The Best Phones for Kids

Finding the perfect phone for your kids can be tricky when you’re looking for the perfect balance between functionality and parental control. Here are some of the best phones you can get for your kids today.

What to Look for When Buying a Phone for Your Kids

Choosing the right kind of phone can be a daunting prospect for parents, with the decision coming down to balancing cost, functionality, and control.

You want something that affords them the right amount of independence, with access to features and functions that enable them to participate with friends and peers while also allowing you to keep in touch with them easily and conveniently. Yet, you want a device that can clamp down on undesired content.

Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent options to consider. From models that allow complete parental control over content, like the Bark Phone, to options like the Google Pixel 6a, which is more suitable for older children, with fast, reliable service and a great camera for photos.

Price is also an important consideration, as you might not want to fork out for a brand-new model, particularly for your child’s first phone. Durability is a concern as well. This can come in many forms, from an IP rating for protection against dust and water damage to rugged phones that are built to withstand bumps and drops.

We’ve compiled a list of options that covers all these bases to help you reach that decision more easily. No matter what type of phone you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered.

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iPhone SE with clownfish wallpaper.
Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek



Good parental controls


High-quality camera

Parental controls require an iOS device to operate

Supports wireless charging

If you can forgive the slightly dated design, and your budget can stretch to the not-inconsiderable asking price, the Apple iPhone SE (2022) is an excellent choice of smartphone for your kids. And provided you have an iPhone yourself, there are plenty of options for parental control that make it a safe and reassuring choice.

Parents will be able to manage and access ScreenTime controls and Find My device tracking, and kids can use iMessage groups and video chat on the phone. It also comes with AirDrop for fast and convenient wireless file transfers, which is handy for sending photos, videos, and other files to nearby devices.

For kids insisting on having an iPhone, the SE makes an ideal starter phone. It runs on the same A15 processor that powers the iPhone 13 and delivers impeccable performance. It has 5G and supports wireless charging, and the camera is high-quality enough to cope with the endless amount of selfies they’re likely to take.

In addition to setting limits on screen time, you also have the option to block explicit content, restrict social media access, or disable access to the internet altogether. With the SE, you can even set yourself up with sole control over all the privacy settings, should you wish. By allowing you complete autonomy over access controls, you can enjoy complete peace of mind that sensitive content isn’t being viewed.

Its sturdy build quality is the icing on the cake here, as this is a durable unit that’s been designed to take some punishment. It’s fairly resistant to drop damage, and an IP67 waterproof rating helps protect it against splash damage and dust.

iphone SE 2022
Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Best Phone for Kids Overall

The iPhone SE offers a snappy but more traditional iPhone experience with a Home button and fingerprint scanner at around half the price of the iPhone 15.

Motorola Moto G13



Affordable option

Not the most feature-rich option

128GB of storage

A good array of parental controls

The Motorola Moto G13 is a budget-priced handset that’s unlikely to win many style points, particularly compared to its newer, more feature-rich counterparts. However, for parents looking to test the water by allowing their kids access to their own smartphones, it represents a cost-effective and practical choice.

It provides a comprehensive list of parental control options, letting you set the limits for what your child can and cannot access. You can head straight to the Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls features to set limits on what can be accessed. You also have control over the device’s location settings, meaning you can easily view the location of the device from your own phone.

Set daily usage limits, restrict access to certain undesired apps, and set filters on browsing, downloads, and purchases. Once set up, you can even remotely lock the device. All this makes it a good place to start and gives you the freedom to lift restrictions over time as you become more comfortable with their usage.

For the kids, it comes with 128GB of storage, a large 6.5-inch LCD display, and an eight-megapixel camera, making it more than fit for purpose. A 90Hz refresh rate allows for smooth scrolling, and 720p resolution means image quality is decent as well. A slim and lightweight design makes it convenient to carry, and it has a solid battery life of around 24 hours or so.

The Motorola Moto G13 represents a good compromise for parents and younger kids. A budget-friendly option that ticks many of the parental control options while still giving the kids that sense of freedom and independence that they crave.

moto g13
Motorola Moto G13

Best Budget Phone for Kids

$134 $144 Save $10

A budget-friendly choice that comes with a suite of parental controls, the Motorola Moto G13 is an excellent choice of smartphone for younger children.

Samsung Galaxy A14



Excellent display for the price

No IP rating

A good choice for gaming

Fingerprint scanner adds extra security

For a bit more than the Moto G13, you can buy the Samsung Galaxy A14, which makes a good all-round choice as a starter phone. This 5G smartphone boasts a large 6.6-inch LCD infinity display, making it a good choice for gaming, and it comes with 64GB of storage and a 13-megapixel camera.

The A14’s display is 1080p with a 90Hz refresh rate and delivers an excellent, sharp performance for the price point. It has a fingerprint scanner to help with security, and it has a battery life of around 40 hours, making it a practical choice to consider. There are no extras like wireless charging or an IP rating for dust and water resistance, but that’s rarely found with affordable options.

However, its general performance is very good, and it will serve your child well in terms of calls and texting. The camera is pretty good, and the video quality is about as impressive as you’re likely to get for the price point.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A14 delivers a fast and responsive performance and is one of the more affordable options for Samsung aficionados.

galaxy a14
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Best Starter Phone for Kids

The Galaxy A14 5G might be the best budget phone under $200, with a 6.6-inch screen, Samsung’s feature-packed One UI software, and years of promised updates.

Best Phone for Parental Control: Bark Phone

Bark Phone
Bark Phone



Excellent level of parental control

Not as suitable for teens

Content monitoring across 30+ platforms

A great choice for younger children

When it comes to parental controls, there’s no better option than the Bark Phone. It provides comprehensive content-monitoring features that keep tabs on texts, emails, and YouTube content and even tracks social media for signs of cyberbullying or explicit content across more than 30 different platforms.

The array of safeguarding features available here makes the Bark Phone the ideal choice of smartphone for younger children or tweens, allowing you to remain vigilant over what is being accessed without becoming intrusive, as all these safety features will run quietly in the background.

Essentially a reskinned and modified Samsung Galaxy A13, the Bark Phone has been completely designed around child safety. Parents can set limits on screen time, customize filters, and receive alerts if their child attempts to access restricted content. You can also use this phone to track your child’s location using real-time maps, check-ins, and location alerts.

Parental controls can be completely tailored to your needs to allay any fears or concerns you may have. You can even see the messages that your child is sending or receiving, should you choose to. All restrictions can be lifted or imposed at your discretion, and you can enjoy full control over how the phone is used.

The Bark Phone carries most of the same functionality as the Galaxy A13 but with far more robust parental controls. While the extent of those controls may seem a trifle excessive to some, this is one of the very best choices for parents who have real concerns over their child’s safety online.

bark phone-1
Bark Phone

Best Phone for Parental Control

Giving you complete parental control over the content your child can access, as well as safeguarding them against harmful online influences, the Bark Phone is an excellent choice for parental peace of mind. 

Pixel 6a rear

Cory Gunther / Review Geek



Fast, reliable performance

No headphone jack

Excellent camera and camera features

Doesn’t support wireless charging

IP67 waterproof rating

If you’re looking to make a slightly more modest investment, the Google Pixel 6a is a more than worthy option to consider, particularly in terms of its performance. With super-fast processing speeds thanks to the Google Tensor chip and 6GB of RAM, plus a gorgeous OLED display, it’s an enviable marriage of beauty and brains.

Battery life is decent, offering up to 24 hours of use on a full charge, meaning you shouldn’t have any trouble reaching your offspring should they neglect to top up their phone’s battery. Plus, with Extreme Battery Saver Mode, you can push the battery life up to an impressive 72 hours.

However, it’s the Pixel 6a’s cameras that really shines. Housing a 12-megapixel camera, the 6a can capture those precious memories in all their glory, giving them life through exceptional detail. Additionally, the Magic Eraser function is ideal for scrubbing out unwanted photo bombers or objects.

Handy features like fingerprint unlock make it convenient to use and add a welcome layer of security to the phone, too. It’s IP67 protected against water and dust and is resistant to lighter drop damage. On the downside, it doesn’t support wireless charging, and there’s no headphone jack, so kids will need a pair of wireless headphones to use with it.

You’ll save a few dollars compared to the more recent Pixel 7a here, but with only a negligible drop in functionality, so parents can enjoy a small win, too. Ideal for older kids who love to hang with their friends and take the perfect shot of all their escapades.

pixel 6a
Google Pixel 6a

Best Kids Phone for Photos

The Pixel 6a is Google’s 2022 budget phone, with the same Tensor G1 chip as the Pixel 6 and excellent cameras.


Are Apple or Android phones safer for kids?

Both Apple and Android phones contain safety features that can help protect your child and restrict their access to potentially harmful content, as well as parental controls that allow you to monitor them and their usage. The main difference is that for Apple phones, you need an iOS device to access these features. Therefore, for Android users, you’re at a disadvantage if your child wants to use an Apple phone.

At what age should I give my child a smartphone?

There’s no hard and fast rule here, as this is a bond of trust between parent and child, and this will vary. However, typically, age 10 or above is a good time to give your child their first phone. At this age, children have usually developed some level of independence, and a mobile phone gives parents the peace of mind that they can be contacted by their child at any time.

What parental controls should I activate on my child’s smartphone?

This will depend on the age of the child and their own parents’ feelings. Parental controls on smartphones can impose restrictions on what apps or websites your child can access, limit screen time, or even remotely lock the phone completely. Striking the right balance between the independence you want to give your kids versus safeguarding them against harm will be a personal choice for most parents.


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