Choose the Best Smartphone for Your Preteen or Teenager

Note: This article contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Home Jobs By Mom reserves the right to overwrite or replace any affiliate, commercial, or monetizable links, posted by users with our own internal tracking. Visit my disclosure page for more information. 
Choose the Best Smartphone for Your Preteen or Teenager

In this digital age, it is more than likely your preteen or teenager wants a smartphone. But as a responsible parent, you want to pick the right kind of phone based on his or her age and maturity level. Here are a few options to consider when buying a smartphone for your preteen or teenager:

LG 450

If your preteen isn’t quite ready to take on the responsibility of a full-featured smartphone, but you still want to keep in touch while he or she is away or in case of an emergency, the LG 450 is a good option. It is a simple flip phone that has up to three hours of talk time on battery power, text-to-speech capabilities, surfing privileges and access to kid-friendly games. This is a great choice if you are on the fence about giving your preteen phone privileges. And if he or she can take care of this phone, then you can upgrade in the future.

Alcatel OneTouch Pop Astro

If you have a clumsy or forgetful preteen, opt for the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Astro since it offers all of the features of a smartphone on a budget. This means you will be less upset if he or she drops it in the pool or loses it at school. It is considered an entry-level device with a compact look and a decent battery life. Plus, there is a built-in camera if your child likes to experiment with photography or simply wants to take a selfie.

Microsoft Lumia 640

Microsoft Lumia 640

Upgrade your preteen’s basic phone with something a little more tech savvy once he or she proves to you that it won’t be lost or broken. A Microsoft Lumia 640 is great for calling and texting, and it is equipped with a built-in camera. At only $129, this is a suitable upgrade for your child.

Nokia Lumia 635

Nokia Lumia 635

The Nokia Lumia 635 boasts a price that is difficult to beat. With its bright screen and interchangeable cases, your teenager will love the fashion statement this phone makes. And this phone has enough features to help your teenager feel more like an adult. It is a great tester phone to see how well your teen is able to handle responsibility.

HTC One M8

HTC One M8

With an elegant style, large memory option and dual camera, the HTC One M9 is perfect if your teen has proven that he or she is responsible. Especially if your teenager loves music, the sound quality is crisp, clear and without distortions. He or she also has access to social media, a built-in camera and plenty of apps. It has all of the functions of a regular smartphone and will show your teen that he or she can be treated like an adult.

Apple iPhone 5C

Apple iPhone 5C

iPhones are a popular option for your responsible teen. The Apple iPhone 5c offers a sleek and colorful design, user-friendly options and compatible apps to make it the complete phone for your teen.

Before giving the iPhone to your teen make sure to get the latest iPhone cases to keep it safe. Listening to music, accessing homework assignments and Skyping with friends is easy to do with the touch-screen display and no-fuss access.

What age do you think kids should get their first cell phone?


Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.


  1. Ken Dowell says:

    I promised my so a smartphone for his12th birthday which is coming up in September. Will likely get an iPhone 5C. A fringe benefit of that is that he will know more about it than I know about my iPhone and I will hence be able to use him as a consultant.

    • Haha. Yes kids tend to know more about electronics than we do. I have no idea what the appropriate age is to give a child a cell phone. I know more and more people are doing it in elementary school. I’m just not there yet. I’m sure my son will beg before long.

  2. Both of our children ‘use’ our mobiles to play games and check Youtube videos – supervised of course! I would consider giving my children a mobile phone at age 12 – so not for a few years yet. I would take out insurance in case it is lost/stolen or broken.

    There would be rules though;

    1. No social media (minimum age is 13 anyway)
    2. I would restrict access to particular sites
    3. No surfing at meal times or family time

    • I like your rules! I think I would do about the same. I already do the no surfing or electronics during family time. I swear they would take their tablets everywhere if I’d let them. I’ve had my son want to take it in the bathroom while he’s in the shower. I’m like um no!

  3. Jacqueline Gum says:

    Yikes! The decisions that parents are faced with in this generation! But I love that you are so proactive and do so much research. I see lots of parents just hand over their old I-phone without even a thought! Even though it may not be the wisest choice. Great article. I learned something:)

    • I’m not ready to hand over any phone just yet LOL! I still think my children are a bit too young but I know the time is coming and sooner than I would like.

  4. Seventh grade seems about right developmentally for a child to get their first phone, especially when it seems everyone has one. The key to any gadget or device is to use it in moderation. Somedays it seems like the entire world is enraptured by the soft glow of their phone’s screen.

    • I know what you mean about the “glow”. I hate when parents are all on their phones at sport games. I do it too but I’m not constantly on it.

  5. We’ve just started to think about this for our daughter. My husband is great with technology, so he gets to make this part of the decision, but I like that you’ve shown us so many great options. I can’t believe we’re already at that age!

  6. My son is 20 and has had a cell phone for several years. He understands the technology much better than I do. In fact, I just got my first Smartphone a few months ago. Your research is valuable and can save others a lot of time. I also agree with Phoenicia about establishing rules. People spend too much time focusing on their devices rather than on one another, and the world around them. With the advent of the iwatch and smartwatch, I believe that establishing a respectable perspective for the place all these gadgets should hold within the realm of our attention span is so important. Thanks for your research and your post.

    • Thanks Michele! Electronic rules are very important these days. Kids would be forever in their world instead of ours without them.

  7. Beth Niebuhr says:

    So many choices! I’m glad my kids are long grown up and I don’t have to figure out these perplexing questions. It looks to me like your ideas are sound.

  8. SafariOnTheBlog says:

    Great article Krystle,
    Phoenica, I love your rules.

  9. My grandson – 11 – has a cellphone but there are strict rules with it and it is hooked into his dad’s business so he knows it’s monitored from time to time.
    I’m so pro and con on this one. I like the idea that they have ready access to parents – I hate the misuse of the phones. But you’ve provided a great list that’s going to help a lot of parents make good decisions.

    • Currently we have the kid’s iPads connected to the same account as ours and block out the internet and downloading. I’ll have to do something similar when they get phones. Kids are good at getting into things they shouldn’t!

Speak Your Mind


Summertime Sprinkler Fun

It's Summertime (at least for a couple more days). The sun's high in the heavens, the temperature is fine, the breeze...

Football Season is Here: Parents Don’t Forget Fan Gear for the Littlest Family Members!

  Fans of sports teams are among the most passionate people in the world. That's why true fans love wearing...

7 Ways to Make the Bathroom Elderly Friendly
7 Ways to Make the Bathroom Elderly Friendly

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MembersMarkCares #CollectiveBias Some of...