The Best Cell Phones for Kids

Whether your kid has been asking for their first cell phone for months or you’re looking to gift them an upgrade, it can be a little challenging to land on the perfect device. To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of phones that both children and their parents or guardians will be happy with.

Explore some important factors to consider and browse our picks for the best smartphones for kids.

What to Consider When Choosing a Phone for a Child

If you’re looking for a cell phone for a kid in your life, consider the following factors to make the best and most informed decision.

Ease of Use

Be sure to explore ease of use when researching smartphone models. Not all devices are created equal, and some will be more challenging to operate than others.

It’s essential to consider the child’s age and what is most appropriate for them. If you’re buying for a child under 10 years old, they likely don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the most advanced smartphones.

Assess the technology they already use. If they have their own tablet, consider getting a phone from the same brand. Kids will find adapting to the operating system easier if they’re already familiar with how it works on other devices.

Uses and Battery Life

You’ll also want to evaluate how they’ll use their new device. Do they need it to coordinate pickup times after school or extracurriculars? Are they looking to call and send text messages to classmates for homework help?

You can narrow down smartphone options by understanding how the child in your life will use their device. The phone’s battery capacity will also be a crucial deciding factor. Kids may not always remember to check their phone’s charge — if they’re busy going from school to practice to a friend’s house to study, they’ll need a device with a long-lasting battery.

Parental Controls

Keeping kids away from inappropriate content should be top of mind. Before buying a phone, explore the ability to block and filter certain social media platforms. Both applications and built-in features allow adults to limit a cell phone’s access and capabilities. The available options will depend on the brand of smartphone your choose. You’ll want to explore how you can configure website and app access to keep your kid safe while on their new phone.

Screen time constraints are another vital factor for parents and guardians to consider when selecting their child’s device. Time limits provide a way to prevent kids from spending excessive hours online, helping to safeguard kids’ mental and physical health.

Internet Access

In addition to parental controls, you’ll also want to consider the phone’s internet access. Smartphones allow us to connect with people and content from all over the world. While that can provide exciting new possibilities, it can also come with new risks.

Internet access will be essential if children use their devices for studying or entertainment. However, if you don’t want them to utilize the world wide web without your supervision, getting a device that doesn’t support the internet may be the best decision.

GPS Tracking

Consider the GPS tracking capabilities before buying a new cell phone for a kid. GPS tracking can give you peace of mind by letting you monitor your child’s movement and know their exact location.

Explore how different smartphone options support GPS tracking and what type of controls they feature for parents who want to keep an eye on their kids. Safety and security should always be a top priority with location sharing, so you’ll need to ensure that the GPS tracking is not accessible to other users.


Cost is a significant factor to consider when buying a cell phone for a kid. Most children don’t need the most innovative or expensive devices, so investigate what features are most important to you and what you can get within your budget.

Some of the key factors that impact the price of a smartphone include its:

  • Age
  • Brand name
  • Features
  • Capabilities

Buying a used or refurbished device instead of something brand new is a great way to save money while still getting all the features you want. You can find used smartphones for the child you’re shopping for at nearly all price points.

11 of the Best Cell Phones for Kids

Explore some of the best smartphone options for kids and learn more about each model:

1. iPhone SE

The Apple® iPhone SE is a good pick for kids, thanks to its compact size and lightweight build. The third generation SE models were initially released in March 2022, along with the iPhone 14 series.

It features a 4.7-inch display and the following dimensions:

  • Height: 5.45 inches
  • Width: 2.65 inches
  • Depth: 0.29 inch

These phones have one rear camera and one front-facing camera. You can find storage options including:

  • 64 gigabytes (GB)
  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB

With up to 15 hours of video playback, kids will have plenty of battery life throughout the day. The third-generation iPhone SE is available in three different color options:

  • Midnight
  • Starlight
  • Red

2. iPhone 13 mini

The Apple® iPhone 13 mini is another smaller smartphone that’s well-suited for kids. Apple released this model in September 2021 as part of the iPhone 13 series. It features a single front-facing camera and dual rear cameras.

While the iPhone 13 mini is slightly more expensive than the SE, you can still find it for less than standard iPhone models. The battery can support up to 17 hours of video playback. It has a 5.4-inch display and the following dimensions:

  • Height: 5.18 inches
  • Width: 2.53 inches
  • Depth: 0.30 inch

You can find this smartphone with three storage capacities:

  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB

The iPhone 13 is available in playful colors kids will enjoy, including:

  • Green
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Midnight
  • Starlight
  • Red

3. iPhone 13

If you’re looking for a basic phone without too many extra features, the Apple® iPhone 13 is a great pick. Apple released this model in September 2021 at a slightly higher price point than the iPhone 13 mini.

This phone features two rear cameras with a regular and ultra-wide lens. Kids can enjoy up to 19 hours of video playback on a 6.1-inch display, which is perfect for those who want to watch videos or play games. The device is slightly larger than both the iPhone mini and SE models and has the following dimensions:

  • Height: 5.78 inches
  • Width: 2.82 inches
  • Depth: 0.30 inch

You can find the iPhone 13 with three storage options:

  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB

This model shares the same variety of color options as the iPhone 13 mini.

4. iPhone 12 mini

Like the iPhone 13 mini, the Apple® iPhone 12 mini is one of the best phones for small hands. Apple released this model in October 2020, so it’s generally a little cheaper than newer models, making it a great choice for shoppers on a budget. It has a 5.4-inch display and the following compact dimensions:

  • Height: 5.18 inches
  • Width: 2.53 inches
  • Depth: 0.29 inch

These devices feature a dual-camera system and up to 15 hours of video playback. You can find them in various kid-friendly colors, including:

  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Red
  • White
  • Black

There are three storage options for you to choose from, depending on your child’s needs:

  • 64 GB
  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB

5. iPhone 11

The Apple® iPhone 11 has been available for several years, having hit the market in September 2019. Like the iPhone 12 mini, you can generally find these older models at lower prices. Kids will like the color options for this device, which include:

  • Purple
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Black
  • White
  • Red

You can choose from two storage options — 64 GB or 128 GB. With up to 17 hours of video playback, this smartphone’s battery will likely last throughout the day, making it an excellent choice for kids with busy schedules.

The iPhone 11 features two rear cameras and a single front-facing selfie camera. They have the same 6.1-inch display as the iPhone 13 with slightly larger dimensions, including:

  • Height: 5.94 inches
  • Width: 2.98 inches
  • Depth: 0.33 inch

6. Galaxy S22

If you’re interested in a cutting-edge smartphone for an older kid, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is a great choice. The brand released this model in February 2022, and its newness makes it slightly pricier than others on the list. It features three rear cameras, perfect for kids who love photography.

These models have a 6.1-inch display and these dimensions:

  • Height: 5.75 inches
  • Width: 2.78 inches
  • Depth: 0.30 inch

The S22 features a long-lasting 3700 mAh battery to last throughout the school day and beyond. You can find the Galaxy S22 with either 128 gigabytes or 256 gigabytes of storage in the following color options:

  • Phantom black
  • White
  • Pink gold
  • Green

7. Galaxy S20

Another awesome smartphone for kids is the Samsung Galaxy S20, which first reached the market in March 2020. It features triple rear cameras and a single front-facing lens. It has a 4000 mAh battery and can support an impressive battery life. Because of their advanced features, these devices come with a mid-tier price tag and are likely best suited for older kids.

Children will enjoy the color options, which include the following:

  • Cloud blue
  • Cloud pink
  • Cosmic white
  • Cosmic grey

The Galaxy S20 has 128 gigabytes of storage and a large 6.2-inch display, making watching videos or studying especially easy. The dimensions for these devices are:

  • Height: 5.97 inches
  • Width: 2.72 inches
  • Depth: 0.31 inch

8. Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 was first on the market in March 2019. Because this model is slightly older, you can find it at a budget-friendly price point. This model is available in two storage capabilities of either 128 gigabytes or 512 gigabytes and has a 3400 mAh battery to last throughout the day. It has a 6.1-inch display and slightly larger dimensions than the S20. Its measurements include:

  • Height: 5.90 inches
  • Width: 2.77 inches
  • Depth: 0.31 inch

The S10 model features three rear cameras, including the following lenses:

  • Wide
  • Ultra-wide
  • Telephoto

The Galaxy S10 includes the following playful color options that kids will surely love:

  • Prism blue
  • Prism black
  • Prism white
  • Prism green
  • Flamingo pink

9. Pixel 6

Another advanced smartphone model is the Google Pixel 6. This device features 128 gigabytes of storage and an Android operating system. Thanks to its state-of-the-art features and price point, it is best suited for older kids.

Google first launched this model in October 2021. It is well known for its impressive 4614 mAh battery efficiency and fast charging capabilities. These devices are available in a few different unique colors, including:

  • Kinda Coral
  • Stormy Black
  • Sorta Seafoam

They have dual rear cameras and a large 6.4-inch display. The Pixel 6 is a pretty large smartphone compared to other brands and models. Its dimensions include the following:

  • Height: 6.24 inches
  • Width: 2.94 inches
  • Depth: 0.35 inch

10. Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5, which first launched in October 2020, is also a good fit for kids. It’s smaller than the Pixel 6, with a 6-inch display and the following dimensions:

  • Height: 5.70 inches
  • Width: 2.77 inches
  • Depth: 0.31 inch

Pixel 5 models feature a 4080 mAh battery that can support all-day use, essential for children traveling from school to practice to friends’ houses.

These smartphones feature two rear cameras and a single front-facing camera that make it easy to capture memories. They’re available in two color options — Sorta Sage and Just Black. The Pixel 5 offers kids plenty of storage with a 128 GB capacity.

11. Pixel 4a

Our last pick for the best phone for kids is the Google Pixel 4a. This model’s release date was August 2020, making it an ideal choice for shoppers on a tight budget. It has a 3140 mAh battery, which lasts for a slightly shorter period than newer Google phones. If you’re shopping for a younger kid who only needs a basic phone, the Pixel 4a is a good pick.

You can find the Pixel 4a with 128 gigabytes of storage. It’s compact, with a 5.8-inch display and the following dimensions:

  • Height: 5.67 inches
  • Width: 2.73 inches
  • Depth: 0.32 inch

This device is available in Just Black and a limited edition color named Barely Blue. It features one front-facing selfie camera and one rear lens.

Explore Used Phones From Gazelle

When searching for the best first cell phone for a child, you have plenty of options with various features to choose from. At Gazelle, we can help simplify the buying process with our wide variety of used smartphones.

We offer a 30-day return policy and honest pricing, so you know you’re getting the right phone for the kid in your life. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing we do not require any contracts and there are no strings attached.

Browse our selection of used cell phones today!



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