It’s not just a phone
Buying a smartphone for your child is a big step. Because it’s not just a phone. It’s a new world of opportunities for them, like getting to know new technology and keeping in touch with their friends. But it’s also important to know your stuff before you get started. So scroll down to get our advice on sticking to a budget, setting up parental controls and choosing the right phone and accessories.
Get started with a smartphone
Start the conversation
Your child will most likely be excited about getting their first phone – but it’s important to manage their expectations. It’s a good idea to set some ground rules first, like not allowing phones at the dinner table, or setting a daily time limit on games and social media. Find out more at our family hub. You’ll find information about our new Family Plan, which includes premium parental controls by Qustodio, so you can keep your child safe online. You can also read our NSPCC articles or if you’d rather chat to someone in person, book a free appointment with an O2 Guru.
Set a budget
Getting a phone for the first time is a big step for your child, but it’s also an added expense for you. But there are ways to manage the cost. For example, you could give your child your old phone. This means that you won’t have to fork out for a new one – you just have to get a new sim. We can even wipe your old device and help your child get to grips with using it, with Pass It On. If you don’t have an old phone to pass on, take a look at our Like New range instead. They’re cheaper than brand new phones, and we put them all through our five point check to make sure they’re working as they should.
Find the right phone
If you’re not giving your child your old phone, you’ll need to have a think about what phone to get. Accidents are bound to happen, so we think it’s a good idea to get a durable phone that can survive bumps and drops. Take a look at our Like New page to help you choose. All our Like New phones have passed our five point check and come with a 12 month warranty.
Get peace of mind with our Family experts
Our Gurus are experts in all things family, and will help you set up your kid’s first phone. They’ll take you through all the great features of Qustodio Premium, the industry-leading parental controls app, included with all our Family Plans, and show you how to:
• block inappropriate content with smart filters
• balance your child’s screen time across multiple devices
• set time limits for specific games and apps, or block certain ones from running all together
• monitor time spent on social media sites
• set up location tracking and panic alerts in case of emergencies.
Keep the kids app-y
Now you’ve made sure that your child can use their phone safely, it’s time to let them have some fun with it. Have a browse through the App Store or Google Play Store for fun games and educational apps. They might already know games like Angry Birds and Sonic Dash, but there are plenty more apps if they want to try something different. Let them unleash their creativity with a drawing app like Kids Doodle. Or encourage them to learn the basics of programming with Kodable. Educational apps like these will complement what your kids are learning in the classroom, without making them feel like it’s homework.
Add some accessories
Kids don’t sit still for long, so neither do their phones. It’s important to get the right accessories so that your child’s new phone can survive a bit of rough play. We’ve got all sorts of cases and screen protectors, whether they fancy a bright and fun case or a clear one that’ll show off their phone. Kitsound Mini Buddy Speakers are a perfect extra treat to go with your child’s new phone too. They come in fun shapes like a unicorn and a penguin, and they come with a keyring attachment to stop them getting lost. And there are eight characters to collect, so they’re perfect for birthday presents.
Ready for the next step?
Ready for the next step? Once your little one has mastered a phone, why not let them try out a tablet? Tablets have bigger screens, so they’re good for playing games and watching videos. Our Alcatel Family Tablet Bundle is the perfect one to get you started. You’ll get an Alcatel Pixi3 8, along with a case and screen protector to keep it free from dents and scratches. And you’ll get a 24 month subscription to the Azoomee app too. It’s designed for kids, with unlimited access to all sorts of games, TV shows and audiobooks. And they can only leave the app if you type in your pin, so you can relax knowing they’ll only be able to see family friendly content.
Read our other aticles
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- Keep your kids safe online
See our tips to make sure your little ones are staying safe while they're making the most of the internet.
- Create your own company
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- Know your child's net
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Products featured in this article
- Moto G5
A splash resistant phone with fingerprint recognition. Find out more about the Moto G5.
- Samsung Galaxy J3
Keep it simple with Easy Mode. And enjoy gaming on the 5 inch HD screen. Find out more about the Samsung Galaxy J3.
- Kitsound Mini Buddy Speaker
Small, collectible and surprisingly loud speakers. Find out more about Kitsound Mini Buddy Speakers.
- Alcatel Family Tablet Bundle
A great value tablet for kids, with a case, screen protector and 24 month Azoomee subscription. Find out more about Alcatel Family Tablet Bundle.