It seems almost every week some kind of new mobile device is released, with a host of new features – so how do you choose the right one for your child?
The most important question might be what your child will be using the smartphone for. You don't always need the device that has the most bells and whistles – just the right bells and whistles. For example, if you are giving your child a phone on a pay-as-you-go plan just for emergencies, then you really just need a basic cellphone that has clear and reliable reception.
Perhaps your child needs the phone to help them navigate a bus route home or to school or another location. In this case you'll want a basic smartphone that has GPS capability. With this feature, you can also connect with your child to monitor their location for safety.
If your child enjoys taking photos or videos to share with family and friends, then look for a phone that has a high quality camera. Many of the newer generation smartphones have impressive visual capabilities, but you may want to opt for more storage capacity.
You should also consider the physical size of the device itself. There are many mega-sized screens on the market to make surfing the internet and taking photos easier, but they may not be a fit for your child's smaller hands. This could make operating it difficult and lead to it being dropped by accident. Let your child hold the phone to see how comfortable it is (and how easily they can access the buttons) before buying.
The more advanced phones are often the most expensive, but the up-front costs are usually reduced when signing a contract with a provider. Just make sure your child is aware of the data limitations each month.
By doing a bit of homework, you'll be able to find the perfect cellphone for your child that'll make both of you happy.