Is your child ready for their first smartphone, and you're unsure where to start? We know – it's a big decision. First, you'll need to consider several things, like how old and mature your child is, what they'll use the phone for, and how much control you want to have over it. Ultimately, you'll find yourself choosing between a locked-down device explicitly designed for kids and a fully functional smartphone recognized for its kid-friendly attributes and good parental controls. To guide you through this decision-making process, let's explore some of the best phones for kids currently available.
If you're looking for a phone specifically designed for kids, Gabb Phone, Bark Phone, and Pinwheel Plus 3 stand out as exemplary choices.
The Gabb Phones (Gabb Phone and Gab Phone3 Pro) have gained popularity as kid-friendly devices that strike the right balance between connectivity and child safety. With no internet browsing, social media, or app store access, these phones are perfect for younger kids, teens, and parents who just want their child to have a means of communication without the added distractions. They are Samsung handsets that focus on essentials like calling and texting but also feature kid-safe apps and a front and rear camera for taking photos or recording videos. They come with a GPS tracker, which can help you locate the device, and a smart filtering feature called Gabb Guard, which blocks spam calls and inappropriate texts before they even reach your kid's phone.
The Bark Phone is an excellent option if you want to actively oversee your child's digital interactions and safeguard their online experiences. It's a modified Samsung A14 running on Android 13 but equipped with robust parental controls that let you keep a close eye on your kid's online activities. You can manage screen time, track location, monitor messages and social media, approve app downloads, restrict access to inappropriate or age-inappropriate material, and even receive alerts about potential safety issues such as cyberbullying or explicit content. The Bark Phone can be a powerful tool for fostering a secure online environment for your child.
The Pinwheel Plus 3 is another phone designed with child safety and families in mind. This device distinguishes itself by placing a strong emphasis on education, and it comes preloaded with a carefully curated selection of educational apps and games. It has no web browser or social media, but it has a built-in parent management system that lets you set limits and customize content based on your child's developmental stage. You can set up a Caregiver Portal that gives you complete remote access to your child's phone so you can approve contacts or apps, view text messages and calls, and even set schedules for when contacts and apps are available.
If you're looking for a full-featured smartphone suitable for kids, many experts and parents consider the iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy A14, and Motorola Moto G Power to be excellent options.
For parents already immersed in the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone SE can be great for a kid's first phone, especially if your child already uses an iPad for school. It's the most affordable phone in the current lineup and has numerous great features you can expect from an iPhone. Apple's commitment to privacy and security is well-known, so this model also comes with great parental controls through the Screen Time feature. You can manage screen time, limit or block certain apps, features, or web content, and control app downloads. You can also use Family Sharing to monitor and control your child's device usage, and you can access Find My device to locate your kid's phone.
If you want a reliable smartphone for your kid but don't want to spend a fortune on it, the Samsung Galaxy A14 is an Android alternative worth checking out. After all, Gabb Phone and Bark Phone use it as a basis in their kid-friendly devices. Samsung Galaxy A14 has built-in parental controls to manage app downloads, set screen time limits, and monitor usage. So, although it's not a phone specifically designed for kids, its intuitive interface and customizable parental controls make it suitable for younger users. It can be a good pick if you want a device that offers a bit more in terms of features and capabilities while still maintaining a secure environment for your child.
The Motorola Moto G Power is ideal for parents prioritizing battery life. With a massive battery capacity, it ensures that the phone stays powered for up to two days on a single charge, even with heavy use. Your child can explore educational apps, read e-books, listen to music, or watch videos, and you don't have to worry that it will run out of power because your child forgot to charge it. It also comes with parental controls that let you control your kid's access to devices and apps, monitor the phone's location, and manage what your child can browse, purchase, or download using Chrome, Google Search, Play Store, or YouTube.
Besides keeping your child safe from harmful content, make sure their phone is also protected against drops, cracks, and spills with reliable phone insurance. Kids tend to damage their electronic devices easily, so it’s only a matter of time before they drop their phone, crack its screen, spill juice on it, and make it unusable. See how our iPhone Insurance or Cell Phone Insurance can protect you from common device mishaps and get a free quote today!