Phones And Plans
What type of cell phone options are there for kids? Once you have decided your child is ready for a cell phone, it's time to pick the right type of cell phone and right plan. For kids, the cell phone is a lifeline used for talking, texting, watching videos, playing games, checking email and downloading music. Finding just the right calling plan and phone can be a challenge! Here, experts help you narrow down the choices.
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Choosing a phone
Look for one that's durable enough to toss in a backpack or pocket and comes with the features teens want:
- QWERTY keyboard
- video player
- music player
- speaker phone
- 3G speed
- expandable memory
Kid-friendly cell phones
BillShrink.com, a free, unbiased website that helps families lower everyday bills, recommends these teen-friendly phones, all of which come with the above features and more:
- AT&T Tilt 2 is free with an AT&T plan and features a 3.6-inch widescreen and touch-sensitive zoom bar.
- HTC Snap is free with a Sprint plan and offers a 3D user interface and a 2.8-inch touchscreen with super-high resolution.
- LG Ally is free with a Verizon plan, runs Google software, has five customizable home screens and provides easy access to thousands of apps.
- LG Fathom is free with a Verizon plan and boasts Windows Mobile and a powerful 1GHz processor.
- HTC Ozone is $29.99 with a Verizon plan and offers preloaded apps, one-touch messaging and Visual Voice Mail.
- HTC Dash 3G is $49.99 with a T-Mobile plan and has a full keyboard and trackball for fast typing and navigation.
Cell phone safety
Many teens are on the phone all the time – even while driving. Talk to your teen about not talking or texting while driving, and consider these be-safe options as well:
- All of the phones listed above have Bluetooth capabilities, which enable teens to safely answer calls without taking their eyes off the road.
- The new Protector by TASER enables you to monitor and control your teen's cell phone use. If you know your child is behind the wheel, you can disable the texting portion of his phone.
More tips for parents and kids on cell phones: