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Best Cell Phones for Kids

Cheapest kids cell phone prices

iPhone SE (2nd Gen)
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) frontApple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) back
$18/mo0% APR for 24 mths
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Full price: $432
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iPhone 12 mini
Apple iPhone 12 mini frontApple iPhone 12 mini back
$21/mo*0% APR for 24 mths
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Full price: $599 $499
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* Free $200 virtual gift card
iPhone 13 mini
Apple iPhone 13 mini frontApple iPhone 13 mini back
$25/mo*0% APR for 24 mths
See Deal

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Full price: $699 $599
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* Free $250 virtual gift card
Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12 frontSamsung Galaxy A12 back
$9/mo*0% APR for 18 mths
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More Details

Full price: $179 $169
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* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan

Kids cell phone deals in 2022

By Rob Webber - Last updated on

Are you looking for the best cell phone for kids? At MonesySavingPro we can help you find the best deal while saving up to $600 a year, per line.

At a time when all your household costs are increasing, your cell phone bill doesn't need to be one of them. We can help you find the phone you want, on your favorite network, at a much lower cost.

If you've not heard of MVNOs, you're not alone. They're low-cost carriers that operate on the three major US networks, offering the same 5G & 4G LTE wireless coverage but with plans starting as low as $10 a month.

Buying a phone directly from a major network may look like a good deal initially but after factoring in the cost of their over-priced unlimited data plans over 3 years, you could end up paying as much as $2,000 more than you need to!

We've compiled a list of the latest cell phones for kids from low-cost carriers, so you can find the best phone deal at the cheapest price without sacrificing your wireless service.

"Long gone are the days when you can fob off a child with your second-hand phone. These days they know more about tech than most adults, and they want the best of the best of the best just as you do." - Tech Advisor

Best iPhones for kids

Apple iPhone SE 256GB: Price, Specs & Reviews
Retailer
Visible
Storage
256GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
New
Price
$18/mo
0% APR for 24 mths
See DealFull price: $432
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The Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) has 256GB storage capacity. It includes a 4.7" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone SE (2nd Gen) is available from Visible with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $18/mo.

Best Deals
DeviceAT&TVerizonT-MobileUnlocked
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) 128GB-$32/mo-$32/mo
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) 256GB-$18/mo-$18/mo
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

4.7"

Display

Retina HD

Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)13 hours
ProcessorA13 Bionic
RAM3GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera7MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29in
Weight5.22oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSiOS 13
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP67
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year

Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB: Price, Specs & Reviews

* Free $200 virtual gift card
Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB: Price, Specs & Reviews
Retailer
Visible
Storage
64GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
New
Price
$21/mo*
0% APR for 24 mths
See DealFull price: $599 $499
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The Apple iPhone 12 mini has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.4" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 12 mini is available from Visible with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $21/mo.

Best Deals
DeviceAT&TVerizonT-MobileUnlocked
Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB-$21/mo-$21/mo
Apple iPhone 12 mini 128GB-$23/mo-$23/mo
Apple iPhone 12 mini 256GB-$27/mo-$27/mo
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

5.4"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2340 x 1080 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)15 hours
ProcessorA14 Bionic Chip
RAM4GB
5GYes
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29in
Weight4.76oz
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 14
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year

Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB: Price, Specs & Reviews

* Free $250 virtual gift card
Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB: Price, Specs & Reviews
Retailer
Visible
Storage
128GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
New
Price
$25/mo*
0% APR for 24 mths
See DealFull price: $699 $599
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The Apple iPhone 13 mini has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.4" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 13 mini is available from Visible with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $25/mo.

Best Deals
DeviceAT&TVerizonT-MobileUnlocked
Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB$26/mo$25/mo$71/mo$25/mo
Apple iPhone 13 mini 256GB$30/mo$29/mo-$29/mo
Apple iPhone 13 mini 512GB$39/mo$37/mo-$37/mo
Device Specs
Storage

128GB

Screen size

5.4"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2340 x 1080 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)17 hours
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic
RAM4GB
5GYes
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K UHD, FHD, HD
Size5.18 x 2.53 x 0.3in
Weight4.97oz
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 15.x
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure Autdentication3D Face unlock
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year

Best Samsung phones for kids

Samsung Galaxy A12: Price, Specs & Reviews

* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Samsung Galaxy A12: Price, Specs & Reviews
Retailer
Mint Mobile
Storage
32GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New
Price
$9/mo*
0% APR for 18 mths
See DealFull price: $179 $169
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The Samsung Galaxy A12 has 32GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.5" screen and 48MP camera. This new Galaxy A12 is available from Mint Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $9/mo.

Best Deals
DeviceAT&TVerizonT-MobileUnlocked
Samsung Galaxy A12 32GB--$9/mo$9/mo
Device Specs
Storage

32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Screen size

6.5"

Display

PLS TFT LCD

Resolution720 x 1600 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)21 hours
ProcessorMediatek MT6765 Helio P35
RAM2GB, 6GB
5GNo
CamerasQuad
Rear camera48MP
Camera type48MP
Front camera8MP
Video resolutionHD
Size6.46 x 2.98 x 0.35in
Weight7.23oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 10, One UI 3.1
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantNo
Wireless chargingNo
eSIMNo
Secure Autdentication3D face unlock and fingerprint
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G: Price, Specs & Reviews

* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G: Price, Specs & Reviews
Retailer
Mint Mobile
Storage
64GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New
Price
$17/mo*
0% APR for 18 mths
See DealFull price: $299
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The Samsung Galaxy A32 has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.5" screen and 48MP camera. This new Galaxy A32 is available from Mint Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $17/mo.

Best Deals
DeviceAT&TVerizonT-MobileUnlocked
Samsung Galaxy A32 64GB--$17/mo$17/mo
Device Specs
Storage

64GB

Screen size

6.5"

Display

HD+ TFT

Resolution1600 x 720
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)32 hours
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 720
RAM4GB, 8GB
5GYes
CamerasQuad
Rear camera48MP
Camera type48MP
Front camera13MP
Video resolutionUHD 4K
Size6.46 x 3 x 0.36in
Weight7.23oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 11
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantNo
Wireless chargingNo
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year

Cell phones for kids benefits

When your kid wants a new cell phone, or maybe it's their first. MVNOs have the cheapest cell phones for kids to choose from.

You'll find the same phones as with the big three, but with a number of other benefits.

  • Save money: Low-cost carriers offer the best deals while saving you up to $600 per year, per line.
  • Latest cell phones: Offering the same phones as the big three, but without the three-year contract.
  • No long-term commitment: Find a selection of prepaid phone deals from low-cost carriers giving you the freedom of no lengthy contract.
  • Cheap monthly payments: Many low-cost carriers offer affordable interest-free payment plans on their phones along with cell phone plans starting from only $10 a month.
  • Unlimited data plan: There's still the option of unlimited data phone plans, however unlimited doesn't always mean unlimited, so be sure to check the small print.
  • 5G compatible: If your kid wants access to the fast 5G network, there are plenty of 5G phones suitable for kids to pick from.
  • Family plans: Low-cost carriers offer a variety of budget phones as well as the latest iPhone. For even more savings they offer the best family phone plans with multi-line discounts.

Best T-Mobile phones for kids

PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
Apple iPhone 14 128GB T-MobileMint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$35/mo for 24 mths$829
Apple iPhone SE T-MobileMint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$36/mo for 12 mths$429
Apple iPhone 14 Plus 128GB T-MobileMint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$39/mo for 24 mths$929
Apple iPhone 14 Pro 128GB T-MobileMint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB T-MobileMint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$46/mo for 24 mths$1,099
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB T-MobileUS MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$63/mo for 12 mths$690
Apple iPhone 12 128GB T-MobileUS MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$71/mo for 12 mths$779
Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB T-MobileUS MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$71/mo for 12 mths$780

Best AT&T phones for kids

PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
Apple iPhone SE AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$429
Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$26/mo for 24 mths$629
Apple iPhone 13 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$30/mo for 24 mths$729
Apple iPhone 14 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$35/mo for 24 mths$829
Apple iPhone 12 Pro 256GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
Apple iPhone 14 Plus 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$39/mo for 24 mths$929
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 256GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
Apple iPhone 14 Pro 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$46/mo for 24 mths$1,099

Best Verizon phones for kids

PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
Apple iPhone SE VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$429
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) 256GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$432
Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$21/mo for 24 mths$499
Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$25/mo for 24 mths$599
Apple iPhone 12 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$27/mo for 24 mths$649
Apple iPhone 13 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$29/mo for 24 mths$699
Apple iPhone 14 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$35/mo for 24 mths$829
Apple iPhone 14 Plus 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$39/mo for 24 mths$929
Apple iPhone 14 Pro 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$46/mo for 24 mths$1,099
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 512GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$50/mo for 24 mths$1,196
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 512GB VerizonVisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$54/mo for 24 mths$1,299
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB VerizonUS MobileVerizon 5G/4G LTE$63/mo for 12 mths$690

Cheap refurbished phones for kids

Best refurbished iPhones

Apple iPhone 7 Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
32GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$75
MSRP: $649

The Apple iPhone 7 has 32GB storage capacity. It includes a 4.7" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished iPhone 7 is available from Back Market with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $75.

Apple iPhone 8 Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$115
MSRP: $699

The Apple iPhone 8 has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 4.7" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished iPhone 8 is available from Back Market with AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $115.

Apple iPhone XR Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$195
MSRP: $749

The Apple iPhone XR has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished iPhone XR is available from Back Market with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $195.

Apple iPhone X Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$190
MSRP: $999

The Apple iPhone X has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.8" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished iPhone X is available from Back Market with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $190.

Best refurbished Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S8 Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$99
MSRP: $725

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.8" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished Galaxy S8 is available from Back Market with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $99.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$95
MSRP: $719

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.8" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished Galaxy S9 is available from Back Market with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $95.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Refurbished
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
128GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$140
MSRP: $899

The Samsung Galaxy S10 has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 16MP camera. This refurbished Galaxy S10 is available from Back Market with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $140.


Refurbished phone benefits

While your child may pressure you for the latest $1000 Android phone like a Samsung Galaxy, or the newest Apple iPhone model, realistically it's unnecessary - and impractical - to spend that kind of dough on a cell phone (honestly, we don't even recommend that parents drop that kind of cash for their smartphones!).

What's the alternative? Buy a refurbished phone for your child. This approach not only saves you a ton of money but also minimizes your risk should your child lose or break their phone.

  • It's cheap: Basic phones with all the capability your child wants - music and video streaming, apps, social media, phone cameras (front-facing camera and rear), etc. - start under $100.
  • Repairs are easy: With phone repair stores available to most people these days you can get your child's phone fixed quickly and affordably.
  • You're free to switch carriers: Buying used allows you to own the phone outright. This means you can choose a cheap cell phone plan for your child instead of being tied to an expensive wireless carrier (more on that later).

Considerations when buying a phone for your child

There are a few things to keep in mind, regardless of whether you're considering a fully functional smartphone or a basic flip phone for your child.

  • Warranty: A warranty protects you by ensuring you have recourse if your child's device fails. Many used phone warranties start at 30 days. You might want to consider buying from a site like Decluttr which covers you with a one-year limited warranty on all of their used phones.
  • Return policy: What if you change your mind about the mobile phone you choose or it arrives in a different condition than you expect? No problem - reputable sellers allow you to return your phone, just make sure you read their terms so you know how long you have after purchase.
  • Compatibility: There are two types of wireless networks - CDMA and GSM. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, Verizon, and Sprint work via CDMA. Check your phone model against the carrier website to make sure it will work with your plan.
  • Timing: If your child is older - say, a teenager - they may have a strong preference in terms of phone model. You can get the best deal on the device they want if you buy it when a new model is released.
  • Payment plans: Some sellers offer installment plans on used cell phones. We don't recommend this, as kids will be kids so you're better off buying something you can afford to pay for in full at the time of purchase.

Best cheap phone plans for kids

CarrierDataNetworkPrice
US Mobile 500MB plan500MBVerizon & T-Mobile$5* FREE 10-Day Trial
Tello 1GB plan1GBT-Mobile$10
Twigby 4GB plan4GBVerizon$10** $10 Off for 3 Months
Mint Mobile 10GB plan10GBT-Mobile$20** 3 Months FREE: $60 for 6 mths service
Mint Mobile unlimited data planUnltdT-Mobile$30** 3 Months FREE: $90 for 6 mths service

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G4GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Kids are expensive - we know that much! So keeping your budget in control becomes even more important when you're adding another family member to your wireless bill.

Whether you have a data-hungry teenager or just need a few minutes and text messages each month to give your tween a safety net to make a phone call, you can use all the help you can get to save money on your cell phone bill.

MVNOs - or Mobile Virtual Network Operators - are smaller cell phone carriers that rent space on one or more of the big three networks and resell it to you at a discounted rate. They have lower overhead and marketing costs so they can afford to pass the savings on to you.


Kids cell phones FAQs

What phone should I get for my 11 year old?

There's a great selection of basic phones available for kids, some of the more popular handsets are Nokia 3310 3G, iPhone SE, iPhone 8, and Moto E6 Plus.

Which Android phone is best for kids?

The Google Pixel 4a is one of the most popular Android phones for kids, along with the Motorola Moto E and the Nokia 2.4 for affordability.

What is the best mobile phone for a child?

The best will depend on the age of your child and what they need their cell phone for. Some of the best value phones that are popular for kids are the Nokia 3310, Motorola G7 Play, and a budget-friendly option like the Nokia 4.2.


Recap

Whether your kid wants the latest iPhone or just a cheap cell phone, MVNOs can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Low-cost carriers, like Visible or Mint Mobile, offer phones with cheap plans, often with interest-free payments over 12-24 months.

Although the major networks offer to finance over 36 months, being tied into their over-priced unlimited data plans for 3 years could mean wasting as much as $2,000!

Compare deals from low-cost carriers to find the best cell phones for kids at the cheapest price.

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

storage
network
condition
color
model
MSRP: /mo *
Powered by
Phone & Plan SavingsYOU SAVE:
CarrierData planPhone costPlan cost1yr cost
T-Mobile$70/mo
AT&T$75/mo
Verizon$80/mo
T-Mobile
$70/mo
AT&T
$75/mo
Verizon
$80/mo
$0$20$40$60$80
Monthly cost
Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
Avg. user rating
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