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Phones for kids: choosing the best smartphone graduation gifts

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phones for kids

Which smartphones are the best phones for kids?

As the school year comes to a close, you may need a few graduation gifts for students graduating from middle school, high school and college. Before you give your loved one yet another gift card, consider picking a smartphone that’s perfect for their age.

Shop the dads and grads sale

Smartphones make great graduation gifts. All it takes is a bit of research to discover which models are appropriate for different ages. We’ve got some of our favorite phones for kids of all ages on sale in the Ting Shop, just in time for graduation and Father’s Day.

Middle school graduation presents

phones for kids - graduation giftsMiddle school graduates are starting to learn about responsibility, but they’re usually not ready to take care of an expensive mobile device. Instead, opt for an inexpensive device that will teach your graduate how to care for more sophisticated models down the road.

Keep an eye out for phones with the following:

  • Durable backs and bodies
  • Water-resistance (preferably waterproof!)
  • Safety features that help parents locate the student and block inappropriate content


Remember, any smartphone on Ting comes with the ability to toggle data on or off and limit how much data a particular device can actually use. These are nice options when it comes to teaching your middle school graduate responsible usership.

Moto E4

When we think of phones for kids, the Moto E4 ($129) stands out as a gift for this age group because it’s a great introductory smartphone overall.

  • It’s water-repellent.
  • It has a fingerprint sensor for security.
  • Its big battery meets the needs of kids who might forget to charge it, making it easier for you to stay in touch.

High school gifts for a graduate

By the time students are finishing up high school, you can start to consider phones that cost a little bit more. Hopefully, your graduate has matured a bit since middle school and is ready for more responsibility!

Ideally, you want to find a smartphone for your teen that they can take to college. That means it needs to have:

  • A long battery life for long days on campus
  • A nice camera set for capturing new experiences
  • Enough memory to hold games, social media apps and cloud apps like Google Drive and Google Photos


Moto E4 Plus

At $199, the Moto E4 Plus is one of the most affordable smartphones that you can get for your high school graduate. Despite the relatively low price, it offers the features that high school graduates need.

  • 32GB of internal storage (with the option to expand to 128GB with a microSD card)
  • Front and rear cameras with LED flashes
  • Enough battery power to get through a day of classes and a night of studying


phones for kids - graduation gifts

Moto G5S Plus

The Moto G5S Plus ($279) is one of the best value mobile phones for high school grads. Even though it costs less than $300, the Moto G5S Plus has an attractive look with a full metal shell and an excellent battery life that can keep pace.

  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Sharp, 5.5-inch screen
  • 64GB of storage


Moto Z2 Play

The Moto Z2 Play ($499) has a 30-hour battery, slim case with a water-repellent nano coating, 5.5-inch HD AMOLED display and amazingly fast focus for taking pictures on the fly.

Perhaps most impressively, though, is the phone’s compatibility with Moto Mods that let users connect to speakers, a battery pack, cameras extensions and more. Now in the Ting Shop, you can grab the Moto Z2 Play bundled with a JBL SoundBoost 2 speaker or a Turbo Boost battery pack.

College graduation gifts

After graduating from college, your student needs a smartphone that will make it easier to start a career and stay connected with friends and family members. The Moto Z2 Play is great for it’s compatibility with Moto Mods and the Moto G5S is also a wonderful present for graduation because it has such a reasonable price.

For that next step into working life, though, we recommend the the Moto G6.
phones for kids - graduation gifts

Moto G6

The Moto G6 ($249) has a surprisingly low price for a phone that includes so many features. For about $250, you get:

  • A spectacular 18:9 LCD display
  • 3D glass back design
  • A rear dual-sensor camera

Tips and tricks for students

Don’t forget to check out our data saving tips for students. On Ting, the less you use, the less you pay. You don’t have to break the bank for an awesome smartphone experience.