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Best mobiles for children

For some parents their child asking for a mobile phone is something they dread. But is it a sign of growing up too quickly or a sensible purchase that can be used to keep track of your child? We aim to find out how makes the best mobiles for children while giving you some tips on what to look out for.
    Getty - Sean Gallup

Ofcom’s advice

The advice from Ofcom is pretty involved but they make some valid points on their website which we’ll breakdown for you. The first thing you need to ask is “what type of phone does my child need?” In order to answer that question, you need to work out what the child needs the phone for. Is it for making calls and text messages, and for emergencies? If so, a basic and robust phone will do the trick. If you’d like your child to have access to the internet, then you’ll need to get a smartphone. If you’re worried about buying a fragile smartphone for your child, you should check out the range of phones made by toy manufacturers.

Pay as you go or contract

Your next choice is whether you go for a pay as you go phone or a contract. You can set limits with contract phones. Providers like Tesco Mobile offer those sorts of contracts, but you might find that your child uses all of their allocation pretty early in the month. A pay as you go phone is a good compromise as it puts you in control and perhaps any extra airtime can be offered as reward to incentivise your child to adopt a sensible approach to phone use.

Best handsets

Whether you go with a contract phone or not, these are the devices we recommend for your child. The Nokia 100 is a good choice for a first timer as it’s really simple to use and it offers a long battery life. The basic device isn’t that desirable so it won’t get stolen and it’s rugged so it’ll survive a drop or two onto a hard surface. The Motorola Defy is another device that’s strong and reliable. It’s a lot more advanced so features like a camera, a music player and GPS included. This device is a lot more desirable as it can run loads of apps but it’s not as attractive as a Samsung Galaxy phone or an iPhone so you won’t have to be too worried about it being stolen from your child’s bag.

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