The Best Phones for School Kids

By Tom Pritchard on at

It is the end of August, which means its the end of the summer and the kids are going to start heading back to school over the next couple of weeks. There's a lot you need to do to get them ready for the big day, including making sure you can keep in touch with them. Not every school child needs a phone, but if you think that it's probably better than they do then you need to find something suitable.

No parent should even think about sending their child into school with an iPhone 6, so here are a few more suitable options that are worth looking into.

Nokia 3310, £16

Kids these days will never know the joy of having a rugged phone with two or three games and a seemingly-infinite battery life. You can't let that slide, so make sure they get to experience the wonder of a classic Nokia. Nothing fancy here, calls, texts, and Snake II. You can't go wrong. Plus you never had phon-ternet when you were small, so why the hell should they? [Buy it here]

JCB Tradesman 2, £47

We've all heard the stories about indestructible Nokia phones, and while they can survive a lot they do have their weaknesses. If your child is a clutz, you might want something with a bit more protection. The JCB Tradesman 2 has protection from a drops up to 1.5 metres high, IP67 water and dust resistance, Bluetooth, and a torch. It also floats, in case somebody drops it in the school swimming pool. [Buy it here]

Nokia 130, £19

We don't get to see many feature phones these days, but Microsoft's focus on the budget market has proven they aren't totally dead. The 130 is more than your typical dumbphone, though. It has 2G internet for basic communication, email, microSD support (up to 32GB), Bluetooth 3.0, a built-in MP3 and video player, a torch, and other standard things like a calculator. Giving them the internet might be a bit much, but what the heck are they going to accomplish with 2G and such a small screen? [Buy it here]

Vodafone Smart Prime 6, £80

A young kid doesn't have any need for smartphone, but a teenager could actually put it to good use. If you want a cheap phone that won't turn them into a complete social pariah, try the Smart Prime 6. I named it the best budget smartphone a few months back, so you know it's good. It runs Android Lollipop, have a 5-inch 720p display, an optional simplified UI for the less tech-savy people, 8GB of storage, and microSD expansion (up to 64GB). [Buy it here]

Nokia Lumia 530, £53

Most recent Windows Phones are a nice cheap option if you're concerned your kid's phone will get broken, and the Lumia 530 is a good way to make sure it won't get stolen. I'm not talking about Windows Phone stigma, I'm talking about the tacky colours. Who would steal a phone with a bright orange plastic body? But it's not such a bad phone, specswise. It's got a 4-inch 480p display, a 10 hour battery life, 4GB of storage, microSD expansion (up to 128GB), and a 5MP camera. [Buy it here]

Kurio Smartphone, £121

The problem with smartphones is that they make the world wide web available at the push of a button, regardless of where you are. You can't trust your kids not to go fiddling about on Tinder, or watching 'adult' videos. So why not buy a phone with built-in parental controls? The Kurio has them to ensure your kids don't get up to no good, as well as geo mapping and fencing so you can track their location and make sure they're not bunking off. [Buy it here]

Motorola Moto G (2015), £155

The latest Moto G proved that a cheap phone doesn't have to be terrible. It looks great, it doesn't have terrible specs, and it's waterproof. It has  5-inch 720p display, a 13MP camera, 8GB of storage, stock Android Lollipop, and microSD expansion (up to 32GB). Forget kids, who wouldn't want a phone like this? [Buy it here]

Huawei Ascend Y330, £39

Part of what Huawei is known for is its own version of Android that is much simpler to use than Google's offering, making it perfect as someone's first smartphone. The phone itself is very basic, but that means it's pretty damn cheap. Still it comes with everything you need, a 4-inch 480p display, 4GB of storage, microSD expansion (up to 32GB), a 3.2MP camera, and a 1,500 mAh battery life. Oh and just in case they do something stupid, the phone has a two year warranty. [Buy it here]

LG L20, from £30

You know what the downside of giving a kid a smartphone? The screen is a great size for watching videos, so they might end up being kept up at night watching Let's Plays on YouTube or other... unsavoury things. One possible solution? A smaller screen. Ok so that's not going to help that much, but the LG L20's compact design means it'll fit perfectly inside a jacket pocket or in a bag among all their school books. [Buy it here]

Featured image: Richard Leeming/Flickr