Best Phones for Kids 2019 ? Buyer's Guide | FindMyKids Blog
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Best Phones for Kids: Buyer’s Guide by Age

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There’s no doubt about it; your child will want a cell phone of their own. In today’s digital age, it isn’t uncommon to give your 8 year old his or her own device. However, the idea of giving your child access to the entirety of the internet in the palm of their hand can be a scary concept.

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When choosing a device for the younger members of your family, you will want to take a number of things into consideration, such as the age of your child, their maturity and sense of responsibility, how much you are willing to spend on a device, and what kind of safety features you would like to have. Taking the first steps toward buying your child their very own phone doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or frightening experience. In this article, we are going to highlight and review the best phones for children on the market today.

What Their Phone Should Have

Now that you’ve decided to get your child a phone, you need to educate yourself on what features should be present in the device before giving it to them.

Here is a list of features that every parent should look for when choosing a device for their child:

  • Work Speed — You will want to make sure that the device that you choose is up to par and runs efficiently. Lagging and slow response time can be very annoying, especially for children. Be sure to read reviews to learn more about how a device performs. Keep in mind that devices with RAMs between 2 — 4 GBs may be more suitable for teens. This may give them less space, but it can decrease lagging out the space is used appropriately. Also, devices running on newer software will have less bugs and performance issues, so opt for a new generation smartphone.
  • Quality and Security — The quality of the device is important, as it will determine how long the device will last. If it is programmed with the latest software, you can assume that it is of the highest quality.

Security is also a big feature that should be researched prior to purchasing. You can download certain apps, such as the Find My Kids app, to help keep track of your child and keep them safe, but you should always make sure that the device that you choose contains adequate safety features as well.

  • Age Range — Pay attention to what may be suitable for your child. These devices are grouped by age range to help you make the best decision possible.
  • Availability and Quality of Camera — Most smart devices come with a built-in camera, which is an enjoyable feature for all ages, both young and old. Your child will want to use this feature, so be sure it’s of great quality (anywhere between 12 and 21 megapixels with a decent zoom and auto stabilizer).
  • Battery Capacity — You’ll want a device that can hold a charge for hours. This is determined by the battery’s mAH or milliAmpere Hours. Anything above 1,500 mAH is suitable for a smartphone and above 500 mAH is a good range for smartwatches.
  • Price — Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how much you are willing to pay for your child’s device. We suggest not splurging too much as kids will be kids. It would be wise to prepare for the possible destruction or loss of their device and keep that in mind when budgeting for a device. Purchase something that is reasonably priced.

For Ages 8 and Under

For children this young, it is more suitable for them to own a phone watch rather than an actual smartphone. It is far more durable, harder to lose, and easy for you, the parent, to control. With watches like Doki Smartwatch S and the SmartBabyWatch, there is no short list of options available.

Touchscreen GPS Watch from Find My Kids

 

Don’t underestimate phone watches. They are great alternatives to smartphones for young children. With an easily adjustable and comfortable band, your child can be within reach without fear of a lost or damaged device. This phone watch is a reasonable price, fully certified, and comes with access to the free app and family license. There is also the option to purchase the same watch but with a camera for only $20 more at $99.

PROS:

  • Easily adjustable
  • Brilliant colorful touchscreen
  • Comes with free family licence
  • Watch removal sensor

CONS:

  • You have to choose between the camera, watch removal sensor, and moisture protection

Price: $79-99 Rating: 4.0

Bottom line: Your children will certainly love this device with its bright colors and fun touch screen. Coming with a free family license, you can rest easy knowing your children are safe and happy.

Where to buy: http://gps-watch.findmykids.org/

CAT S41

cat-s41

Typically used by construction workers, the CAT S41 is a durable phone that is more than reliable.

PROS:

  • Simple design
  • Durable
  • Decent Android software

CONS:

  • Not suitable for entertainment
  • Too expensive for simple features


Price: $449 Rating: 4.5

Bottom line: CAT S41 is a viable option for younger children. It’s durability makes it a good find. It is a bit pricey for its lack of features, but worth a look.

Where to buy: https://www.catphones.com/

Kyocera Cadence LTE

kyocera-cadence-lte

The Kyocera is a flip phone that gives your child the basic necessities of a cell phone. Don’t worry about fancy apps or other features, Kyocera Cadence LTE can be simply used for calling home.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Bright screen
  • Long-lasting battery

CONS:

  • Dated design
  • No apps
  • No recording

Price: $120  Rating:2.8

Bottom line: The low rating reflects the simplicity of the device. Most people nowadays want fancy designs, large touch screens and app capabilities. Without that, a phone is a plain calling device.

Where to buy: https://www.verizonwireless.com/

Comparisons

GPS Phone Watch from Find My Kids CAT S41 Kyocera Cadence LTE Jitterbug Flip

Blu Tank

Xtreme 2.4

Price $79-99 $449 $120 Up to $74.99 Up to $99
Storage 2 GB 3 GB 16 GB 1 Gig 32 MB
Camera ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Rating 4 4.5 2.8 4.1 3.7
Battery Life 600 mAH 5,000 mAH 1,430 mAH 1,780 mAH 1,650 mAH

For Ages 9-13

Phones for Pre-teens should have a bit more bells and whistles than the phones for younger children. Durability may still be an issue, but without a doubt, safety is still paramount. The design is also important. Your pre-teen will know what he/she wants their phone to look like, and this phone can deliver.

Moto G5

motorola-moto-g5

A good-looking budget smartphone, the Moto G5 certainly will not disappoint. It has a easy to follow user interface that makes navigation a breeze. It’s spacious memory is also a plus for Pre-teens who like to take tons of pictures and download dozens of apps.

PROS:

  • Sleek design
  • Easy to navigate
  • Enough memory to hold multiple apps and files
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:

  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Less than perfect camera


Price: $199.99  Rating: 4.5

Bottom line: Moto G5 is a well-designed smartphone you can get for cheap. Its durability is limited, but for this price, buying a protective case shouldn’t be a problem.

Where to buy: https://www.motorola.com/

Elephone P8 Mini

elephone-p8-mini

Another phone that meets design standards is the Elephone P8 Mini. It is wonderfully sleek, but also surprisingly suitable, for your pre-teen. Couple that with a good camera and priced surprisingly low, this phone gives you what you want AND what you need.

PROS:

  • Wonderfully designed
  • Large HD screen
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good camera

CONS:

  • Weak battery
  • Possibly fragile


Price: $120.29  Rating: 4.7

Bottom line: There isn’t much to dislike about the Elephone P8 Mini. If you want your child to have a nice phone with app capabilities at a reasonable price, this is a viable option.

Where to buy: https://elephonestore.com/

Nokia 3.1

nokia-3-1

The Nokia 3.1 delivers on design but can struggle with overall performance. If you want your child’s phone to focus on making and receiving calls and not on application and entertainment features, then this phone delivers.

PROS:

  • Good design
  • Great battery capacity
  • Full HD screen
  • Gorilla Glass and aluminum siding

CONS:

  • Only 2 GB of memory
  • Slow or lagging performance


Price: $159  Rating: 4.5

Bottom line: The Nokia 3.1 is a well-priced phone that doesn’t put features at its forefront but makes up for it in the sleek design and durability.

Where to buy: https://www.nokia.com/

Comparisons

  Moto G5 Elephone P8 Mini Nokia 3.1 Nokia 3310

3G

Doro 7050
Price $199.99 $120.29 $159 $58.97 Up to $50
Storage 16 GB 4 GB 16 GB 16 GB 4 GB
Camera ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Rating 4.5 4.7 4.5 4.2 4.2
Battery Life 3,000 mAH 2,680 mAH 2,990 mAH 1,220 mAH 10 Hours

For Ages 14-17

Choosing a phone for your teen will be a lot like choosing a phone for yourself. The standards are higher and the expectations on design and features are certainly harder to meet. You may find that you will pay a bit more money than you would for the younger ones, but it may be worth it. App capabilities, space and storage, camera features and overall looks are specifications to consider when choosing their new phone.

Samsung Galaxy A5

samsung-galaxy-a5

Getting a phone with a name that your teen can recognize is a bonus. The Samsung Galaxy A5 is a great choice. It doesn’t include all the bells and whistles of say, the newest Galaxies, but it has the best of the basics; beautiful screen, nice design, good camera.

PROS:

  • Full HD screen
  • Plenty of storage
  • Decent camera

CONS:

  • High cost


Price: Starting at $220.99  Rating: 4.6

Bottom line: This phone will surely make your teen happy. As long as they are not too concerned with operating systems and which is the latest, there isn’t much to complain about besides price.

Where to buy: https://www.samsung.com/

Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge 4G LTE

samsung-galaxy-j3-emerge-4g-lte

Another phone by Samsung, the Galaxy J3 Emerge is slightly less powerful than the aforementioned Galaxy, but it is worth a look.

PROS:

  • Large screen
  • Durable
  • Good battery capacity
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:

  • Mediocre camera


Price: $129.99  Rating: 4.3

Bottom line: Overall, this phone delivers on what it sets out to do. However, if your teen is into snapping pics and taking selfies, this may be less than ideal.

Where to buy: https://www.amazon.com/

iPhone 8

iphone-8

There’s no doubt that your teen would be excited about getting an iPhone, but you must ask yourself if it’s worth the price.

PROS:

  • Sleek design
  • Wireless charging
  • Good camera

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Limited battery capacity


Price: $599  Rating: 4.6

Bottom line: iPhones are popular choices, but for this price there are other, less popular alternatives. In the end, it is certainly a nice phone with trustworthy features.

Where to buy: https://www.apple.com/

Comparisons

  Samsung Galaxy A5 Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge iPhone 8 iPhone SE Galaxy S8 Active
Price Starting from $220.99 $129.99 $599 $299 $499.99
Storage 32 GB 16 GB 64 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Camera ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Rating 4.6 4.3 4.6 4.6 4
Battery Life 2,300 mAH 2,600 mAH 1,821 mAH 1,624 mAH 4,000 mAH

Recommended by the Find My Kids App

Below are a few recommendations from the Find My Kids app in regards to the best battery, geolocation, and price.

More than a million children’s devices are connected to Find My Kids app, that allows parents to know what their children are and what they are up to every minute of the day.

We collected and analyzed the parental assessment of the GPS module on these devices and identified the best models of children’s phones in terms of the accuracy of the transmitted geodatabase.

The most popular models we chose as the TOP 3 SMARTPHONES send accurate geodata, have long battery lives and cost in the range of $300.

Honor 7A Pro

honor-7A-pro

A smartphone that delivers on both design and price, the Honor 7A Pro is an option you should keep in mind. Having dual SIMS is remarkably helpful if you have multiple children who may share a device and require extra space.

PROS:

  • Dual Sims
  • Easy to navigate
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:

  • Sometimes glitchy


Price: $124.99  Rating: 4.5

Bottom line: If you want something cheap and simple, this phone is for you. There aren’t too many special features, but it gets the job done.

Where to buy: https://www.devicespecifications.com/

Samsung Galaxy J7

samsung-galaxy-j7-pro

For teens, you can’t go wrong with a phone you know. It’s sleek design, great camera and waterproof screen makes this phone a possible favorite for you and your teen.

PROS:

  • Wonderfully designed
  • Large HD screen
  • Excellent camera
  • Waterproof

CONS:

  • A bit expensive


Price: Up to $299  Rating: 4.6

Bottom line: This phone is wonderfully useful. It doesn’t go overboard with unnecessary features, nor does it drain battery life.

Where to buy: https://www.samsung.com/

Xiaomi Redmi 5

xiaomi-redmi-5

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 is a great phone when you’re on a budget. Don’t let the price fool you, though. It still has a great battery capacity, full HD screen and a camera perfect for capturing precious moments.

PROS:

  • Good design
  • Great battery capacity
  • Full HD screen
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:

  • Runs on old software


Price: $226  Rating: 4.7

Bottom line: This phone may be a bit dated, but it offers quality features at a reasonable price.

Where to buy: https://www.mi.com/

Comparisons

Honor 7A Pro Samsung Galaxy J7 Xiaomi Redmi 5
Price $124.99 $299 $226
Storage 3 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Camera ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Rating 4.5 4.6 4.7
Battery Life 3,000 mAH 3,000 mAH 4,000 mAH

Putting it All Together

Below is a table that compares all of our top 3 mobile device choices. Use this complete chart to choose the right phone for your child.

Age Range Price Rating Ranking
GPS Phone Watch from Find My Kids 8 and under $79-99 4.0 / 5 Best
Honor 7A Pro 8 and under $124.99 4.5 / 5 Best
CAT S41 8 and under $449 4.5 / 5 Good
Kyocera Cadence LTE 8 and under $120 2.8 / 5 Okay
Elephone P8 Mini 9 — 13 years $120.29 4.7 / 5 Best
Samsung Galaxy J7 9 — 13 years $299 4.6 / 5 Best
Nokia 3.1 9 — 13 years $159 4.5 / 5 Good
Moto G 5 9 — 13 years $199.99 4.5 / 5 Okay
Xiaomi Redmi 5 14 — 17 years $226 4.7 / 5 Best
Samsung Galaxy A5 14 — 17 years $220.99 4.6 / 5 Best
IPhone 8 14 — 17 years $599 4.6 / 5 Good
Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge 14 — 17 years $129.99 4.3 / 5 Okay

Making Their Phones Safe

Now that you have a better idea regarding which phone you want to buy for your child, the next step is to configure their phone to make it safe for them to use.

But how do you do that?

Making your child’s device safe doesn’t have to be a difficult task. There are apps available that will do all of the hard work for you. You simply have to download the app on both you and your child’s phone, input some information and voila! Your child’s phone is instantly proofed.

Apps like Find My Kids or Family Locator allows you to keep track of your children and their app activity using real-time data collection.

Teaching your child about phone safety is important. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about what is acceptable and what is not as well as what to look out for. Develop trust so that if your child encounters an issue that may require an adult to handle, they won’t be hesitant in coming to you for help.

Also, be sure to establish a healthy phone schedule with your child. It is wise to come up with a plan together that your child is willing to follow so they aren’t spending too much time staring at their screen.

Follow these tips, and you and your child can explore these devices freely and safely. You’ll love that they can reach you in an emergency, and they will love the fun features that are available.

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