Cell Phone Options for Kids

Jennifer L. Betts
Girl reading text on cell phone

Today's parents are almost as busy as their kids. Making sure every member of the family can stay in contact is vital to organizing everyone's activities and preparing for unexpected situations like a last-minute canceled practice. Choosing the right phone options for kids can be quite a challenge, but there are some models that seem ready-made for youngsters.

Models for Young Kids (Under 10)

When you are thinking about getting a first phone for your kid, you don't need to think about getting something with all the bells and whistles. Getting a simple voice phone that you can track typically works best. Most kids this age have a tablet and other devices and a smartphone might just get broken.

Kyocera Cadence LTE

Available through Verizon Wireless, the Kyocera Cadence LTE offers a long battery, along with WiFi Calling and Hotspot. Listed as a great starter phone for kids by PC Magazine, it received about 3.5 stars. It is a bare bones phone that will run a few apps like a basic browser and email. It has a solid design for rough and tumble kids, and the flip open means you don't need to replace the screen every month. Additionally, the cost is low at about $120. This means if you have to replace it because your little one loses it, you won't feel the sting as bad.

Nokia 3310 3G

Another hard to break first phone contender for littles is the Nokia 3310 3G. This retro style, bare-bones phone will let you talk, text and even Facebook your friends. The classic design offers a few games along with an affordable price tag of $60. With several colors to choose from and an easy-to-use interface, kids can talk without getting too much freedom on the internet. Additionally, the Nokia 3310 3G was ranked among the safest phones for kids by Avast. In addition to 3 stars by Whistle Out, this phone features a long battery life and is available on several networks.

Smart Phone Models for Older Kids (11 and up)

If your tween is ready to handle the responsibility of a smartphone, then there are several available. Having a smartphone can make accessing an address or finding a restaurant easy for your kid as they start to venture out into the world without you. However before just handing over the reins make sure to add parental controls like Qustodio to make sure the experience is safe and secure.

LG K30

Voted the Best Overall by Lifewire for kids, this phone offers 32Gs of memory for a price tag of only $200. Given that some phones out there range over $1,000, this little guy packs a bang without the buck. The display and camera make it good for selfies and social media. It also works well for watching videos on YouTube. Additionally, the design makes it more comfortable for kids to hold, making them less likely to drop it. If you have a forgetful child, the battery can last for 10 days on standby. Therefore, your tween will get all the freedom they need at a price that parents can afford.

Moto G6

With a solid 4 star review from CNET and a Digital Trends listing it for Best Phones for Kids, the Moto 6G is a good choice for your growing child. With a price tag of $180, big battery and 5.7-inch screen, you can't go wrong. This computer on wheels offers 36 hours of battery life and a beautification mode for all those selfies. It also packs the speed with a 1.4 GHz processor. For your mover and shaker, it has a curved design to help slipping, along with a water-resistant coating. However, the glass is prone to breaking so be aware.

Galaxy S8

This major player in the cellphone world, Galaxy S8 offers freedom for kids and enough space to keep them moving. This phone has the ability to take a fall and a durable camera for budding photographers. Additionally, the interface is designed to learn from your kids, and it's water resistant. Being built tough comes with a hefty price tag of $850 dollars. However, TechRadar listed the Galaxy S8 among the top 10 phones for kids. And the versatility it will bring might even reduce other expenses for your child. Additionally, Tom's Guide gives this powerhouse a 4.5 out of 5 stars for performance, battery life, and design.

iPhone 8

Listed among best for teens by Lifewire, the iPhone 8 packs a bunch. While the cost of $600 is high, it won't break the bank when you consider all you are getting. Apple's A11 chip really can't be beat for speed, and it has a 12-megapixel camera that is Instagram ready. Though it is scratch and dust resistant, investing in a case is wise given the price tag. The apps and usability at school and in life make this phone a keeper for busy teens.

Family Plans Versus No Contract Option

You may already be on a family mobile plan and can simply add a telephone for your child to your contract. However, if you do not have a family plan, or you are maxed out on the number of devices you can add, a no-contract option might be the best alternative for your child.

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile has you covered for affordable service on your cell phones. Get this by month for only $15 a month. This includes unlimited talk and text, along with 3gigs of LTE 4G internet service. This is only a starting cost though, you can buy more internet service.

FreeUp

Can you imagine getting service for your phone for free? This service offers free mobile plans but can go up to $20 a month if you are looking for talk, text, and data. This service includes 4G LTE Data.

Tello

Are you looking for affordable unlimited plans to keep your teen's data usage in check, Tello has you covered. This service offers plans as low as $12 but 10G of LTE 4G and unlimited 2G after is only $37 a month. This can be hard to beat for kids with a lot of downtime on their hands.

Staying in Touch

The peace of mind that comes from knowing you can reach your child at the push of a button, and he can reach you or another trusted adult in an emergency, is one of the main reasons parents buy their children cellphones. No matter where you stand on the issue of when a child should get his first cell phone, knowing what options are available can help you make an informed decision about which phone is right for your child. Your service provider is an invaluable resource about which of these phones works best with individual plans.

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Cell Phone Options for Kids