Sooner or later, the time will come for children to get their first smartphone, and it’s not at all too uncommon for that very first phone to be a gift from Santa. This often leaves parents with a difficult question: which device to choose and what should they keep in mind when choosing their child’s first phone?
To make sure you don’t end up with an ill-suited product, Upgreat’s experts recommend that you consider three aspects before heading for the store: how much are you willing to pay, to what extent do you want to curate your child’s phone use, and which devices are you personally most familiar with. All of these criteria will help determine which device might be best for your child.
There’s no point in making your child’s first phone the most expensive one out there, and unless you’ve been waiting for their teenage years, its best to look past the current top-of-the-range models. However, this does not mean that you should opt for the most basic and cheapest Chinese or South Korean model available. Sure, these might cost you less than a full tank of fuel at the moment, but it also means that in 4-5 month’s time they’ll be more or less unusable.
If you want your child’s first device to be something that will cover their needs for the next 2-3 years or so, take a look at mid-range devices or premium phones from a few years ago that have now come down in price. This means that your best option in terms of value for money might, for example, be a refurbished iPhone, which costs a fraction of its original price, but will last exactly as long as you need it to, same as any other Apple device.
Going with Apple may seem daunting at first – their new top-of-the-range models really are ridiculously priced – but just take a look at devices from a few generations back and you’ll find more affordable options than the Android fresh off the production line yesterday. At the same time, you can be perfectly confident that even an iPhone that has a few years on it will still be able to offer a lot more than some brand-new devices available today.
Upgreat’s product range includes devices in every price category. For example, you might consider the following:
- iPhone 8, top class A condition – €239
- iPhone 7, class B condition – €189
- iPhone X, class A condition – €329
These devices are more than capable of handling everything you child wants to do today as well as tomorrow. Note that all devices sold by Upgreat come with a 2-year warranty, which means that by opting for a refurbished device, you stand to benefit in terms of money, assurance and the performance of the device you choose.
What do you want your phone to do?
Every phone is different and it’s important that the phone you choose for your child is able to deliver everything you need it to. While all devices are capable of handling simple games and phone calls, children’s phones provide the opportunity to take advantage of parental control mechanisms to help ensure that your child’s first steps in the digital world are safe and follow the rules you have set. That is why it’s so important to find a device that gives you all the right tools.
And this happens to be yet another area where Apple excels since it gives parents access to a huge variety of settings to control how the phone is used. On the one hand, this will ensure that children can explore the internet in a safe manner, but at the same time it will help to prevent their smartphone from taking up all of their time and attention.
Among other things, Apple’s parental controls allow you to do the following:
- limit screen time
- limit app use
- limit purchasing powers
Parental controls also work on older devices without any issues. If this is something you deem important, make sure the control options available are as feature-packed as you need before choosing a particular phone.
What do you feel comfortable with?
New phone users are bound to need help and support and this can be hard to provide if you don’t really know the ins and outs of their device, why things are the way they are or how to change settings to meet the expectations you and your child have. So before you settle on a device, consider which phones you yourself are more familiar with and how much you are willing to learn.
It’s also worth giving some thought to the future and what kind of device ecosystem you plan to use yourself, or which device you might choose when the time comes to get your child a computer. The more consistency you have in terms of the devices you and your children use, the easier it will be to keep everything under control and provide assistance when needed.
With all this in mind, you can be sure you’ll find just the right smartphone to fit under the Christmas tree. Every parent naturally has their own set of criteria in addition to the above, but you’d be hard pressed to go wrong with a purchase when combining your own preferences with the aspects we’ve highlighted in this post.