I know a lot of parents out there want to have less technology in their child’s life. We reminisce about our own childhoods where we enjoyed the simpler things like climbing trees at the park and the only way you could chat to your friends was face-to-face after cruising over to their house on your pushbike. But it’s important to remember that technology has brought a lot of great benefits to our lives and there are some very good reasons to make sure your child has their own mobile phone.
If your kid gets lost they can use an inbuilt GPS app to get back home, they can download educational games or apps for study, you don’t have to buy them a separate iPod for music and most importantly it gives them a line of contact with you and vice versa so you can always reach each other. If you get separated in the shopping centre, all you have to do is buzz their number. Plus, the world is becoming more tech-focused by the day, and they will most likely have to learn how to use smart technology at some point in their life anyway.
It is up to you as a parent to decide whether you believe your child is ready to have their own phone. If you feel they are ready, here are some of our suggestions for handsets for your kids. I don’t think it’s wise to put the latest, greatest, $1000 handset in the hands of a child who struggles to keep a sea monkey alive. The good news is there are still places you can buy older, inexpensive smartphone models (such as the iiOnlineStore). Here are some of the older handsets that would be perfect for kids.
At a meagre $69.95 the Samsung Galaxy Ace is an inexpensive option you won’t mind putting in the grubby hands of your younger primary school aged kids. This stripped-back phone may not be decked out with bells and whistles, but its minimalist design is still quite sophisticated. With a glossy finish, rounded edges and light weight, it is a phone that is very comfortable in the hand. It handles core tasks like calls, texts and accessing the internet capably with quick, responsive touch screen, good call quality and a smooth browsing experience.
One of the downfalls of the phone may actually be a saving grace for parents: the Samsung Galaxy Ace does not support Flash. This means your child can’t get distracted as easily by funny viral videos (though they still can access some through the YouTube app). Though this model may not have the highest resolution or data storage, it is a nice, affordable option if your main focus is calls, texts and browsing.
This nifty number is great value at an affordable $199. This mid-range phone sports a 1.5GHz dual processor allowing it to zip through tasks smoothly and at an impressive speed. Call quality is crisp and clear and the camera takes a decent picture, though if picture quality is your main concern, you may be more suited to another model.
What makes the Samsung Galaxy Express a good choice for kids is its hardiness and reliability. It has a resilient battery life and reported talk time of 14 hours! Even if your child is tapping away all day, they should get a decent 12 hours solid use out of one charge. If they’re more careful to conserve their battery they could get 2 days out of one charge. The device itself is energy efficient and boasts a consistently solid performance.
New to the iiOnlineStore is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. This phone is a bit more of an investment at $379.95, but at almost half the price of the original Samsung Galaxy S4, it still shares many of the same high-end features. Its rugged design is water and dust resistant and built to survive the daily life of even the most active kids. I’m not talking about enduring one little splash: this water baby should be able to dive down 3 feet for up to 30 minutes!
As a phone optimised for an outdoors lifestyle, it’s no surprise it takes attractive photos in daylight and can even take pictures underwater with Aqua Mode. The battery not only has a large capacity, it is also replaceable, so you can equip your kid with a second battery and not have to worry about not being able to reach them if their phone dies. Since this is a higher end phone, I would recommend it more for your teenage kids, rather than the primary schoolers.
Which smartphone model do you recommend for kids? Let us know in the comments below.