Best Phones For Kids In 2023

The Best Phones For Kids In 2023

According to a 2023 study by Ofcom, most children in the UK own their first smartphone before they’re in their teens. The study found that 55% of 8-11 year-olds have their own phone, indicating that mobile phones have become a fundamental part of life for most young people. Whilst there are many parents who will still hesitate to buy their young kids phones, the question has definitely shifted to When, not If, children will get their first phone.

The next question to answer is which smartphone is best suited for your child. To answer this, we’ll be looking at a few key features of an ideal kid’s phone.

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Key Features of the Best Phone for Kids

An ideal kid’s phone for 2023 will take the following features into consideration:

Affordability and Durability

Children are prone to accidental drops, spills, and various types of rough handling. Therefore, a durable phone that can withstand such treatment is essential. Look for models with a robust build, possibly with water and dust resistance. Spending a fortune doesn’t make sense, as these are fragile devices of metal and glass that could easily get broken. Protect against a sudden shock to your bank account by getting your child’s mobile phone at the cheapest possible rate – for example, you should consider buying a refurbished device.

Parental Controls and Emergency Features

A phone with easy-to-use parental control settings allows you to monitor and manage what your child can access. This feature will enable you to restrict certain apps, set time limits, and keep track of your child’s activity. Features like a dedicated SOS button, GPS tracking, and emergency contact features can be beneficial for your child’s safety.

Ease of Use and Battery Life

Since many children getting their first phone are not yet tech-savvy, the interface should be user-friendly. A phone that is intuitive to navigate will help your child use it more effectively. Making sure your child’s phone has decent battery life is crucial, especially if the phone will be used to keep in contact with your child throughout the day.

Our Top Picks for the Best Phones for Kids in 2023

1. iPhone SE (2022) – The Best Apple iPhone for Kids

  • Affordability & Durability: Mid-range pricing (cheaper if refurbished). Unlike the metal-framed flagship iPhones, the Apple iPhone SE features a plastic body and gorilla glass screen.
  • Parental Controls and Emergency Features: Apple’s Screen Time limits can be controlled from the parent’s own phone. iPhones also feature emergency SOS calling and family location sharing.
  • Ease of Use & Battery Life: The iOS operating system is known for its simple user interface, and the battery will last for up to 13 hours of talk time.

Recommended age group: 13+

The Apple iPhone SE offers a balanced mix of features and is especially great if your household is already in the Apple ecosystem.

2. Nokia 2660 – The Best Flip Phone For Kids

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  • Affordability & Durability: Budget-friendly pricing. Solid plastic build.
  • Parental Controls and Emergency Features: Basic controls available through third-party apps. No emergency features included.
  • Ease of Use & Battery Life: Features a simple, no-frills interface and offers up to 15 hours of talk time.

Recommended age group: 7-13

For those looking for nothing more than basic features and durability, a flip phone like the Nokia 2660 is a great pick. It’s an ideal phone for younger kids who don’t need advanced capabilities like web browsing.

3. Samsung Galaxy A13 – The Best Android Phone for Kids

  • Affordability & Durability: Budget-friendly pricing with a sturdy plastic frame.
  • Parental Controls and Emergency Features: Samsung Kids Mode is available for super-strict parental controls. The device also offers location tracking via Google Family Link, as well as emergency SOS.
  • Ease of Use & Battery Life: One UI Core ensures an easy-to-navigate user interface, and the battery supports up to 17 hours of talk time.

Recommended Age Group: 10-14

Android Phones all come with plenty of parental control features, provided by Google Family Link – however, Samsung goes above and beyond with its own ‘Kids Mode’. This completely locks down certain features of the phone, so that kids are only able to use the device for things appropriate to their age. For example, a child who has a phone locked to Kids Mode will only be able to make phone calls to a short list of pre-approved contacts. No wonder the Samsung Galaxy A13 is widely considered one of the best phones for kids.

4. Moto E6 – The Best Basic Phone for Kids

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  • Affordability & Durability: Very economical pricing. Water-repellent design.
  • Parental Controls and Emergency Features: Compatible with Google Family Link for parental controls. Includes emergency information and SOS features.
  • Ease of Use & Battery Life: Features a simple Android interface and offers up to 14 hours of talk time.

Recommended Age Group: 10-14

The Moto E6 is another Android phone for kids that is particularly budget-friendly, and offers robust parental control features through Google Family Link, such as being able to set screen time limits. The simplified features of this android phone mean better battery life, as there’s less demand on the device… helping your child keep in contact with you throughout the day.

In Summary

Choosing the right phone for your child involves careful consideration of several features. From durability to parental controls, each aspect contributes to making the phone child-friendly. With options ranging from iOS to Android and varying in price points, there’s a suitable choice for every family.

Make a judicious decision that marries both your needs and your child’s for a satisfying and safe mobile experience.

New vs Refurbished: Which is Better For Kids?

If you are purchasing the iPhone for your child as their first phone, it is quite an expensive option. The iPhone offers the best security and parental controls. However, if you’re still looking for these benefits at a discounted price, a refurbished iPhone is the right choice.

refurbished phone is suitable for anyone who doesn’t want to buy the phone at the original price. The refurbished models come at a lower price than brand new ones but still offer all the features you’d expect from a top-notch device.

What is the best age for a kid to get a phone?

Choosing when to give your child a phone for the first time can feel like a monumental task. Each person has their own opinion on the ideal time, and there are no laws prohibiting it, so it can be challenging to figure out when is the right time. In that case, at what age should a child have a phone?

The truth is, every child is different, and some will be interested in technology sooner than others will. From an early age, social pressure and the desire to fit in will make your child ask. As tech pioneer, Bill Gates put it:

“We don’t have cell phones at the table when we are having a meal. We didn’t give our kids cell phones until they were 14, and they complained that other kids got them earlier.”

During this period, your children are likely to spend more time hanging out alone with friends and may even be using public transportation more often. There is a genuine need to ensure the safety of your children, so it is essential to keep track of them.

When your kids are teenagers, they might be able to find a part-time job or otherwise help you out financially. Therefore, they are a bit more inclined to take care of it since it costs them something!

It is valid to consider getting a phone for a child younger than 13 if there are legitimate reasons for doing so. Below are a few reasons why giving your kids a phone might make sense:

  • If you work irregular hours, you might need a way of communicating with your children if schedules change.
  • If you are not the only caregiver, maintaining a direct line of communication with your children is crucial.
  • Also, if your children will not be near you or a trusted adult, a kids’ phone will come in handy.

Helpful Tips When Giving Your Child Their First Phone

As kids grow up and start using smartphones on a daily basis, parents must understand how much information their kids are exposed to through their phones. This can be especially true if you’re concerned about your child’s safety online. It’s essential to set boundaries and rules regarding the usage of mobile devices. Here are some tips to help you raise a smart kid.

Make A Deal, then Set Ground Rules

When you buy them their first smartphone, let them know that they can get a look at it frequently. This way, you will have some insight into what kind of content or apps they consume online. If you find anything inappropriate, you can always teach them how to protect themselves and limit their exposure.

Be clear about what’s appropriate for your child – no gaming, no pornography, no explicit language. Talk about where kids spend time online and teach them to value privacy and respect boundaries.

Emphasize the importance of looking after their person’s physical and mental well-being. Explain to them how social media impacts mental health and the detrimental effects of digital overuse; they will better understand why they should limit how much time they spend on their phones.

Set Bill Cap on your child’s SIM

Set a bill cap on the SIM card so that they won’t spend more than a certain amount per month. You can set this limit in your carrier’s app or website. Many carriers allow you to see how much data is used and how much money has been spent. You can always upgrade or downgrade their plan and change their bill cap accordingly, or opt for a Pay As You Go SIM card that your child can take responsibility for topping up.

Parental Controls

Use parental controls and filters to prevent questionable content from entering your kids’ phones. Many parents use this feature to safeguard against potential cyberbullying threats, setting screen times, limiting usage to specific apps, and blocking pornography sites. However, the best way to keep kids safe online is to teach them proper internet etiquette.

Keep Wi-Fi access limited to only those times when you need to use it. There are many apps available that give you a heads up about where your children go online. By limiting their exposure to social media sites, you can keep them safer. In addition, there will be less temptation to click on links without considering their consequences.

Educate About Cyberbullying, and Teach Online Safety

Let your children know what kind of behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable online, and tell them they can talk to you if they are concerned. Explain how cyberbullying happens – both in-person and online. Teach them to avoid people who may try to bully others or harass them over the internet. Also, discuss how to report and remove inappropriate comments, images, videos, etc., as quickly as possible.

Have open conversations with your kids about online safety. Let them know that they should never send their personal information out over any platform (social media, messaging services, email) unless they want it shared with other people. Ensure they understand why we don’t share our contact details on public forums. Explain how to identify fake accounts, and help them learn about digital security.

Final Thoughts

“It can be challenging to monitor what children access online the moment they have access to a mobile phone because it is a private technology that many keeps close to their chests, says Simon Leggett, a research director at Childwise.

If you believe your child needs a phone now, let them start with a dumb phone. You can slowly introduce them to more advanced devices, as they grow older. Just remember to teach them proper smartphone etiquette along the way.

Regardless of the type of phone you choose for your child, think about how you will teach them about technology and digital media. Most smartphones come with parental controls so that you can limit what your kids see and do when they are using their smart devices.

This way, they will learn about it before they start going online and interacting with strangers. It also gives you a chance to monitor their usage habits.

The most important thing is that you know yourself and your family well enough to decide whether a phone is necessary. You can always upgrade your existing device later. And if you are ready to buy a phone for your child right away, always consider getting a phone case and screen protector to help prevent accidental damage.

Having a smartphone isn’t always necessary for all kids. But there are plenty of options for kids who really need one. Just make sure you choose wisely!

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