Skip navigation
Blog
Blog

Looking for smartphones for kids? Buying a kid’s first smartphone?

If you’re in the camp of parents who are considering a child’s first smartphone, this post is for you. Some parents get smartphones for kids to encourage responsibility and others get their child a phone to get in touch in case of an emergency.

Whatever your reason, we’ve got the rundown on some of our favorite smartphones for children, tweens and older kids. We’ll also talk about ways to raise a conscious user (preferably one that doesn’t rack up a crazy bill every month) and keep your family connected (in real life) in the midst of all this tech.

Curb use and set limits

If you’re worried about your kid blowing up your next bill, don’t fret. On Ting Mobile, you can set limit alerts so there are no surprises.

This can be a more complex discussion and setting preventative measures in your Ting account will give you some peace of mind. Limiting data, minutes and messages can help your kid learn along the way.

Check out our free Cut Your Data ebook for our best tips and tricks on curbing data. It’s never too early to start teaching kids about responsible phone ownership. Check out some of our easy tips for data saving for students.

Gear for kids 11 and under: Moto E4 Plus and Samsung J3 Achieve

Moto E4 Plus $129 in the Ting Shop or starting at $11/mo with financing from Affirm

This phone is advanced for its price and has sharp front and rear cameras that take great photos in all kinds of light… and the price is certainly right. The 5,000 mAh battery will get your kid through a couple of days and 2 GB of RAM means you won’t be kept waiting with basic smartphone tasks.

Samsung J3 Achieve $149 in the Ting Shop or starting at $25/mo with financing from Affirm

If you’re looking for a great phone in the sub-$200 range, the Samsung Galaxy J3 is where it’s at. It’s way, way sub-$200, too: We’ve got the J3 at just under $150. The 2,600 mAh battery will keep you connected to your younger kid throughout the day

Smartphones for kids 11 and up: Moto G6 Play and Moto G7 Play

Moto G6 Play $199 in the Ting Shop or starting at $25/mo with financing from Affirm

With Moto G6 Play, tween can stay unplugged longer and refuel faster. Moto G6 Play’s battery runs up to 36 hours on a single charge with a massive 4,000 mAh battery. Never slow down with a 10W rapid charger so your kids can get all the power they need in minutes. With a 18:9 aspect ratio screen, Moto G6 Play is made for watching videos and shooting the best photography. Shutterbugs will love the 13-megapixel rear camera, equipped with phase detection autofocus so they never miss a moment. Moto G6 Play also gets the best photos by taking multiple and recommending the standouts to keep.

Moto G7 Play $199 in the Ting Shop or starting at $14/mo with financing from Affirm

The Moto G7 Play improves on the old model in a few key ways that might influence your purchase decision. Moto G7 Play is 110 percent faster than Moto G6 Play. Like earlier iterations of Play, Moto G7 Play is all about enjoying the fun features of a phone and comes equipped with a fantastic camera and bright display. In the new version, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 octa-core processor to power your movies and photos fast. View them on a 5.7-inch Max Vision HD+ display. The phone is super thin and sleek, and feels great in your hand. The 13-megapixel camera uses phase detection autofocus to capture beautiful images in an instant. The 8-megapixel selfie cam also comes with a built-in flash so your photos come out flawless every time, even in low light. The battery gets you 3,000 mAh to power you through your day and also comes with facial recognition for unlocking.

Smartphones for older kids: Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7

iPhone 7 $449 in the Ting Shop or starting at $21/mo with financing from Affirm

We’ve said time and time again, even though Apple has released several models since iPhone 7, we still love this phone. iPhone 7 features a 12 MP camera with an ƒ/1.8 aperture for great low-light photos and 4K video. It has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with wide color and 3D Touch and a home button equipped with Touch ID.

Samsung Galaxy S8 $499 in the Ting Shop or starting at $24/mo with financing from Affirm

The Galaxy S8 has it all and does it all. Its beautiful 5.8-inch Infinity Display offers stunning colors and an expanded screen without a bulky bezel. The edge-to-edge display is like a smartphone infinity pool, dripping off the edge to beautifully combine screen, glass and metal into one perfect package. This higher-end tool is perfect for kids who are older or who have earned some smartphone responsibility with other, less expensive models.

The smartphone talk

Talk to your kid about the benefits and drawbacks of using tech and about always being connected. A phone enables all manner of communications and should be treated respectfully.

Most of all, a smartphone means being responsible for the device and for what you do with it. Teach your kid the permanence of the Internet in whatever way is most meaningful to you. When we post something online and later decide to delete it, it’s never really gone. Just because they can’t see someone on the other side of their screen doesn’t mean someone isn’t there.

Go with something modest

We all misplace things from time to time and kids are no exception (even sometimes, the rule), so maybe you don’t break the bank on their first smartphone. If there’s a chance they’re going to lose or break a phone it might as well be budget-friendly. If they earn your trust and are mindful of their responsibility, then they can get an upgrade down the road.

Check out our post on why buying last year’s model can actually be the wiser choice.

Set an example

Have no phone zones at home. Create a phone stack at dinnertime. Watch your own usage. It’s no secret that kids learn by example. If you have your nose stuck to your screen, chances are your kid will too. There’s a lot of good you can do with a phone, but it’s wise to be honest about and cognizant of the bad too.

Choose a smart mobile service provider

On Ting, you decide what your kid’s cell phone bill looks like every month. By limiting talk minutes, texts and megabytes, you can help your kid learn responsible phone ownership. See if our Ting pricing works for you.


Anytime we mention phone financing, we’re required to post this text:

Subject to credit approval. Rates from 0-30% APR for 6, 18, and 24-month terms based on creditworthiness. Down payment may be required. Offer is subject to change at any time. Previous purchases are ineligible for offer. For purchases under $100, limited payment options are available. Affirm loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey-chartered bank, Member FDIC.

See what you could save

See what you could save

Ting Mobile’s unique pay for what you use approach saves people a lot of money. See what you’d save.

Check Ting Rates