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Best kids' phone 2021: The perfect handsets for your child

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If you're looking for a phone for your child, you'll want something cheap and robust. These are our top picks for kids in 2021

Choosing the best phone for your child isn’t quite as straightforward as you might expect. With all sorts of different handsets to choose from, all with wildly varying prices, picking out the right phone that suits your kids’ needs can be quite tricky.

However, If you’ve decided that it’s time for your child to have their first phone, we’ve gathered a list of the best handsets for your little ones to help make your decision easier, along with a helpful buying guide to help you make the right decision.

READ NEXT: Best budget smartphone

Below, you’ll find a list of the smartphones that we think reach the perfect balance of value, ease of use and a robust build, so you should find something here that suits you. This page is also being regularly updated with the latest and greatest phones, so check back soon if nothing fits the bill quite yet.

How to choose the best kids’ phone

What’s the best tariff for your teenager?

It doesn't really matter how old you are, it's pretty easy to pile up a huge bill without realising. The simplest way to keep track of costs is with a pay-as-you-go tariff, instead of a contract phone.

However, if you’re keen to get your teenager on a contract, then make sure you pick one that caps the amount of data they use. The best ones we found currently on the market are from Tesco Mobile, iD Mobile and BT Mobile. Hopefully, you won't get a shock of a massive bill from your teenager's Snapchat antics.

You don’t need an expensive phone

No matter what your child tells you, you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest smartphone. Most budget phones these days do the job quite well, and there are some excellent phone picks that you might not have considered. You’d be surprised at what you can get from the low-end of the spectrum and your bank balance would likely appreciate it, too.

What are your child’s phone requirements?

Of course, much of your buying decision depends on what your child will be using the phone for. Are they hoping to get snap-happy and make their first leap onto social media, or is it only being used as a phone for emergency purposes when walking to/from school? Whatever the requirement, we’ve added the very best in our list below.

READ NEXT: Best phone battery life

The best kids' phones to buy

1. Motorola Moto G10: The best phone for kids

Price: £130 l Buy now from Amazon

Our current top pick for the budget-conscious, the Moto G10 is the best smartphone you can buy for your kids. Hardly making a dent in your bank balance, the G9 Power offers the perfect blend of reliable performance, a solid set of cameras and a fabulous all-screen design. Not to mention that its battery life exceeded well above 20 hours in our tests. This is the smartphone you should get for your kids, without a doubt.

Read our full Motorola Moto G10 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 460; Display: 6.5in 1,600 x 720; Storage: 64GB; Camera: 48MP, 8MP (wide), 2MP (macro). 2MP (depth); Operating system: Android 10

2. Nokia 1.3: The best smartphone under £100

Price: £70 l Buy now from Amazon

If your buying budget can't quite stretch beyond £100, the Nokia 1.3 is a solid choice for smartphone first-timers. With pretty much the same functionality as Android phones that cost multiple times as much, the Nokia 1.3 is cheap and cheerful, with a bright IPS screen, decent camera and a solid design. You might be able to find more feature-rich phones if you're willing to spend a little bit more, but if you don't fancy spending triple figures, there's nothing better than the Nokia 1.3.

Read our full Nokia 1.3 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 215; Display: 5.7in 1,520 x 750; Storage: 16GB; Camera: 8MP; Operating system: Android 10 Go

3. Apple iPhone 8 (Renewed): The cheapest Apple phone

Price: £160 | Buy now from Amazon

Let’s face it, your child probably wants an iPhone. Instead of forking out four figures for the latest model, we recommend picking up a Renewed iPhone 8 on Amazon – a pint-sized Apple phone that cost peanuts in comparison. Sure, the iPhone 8 is the most expensive phone on this list, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll be rewarded with an excellent screen, great battery life, and a superb camera.

Read our full iPhone 8 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Hexa-core 2.39GHz Apple A11 Bionic; Display: 4.7in 1,334 x 750; Storage: 64GB; Camera: 12MP; Operating system: iOS 14

4. Google Pixel 4a: The best camera phone for older kids

Price: £349 l Buy now from Argos

The most expensive phone on this list (though not by much) the pixel 4a is ideal if your children are a little older and are hoping to give their photos a serious shot in the arm. Equipped with the best phone camera money can buy, the Pixel 4a is astonishing value for money and it comes with the best version of Android 11, too. 

Read our full Google Pixel 4a review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 ; Display: 5.81in 2,340 x 1,080; Storage: 128GB; Camera: 12.2MP; Operating system: Android 11

Buy now from Argos


5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T: The best phone you've probably never heard of

Price: £179 l Buy now from Amazon

You might not have heard of Xiaomi before, but its cutthroat Android smartphones have been quietly gaining traction over the last few years. Xiaomi's well-priced track record continues with the Redmi Note 9T, a phone that's packed with generous internal specifications and flagship features. As such, it's well-placed for a smartphone first-timer.

Read our full Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2.4GHz MediaTek Dimensity 800U ; Display: 6.53in 2,340 x 1,080; Storage: 64GB; Camera: 48MP, 2MP (macro), 2MP (depth); Operating system: Android 10

6. Motorola Moto E6s: A great sub-£100 phone

Price: £93 | Buy now from Amazon

When it comes to a dependable phone for your kids that doesn't cost much, then there’s not much better than the Moto E6s. Understandably, the Moto E6s is basic, but it has all the essentials covered. It's fast enough for the price, the camera is decent and the screen is nice, too.

Read our full Motorola Moto E6s review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz MediaTek MT6762; Display: 6.1in 1,560 x 720; Storage: 32GB; Camera: 13MP, 2MP (depth); Operating system: Android 9

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