- Parents are buying phones for their kids to ensure safety and provide educational resources.
- The Apple iPhone 14 is the best overall phone for kids with its reliable operating system, top-notch camera, and access to educational apps.
- The Motorola Moto G Power is the best budget-friendly option with impressive battery life, advanced parental controls, and a good camera.
- The Nokia G21 stands out for its safety features, including automatic security updates, parental controls, and a dedicated emergency button.
- The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the best choice for teens with its large display, 5G connectivity, and safety features like Private Share and Secure Folder.
There was a day and age when kids didn’t carry a cell phone, but that was then and this is now. In today’s world, parents are buying phones for their kids, realizing that it provides them the opportunity to remain in contact with them at all times.
But it’s not just about safety. These devices, when used correctly, can also serve as an educational resource. They have the potential to offer a plethora of apps that can help with homework, teach coding, or even spark a newfound interest in photography or music. These phones can help children broaden their horizons and discover new passions, turning what many deem a mere distraction into a tool for growth.
If you’re searching for the best phones for kids, you’re in the right place. Below, we share all the information you need to make an informed and confident buying decision that will benefit both you and your child.
- Best Overall: Apple iPhone 14
- Best Budget Friendly: Motorola Moto G Power
- Best Safety Features: Nokia G21
- Best for Teens: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- Best Entry-Level: Apple iPhone SE
Best Overall: Apple iPhone 14
- Vibrant 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with OLED technology
- High resolution and color accuracy make everything look sharp and true to life
- New Main camera and improved image processing to capture your shots in all kinds of light - especially low light
- 4K Cinematic mode at 24 FPS
- A15 Bionic, with a 5‑core GPU for lightning-fast performance
- Super-fast 5G
Another strength of the Apple iPhone 14 is its intuitive operating system which is simple for children of all ages to navigate. That’s especially true if they’re familiar with using an Apple iPad. Furthermore, the ability to seamlessly switch between an iPhone and iPad comes in handy with tasks such as homework.
In addition to the above, the iPhone 14 provides access to tens of thousands of apps, games, and educational content. Parents also have the ability to install security and tracking apps to ensure that the device is used only in the intended manner.
The iPhone 14’s iOS interface and seamless Apple ecosystem integration make it a joy to use. Its exceptional camera, long battery life, and huge app selection provide endless functionality for kids of all ages. Additionally, the phone’s design and responsive performance create a fantastic user experience overall.
|Reliable and familiar iOS operating system.||Among the most expensive phones for kids.|
|Long battery life that’s perfect for a device-loving child.|
|Access to a nearly unlimited number of apps and games.|
Check out Apple iPhone 14 128GB on Amazon.
Best Budget Friendly: Motorola Moto G Power
- Massive 5,000 mAh battery
- 256GB of storage
- Octa-core processor
- Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity
If price is important to you — and it probably is — the budget-friendly Motorola Moto G Power is one of the top choices.
You can purchase a new Motorola Moto G Power for $300 or less. If you’re open to the idea of buying a pre-owned phone, that price can be cut in half.
But that’s not all you get with this device. Its battery life is impressive, the build quality is above average, and there are advanced parental controls alongside Google Kids Space for managing usage.
Also, its camera quality competes well with pricier models, offering sharp images in varied lighting. The device runs on Android, ensuring regular updates and a wide app selection.
The Moto G Power packs an unbelievable amount of value into an affordable package. For $300 or less, you get a phone with incredible battery life that can last days on a single charge. It has a “good enough” camera, solid performance, and useful parental controls.
While not the most advanced phone, the Moto G Power’s combination of low price, long battery, and respectable features make it a top choice for budget-conscious buyers.
|Among the most affordable smartphones for a child.||It does everything well but is not exceptional in any one category.|
|Access to Google Kids Space for managing use.|
|Provides up to 38 hours of battery life on a full charge.|
Check out Motorola Moto G Power on Amazon.
Best Safety Features: Nokia G21
- 64GB Storage
- Use Android One with automatic security updates
- Face unlock and fingerprint sensor options
- Built-in parental controls
There’s nothing more important than safety and security when buying your child a phone, and that’s why the Nokia G21 is our choice for the phone with the best safety features. It stands out for many reasons, including a long list of safety features.
To start, this device runs on Android One, and with that, you can rest assured that security updates are automatic. That’s alongside the ability for your child to use face unlock and fingerprint sensor options.
Google Family Link parental controls are also built-in. It provides seamless access to manage your child’s account and data settings.
Perhaps its best safety feature is a dedicated emergency button, which can be programmed to call a specific contact or emergency services at the press of a button.
For parents wanting a secure phone for their child without compromising on features or budget, the Nokia G21 is a top choice. Its safety capabilities provide peace of mind knowing your child has a phone that keeps them protected.
|Android One ensures automatic security updates.||The camera lags behind other popular models on our list.|
|Google Family Link parental controls make it easy to monitor usage.|
|Easy to use face unlock and fingerprint sensor options to prevent misuse.|
Check out Nokia G21 on Amazon.
Best for Teens: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is our selection of the best phone for teens. As your child gets older, the way they use their phone will change. So, by the time they reach their teen years, they’ll be ready for a device such as the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.
Teens love this device for many reasons, ranging from the 6.5″ display for streaming and social media to the 5G connectivity for fast speeds. That’s on top of plenty of storage and a long-lasting battery.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 is also loaded with safety features such as Private Share, Secure Folder, and Find My Mobile.
All of these features ensure that the device is functional for even the busiest of teens. The Galaxy A53 strikes a perfect balance for a teen’s evolving needs and parents’ peace of mind.
For teens wanting a phone that’s built for heavy usage across school, play, and daily life, while also giving parents oversight, the Galaxy A53 5G delivers on all fronts.
|A large display makes it easy to watch videos, take photos, browse social media, and more.||Camera quality is not up to par when compared to today’s standards.|
|5G connectivity allows your child to stay connected at all times.|
|Long-lasting battery life is helpful for children on the go.|
Check out Samsung Galaxy A53 5G on Amazon.
Best Entry-Level: Apple iPhone SE
- Powerful A15 Bionic chip
- Wireless charging
- Water-resistant design
- 4.7-inch Retina HD display
The Apple iPhone SE may not be the best choice for an adult in search of a high-end smartphone, but it’s the best entry-level smartphone for a child.
Just the same as the iPhone 14, it runs on the familiar iOS operating system. That’s in addition to a powerful A15 Bionic chip that allows it to tackle almost any task with ease.
While ease of use is the number one reason to buy an Apple iPhone SE for your child, there are other features — such as wireless charging and a water-resistant design — that make it an excellent choice.
For an easy-to-use first phone that grows with your child, the iPhone SE can’t be beat.
|A powerful A15 Bionic chip that never leaves you wanting more.||The high cost associated with any Apple product.|
|Wireless charging allows your child to stay juiced up on the go.|
|Water-resistant design for children who are active outdoors (such as playing in the rain or swimming).|
Check out Apple iPhone SE on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Phone for Kids: Step by Step
Once you’ve decided in favor of buying a phone for your child, it’s time to take action. But you don’t want to dive into the process without the proper guidance. Here’s a step by step breakdown of how to pick the best phone for kids.
Age and Maturity
Consider your child’s age and maturity level. Phones for younger kids (under 10) should have basic calling and texting capabilities. Older kids (10-13) may be ready for a smartphone with parental controls. Teens (13+) can handle more advanced functions.
Determine what features are must-haves vs. nice-to-haves. Basic phones meet communication needs for calls and texts. Smartphones add functions like internet access, social media, cameras, and apps. Prioritize features to narrow options.
Look at operating systems. Consider iPhones or Android phones based on your platform preferences. Both offer parental control options, but Android offers more choice and customization of phones. iPhones integrate well with other Apple devices.
Select an appropriately sized phone based on your child’s hands and pockets. Larger screens are better for usage but less portable. Look for durability features like waterproofing and drop protection.
Compare carrier options for the best service and rates in your area. Look at family plans if adding your child’s line. Ensure the phone has ample talk minutes and data for your child’s needs.
Safety and Security Features
Examine parental control and monitoring features to manage your child’s phone use. All smartphones have some capabilities, but third-party apps like Google Family Link and Bark offer robust filters, limits, tracking, and alerts.
Phone Set Up
Set up the phone properly before handing it off. Lock down settings, apps, and permissions. Turn on all parental controls and monitoring. Make sure your child understands proper phone etiquette.
Continuously monitor your child’s phone habits and adjust controls as they mature. Have ongoing conversations about responsible use. Reevaluate as your child’s needs change.
Using a Phone for Kids: What it’s Like
Phones for kids are designed with safety, simplicity, and functionality in mind. When choosing the perfect phone for your child, it’s essential to consider their age and the purpose of the device.
Younger children might benefit from phones with limited features, ensuring they are not exposed to inappropriate content. GPS tracking can be an added advantage for parents wanting to keep tabs on their kids’ whereabouts.
For older children, smartphones with parental control apps can be ideal, balancing the need for communication, entertainment, and online safety.
What to Know Before Buying a Phone for Your Kid
Now that you know how to pick the best phone, let’s talk about things you need to know before making a purchase.
- The smartphones of today are more powerful than ever before.
- It’s imperative to have safety features in place to keep your child out of harm’s way.
- Consider the upfront cost of buying a phone for your child, as well as the ongoing monthly fees.
- Purchasing insurance for the phone can give you and your child peace of mind.
Along with the above, don’t lose sight of the fact that kids make mistakes. Even with the best intentions, they may use their phone in the wrong manner or damage it.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©oatakoi/Shutterstock.com.