Is your child ready for their first phone? Here's everything you need to know
27th April 2017
“But Muuuuum! All my friends have got a phone!”
If those words strike a chord with you, then you have our sympathies.
Buying your child’s first mobile phone is a big step to take – it’s as important to them as their first day at school is for you. There’s loads of options out there and some things to be wary of too, which is why it can be such a nerve-wracking experience for you; the parent.
And if you do decide to go for it, which one is best?
You’re not the first and you won’t be the last, so we’ve compiled answers to the most popular questions parents have when buying their child’s first mobile phone.
Just got our daughter her first phone 😱 from @EE in Kingston. King was so lovely and helpful. Thank you— Mrs O (@Mrs_Ock) 11 September 2016
Firstly, what about security? What do I need?
As much as every parent wants to, you can’t monitor what your child is doing on their phone 24/7. Help is at hand though, as it’s standard practice to offer security products to protect children from adult content on mobile phones. So they still have freedom, and you have peace of mind.
All EE phones offer Content Lock, which you can adjust to a level of security that you’re comfortable with:
– Moderate: which allows access to social networking sites but not 18-rated content.
– Strict: all new and existing customers have this enabled as default. The safest option for children under 12, it restricts their access to chat, dating, and unmoderated social networking sites, as well as other content the BBFC considers a higher classification than PG.
Do we go Pay As You Go or Pay Monthly?
One of the biggest plus-points with Pay Monthly is the unlimited minutes and texts, which most children are unlikely to use anyway. If you choose to start with Pay As You Go, the £10 Everything Pack on EE is a great starter: 500MB data, unlimited texts, 150 minutes and superfast 4G for a tenner, plus 20% off your first pack.
Pay As You Go keeps it simple and allows your child to manage the responsibility of owning a mobile phone, within reason.
Of course, you could always just take @adamaa_'s approach instead...
my childs first phone will be a walkie talkie or a string and cup.— Adama Aja (@adamaa_) 25 June 2013
There are SO many phones! Which one is best for my child?
There really are a huge number of phones on the market, spanning a range of price points – but lots will generally offer way more than your child needs for their first phone. Here’s a few suggestions that are currently available with EE:
– The Alcatel Pixi 3 (3.5): A smaller handset for smaller hands, with 4GB memory for all those songs you hate. Plus a great battery, that can give them up to 40 hours of music playback, or seven hours of checking in with you.
– LG K4 (2017): Another high-powered smartphone, but this one’s on Android. And it packs a punch: a 5-inch screen, HD camera, loads of memory.
– The Doro 6520: This one’s a flip phone. And if that alone isn't enough, you'll find a 2.8-inch display, super-easy menu, bigger buttons and a 2MP camera for those inevitable selfies.
What about all the other stuff? Social networking, games, streaming…
If you’re honest, your child will mostly be doing one of these things on their phone:
– Snapping their pals (that's a Snapchat term)
– Playing games (there are so, so many games)
– Watching films or TV shows (if you share your Netflix / Amazon Prime account with them, remember to set up parental controls in-app)
– Spending hours and hours and hours on YouTube
– Whatsapping the word ‘lol’ a lot
If you go for a smartphone, you'll get 3G and even 4G capabilities, and access to all the social networks and streaming platforms. Most apps have their own in-app security settings, so you can keep ‘em safe without ruining the fun. Ask your child what apps they want to use, and go from there. And remember: it’s a big step for any child to make, but one you should make together!
Have you already bought your child their first phone? Share your experiences with us on Twitter, using the hashtag #kidsfirstphone