We maywhen you click our links.

Full Advertiser Disclosure:

MoneySavingPro believes everyone should be able to cut their bills and choose the best deal based on their individual requirements. While our site doesn't feature every carrier or provider available on the market, we're sure you'll be able to make significant savings from the information we provide and the free independent tools we create.

How can we provide this service for free? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which plans we compare and review and write about, but it does not effect our recommendations or advice, which are based on thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.

Today's best deal:iPhone SE starting at $329

Best Cell Phones for Kids

Cheapest kids cell phone prices

Kids cell phone deals in 2022

By Rob Webber - Last updated on

So it's finally time to get your kid a cell phone. At MoneySavingPro we're here to help you find the best cell phones for kids.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators are known for their low-cost plans that can cut your phone bill in half, but they also offer brand new handsets with affordable prices.

You'll find basic cell phones as well as the popular budget smartphones like the Apple iPhone SE to compare, and we've compiled the latest deals with MVNOs for you below.

"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 128GB
Retailer
Visible
Storage
128GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$384
$32/mo for 12 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) has 128GB 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 $384.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) (Refurbished)128GB$230
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) (Unlocked)128GB$384$32/mo for 12 mths
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) (Verizon)128GB$384$32/mo for 12 mths
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
Reviews

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Water-resistant

  • Amazing A13 chip performance

  • Affordable price

  • Touch ID

Cons

  • Battery capacity

  • Night mode is missed

  • Only a 5W charger

Apple iPhone 11 64GB
* Save $200 with phone service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
64GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$499*
$12/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 11 has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 11 is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $499.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 11 (Refurbished)64GB$339
Apple iPhone 11 (Unlocked)64GB$499$12/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 11 (AT&T)64GB$499$12/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

Liquid Retina HD

Resolution1792 x 828 pixels
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)17 hours
ProcessorA13 Bionic
RAM4GB
5GNo
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33in
Weight6.84oz
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 13
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualApple iPhone 11 User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Tougher and water resistant design

  • Great quality speakers

  • Good photos from main camera

  • Excellent selfie photo and video quality

  • Powerful A13 processor

Cons

  • No screen update

  • Storage starts at 64GB

  • Only a 5W charger included

Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB
Retailer
Visible
Storage
64GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$599
$25/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

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 $599.

Best Deals
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
Reviews

Pros

  • Great compact size

  • Excellent camera

  • 5G compatible

  • Brilliant OLED display

Cons

  • Battery life

  • No tele lens

Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Mint Mobile
Storage
128GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$729*
$61/mo for 12 mths
Powered by:

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 Mint Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $729.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 13 mini (Unlocked)128GB$729$61/mo for 12 mths
Apple iPhone 13 mini (AT&T)128GB$729$22/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 mini (Verizon)128GB$779
Apple iPhone 13 mini (T-Mobile)128GB$729$61/mo for 12 mths
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
Reviews

Pros

  • A15 Bionic chip

  • Improved battery life

  • Affordable price

  • 5G compatible

Cons

  • No design upgrade

Best Samsung phones for kids

Samsung Galaxy A12
* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Retailer
Mint Mobile
Storage
32GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$199*
$12/mo for 18 mths
Powered by:

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 $199.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Refurbished)32GB$126
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Unlocked)32GB$199$12/mo for 18 mths
Samsung Galaxy A12 (T-Mobile)32GB$199$12/mo for 18 mths
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
Reviews

Pros

  • Sturdy plastic build

  • Big display

  • Two-day battery life

  • Consistent software updates

  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Sluggish processor

  • Poor camera performance

  • Painfully slow charging

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Retailer
Mint Mobile
Storage
64GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$329*
$14/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

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 $329.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy A32 (Refurbished)64GB$168
Samsung Galaxy A32 (Unlocked)64GB$329$14/mo for 24 mths
Samsung Galaxy A32 (T-Mobile)64GB$329$14/mo for 24 mths
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
Reviews

Pros

  • Affordable

  • 90Hz refresh rate

  • Long battery life

  • Durable screen

  • Headphone jack

Cons

  • Low-resolution display

  • Mediocre audio quality

  • Performance hiccups

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Retailer
Visible
Storage
128GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$312*
$26/mo for 12 mths
Powered by:

The Samsung Galaxy A42 has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.6" screen and 48MP camera. This new Galaxy A42 is available from Visible with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $312.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy A42 (Refurbished)128GB$182
Samsung Galaxy A42 (Unlocked)128GB$312$26/mo for 12 mths
Samsung Galaxy A42 (Verizon)128GB$312$26/mo for 12 mths
Samsung Galaxy A42 (T-Mobile)128GB$419$18/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB

Screen size

6.6"

Display

HD+ Super AMOLED

Resolution1600 x 720
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)32 hours
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
RAM4GB, 8GB
5GYes
CamerasTriple
Rear camera48MP
Camera type48MP
Front camera13MP
Video resolutionUHD 4K
Size6.47 x 2.99 x 0.34in
Weight6.81oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 11
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantNo
Wireless chargingNo
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
Reviews

Pros

  • Long battery life

  • Two years of OS upgrades

  • Sturdy build

  • Vivid OLED display

  • Great design

Cons

  • Mediocre cameras

  • Low-resolution display

  • Bloatware


Best T-Mobile phones for kids

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Apple iPhone 12 mini128GBT-MobileNew$679
Apple iPhone 13 mini128GBT-MobileNew$729
Apple iPhone 12128GBT-MobileNew$779
Apple iPhone 13128GBT-MobileNew$829
Apple iPhone 13 Pro128GBT-MobileNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max128GBT-MobileNew$1,099

Best AT&T phones for kids

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Apple iPhone 1164GBAT&TNew$499
Apple iPhone 1264GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 13 mini128GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 12 mini256GBAT&TNew$779
Apple iPhone 13128GBAT&TNew$829
Apple iPhone 12 Pro256GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro128GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$1,099

Best Verizon phones for kids

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen)128GBVerizonNew$384
Apple iPhone 12 mini64GBVerizonNew$599
Apple iPhone 12128GBVerizonNew$749
Apple iPhone 13 mini128GBVerizonNew$779
Apple iPhone 13128GBVerizonNew$799
Apple iPhone 13 Pro128GBVerizonNew$984
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max128GBVerizonNew$1,080

Cheap refurbished phones for kids

Best refurbished iPhones

Refurbished Apple iPhone 7
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
32GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$98
MSRP: $649
Powered by:

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 AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $98.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 7 (Refurbished)32GB$98
Device Specs
Storage

32GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

4.7"

Display

Retina HD

Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)13 hours
ProcessorApple A10 Fusion
RAM2GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera7MP
Video resolution4K, HD
Size5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28in
Weight4.87oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSiOS 10
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP67
Wireless chargingNo
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualApple iPhone 7 User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Water resistance

  • Improved screen and battery life

  • Powerful dual speakers

  • Excellent camera

  • Incredible performance

Cons

  • No headphone jack

  • Poor battery life

  • No design change

  • Expensive

Refurbished Apple iPhone 8
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$153
MSRP: $699
Powered by:

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 T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $153.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 8 (Refurbished)64GB$153
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 256GB

Screen size

4.7"

Display

Retina HD

Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)13 hours
ProcessorApple A11 Bionic
RAM2GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera7MP
Video resolution4K, HD
Size5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29in
Weight5.22oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSiOS 11
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP67
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualApple iPhone 8 User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Super fast processor

  • Wireless charging

  • Good camera

  • Storage starts at 64GB

Cons

  • Old design

  • Disappointing battery life

  • No headphone jack

Refurbished Apple iPhone XR
Retailer
Visible
Storage
64GB
Network
Verizon
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$219*
MSRP: $299
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone XR has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This refurbished iPhone XR is available from Visible with Verizon network coverage and prices starting from $219.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone XR (Refurbished)64GB$219
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 256GB, 512GB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

Liquid Retina HD

Resolution1792 x 828 pixels
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)16 hours
ProcessorApple A12 Bionic
RAM3GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera7MP
Video resolution4K, HD
Size5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33in
Weight6.84oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSiOS 12
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP67
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualApple iPhone XR User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Great photos and videos

  • Face ID

  • Wireless charging

  • Best iPhone battery life

  • Excellent performance with A12 Chip

Cons

  • Display is not great

  • Lower res screen

  • No 3D touch

  • No dual lens

Refurbished Apple iPhone X
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$278
MSRP: $999
Powered by:

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 AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $278.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone X (Refurbished)64GB$278
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 256GB

Screen size

5.8"

Display

Super Retina HD

Resolution2436 x 1125 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)13 hours
ProcessorApple A11 Bionic
RAM3GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera7MP
Video resolution4K, HD
Size5.65 x 2.79 x 0.3in
Weight6.14oz
Optical zoom1x zoom
Night modeNo
OSiOS 11
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP67
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualApple iPhone X User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Fast processor

  • Facial recognition

  • Excellent screen

  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • No fast charging plug included

  • Expensive price tag

  • No home button

Best refurbished Samsung phones

Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S8
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$132
MSRP: $725
Powered by:

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 T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $132.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Refurbished)64GB$132
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

5.8"

Display

QHD+ Super AMOLED

Resolution2960 x 1440 pixels
HDR screenNo
Battery life (video playback)16 hours
ProcessorSnapdragon 835
RAM4GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera8MP
Video resolution4K, HD
Size5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31in
Weight5.47oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 7.0 (Nougat)
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID, Face ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualSamsung Galaxy S8 User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Excellent camera

  • Large and amazing display

  • Headphone jack

  • MicroSD Support

Cons

  • Poor Battery life

  • Badly placed fingerprint sensor

  • Fragile

Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S9
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
64GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$117
MSRP: $719
Powered by:

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, Verizon & T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $117.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Refurbished)64GB$117
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

5.8"

Display

QHD+ Super AMOLED

Resolution2960 x 1440 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)16 hours
ProcessorSnapdragon 845
RAM4GB
5GNo
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera8MP
Video resolution4K, HD
Size5.81 x 2.7 x 0.33in
Weight5.75oz
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 8.0 (Oreo)
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID, Face ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualSamsung Galaxy S9 User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Good quality speakers

  • Quality still and video quality

  • Fast processor

  • Amazing AMOLED screen

Cons

  • No change with design

  • Expensive

  • Only 720p resolution

Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S10
Retailer
Back Market
Storage
128GB
Network
Unlocked
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$234
MSRP: $899
Powered by:

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 AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $234.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy S10 (Refurbished)128GB$234
Samsung Galaxy S10 (Unlocked)128GB$529$14/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 512GB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED

Resolution3040 x 1440 pixels
HDR screenYes
Battery life (video playback)18 hours
ProcessorSnapdragon 855
RAM6GB, 8GB
5GNo
CamerasTriple
Rear camera16MP
Camera type16MP
Front camera10MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31in
Weight5.54oz
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 9.0 (Pie)
Screen protectionProtective Film
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationFace, Ultrasonic Fingerprint ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Warranty1 year
User ManualSamsung Galaxy S10 User Manual
Reviews

Pros

  • Compact size

  • Amazing photo and video quality

  • Stunning display

  • Reverse wireless charging

Cons

  • Fingerprint reader accuracy

  • Average battery life

  • No auto focus on Ultra wide camera

  • Slow charging


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 it 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 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 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

CarrierNetworkMinutesTextsDataPrice
TelloT-MobileUnltdUnltd1GB$10
Reach MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd2GB$10** $10 Off First 3 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd10GB$15** Only $45 for 3 Months Service
TelloT-MobileUnltdUnltdUnltd$29
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd4GB$15** Only $45 for 3 Months 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 four 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.


Sell your old phones for cash online


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 for a budget friendly option is the Nokia 4.2.


Recap

Getting your kid their first phone doesn't have to mean a huge hike in your monthly payments.

MVNOs offer reasonably priced ways to get a brand new cell phone, with low-cost monthly payments and cheap cell phone plans to go with it.

There's a large variety of cell phones to choose from so there's something to suit everyone. From your teenager wanting the best technology to your budget. Parental controls are available but will vary with each cell phone.

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.