Choosing the best phone for your child isn’t quite as straightforward as you might expect. With all sorts of different handsets to choose from, all with wildly varying prices, picking out the right phone that suits your kids’ needs is no easy task.
However, If you’ve decided that it’s time for your child to have their first phone, we’ve gathered a list of the best handsets for your little ones to help make your decision easier, along with a buying guide to help you make the right decision.
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Below, you’ll find a list of the smartphones that we think reach the perfect balance of value, ease of use and a robust build, so you should find something here that suits your needs. This page is also being regularly updated with the latest and greatest phones, so check back soon if nothing fits the bill quite yet.
How to choose the best kids’ phone
What’s the best tariff for your teenager?
It doesn’t really matter how old you are, it’s pretty easy to pile up a huge bill without realising. The simplest way to keep track of costs is with a pay-as-you-go tariff, instead of a contract phone.
However, if you’re keen to get your teenager on a contract, then make sure you pick one that caps the amount of data they use. The best ones we found currently on the market are from Tesco Mobile, iD Mobile and BT Mobile. All of those networks mean you’ll never encounter the shock of a massive bill from your teenager’s Snapchat antics.
You don’t need an expensive phone
No matter what your child tells you, you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest smartphone. Most budget phones these days do the job quite well, and there are some excellent phone picks that you might not have considered. You’d be surprised at what you can get from the low-end of the spectrum and your bank balance would likely appreciate it, too.
What are your child’s phone requirements?
Of course, much of your buying decision depends upon what your child will be using the phone for. Are they hoping to get snap-happy and make their first leap onto social media, or is it only being used as a phone for emergency purposes when walking to/from school? Whatever the requirement, we’ve added the very best in our list below.
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Best kids’ phone 2019: The best phones from only £50
1. Motorola Moto G7 Power: The best phone for older kids
Price: £180 l Buy now from Amazon
Our current budget phone king, the Moto G7 Power is also the best smartphone you can buy for your kids. Hardly making a dent in your bank balance, the G7 Power offers the best camera for the price, with good performance, fabulous 18:9 screen and a monstrous battery life. There’s simply nothing better at this price.
Read our full Motorola Moto G7 Power review for more details
2. Nokia 3310: The best basic phone for young children
Price: £50 l Buy now from Amazon
If you’re after something basic for the kids, perhaps as a first phone or something to be used as an emergency dialer, look no further than the Nokia 3310. It isn’t a smartphone, so it doesn’t have all those fancy Android or iOS apps, but it does the job well for basic tasks such as calls and text messaging. An added bonus is that it’s also very well built, so it should withstand the occasional drop more than most.
Read our full Nokia 3310 review for more details
3. Alcatel 3V: A decent budget smartphone
Price: £130 l Buy now from Carphone Warehouse
Another excellent budget phone, the Alcatel 3V does the job well as an entry-level Android device. Alcatel most-recent bargain phone is crammed with some great features, such as a fingerprint scanner and face unlocking, a lovely-looking 6in display and an extra-special dual-camera arrangement on the rear of the phone. Its battery life might not be the best on this list, but the Alcatel 3V remains a solid alternative.
Read our full Alcatel 3V review for more details
4. Apple iPhone SE: The cheapest Apple phone
Price: £239 l Buy now from Carphone Warehouse
Let’s face it, your child probably wants an iPhone. Instead of forking out four figures for the latest model, we recommend picking up the iPhone SE – a pint-sized Apple phone that cost peanuts in comparison. Sure, the iPhone SE is the most expensive phone on this list, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll be rewarded with an excellent screen, great battery life, and a superb camera.
Read our full iPhone SE review for more details
5. Motorola Moto E5 Plus: The best battery life
Price: £140 l Buy now from Amazon
When it comes to a long-lasting phone for your kids, there’s simply nothing better than the Moto E5 Plus. Equipped with a massive 5,000mAh battery, the E5 Plus should effortlessly last an entire day on a single charge, even with the odd few Fortnite gaming sessions thrown in for good measure.
Read our full Motorola Moto E5 Plus review for more details
6. Samsung Galaxy J3 2017: Great screen at a low price
Price: £116 l Buy now from Amazon
Samsung has a great track record of launching excellent budget handsets. Decently-priced, especially considering the internal specifications, the Galaxy J3 is the cheapest Samsung phone on the market and is a solid choice as a child’s first Android smartphone.