need to monitor their temperature over time.

7.8 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Usability 8
  • Design 9
  • Performance 9

Two months into fatherhood, after rescheduling a forgotten appointment, I tried and failed to recall my son's birth date, weight, and height for the doctor. While that might not nominate me for a "Worst Dad" award, it's tough to feel confident when you're sleep deprived and you can't remember if it was diapers or wipes you needed to buy on your way home.

Luckily, devices and apps for overwhelmed new parents (or just absent-minded ones like me) are gaining popularity. The Kinsa Ear Thermometer is the most recent addition to this movement, and its function is simple: it records the time and date of your child's temperature readings, then pairs them with any accompanying symptoms (such as coughing). Besides this device-to-app communication, the thermometer records accurate temperatures in about a second, so holding the probe in the ear of your squirming kid isn't so difficult.

After using the FDA-cleared Kinsa myself, I'm impressed. It does what it advertises, and it does it well. The only problem is, it costs $60 (about £41 or AU$83).

Here's what using Kinsa looks like: You turn on the thermometer by pressing the big white button, and it immediately prepares to pair with your phone via Bluetooth. Once you pair through the Kinsa app (which takes all of 30 seconds), the thermometer is ready to use. Take a temperature reading and it will show up in the app. All you have to do is enter your child's name, assign the reading to them, and add any additional symptoms you noticed.

kinsasmartthermometer-4.jpg

Kinsa's sensitive probe can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol and stored with an included clip-on cover.

Chris Monroe/CNET

While checking the temperature of a healthy baby is a good precaution, you don't really need an app for it. Kinsa's smarts help with situations where you must monitor a child's temperature over time. For parents of children with known health concerns, this sort of information organization is invaluable.

As I mentioned, Kinsa costs $60. Compared to other ear thermometers, that's a relatively reasonable price. But for new parents, it's about as much as a decent sleeper or changing pad -- and you'll use both of those far more than a thermometer. For many parents, a $10 thermometer to use in their baby's armpit will suffice. That said, if you find that you need an ear thermometer, Kinsa is competitively priced and smarter than the alternatives.

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