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Best Cell Phones for Kids in 2021

Compare the cheapest kids cell phone prices

Kids cell phone deals in July

When the time comes to get your child his or her first phone, you need an answer to the big question - what are the best phones for kids?

In this guide, we'll help you find affordable phones with all the features your kid wants.

We'll also show you how to find the best kids cell phone plans and how to save money on mobile service for the whole family!

"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 Unlocked
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$149*
MSRP: $399* $250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution

1334 x 750 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A13 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 13

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 14 hours

Dimensions

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm

Weight

148g

Splash Proof

IP67

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

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 Unlocked
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$349*
MSRP: $599* $250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution

1792 x 828 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

A13 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 13

Back Camera

12MP (Dual)

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 17 hours (video playback)

Dimensions

150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm

Weight

194g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

Yes

Model Number

A2111

User Manual

Apple iPhone 11 User Manual

Pros & Cons

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 Unlocked
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$479*
MSRP: $729* $250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.4"

Screen Resolution

2340 x 1080 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A14 Bionic Chip pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 14

Back Camera

Dual 12MP

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

HDR

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm

Weight

135g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great compact size

  • Excellent camera

  • 5G compatible

  • Brilliant OLED display

Cons

  • Battery life

  • No tele lens

Compare the best iPhone deals

Model

Condition

Memory

Compatibility

Price

Apple iPhone 11

New

64GB

AT&T

$349

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

New

64GB

AT&T

$649

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

New

64GB

AT&T

$749

Apple iPhone 12

New

64GB

AT&T

$579

Apple iPhone 12 mini

New

64GB

AT&T

$479

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

New

128GB

AT&T

$749

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

New

128GB

AT&T

$849

Apple iPhone SE

New

64GB

AT&T

$149

Apple iPhone XR

New

64GB

Verizon

$499


Best Samsung phones for kids

Samsung Galaxy A11 Unlocked
Network
AT&T
Storage
32GB
Condition
New
Price
$50*
MSRP: $180* $130 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution

720 x 1560 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Internal Memory

32GB

Operating System

Android 10

Back Camera

13MP, 5MP, 2MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

FHD

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

161.4 x 76.3 x 8mm

Weight

177g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-A115AZKAATT

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Android 10.0 OS

  • Triple rear camera

  • 3.5mm headphone jack

  • MicroSD slot

Cons

  • Not waterproof

  • No LED flash on front camera

  • No wireless charging

Samsung Galaxy A21 Unlocked
Network
AT&T
Storage
32GB
Condition
New
Price
$50*
MSRP: $250* $200 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.5"

Screen Resolution

720 x 1600 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Internal Memory

32GB

Operating System

Android 10

Back Camera

48MP, 8MP, 2MP, 2MP

Front Camera

13MP

HDR for Photos

No

Video Resolution

FHD

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

163.7 x 75.3 x 8.9mm

Weight

192g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Large 6.5" screen

  • Amazing quad camera

  • Powerful battery

  • Excellent front camera

Cons

  • No Gorilla glass protection

  • No wireless charging

  • Plastic body

Samsung Galaxy A51 Unlocked
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
128GB
Condition
New
Price
$329*
MSRP: $379* $50 off
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution

1080 x 2400 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Exynos 9611 pixels

Internal Memory

128GB

Operating System

Android 10

Back Camera

48MP, 12MP, 5MP, 5MP

Front Camera

32MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

UHD 4K

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 28 hours

Dimensions

158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm

Weight

172g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact and light

  • Excellent camera

  • Super AMOLED display

  • Dedicated microSD slot

Cons

  • Camera performance in low light

  • No video stabilization in 4K

  • Average battery life

Compare the best Samsung Galaxy deals

Model

Condition

Memory

Compatibility

Price

Samsung Galaxy A11

New

32GB

AT&T

$50

Samsung Galaxy A21

New

32GB

AT&T

$50

Samsung Galaxy A32

New

64GB

AT&T

$50

Samsung Galaxy A42

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$399

Samsung Galaxy A51

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$329

Samsung Galaxy A52

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$499

Samsung Galaxy A71

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$599

Samsung Galaxy Note20

New

128GB

AT&T

$749

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$1,249

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

New

128GB

AT&T

$450

Samsung Galaxy S21

New

128GB

AT&T

$550

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

New

128GB

AT&T

$950

Samsung Galaxy S21+

New

128GB

AT&T

$750

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

New

256GB

T-Mobile

$1,399


Best cheap refurbished phones for kids

Cheap refurbished iPhones

Apple iPhone 7 Refurbished
Network
AT&T
Storage
32GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$86
MSRP: $649
Best Deals
Device

Storage

Price

Apple iPhone 7 (Refurbished)

32GB

$102

Device Specs

Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution

1334 x 750 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Apple A10 Fusion pixels

Internal Memory

32GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 10

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 14 hours

Standby Time

Up to 240 Hours

Dimensions

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm

Weight

138g

Splash Proof

IP67

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

A1660

User Manual

Apple iPhone 7 User Manual

Pros & Cons

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

Apple iPhone 8 Refurbished
Network
Unlocked
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$157
MSRP: $699
Best Deals
Device

Storage

Price

Apple iPhone 8 (Refurbished)

64GB

$157

Device Specs

Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution

1334 x 750 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Apple A11 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 11

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 14 hours

Dimensions

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm

Weight

148g

Splash Proof

IP67

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

User Manual

Apple iPhone 8 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Super fast processor

  • Wireless charging

  • Good camera

  • Storage starts at 64GB

Cons

  • Old design

  • Disappointing battery life

  • No headphone jack

Apple iPhone XR Refurbished
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$270*
MSRP: $74910% off with promo: MSP10
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution

1792 x 828 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Apple A12 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 256GB, 512GB

Operating System

iOS 12

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 25 hours

Dimensions

150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm

Weight

194g

Splash Proof

IP67

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

Yes

Model Number

A1984

User Manual

Apple iPhone XR User Manual

Pros & Cons

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

Apple iPhone X Refurbished
Network
Verizon
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$289
MSRP: $999
Best Deals
Device

Storage

Price

Apple iPhone X (Refurbished)

64GB

$290

Device Specs

Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution

2436 x 1125 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Apple A11 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 11

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 21 hours

Dimensions

143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm

Weight

174g

Splash Proof

IP67

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

A1865

User Manual

Apple iPhone X User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fast processor

  • Facial recognition

  • Excellent screen

  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • No fast charging plug included

  • Expensive price tag

  • No home button

Apple iPhone XS Refurbished
Network
Verizon
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$308
MSRP: $999
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution

2436 x 1125 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Apple A12 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 256GB, 512GB

Operating System

iOS 12

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 20 hours

Dimensions

143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm

Weight

177g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

Yes

Model Number

A1920

User Manual

Apple iPhone XS User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great build and durability

  • Good speakers

  • Improved duel camera

  • Faster Face ID

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Average battery life

  • Glass front and back prone to damage

Cheap refurbished Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S8 Refurbished
Network
Verizon
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$100
MSRP: $725
Best Deals
Device

Storage

Price

Samsung Galaxy S8 (Refurbished)

64GB

$100

Device Specs

Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution

2960 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 835 pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

Android 7.0 (Nougat)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 20 hours

Dimensions

148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm

Weight

155g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-G950U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy S8 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent camera

  • Large and amazing display

  • Headphone jack

  • MicroSD Support

Cons

  • Poor Battery life

  • Badly placed fingerprint sensor

  • Fragile

Samsung Galaxy S9 Refurbished
Network
Unlocked
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$120
MSRP: $719
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution

2960 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 845 pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

Android 8.0 (Oreo)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm

Weight

163g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-G960U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy S9 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good quality speakers

  • Quality still and video quality

  • Fast processor

  • Amazing AMOLED screen

Cons

  • No change with design

  • Expensive

  • Only 720p resolution

Samsung Galaxy S10 Refurbished
Network
Unlocked
Storage
128GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$192
MSRP: $899
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution

3040 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 855 pixels

Internal Memory

128GB, 512GB

Operating System

Android 9.0 (Pie)

Back Camera

12MP, 12MP, 16MP (Triple)

Front Camera

10MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 34 hours

Standby Time

Up to 3.67 days

Dimensions

149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm

Weight

157 g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-G973U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy S10 User Manual

Pros & Cons

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

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Refurbished
Network
AT&T
Storage
128GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$198*
MSRP: $1,00010% off with promo: MSP10
Best Deals
Device

Storage

Price

Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Refurbished)

128GB

$215

Device Specs

Screen Size

6.4"

Screen Resolution

2960 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 845 pixels

Internal Memory

128GB, 512GB

Operating System

Android 8.1 (Oreo)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 22 hours

Dimensions

161.8 x 76.5 x 8.9mm

Weight

201g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-N960U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy Note9 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent battery life

  • High end build

  • Great camera performance

  • Beautiful 6.4 inch Infinity display

  • Good storage options

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Heavy

  • Lacks Android 9.0 Pie

  • Too many small upgrades

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Refurbished
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
256GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$270*
MSRP: $94910% off with promo: MSP10
Best Deals
Device

Storage

Price

Samsung Galaxy Note10 (Refurbished)

256GB

$330

Device Specs

Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution

2280 x 1080 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor pixels

Internal Memory

256GB

Operating System

Android 9.0

Back Camera

16MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Wide-angle, 12MP Telephoto

Front Camera

10MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 35.38 hours

Standby Time

Up to 12.6 days

Dimensions

151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm

Weight

168g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-N970U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy Note10 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Bright OLED screen

  • Excellent battery life

  • Great sounding speakers

  • Great image quality from camera

  • Generous 256GB storage

Cons

  • No headphone jack

  • Night Mode needs work

  • Ultra-wide angle camera lacks autofocus

Compare the cheapest refurbished phone prices

Model

Condition

Memory

Compatibility

Price

Samsung Galaxy S7

Refurbished

32GB

AT&T

$59

Apple iPhone 6

Refurbished

16GB

AT&T

$62

Samsung Galaxy A10e

Refurbished

32GB

AT&T

$68

Apple iPhone 6S

Refurbished

32GB

AT&T

$70

Samsung Galaxy A11

Refurbished

32GB

T-Mobile

$82

Apple iPhone 7

Refurbished

32GB

AT&T

$86

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Refurbished

16GB

AT&T

$87

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Refurbished

32GB

Unlocked

$95

Samsung Galaxy S8

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$100

Samsung Galaxy A20

Refurbished

32GB

T-Mobile

$106

Samsung Galaxy A50

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$107

Samsung Galaxy S9

Refurbished

64GB

Unlocked

$120

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

Refurbished

16GB

AT&T

$120

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Refurbished

64GB

Unlocked

$135

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Refurbished

64GB

AT&T

$140

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Refurbished

128GB

Unlocked

$155

Apple iPhone 8

Refurbished

64GB

Unlocked

$157

Samsung Galaxy A51

Refurbished

128GB

Verizon

$165

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Refurbished

32GB

AT&T

$172

Samsung Galaxy Note8

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$180

Samsung Galaxy S10

Refurbished

128GB

Unlocked

$192

Samsung Galaxy Note9

Refurbished

128GB

AT&T

$198

Samsung Galaxy A71

Refurbished

128GB

T-Mobile

$210

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Refurbished

128GB

Verizon

$229

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Refurbished

64GB

Unlocked

$230

Apple iPhone SE

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$238

Apple iPhone XR

Refurbished

64GB

AT&T

$270

Samsung Galaxy Note10

Refurbished

256GB

T-Mobile

$270

Apple iPhone X

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$289

Apple iPhone XS

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$308

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Refurbished

128GB

Unlocked

$315

Samsung Galaxy Note10+

Refurbished

256GB

AT&T

$340

Samsung Galaxy S20

Refurbished

128GB

Verizon

$378

Apple iPhone XS Max

Refurbished

64GB

AT&T

$423

Apple iPhone 11

Refurbished

64GB

T-Mobile

$447

Samsung Galaxy S21

Refurbished

128GB

T-Mobile

$519

Samsung Galaxy S20+

Refurbished

128GB

Verizon

$520

Samsung Galaxy S21+

Refurbished

128GB

T-Mobile

$522

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Refurbished

128GB

T-Mobile

$573

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Refurbished

64GB

Verizon

$619

Samsung Galaxy Note20

Refurbished

128GB

Verizon

$639

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Refurbished

64GB

Unlocked

$695

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

Refurbished

128GB

AT&T

$941


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.

Sell your old phones for cash online

If you're upgrading your child's phone you can get cash for their old one by selling it online. This option allows you to squeeze more dollars out of that unused device than you'll get for it in trade-in credit from your carrier.

It's simple to list your phone on buyback sites - all you need to do is ship it off in the mail and wait to get paid. Of course, this option is ideal for when it's time to upgrade your own smartphone as well!


Best cheap phone plans for kids

Carrier

Network

Minutes

Texts

Data

Price

Tello

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

1GB

$7.50** 25% Off for 6 Months

Pure Talk

AT&T

Unltd

Unltd

2GB

$15** 25% Off for 3 Months

Ting

T-Mobile & Verizon

Unltd

Unltd

Unltd

$25** $20 Off for 3 Months

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

10GB

$20** $60 for 3 Months Service

h2o Wireless

AT&T

Unltd

Unltd

6GB

$22.50** 25% Off for 3 Months

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.

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $540 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

T-Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

Unltd*

$60/mo

$720/yr

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

4GB

$15/mo

$180/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$45/mo$540/yr

Cheap carrier benefits

  • Cheaper prices - by up to 50%

  • Same great service on your favorite network

  • No contracts

  • Custom plans - pay for as little or as much as you need

  • Bring your own phone and keep your number

There are MVNOs that offer service on all three wireless networks:

COMPARE NOW: Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Kids


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

Saving money on the best cell phone for your child is simple:

Don't worry - we haven't forgotten one of the most important factors in your decision. Find out about cell phone safety for kids, including information on parental control, child safety apps, and how to make sure your child knows how to use their phone safely.

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.