Bark Phone vs Pinwheel Phones

Compare the Features

Bark Phone vs Pinwheel phones
Parental controls built in
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Bark’s software is included in all data plans, including our locked-down starter plan that monitors texts, photos, and videos, as well as screen time, location tracking, and blocking.
Pinwheel’s parental controls allow you to manage screen time, look at texts, track location, and more.
Text monitoring with alerts
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Bark’s advanced technology scans text messages and attached photos & videos for potential dangers in 45+ categories.
Pinwheel gives you full access to your child’s texts, but won’t automatically alert you to potential dangers — you have to read every message to find problems.
Photo & video monitoring
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Bark scans saved photos and videos to your child’s camera roll for potential dangers in 45+ categories.
Pinwheel doesn’t scan your child’s photos and videos for issues.
Automatic monitoring of many apps and social media platforms
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On Bark Phone advanced plans, Bark automatically monitors texts, Chrome, TikTok, Snapchat, Discord, WhatsApp, KIK, and 30+ more apps. We have the most coverage of any parent monitoring tool. Limiting the phone to educational and kid-friendly apps only is easy to set up with a click.
Pinwheel doesn’t monitor apps and doesn’t allow social media at all.
Tamper-proof parental controls
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Kids can’t delete the settings you set.
Kids can’t delete the settings you set.
Access to app store can be blocked OR allowed
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Bark now offers starter plans and advanced plans. The starter plan is perfect for families looking for a no-internet phone with no social media or access to dangerous apps. Need more functionality? Easily upgrade to advanced plans for parent-approved internet and app access on the same device.
Pinwheel offers a variety of curated apps, but not everything your child may need.
Web browsers allowed
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Bark's advanced plans allow parent-monitored web browser access. Blocking of individual websites or website categories, such as adult content, can easily be set up with our built-in parental controls.
No web browsers are ever allowed on Pinwheel phones.
Grows with child and allows you to add functionality and apps
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Bark Phone starter plans are available to be easily upgraded to advanced plans on the same device. This makes it easy for the phone to grow with your child over the lifetime of the plan.
You’ll never be able to add social media, web browsers, or full access to an app store.
Cell service included
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Unlimited talk and text is included with every Bark Phone plan.
You’ll need to find and add cell service for a Pinwheel phone after purchase.
No contract required
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Bark Phones don't require a contract — and your phone is yours to own after three months!
Pinwheel requires a contract except for some seasonal sales.
Named one of TIME's best inventions of 2023
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The Bark Phone was included in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023.
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Bark Phone FAQs

What type of phone is the Bark Phone?

The Bark Phone for kids is a Samsung A series. We purposely designed it so that it wouldn’t be recognizable as a “kiddie” phone. No one will know it’s a kid phone unless you tell them. Bark’s powerful parental controls are all internal — there’s no Bark branding, logos, or other tell-tales that would broadcast it as a kid’s phone. 

It comes with all the standard features of a Samsung phone.

Regardless of whether a parent has an iPhone or an Android, they will be able to manage the Bark Phone with no issues, so don’t worry about compatibility problems.

How much does the Bark Phone cost?

The Bark Phone is free! No hefty deposit or long contract is required, and after 90 days, the phone is yours to keep. We’re confident your family will love the Bark Phone, but if you need to cancel your subscription, just return your non-damaged phone to us and you’re all set.

Our monthly subscription plans range from $29/month to $89/month.

Plans include the device, our built-in parental controls, unlimited talk & text, data (if you need it), and a Bark Premium subscription for the entire family.

Choose the plan that fits your family's needs. 

Starter plan:

  • $29/month for unlimited talk, text, and no internet, app store, or games

Advanced plans:

  • $49/month for unlimited talk, text, and Wi-Fi only (no data)
  • $59/month for unlimited talk, text, and 4GB data
  • $69/month for unlimited talk, text, and 8GB data
  • $89/month for unlimited talk, text, and data1

1 After exceeding 35GB/month of data use, data speeds will be reduced for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle. After exceeding 50GB/month of data usage, data speeds may be reduced further and/or data connection may be turned off for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle.

How is a Bark Phone different from a phone with the Bark app?

The Bark Phone for kids is the result of years of experience in the online safety industry and real-life conversations with the people whose opinion counts the most: families raising kids with phones in the digital age. 

We’ve created a safe phone for kids that integrates Bark’s software seamlessly, resulting in a comprehensive and robust parental control experience.

It also comes with exclusive features that weren’t possible with just a downloadable app. The Bark Phone gives parents unprecedented oversight of their child’s online experience, including GPS-powered location tracking, call blocking, contact management, and automatic monitoring for texts and many apps and social media platforms. 

Its native controls are tamper-proof, providing parents with peace of mind that the rules they set stay in place. Bark can't be deleted, even if you factory reset it.

The best part of the Bark Phone? It grows with your child as they mature. For younger kids, you can keep the phone locked down with as little functionality as a flip phone. As they get older, you can add in additional freedoms, functionality, and apps — or scale back anytime boundaries are needed.

What does the Bark Phone come with?

Every Bark Phone comes with:

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Bark Premium subscription for the entire family
  • USB-C charging cord
  • A data plan that fits your family’s needs (non-starter plans only)
  • Quick start guide for easy setup
What if I want to buy the Bark Phone but already have a Bark subscription?

If you already have a Bark Premium subscription, that’s okay! We will adjust your plan and prorate the remaining amount left and apply it to your Bark Phone subscription.

Is the Bark Phone available outside the U.S.?

Right now, the Bark Phone for kids is only available for families located in the U.S.

What apps are available for the Bark Phone?

You know your child best, which is why the Bark Phone gives you full control over the apps they can access. You can block every app that a Samsung A series could download, or you can allow them all — or somewhere in between, which is where most families will fall.

How is the Bark Phone different from other kids’ phones?

The Bark Phone is powered by the award-winning technology that made the Bark app a trusted name for families across the world. It’s the result of years of experience understanding what families need and want when it comes to having a safe phone for kids.

Secondly, we made it completely customizable, because every family — and kid — is different. For younger kids, you can make the Bark Phone work essentially like a non-smartphone. As they get older and become ready for more responsibility, you can add in functionality and access to web browsing, apps, social media, and more.

Does the Bark Phone get software updates?

Yes! The Bark Phone is updated regularly and automatically to keep up with changes in technology and when we add new features — which happens frequently! We’re constantly in touch with actual Bark Phone parents and implement feedback that families would like to see.

What is the Bark Phone return and refund policy?

If you cancel before 3 months, you’ll need to ship the Bark Phone back to us.

If you cancel after 3 months, the phone is yours to keep, but:

  • Voice/text/data service will be deactivated.
  • The phone number will be released if you haven’t already ported it to a new carrier.
  • Monitoring and parental controls will no longer work on the device.
  • To remove the Bark software and use it as a regular Samsung phone, you’ll need to reach out to customer support, who will guide you through how to manually remove it.

If you have further questions you can contact us for help.

How do I contact Bark with questions?

Our amazing customer support team is here to help! Simply email them with your initial questions and they’ll get back to you promptly — many customers benefit from a one-on-one Zoom or phone call. Additionally, you can check out all of our support articles here.

Get the only phone with Bark built in

Designed from the ground up with safety in mind, the Bark Phone will change the way you think about a kid’s phone.