4 Best Cell Phones for Kids – from Younger Children, Pre-teens, to Older kids

The decision to get your kids a cell phone can be a tough one. This is especially when trying to find the balance between monitoring their activities closely for safety, and ensuring that they stay connected to the digital world for learning and other purposes. The best cell phones for kids vary, depending on the age bracket.

If you’re confused about which cell phone is a good idea for your kids, we’ve written this guide for you. Here, we’ve recommended the best cell phones for kids that will provide them with age-reasonable accessibility while still being kid-friendly and useful for them.

Best Cell Phones for Kids - from Younger Children, Pre-teens, to Older kids

What are the Best Cell Phones for Kids?

Below, we’ve recommended a number of options that you’ll find are the best cell phones for kids. Consider the following options. This articles identifies the best cell phones for children within three general age brackets – younger kids, pre-teen and early teen kids, and older children in their teenage years.

The Best Cell Phone For Younger Children

Best Cell Phone For Younger Children: VTech KidiBuzz 3
VTech KidiBuzz 3 is perfect as your child’s first phone and one of the best cell phones for younger children

Our favorite recommendation for younger children is the VTech KidiBuzz 3, which strikes the ideal balance between a tech toy and time spent away from screens. This smart device is one of the best cell phones for kids and has over 40 instructional games, as well as music, photography, texting, and other media. The camera, audio player, and games may all be used without Wi-Fi, but texting will need a WiFi connection in order to function.

Best Cell Phone For Kids in their Pre-teen and Early Teen Years

Best Cell Phone For Pre-teens: Gabb Phone Z2
Gabb Phone Z2 is one of the best cell phones for kids in the pre-teen age group

Due to its numerous safety features and affordable plan alternatives, the Gabb Phone Z2 ranks among the top options on our list of the best cell phones for kids who are in the pree-teen and early teenage years. Although there is no internet, social media, or gaming on this phone, it does come with 14 kid-safe apps that can be used to make calls, send messages, take pictures, play music, and more. 

The phone’s battery life can last for a few days with minimal use before needing a recharge. If your child loses the phone or you need to know where your child is, the GPS feature on the device also provides parents and caregivers with peace of mind.

It also has a fingerprint sensor for added security and two cameras for selfies and group photos. The phone also has Bluetooth capabilities allowing kids to listen to their favorite music through speakers or headphones. Based on these features, it qualifies as one of the best cell phones for kids because it offers so much while still allowing a great degree of control for parents.

The Best Cell Phones For Kids In The Late Teens and Early Twenties

Children in their late teens and early twenties are matured enough to handle full-fledged smartphone with unfettered access to the Internet and social media. As such, we recommend two budget options that offer everything they will require to navigate the digital world. Both options recommended here have 5G support and are available factory unlocked, as well as locked from multiple carriers and mobile networks.

Google Pixel 6a 5G: One of the safest phones you can get for your older child is the Google Pixel 6a. The Titan M2 security chip and the Google Tensor processor’s security core work together to protect the phone from hacking, tracking, and spying. 

You, your child, and other authorized users will be the only people that can access the phone for calls and texts because it also employs a fingerprint scanner to open it. Additionally, the phone has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, so it’s less likely to be harmed in the hands of a playful child. With its quick-charging capability and 24-hour battery life, you’ll also be able to talk to your child all day.All of these fantastic features make the Google Pixel 6a 5G one of the best cell phones for kids, so feel free to give it a try.

Google Pixel 6a
Google Pixel 6a is one of the best cell phones for kids in the older teenage years

Apple iPhone SE 2022: The parental settings on the phone are fantastic for parents and guardians since they let you set time restrictions and provide access to specific websites so you can make sure your child is safe online. You may also control the contact list, SMS, voicemails, and photos privately by downloading the KidiCom Chat app.

Apple iPhone SE 2022 aka iPhone SE 3rd Generation
Apple iPhone SE 2022 aka iPhone SE 3rd Generation is one of the best cell phones for kids in the teenage bracket

This can be considered the overall best cell phone for kids, particularly children in older age groups. There are many different models and price points in Apple’s iPhone portfolio, but the iPhone SE is the most affordable model. With the same chipset as the more costly iPhone 13 range, it costs half the price but offers an experience similar to the iPhone 13.

This smartphone has a 4.7-inch widescreen display and a conventional home button with a fingerprint sensor for Touch ID. It is also dust-, water-, and splash-proof, protecting it from accidents at home or at school. Additionally, it features front and back cameras, making it ideal for Facetiming with friends and capturing selfies.

In the aspect of parental controls, you have access to Screen Time monitoring software, Find My, Family Sharing, and all the other offers for Apple’s software. All of this is in addition to superb hardware at a fair price. So, we’re sure you’ll agree that the iPhone SE is one of the best cell phones for kids. It is also a fantastic first phone for older kids in a family with a lot of Apple products.

In summary, due to all the options in the market, it’s easy to get confused when searching for the best cell phones for kids. However, you can take a cue from the options in this guide to get started.

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