How To Choose A Mobile Phone For Your Child
16th May 2018
An informed choice is a wise choice! Here are the facts you need to know if you are about to get your child their first mobile phone, or an upgrade to a more “grown up” model.
These are basic phones with no access to the internet, and no camera. Great for calls and texts, no good if your child wants to connect with friends on social media. Feature phones are the phone of choice if you want to be able to contact your child, and want them to be able to contact you free of the worries of social media and unsolicited photo messaging from strangers.
Recommended feature phone: Nokia 3310.
This classic model has been re-released giving parents the option of providing their kids with a solid, robust way of being in contact without the worry of internet connected activities. The battery life is amazing and it is super affordable!
These phones have apps, internet access, and cameras. There are a wealth of parental restrictions available, but a lot of the time it includes having to educate your child about being a responsible phone user. The restrictions available vary according to the manufacturer and also the network provider. The parental controls in place can also be affected by whether the internet is being accessed by wifi or data plan.
Tip: Whether you are buying a feature phone, smartphone or a specialist kids phone, if your child is going to be making phone calls make sure you fit it with an R2L radiation reducer. This reduces the amount of potentially harmful RF energy emitted by the antenna during a call and when searching for a signal.
Specialist phones for kids
These phones have custom operating systems, closed apps, and parental controls that can’t be switched off. Gives the feel of a smartphone without the dangers, perfect for those in between years.
Recommended specialist kids phone: Monqi Kids Smartphone.
It looks and feels just like a smartphone, but everything on the phone is linked to and controlled by an app on the parents phone. This means everything from phone contacts, to apps and games, are controlled by the parent.
Points on Wifi Enabled Phones
Kids with a wi-fi enabled phone can access the internet at home – where parental controls should be in place, and at wi-fi hotspots – where your parental controls will not be in place. However if it is a BT hotspot and you are a customer, the kids can log in using your ID and parental restrictions will remain. There is actually very little control you can have over this though.
The other option is choosing a phone without wi-fi, this means that kids can only access the internet via their data plan, and you can enable restrictions through the network provider. There are generally three levels of internet access:
- Strict: Only shows content that is only suitable for under 12s
- Medium: Blocks content that is only suitable for adults
- Off: Shows everything
And be aware of Bluetooth…
If Bluetooth is switched on it is detectable by another Bluetooth enabled device, and they can connect and send images to the other phone. The recipient won’t see the picture until they press the accept button, so always educate your children to decline any messages via Bluetooth from strangers.