The Top Mobile Phones for Kids

With the average age of first cell phone use dropping lower each year, it’s only a matter of time before your kid wants his or her own cell phone. In the absence of special phones for kids, there are a few regular models that make good choice. Whether or not you buy a mobile phone for your child really is a personal decision, but there are some advantages. Knowing that you can contact your child wherever they are, and that they can contact you in case of emergency, can alleviate a big source of worry. Particularly if you work late, or your child has reached the age where they’re old enough to go to and from school alone, the knowledge that they have a phone in the pocket can be comforting. There is of course the issue of personal safety from the other side. The chances that your child will give their number to someone unsuitable, or, with a smart phone, there is a good chance that they’ll use the phone to access inappropriate material over the internet. However, with vigilance and supervision, a mobile phone doesn’t have to be a bad thing for a child to have. Today we’re looking at the best mobile phones for kids, and what you should be looking for.

Things to Consider when Buying the Best Mobile Phone for a Child…
When buying a child’s cell phone finance has to be an issue, and that doesn’t just mean the cost of the hand set itself. Running up a huge monthly bill is pretty easy on a cell phone, so you’ll want to make sure that your child uses their phone responsibly. Going with pay as you go, rather than a monthly contract, is a pretty good idea, at least at first. That way controlling spending is easy, since the child can use only the amount of credit that’s been pre-loaded onto the phone. If you decide to go the smart phone route, then there are a couple of other things that you’ll want to keep in mind. Most smart phones come with pre-loaded app store software, giving you a convenient and easy one stop shop for apps. These stores (whether the Apple App store or Google Play) generally require a credit card to register. But once the credit card information has been entered once, the stores automatically use that number to pay for everything purchased. This could mean that you get a large credit card bill for downloaded apps. Finally, if you’re going smart phone then really consider getting WiFi as well as 3G. WiFi phones will be a little more expensive than 3G only phones, but they do mean that kids can connect over home WiFi networks for free, rather than running up data charges over 3G.

The Nokia 100…
The Nokia 100 wasn’t specifically designed with kids in mind, but it really could have been. It’s one of the best mobile phones for kids on the market, and it’s pretty cheap too. It’s not a smart phone, but it is a simple, colourful phone with big buttons and a huge battery. And at rock bottom prices it won’t matter so much when your child loses or breaks it. It doesn’t have the kind of connectivity that teens will be looking for, but as a basic choice for a younger child, you really can’t go wrong with the Nokia 100.

The Nokia Asha 201…
Another phone that keeps the young in mind, and offers a great compromise too. The Asha 201 isn’t fully internet-capable, so your kids will stay safe from online predators, but it does offer a limited amount of apps, including a Facebook app, so your child can still access the social media sites that they want. It’s not as cheap as the Nokia 100, but it’s still not going to break the bank. It’s bright and colourful, and includes a camera and music software. This is one of the best mobile phones for young teens out there, letting you have peace of mind as well as letting your child access some of the more grown up functions of a smart phone.

The Motorola Defy…
So, your kid wants a smart phone, but you don’t want to hand over an expensive, fragile device? Then the Motorola Defy is the one for you. It’s a full smart phone, running Android, with internet access, WiFi and all the basic features that you’d expect from a smart phone nowadays. The camera is decent, and it even has GPS. What makes the Defy special is that it’s pretty much indestructible for a smart phone. It does have the touch screen which is maybe a little fragile for smaller fingers, but it’s also shock proof and shatter resistant. It won’t survive being tossed of a bridge, but it will survive the everyday knocks, drops and bumps that a child is liable to subject it to. If you’re looking for a smart phone that isn’t too expensive (the Defy retails at around a hundred pounds) and won’t be easily broken, then you should go with the Motorola Defy.

The Optimus L3 is basically a regular smart phone. It’s sleek and good looking, and has all the features you would want from a smart phone, including a good camera, full internet access over 3G and WiFi, and a nice music player too. It’s not the fastest or most powerful phone on the market, but it is pretty cheap, which is what makes it a good option for teens looking for their first smart phone.

The iPhone 4…
The iPhone is going to set you back far more than any of the other phones on this list. But… an iPhone is probably at the top of every child’s list of dream phones. It’s not a great choice for younger kids, but teenagers will do fine with an iPhone. If you’re going this route, at least compromise and go with the iPhone 4 or 4S, rather than the newer (and far more expensive) iPhone 5.

Sam Jones found some of the best mobile phones on offer by browsing online. uSwitch and other price comparison sites helped him save a little money each month

 

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