How to Pay Less When Choosing a Smartphone for Your Kids

9 February 2017

Those parents out there who have kids starting high school this year may be concerned about the way they are making their way home from school with no means of contact. If you are considering getting your child a smartphone to stay in contact with, then we’re looking at the best money saving options available.

The way we see it is that there are three main options you can consider. The first would be giving your kid a hand-me-down device, second is to buy a device outright and thirdly get a new phone on a 12-24 month contract. The first two options could either be a prepaid or monthly contract SIM. However, which is the best solution for you is what we’re exploring here today.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 EdgeIf you have any second hand phones lying around the house then the first money saving tip would be to utilise one of these rather than spending money on a brand new phone. Kids don’t necessarily always look after items and the risk of it getting lost, damaged or stolen are much higher compared to most adults.

If your child is demanding the latest iPhone 7 or Samsung S7 Edge but you are not willing to spend that amount of money (either $60 per month on contract or starting at $1,149 when bought outright), then you can always consider previous models which cost less. The Samsung S5 or iPhone 6 are equally as good as the latest models with only slightly less powerful specifications e.g. camera, processing chip, memory etc. A money saving tip would be to get the Samsung S5 because this edition was also waterproof, the same as the S7.

If your child isn’t fussy about the device then you can find plenty of entry-level smartphones starting at $250 - $300 from a range of manufacturers e.g. Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG etc. Whilst they don’t offer all the bells and whistles of the latest flagships, most kids will choose having an entry level over nothing at all.

Optus and Telstra have a variety of contract options that come with both a SIM and a phone that in certain cases can work out cheaper than purchasing the phone outright. Certain contracts start at $40 per month and they include enough minutes and data for you child to make the most of being connected to the digital world. However, the negatives to giving your child a contract means they are not limited on their usage. This can mean that they can run up larger bills once their data quota has been exceeded for example. Depending on the company, you can be charged roughly $10 per additional 1GB used over the set quota. The one negative that makes a contract the worst solution for me is that if your child loses the phone, you are still liable for paying the contract or suffering expensive cancelation charges.

Those looking at the prepaid option may find my article, ‘the best non-contract mobile plans available’, very useful. Naturally, kids will use their devices to steam data on websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify etc., so finding a plan with enough data is the best money saving tip we can offer here. Unlimited calls and texts are standard these days so the main area for competition will be data between providers.

Below is a table of some of the best plans we have seen this month:

 

Telco / Plan

Data

Price

BOOST ULTD

5GB + Weekend Bonus

$40

Coles

7GB

$40

OVO

12GB

$44.95

Money saving tips for kids smartphones

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