ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Cell Phones for Kids

Updated on February 15, 2018

Thinking about A Kids Cell Phone?

There are hundreds of millions of cell phones in the US. The vast majority of us own one; allowing us to stay in contact, providing a sense of security and immediacy, and giving us really cool features like watching TV, video, sharing pictures, enjoying music, accessing the internet, and much more.

Kids too are attracted to these small, useful, yet entertaining gadgets.

However, before a parent jumps in to buy a kids cell phone there are a few things they should consider.


Why Consider Cell Phones for Kids?

The right cell phone and the right cell phone plan does offer additional security for your child.

Here are a few examples:

  • Cell phones provide easy 911 access.
  • Cell phones can provide quick communication between parents and their children.
  • Some phones or software provide a GPS locator function to help parents keep track of their children.
  • Many kids just really, really want one and at some point you may decide to give in.


What Are The Disadvantages and Dangers of Cell Phones for Kids?

There are a number of concerns parents may have about giving a cell phone to kids.

  • Kids aren't likely to track their talk time. Exceeding the plan limits and ending up with an exorbitant bill is certainly a possibility. Going beyond texting limits is particularly problematic with older kids.
  • Providing a child with a cell phone that has video/photo capabilities and web access can expose them to content that parents might otherwise restrict. Spyware, predators, bullies, and spammers.Younger children, and less savvy kids may not be aware of such dangers. Kids need to be taught about communicating/interacting appropriately online and on their cell phone. "Don't talk to strangers" is still a valid rule.
  • Kids may also download unwanted programs, apps and so forth
  • Some kids will get really absorbed by the phone and spend too much time on them, especially at the wrong time.


Finding Phone and Plan for Kids That Are Safe

First, before you panic, realize:

  • There are some phones that allow parents to restrict who a child may call or be contacted by. This is the best defense against predators, spam, and bullies. In addition, most cellular providers have programs to help with this.
  • Some kids cell phone plans allow parents to place limits on talk time, downloads, purchases and text messaging; for instance AT&T's SmartLimits, T-Mobile's Family Allowances, and Verizon's Safeguards and Control. Many providers also assist in blocking messages, e-mails and so forth.
  • The various cellular providers offer prepaid cell plans which allow parents to put a limit on talk/texting time which help control spending.Prepaid phones are often good for older kids/teenagers who can have fewer restrictions but need limits on spending.
  • Increasingly there is software available that can help parents monitor cell phone activity if necessary. They can restrict usage by time, block callers, messages, tract location, filter web content, notify parents of activity, and so forth.


What Software Can Help Parents Protect Kids with Cell Phones?

If cyber-bullying, predators, and inappropriate web content is your primary concern, the software like NetNannySocial and NetSanity can help. They can allow parents to monitor, filter, and block content.

If more supervision is required there are certainly plenty of other options. MMGuardian for example allow parents to set time limits, block apps, calls, messages, and to filter websites. locate and track their kids, set alerts, and monitor activity.

If parents have a teen who is driving there are options to assure that phone use doesn't occur at that time. Programs such as DriveSafeMode are available to block phone functions and can notify parents if it is disabled.

Choosing the Right Cell Phone for Kids

With all of this in mind, now comes the time to choose the phone you want. The right phone is the one that offers the features you feel are important and yet provides the limits that you as a responsible adult want for safety and budget reasons. As a parent you know your kid the best, and have to choose based on their level of maturity.

A Few Recommendations for the Youngest Kids

For the youngest kids parents might be interested in low cost, basic phones. Something like the Nokia 3310 or Samsung Convoy 3.

If you have a preschooler that you just need to have contact with and perhaps geo-location, there are smartwatches that might suffice. LG has the GizmoGadget smartwatch through Verizon as an example.

For school age kids, smartphones of course start to be more appropriate. Kurio offers a number of parental controls build in: monitoring, filtering, emergency features, and GPS location. Plus it's not a bad looking smartphone.

Another affordable option for kids beyond 10 or 12 might be the MotoG4 Play. It's affordable, simple, had a nice display, and front and back camera, and of course has access to Android parental controls (like KidsMode)

Best Cell Phones for Kids Who Are a Bit Older

Prepaid cell phones put a cap on usage and bills and are often a great choice for teens. They offer basic phones and affordable smartphones with plenty of good texting options and entertainment features for kids that are more mature and tech savvy. Major carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile have them, but Boost Mobile, Straight Talk, Tracfone and others do as well.

If you have a tight budget the LG Tribute HD is affordable, as is the Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge. If you're willing to spend more though the MotoG4 Plus is fast, has a great display, and captures great images. Yes, of course, you can use those parental controls too.

Best Cell Phones for Kids: Was This Page Helpful? Let Us Know!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • spencerharry80 lm profile image

      spencerharry80 lm 5 years ago

      The list of smart phones is amazing & the lens is beautifully made.... Thanks dear

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      dang i wish i had a iphone! im 11 :(

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      Cell phones are needed more and more for mobile kids. Thank you for the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      iPhone totally

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great lens :)

    • spids1 profile image

      spids1 5 years ago

      Great lens very well written.

    • profile image

      Hannah Writes 5 years ago

      My twins will,get a phone when they go to middle school in two years. I wonder what technological advances there will be!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent overiew.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Buy an iPhone and limit everything

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I got my 10 year old the lg ally and she loves it. I got it for her when I had been 38 weeks pregnant and it wasn't a lot of stress for me or my baby

    • profile image

      SallyForth 6 years ago

      I really like the Migo for little kids. I'm thinking about getting my niece one for her birthday (with her parents' permission, of course).

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My team and I are working on a new kind of service - an app that takes over any Android phone and turns it into a kid-friendly smartphone with GPS location and full parental control from the web.

      If you've been thinking of giving your child a phone but are hesitating and think you'd like to have some control over how your child uses their phone, our service might be right for you.

      If you're interested, please email me at and we'll get you set up in under 5 minutes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Both my teenage boys have prepaid tracfones and if they go over their limit they have to buy minutes themselves or go without, this teaches them responsibility and budgeting skills.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice post, really at present time internet trend growing day by day and all these technical gadgets like cellphone and i pods are used mostly by the kids and youth. internet Filter and other tools now become popular to reduce internet harmful effect and protect current generation from it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Take a random tween, age 8-12, place them in front of a rotary phone and observe at the blank stare of bewilderment. Yes, gone are the days of the landline, pushed aside by the next wave of technological advancement. Mobile phones are quick displacing landlines in many homes; accompanying this movement is the fact children regularly use and know how to use these cell phones. The mobility of cell phones means it is possible to be anywhere and have the necessity, or ought to I say the convenience, of a phone. free government cell phones

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 6 years ago neice has a six year old, and was thinking about a phone for him.....she is a working mom and I think a cell phone with security and parental locks is a good idea.

    • blazingzone lm profile image

      blazingzone lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for all the info on what phone to get for my kids. i should be able to relate one of the phones u mentioned to them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      We just bought the Virgin LG900G for our twin sons and I was really pleased with the price and the phone. I am not impressed that we can not shut off the internet access. I also prefer to lock their call list so that they can only call certain numbers and receive calls from their call list. You can't do that from this phone. We might be taking them back because I don't think they need that much freedom for their first phones.

      Just wanted to share that info in case it helps someone else choose a phone.

    • magento-templates profile image

      magento-templates 6 years ago

      thanks for useful info!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hey, Nice information. I was need a better cell phone for my 10 years old kids. Thanks for providing such a useful information.

      kvm rackmount

    • profile image

      Janiswedding 7 years ago

      Thanks a lot for all that info. I'm looking to getting my 16year old a phone, and seeing that I'm on a tracfone, I was going to get him something similar, maybe just cheaper. Now I'm quite happy with tracfone, prepaid, cost of phone, and especially the dmfl. But I see you make no mention of this option in your lens. Is there a reason for this. Am I on the wrong tack here going for a tf?

    • Draconius LM profile image

      Draconius LM 7 years ago

      Great Lens full of great information am lensrolling it to my Blackberry and other phone review lenses

    • profile image

      grantdelmark 8 years ago

      Nice job! Excellent information! I am a kid myself, and got a cell phone a couple of years ago. This is the way to start out! And you are right about kids accidentally over texting (I speak from experience)! Keep it up!

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 9 years ago

      Another informative lens! I like the security of knowing with a cell phone my teens can stay in contact with me when needed.

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 9 years ago

      Great lens with helpful information on sorting out the best options. Kajeet has worked out wonderfully for my daughter and I feel in complete control with the restrictions I have on her plan.

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 10 years ago

      Ohh, my son so wants a cell phone! You have some great info here. He's still not getting one for a couple more years, LOL.

    • profile image

      rockycha 10 years ago

      Great Topic! Excellent depth!