Top 10 Inexpensive Kid Phones: Budget Models 2023
According to statistics from Find My Kids the most popular smartphones for children between the ages of 6 and 14 are: Samsung Galaxy J1, Huawei Y3, Xiaomi Redmi 5A and the Lenovo A2010. These are the phones that most parents buy for their children.
Are you looking for inexpensive kid phones that are a great choice for your kid’s first portable device? Our guide reviews the top ten models currently available at affordable prices. So, if you are wondering what is the cheapest phone for a kid, check out our suggestions and pick your favorite!
The guide has been updated—models that can be easily bought on the market are included, and current prices for the moment (2023) are presented.
- Cheap Phones for Kids: Comparison Chart 2023
- Samsung Galaxy J1
- Huawei Y3
- Xiaomi Redmi 5A 16Gb
- Lenovo A2010
- Gabb Phone Plus
- Pinwheel Slim 5
- Google Pixel 6a
- Samsung Galaxy A32
- Motorola Moto G Pure
- Advice for Parents
Disclaimer: Our article promotes specific phones chosen by our expert writers, and we strongly believe each meets the required criteria. In the interest of trust and transparency, please note that the article might still contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content.
Cheap Phones for Kids: Comparison Chart 2023
|Phone Model||Age||Price||Display||Our rating|
|Samsung Galaxy J1||8+||$90||4.3”||4.8|
|Xiaomi Redmi 5A 16Gb||8+||$85||5”||4.7|
|Gabb Phone Plus||8-13||$199.99||5.8”||4.5|
|Google Pixel 6a||12+||$289||6.1”||4.4|
|Samsung Galaxy A32||10+||$262||6.5”||4.3|
|Motorola Moto G Pure||10+||$159.99||6.5”||4.1|
|Apple iPhone SE||12+||$299||4.7”||4.0|
Whichever model you choose, be sure to install the Find My Kids app on the phone. With it, you will always know where the child is and what is happening around them. This is the #1 kids’ safety app!
Samsung Galaxy J1
Usage age: 8+
Samsung smartphones have already become classics, so your child will be more than happy to become the owner of such a gadget from a well-known brand.
Galaxy J1 is equipped with everything you need to have an accessible phone call and use the internet: it’s an android platform with a 4-core Marvell ARMADA PXA1908 1200 MHz processor, TFT display, displaying up to 16 million colors with a diagonal size of 4.3” and a 5-megapixel camera that takes photos with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. 1850 mAh battery allows you up to 10 hours of talk time.
For communication, it offers a WAP browser, EDGE, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and, of course, a USB port.
For any music lover, there’s an audio output of 3.5 mm. It’s also worth noting that it’s equipped with a GPS tracker.
Galaxy J1 is a lightweight smartphone that fits comfortably in your hand, easy to use, and doesn’t heat up.
- Stays charged for a long time
- Performs everyday tasks (calls, texts, emails, various messengers, viewing pages in a browser, exchanging photos, video)
- Good loudspeaker
- Good quality display (one of the best for this price range)
- Ergonomic body that is nice to use
- Good screen response
- 4G (the batter doesn’t rapidly deplete when this is turned on)
- 2 sim cards
- Good quality plastic (doesn’t mark easily, strong, doesn’t slip in your hand)
- Optimization mode. It works very well but doesn’t just show pretty pictures with percentages and ticks. If an app is not opened for more than 3 days then it is put into ‘hibernation’ mode in order to save RAM and battery. Plus there is also a setting for this mode (which is flexible) and it is called the set up ‘for yourself’ device.
- Not exactly a flaw, but rather a feature that is a victim of the price—a poor camera (bad coloring and takes a long time to focus on an object)
- No automatically adjusted screen brightness
Beautiful product. 100% balanced. Comfortable and smart enough for everyday use. I didn’t expect such a performance from this smartphone given its modest price by today’s standards. Of course, there’s no flagship and you can’t remove the games (again it depends on which games). After a few months of using the phone, I am confident in it. Whether I’m going somewhere by train or by car, I’m sure that I have enough power both for games and for maps. The only ‘downfall’ is the camera.
Usage age: 8+
A cheap smartphone from Huawei that uses an Android 6.0 system with a 4-core MediaTek MT6580 processor with 1300 MHz that is suitable for first-time smartphone users.
The Huawei Y3 comes with a 5-inch screen, allowing for a resolution of 854 by 480 resolution. The display uses IPS technology. Although the resolution is minimal this doesn’t strongly affect the quality of the pictures.
Equipped with a 2200 MAh battery that allows the phone to work for up to 6 hours with very active use, with typical use the phone can usually last the day.
There’s 1GB of memory and 8 GB of internal storage. It also has two sim card slots.
- Nice design
- Surprisingly it performs very well. No problems with the interface or browsers, which is simply amazing with this mediocre phone.
- Not a bad camera for this price bracket but don’t hope for miracles. It has its own nuances that you’ll have to get used to.
- The screen. Great coloring.
- Good reception. Doesn’t lose connection. Works well with a router and modem.
- Doesn’t get hot during use even when playing games
- The speaker sound is very bad. Few frequencies. But you can hear the ringtone ok.
- The sensor is good for everyday use it’s not suitable for games. For strategies and races it can be enough, but shooting and tank-simulating games isn’t great. The accuracy is lacking when you touch the screen which is weird.
I was looking for a cheap smartphone. I was ready to compromise but I didn’t have to! This smartphone is worth every penny! I’m 100% happy with my purchase. I advise everyone who wants to only spend a small amount to get a gadget that meets their everyday needs. Gamers—I recommend that you look for a more expensive model and hope for the best.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A 16Gb
Usage age: 8+
This electronic gadget is well-established in the market. A 4-core smartphone using Android 7.1.2 with MIUI 9.1, equipped with a 5-inch screen with 1280 x 720 pixels and IPS display technology and a QualcommSnapdragon425 processor (4xARMCortex-A53 up to 1.4 GHz).
2 GB of RAM, physical memory is 16 GB. It supports a micro SD card up to 128 GB and is equipped with a 3080 MAh battery and has a slot for two nano-SIM cards.
- A good quality smartphone. For this price bracket it’s the ideal phone
- Good memory, great performance, and lots of pleasing features
- A big bright screen
- A good camera
- A loudspeaker, and deep sound
- It has a very useful dual-screen function that allows you to watch YouTube and write on VK at the same time
- A convenient ‘second space’ function that allows you to have two home screens if this is needed, for example, for your work or hobby. There it’s possible to hide anything personal.
- The camera makes images a bit blurry, but this is absolutely not a problem, photos are still clear and sharp
- The phone body is made of plastic meaning that it’s slippery. One day you could accidentally drop it. But this can be easily solved by a phone case, stopping it from sliding out of your hand.
- The phone can get hot (up to 41 degrees according to statistics) if you’re playing games, but with everyday use, even with thousands of apps open in the background, this is not a problem.
- The proximity button isn’t always activated when you make a call. You can easily accidentally hit the mute button or make a note button but this isn’t a frequent problem.
I’ll finish by singing the praises of this smartphone! The value for money is fantastic. If you need a good quality phone for around £65 then the Redmi 5A is absolutely the winner. I’d recommend it to everyone who doesn’t want or cannot spend a lot of money on a smartphone. Believe me, this phone is worth it!
Usage age: 8+
One of the most accessible smartphones from Lenovo. Supported by the high-speed site LTE (4G), allowing fast data transfers.
A quad-core, 64-bit processor has enough power for quality without any delay when playing music and watching videos or running apps etc. With a 4.5-inch display, the Lenovo A2010 differs by its high image quality in games, messaging, watching videos and surfing the web.
The smartphone not only allows you to use the internal 8 GB storage but also to install a micro SD card of up to 32 GB.
Thanks to the 2000 MAh battery the phone can run for up to 8.5 hours when in use, or up to 11.5 hours when on standby mode in a 4G network, therefore you can use it for longer and charge it less. It can also support two sim cards.
- Fast internet
- Strong body: it’s fallen on the floor a few times but there are no problems and it continues to work normally
- It holds its charge well if you don’t use the internet too much
- The optimal size phone, nice to hold in your hand
- Sometimes you can’t get any signal when inside, or it says there is a network but people can’t get a hold of you (you’ll only discover this a few hours later)
- Poor photo and video quality, problems with focusing
- Tilting the screen even a little give you bad visibility
- Brick style
- The speaker is inconveniently passed. If you hold the phone whilst talking to someone then the other person can’t hear you. It’s inconvenient to hold the phone in the middle and you can’t move your fingers otherwise the other person will only hear the noise
- There’s no light for notifications
I’ve been using it for 3 months. Overall my impression of the phone is five stars given its price and quality. Battery life is good, good memory, calls loudly, bright screen. Myself and my wife have it. We’re using it and are satisfied with 4G (YOTA as the operator). I can read documents fine, use my email, social networks, and surf the internet without a browser. I was playing a game but the screen is too small for it. If you need a good camera then don’t get this phone. I got it for the 4G and fast internet and calls. I’m satisfied.
Gabb Phone Plus
Usage age: 8-13
Gabb Phone Plus doesn’t focus on the price but rather on securing excellent value for the money. And it does a good job of providing superb Samsung quality in a cell phone with integrated parental controls.
Your child will appreciate the large 5.83-inch screen and a fairly fast processor. It makes this model one of the strongest devices among cheap phones for kids.
The generous 32GB storage will be enough to hold many photos made with the impressive 8MP back camera. The front 5MP camera is only a bonus, as well as the impressive 23-hour battery life.
Although it’s an Android phone, there’s no access to the app store. You get pre-installed software, such as a calculator, calendar, phone, and a specialized Gabb messenger. However, Gabb Phone Plus comes without social media and internet access overall, so if you are looking for a smart investment into inexpensive kid phones focused on child security, this device is worth considering.
- Integrated parental control features
- Lower price available with an annual or biannual contract
- A nice selection of safe apps is available
- Includes a reliable GPS locator
- Excellent camera quality
- No access to the internet limits the kid’s phone functionality
- A bit pricier compared to other models
I was looking at cheap phones for kids to ensure I can communicate with my child anytime, and this device works flawlessly. I also appreciate the curated selection of apps that ensures there are no distracting games on the device. My child loves the powerful camera and useful features, and I appreciate the safe option to track her location. It’s a shame they don’t lower the price a bit, but it’s worth the money.
Pinwheel Slim 5
Usage age: 8-18
It’s hard to separate two cheap cell phones for kids that focus on maximum security, so we decided to give them the same rating. Pinwheel isn’t an iPhone or Android phone but uses an operating system developed for these devices exclusively. It has loads of useful features, starting from a curated app store that’s without addictive games or social media. However, you’ll find multiple music, finance and banking, and other useful software. The battery lasts long, the screen size is huge, and there is a 48MP camera.
Pinwheel Slim 5 comes with web access via Wi-Fi, but there’s no internet browser. The GPS locator shows the kid’s location, and you can adjust a contact safelist and monitor the history of calls and texts. Given this is a full-featured smart device, Pinwheel can be put among cheap phones for kids since its higher price is justified with integrated parental control options.
- Specialized Pinwheel OS with upgrades and decent app selection
- Wi-Fi connection supported, but no social media available
- Contact safelist managed by parents
- Screen time schedules are a helpful option
- Some minor performance bugs
- This model isn’t compatible with Verizon and 5G
It’s been two years since my teen has had this Android device, and it still works great. The camera is of excellent quality, and there’s generous memory storage. The app selection is impressive, and the phone has more apps than some competitors. The only downside is the price, but considering the value it delivers, it has strong value despite being in the category of not-that-cheap phones for kids.
Google Pixel 6a
Usage age: 12+
The first thing you notice about this child’s phone is that it looks great. Users can pick from several different colors, so you’ll surely find one that your kid likes. The 6.1-inch OLED display is amazing and does a wonderful job of capturing impressive images with the integrated camera.
Google Pixel 6a has a battery that lasts approximately 24 hours, putting it among the best choices among cheap phones for kids in this category. It has fingerprint protection to prevent unauthorized use and IP68 waterproof rating to allow submerging up to 4.5 feet.
The phone has Wi-Fi internet access, but you won’t find wireless charging or microSD card support.
- A beautifully designed child’s phone
- Excellent camera quality and experience
- Compatible with all carriers and supports 5G
- Generous memory storage option
- It’s not the most durable phone out there
- The fingerprint reader isn’t that reliable
Google Pixel 6a is true progress compared to the previous versions and is one of the best phones in the series. It has excellent camera quality that can sharpen blurred faces and erase objects easily. The device works fast, and we haven’t noticed any glitches. The only thing that could be better is battery life, although 24 hours is still quite impressive.>/p>
Samsung Galaxy A32
Usage age: 10+
The famous Galaxy series features something for everyone, and this Samsung phone is a great choice for kids whose parents believe they are ready for a high-quality device. It doesn’t belong among the most inexpensive kid phones, so it’s more for teens than for younger kids.
The large edge-to-edge display is a nice touch and features fantastic clarity and rich colors. The four-lens back camera ensures excellent image quality, while phone calls work flawlessly, and the phone also comes with Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity. As for parental controls, it’s worth noting that Samsung Galaxy A32 is compatible with the Find My Kids app, which we strongly suggest installing on your device.
- Durable display made of Gorilla Glass
- Compatible with all carriers
- Supported microSD card for additional memory storage
- A strong 5,000 mAh battery
- Default memory storage isn’t that generous
- Speakers are of medium quality at best
Samsung Galaxy A32 can go up to two days without the necessity to recharge it, and fast charging is a convenient feature. The device works great and has an amazing camera, while our kids love that they can play music and watch videos on the internet. The downside is that it’s not as fast as we had hoped, but it’s still good for the price.
Motorola Moto G Pure
Usage age: 10+
If you are looking for cheap phones for kids with full smart device features, you can’t go wrong with Motorola Moto G Pure. After comparing several entry-level Android phones, this one turned out to be the fastest. It has a generous display size, while the camera is decent since the rear-facing one features 13MP.
The battery life is approximately 12 hours, and that’s when not using the device non-stop, and that’s less than what you get with other cheap phones for kids. You can count on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, which compensate for the lack of 5G well. Motorola Moto G Pure is a decent choice for those looking for inexpensive kid phones, but there are things that could be improved in future versions.
- Large display size, especially at this price range of phones for kids
- Easy to set up, making it an ideal starter phone
- RAM memory makes this phone impressive and fast
- Battery life could be better, and recharging each day is necessary
- It lacks 5G support
We were looking for cheap phones for kids and ended up getting two Moto G Pure devices for our boys. They loved the neat navy blue and indigo colors, but it’s the overall performance that turned out to be the most impressive. We installed parental controls to give us peace of mind about their whereabouts and other details since the phone doesn’t have a monitoring app by default.
Apple iPhone SE (3rd Gen)
Usage age: 12+
Apple isn’t exactly famous for affordable devices, but its iOS is incredibly secure, making it a good choice for your child. And if you are looking for cheap phones for kids made by this company, the iPhone SE is a great choice. But due to the lack of advanced parental controls, we suggest installing Find My Kids or another app that shows the child’s location at all times, reveals screen time usage, and gives other details on using the device.
iPhone SE offers plenty for the price since this is one of the best phones in terms of battery and overall durability. Although it belongs to inexpensive kid phones, the device is incredibly fast since it uses the Apple A15 Bionic processor and has 4GB RAM to ensure everything runs smoothly.
- Display resolution is impressive
- The rear-facing camera gives excellent images
- It’s equally fast as advanced iPhone models
- 5G support available
- Display size isn’t as big as in some competitors
- The price could be a dealbreaker for some users
It wasn’t the first mobile device that my teen got, but we felt this was the right phone for her age. She loves the pink color design and the excellent images produced by the camera. We saved some money by getting a refurbished version, which worked nearly as well as new, apart from the battery life not being that impressive.
Advice for Parents
In the end, if you have bought a suitable and cheap smartphone for your child then we advise you, as a loving parent, to install Find My Kids on your phone which will allow you to not worry about where your child is.
The app allows you to always see the geolocation of your child and be sure that they are supervised and that all your worries were for nothing!
What is a good first phone for a kid?
It’s wise to select an inexpensive phone that will enable children to get used to how that type of device works before they move to a better model. Make sure to choose a smartphone where you can install child tracking apps like Find My Kids since they reveal the child’s location at all times, allowing supervision and giving you peace of mind.
Are these phones compatible with all mobile carriers?
It depends on where you purchase a phone. If you buy the device at a specific carrier, it could only be available with that network unless you unblock it. But if you buy the phone at a general online or offline store, the odds are it’ll be compatible with all mobile carriers.
Can I set up parental controls on these phones?
Parental control features vary on the phone you select, but you can install monitoring apps like Find My Kids on most portable devices. The condition is that they run on iOS or Android operating systems, and most phones nowadays use one of those two.
What phones are specifically designed for children?
These are phones that come with special features like blocked access to social media or the internet, no option to install new apps, or pre-set parental control software. You can install parental control tools on most smartphones to take advantage of those utilities.
Related: What Age Should a Kid Get a Phone? The Ultimate Guide to Deciding.
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