My Child Wants A Smartphone: What's The Best Phone For Kids? | Kidadl


My Child Wants A Smartphone: What's The Best Phone For Kids?

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Long gone are the days of dial-up internet, corded telephones, and computers that in no universe could ever be described as "portable". Now, everything we need is packed into a small rectangle of technology that fits in our pocket.

When cellphones were invented we couldn't have foreseen how drastically they'd change, nor how valuable they'd become to our lives. There are, of course, endless positives to having a mini computer in your pocket at all times — you're able to stay connected with loved ones all over the world, you can use it as a tool to improve your skills, and you have access to any information you need, all at the click of a button. Yet, there's also an insidious side we couldn't have anticipated even 15 years ago.

Like a seesaw vying for balance, the connection that the internet and social media offers has yielded not just positive effects on young people, but negative too. Research shows that the USA finds itself on the brink of an urgent mental health crisis, with isolation, anxiety and depression at the forefront, and with children and teens struggling specifically with loss of confidence, and seeking validation from likes and followers, most of which happening behind closed doors. Not only this, but the number of online child predators has increased to an alarming estimate of 500,000. Combine this with a concerning influx of cyberbullies and trolls, and many parents are tempted to wrap their kids up in cotton wool and protect them by not giving them a phone at all.

Two brothers taking photos on their Troomi phone.

Deciding On The Right Phone For Kids

It's clear that phones aren't going anywhere, so we need to be able to give young people access to them in a way that's safe and controlled. Typically, phones for kids are either too basic, offering minimal features to the point of them not being practical, or they have no control whatsoever, granting unfettered access to the internet and all its inappropriate content. This is where Troomi comes in.

If you're looking for a phone for kids that actually works for everyone, Troomi offers a flexible option that sits somewhere in between; the perfect balance between too much and too little. The innovative operating system KidSmart OS™ powers every Troomi phone, and there are special safety features and controls that are managed by parents on a separate app and can be adapted as your child grows.

A kids' cell phone doesn't have to look like an old-school flip phone circa 2005 — Troomi offers a choice of high-tech Samsung phone; either a Samsung Galaxy A12 or Galaxy A32, with monthly plans starting as low as $19.95.

Teaching Tech Responsibility

Firstly, it's important that you understand the weight of giving your child a phone and figure out how to protect them as best you can. You should make sure that it is the right decision to buy one in the first place. Does your child need a phone, or do they just want one? If you think it would add value to your lives, use that as the motivation, rather than just giving them a phone because all their peers have one.

You may have been putting off giving your younger kids a smartphone because you couldn't envision a safe way to do it. Busy parents may need their child to stay in contact throughout the day, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to do that without a cell phone.

You should be cognizant of the dangers of the internet and share these with your child, making sure you know how to recognize any signs of trouble, and keeping an open channel of communication for you and your child to express any concerns you both may have.

You should be cognizant of the dangers

Taking Age-Appropriate Safety Measures

You know your child best, so the onus is on you to figure out what's appropriate, depending on your child's age and maturity level. To ensure your child's experience with their new phone is as positive as possible, you should set some ground rules. These will look different for different families but may include an agreement to set screen time limits, use real-time location tracking, and other parental controls. Troomi offers cell phones for kids with all these features and parental controls integrated automatically, so you can be sure that your child's cell phone usage is as safe as possible.

Other brands that offer kids' phones often only give the option of a very basic phone with minimal functionality. Sometimes these are so basic that they're not particularly useful, and may feel almost patronizing for older kids in particular. With Troomi's high-tech Samsung phones you have all the bells and whistles you would expect on a modern cell phone, but with extra parental controls for your comfort.

Ensuring Kid-Focused Safeguarding

While we want to believe that every tech company has a duty to protect its users from harmful content, this rarely happens, leaving vulnerable people at the mercy of all kinds of dangers. Troomi, however, protects kids from the get-go.

Every Troomi phone phone blocks pornography, social media apps and addictive games by default, with military-grade security to combat predators and privacy intrusions, ensuring a safer environment for them to enjoy their new cell phone.

On the Parent Portal, its parents-only web app, you can immediately see your child's location via the GPS tracking attached to their cell phone, along with their phone's remaining battery life and signal status, ie. whether they have WiFi or access to cellular data. Having this information available at the click of a button is sure to give you peace of mind.

Troomi phones are high-tech Samsung models.

Keeping A Close Circle Of Contacts

Each Troomi plan comes with unlimited talk and texting, but all of this communication is restricted to a list of contacts approved by parents. This means they will never receive spam or phishing calls, or any calls from people you don't know and approve of.

You can change the specific messaging settings on your kid's phone too. If you'd prefer your child to be limited from sending and receiving pictures via text, you can set this up on the Parent Portal, along with restricting them from being added and participating in group chats. Additionally, parents can view any incoming and outgoing texts via the portal, including any that have been deleted or sent from a now-blocked number.

Internet Access Doesn't Have To Be Scary

By far the most daunting element of giving a child a cell phone is granting them uninterrupted internet access, and consequently, opening the door to any problems that may entail. Luckily, Troomi phones by default have no internet browser, so you can feel comfortable giving even younger kids one of these phones. But, as your child grows older and you're confident they are responsible enough, you can change the functionality of the phone, adapting settings and giving them access to more apps, and broader — though still controlled — internet access.

The browser Troomi uses is its special KidSmart Safe Browser, which allows you to list certain approved domains and websites that you're happy to let your child browse unsupervised.

By far the most daunting element of giving a child

Removing Distraction

Along with the particularly sinister dangers we face in the digital age, there are more seemingly innocuous issues to keep an eye out for. It can be only too easy for any one of us to fall victim to addictive games and social media rabbit holes, which is why Troomi has removed these entirely from its phones.

There's a range of standard pre-installed apps that appear on every Troomi phone, like a weather app, music player, camera, and calculator, and you can choose whether or not you want to add more apps to accompany them.

Most apps only work with WiFI internet access, so you can be sure that your child is only using their cell phone in a safe place.

Using Phones As A Tool For Success

Encourage your child to view their cell phone as a tool for creativity and success. There's so much they can learn and achieve during their screen time, and Troomi offers plenty of apps to help do it.

Every app available on Troomi goes through a review process, where it is confirmed that it is appropriate for children. These apps are continually under review to make sure that nothing's changed and that they're still safe to include on a phone for kids.

You'll find educational games and apps like Duolingo, and Khan Academy, reading-based apps like Libby and Audible, health apps like Headspace and Strava, and tons more. The apps are chosen in the hopes to foster talent and creativity and ensure access to healthy hobbies.

Troomi offers some of the best cell phones for kids, with solid parental controls and flexible functionality. It keeps the safeguarding of kids at the forefront, with ever-adaptable settings that allow the phone to grow with your child.

Try a Troomi phone for children

Try a Troomi phone for children

The phone that grows with your kids

Expect kid-focused solutions to parents’ problems with Troomi. Troomi smartphones have integrated safeguarding features, plus extra parental controls you can manage from your own parent dashboard. You’ll have live location tracking, military-grade security protection, and control over contact lists and apps, all wrapped up in one high-tech Samsung Galaxy smartphone. 

Written By
Georgia Stone

Georgia is originally from Essex but moved to Switzerland as a child, attending an international school and igniting her love for experiencing the world and its cultures. She later moved back to the UK to study French with Film Studies at King’s College London. She took a break to enjoy a patisserie-filled year abroad in Paris. Shortly after graduating, she started as an intern at Kidadl in a small team of five, progressing with the company as it grew, to where she sits now as Digital Content Manager. Since returning to the UK permanently, she has been known to take ideas from Kidadl for things to see and do close to home and make the most of London’s incredible travel connections to explore further afield.

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