The Best Phones for Kids in 2023: A Parent’s Guide
**This post was updated on September 7, 2023.**
When to get phones for kids is an important decision for your family, and it’s become a new rite of passage for kids today. While the decision to finally get one may be cut and dried, the actual selection process can be fairly complicated! There are dozens of phones on the market you can choose from, and their functionalities range from low-cost, call- or text-only phones to the most sophisticated, expensive smartphones on the market.
That’s why the team at Bark has put together our top phones for children based on three main factors: affordability, quality, and functionality. Generally, we advise families to choose Android phones because they’re easier to monitor with Bark. We also discuss how to enable parental controls once they’re activated, so you can help them stay safe both online and in real life
1. Bark Phone
Price: Starts at $49/month
The Bark Phone is an absolute game-changer when it comes to online safety. It’s a Samsung A series that comes with Bark built in, as well as robust parental controls like GPS-powered location tracking, app management, call blocking, texts that can't be deleted without permission, and more. Bark also can’t be deleted, and the parental controls are completely customizable so it grows with your child. The best part? It has a sleek and modern design, so teens and tweens will be excited to use it. Check out how exactly the Bark Phone stacks up against other popular options here. The Bark Phone starts at $49/month with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Order yours today!
2. Palm Phone
Price: From $279
Running on the Android operating system, Palm is a smaller phone (the size of a credit card) that’s perfect for kids, and not just because it’s water-resistant and uses Gorilla Glass. It also includes location tracking and intuitive parental control options. The Palm is a more portable phone that’s designed to be less distracting — another plus for younger users.
Price: From $179.99
The Samsung Galaxy A11 features a large, 6.39” HD+ screen, 13MP/5MP/2MP triple rear camera, and 8 MP front camera that lets kids take vibrant and shareworthy images and selfies. And like all Androids, parental controls can be enabled through Google’s Family Link.
4. Moto G Fast
Price: From $149
This phone touts an impressive two-day battery life along with a crystal-clear 6.4” HD+ Max Vision display. For kids that like to get out and explore the world with their camera, it features three lenses as well as a macro lens that lets you get 5x closer to your subject for incredible close-ups.
5. iPhone SE
Price: From $299.99
A late-model iPhone like the SE is a good option for dedicated Apple families. iOS versions 12 and up incorporate the Screen Time application, which can help parents set time limits and provide statistics and reports on usage.
Price: From $349
This affordable Pixel features a large screen and a pretty impressive battery life that can last all day. Pixels are great choices for kids really into photography — and the 4a possesses an ultrawide lens and has a feature called Night Sight Portrait that lets kids capture beautiful low-light portraits without the flash.
The Pinwheel is a great first phone for kids learning how to navigate growing up with technology while staying safe. Touted as a “wellness-packed kid phone,” Pinwheel doesn’t have web browsers, email, games, or social media. But it still has plenty of activities for kids to enjoy, including a built-in messaging app and access to Spotify and Messenger Kids — both of which can be monitored by Bark!
How to Set Up Parental Controls on Phones for Kids
Creating a safe environment for your child on their new phone can be complicated, with different instructions for everything from apps and games to messaging and email platforms. Fortunately, Bark created a handy website called Barkomatic to help you get all of the step-by-step instructions for everything your kid uses — all in one place. Remember, when you give your kid a phone, you’re handing over the keys to the entire world. Don’t hand it over without evaluating the best parental control options for your family.
Getting phones for kids can revolutionize the way your family communicates and connects online. But it also introduces complex dangers that kids may not be mature enough to recognize. If you don’t believe your child will encounter issues like these, we urge you to look at the data surrounding the online activity of tweens and teens today. It's important for families to take advantage of all of the available online safety tools to help protect their kids as they grow up in. the digital age.
Is Your Child Ready For A Phone?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Bark is, “How do I know my child is ready for a phone?” So we made a quick and handy quiz to help you find out where your family stands!
Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.