Which smart phone for 11 year old?

(54 Posts)
Euphemia Fri 03-May-13 23:01:50

I'm confused by the data usage limits - do they still apply if it's mostly being used on our home WiFi?

I'm pondering:

iPhone 5
Blackberry Curve
Samsung Galaxy Mini

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 23:05:14

No, data usage relates to use whilst out of the house on 3G or 4G.

Does your 11 year old have a view? The yoof do love their blackberries. Of the three I would probably go for the Samsung, although if you are an Apple household it will be easier to have compatibility with the iPhone.

Alternatively a cheapy mobile for actual calls and something like an iPod touch for gaming and chatting and stuff?

Euphemia Fri 03-May-13 23:10:29

She has an iPod touch and a so embarrassing, Mum cheapo phone for taking to the park, etc.

She mostly fancies the Samsung Galaxy, and I like the size of the mini one.

DH and I have iPhones and an iPad.

MillyMoo1113 Fri 03-May-13 23:11:32

Just got ds(11) a Samsung galaxy ace. He's had it about a month and he seems to use it easily enough, has apps similar to his iPod, music on. He has 500mb data a month, unlimited texts and 100 mins - data does only get used if he's on 3G and watching something on YouTube yesterday used up his months allowance! So now he can only use it in house til next billing date.

It's a good phone tho, and a cheaper deal than an iPhone. Depends what she'll want to use it for, or rather what you want her to use it for!

Hulababy Fri 03-May-13 23:12:03

DD got an iPhone 4S for her 11th birthday last month. It was a bit of a double up for us as we wanted her to have a phone ready for secondary school, and because she started walking home from school just after her birthday too. But also because her iTouch was way out of date and could do with updating.

I went for the iPhone as we have a fair few Apple stuff already, all our music is on iTunes, we already have apps and films via iTunes too, etc. And I have an iPhone as well.

DD loves it as she can iMessage and Facetime many of her friends who have either the phone, an iTouch or an Apple computer.

As with all smartphones she has access to her emails, etc too.

Hulababy Fri 03-May-13 23:13:12

DD's contract is about £25 a month. She has unlimited data and unlimited tests (plus iMessage which is free too) and about 600 minutes iirr.

MillyMoo1113 Fri 03-May-13 23:15:42

Sorry, just seen your last post - iPhone probably most compatible if you have apple products already - but if her music on itunes on ipad and She wants music on a Samsung you cam create a separate playlist in iTunes

Startail Fri 03-May-13 23:15:57

DD1 has an ace too and seems like it, it's on £13 a month contract. She has a few bits on it, but mostly uses her iPod touch for games and things because that's on my iTunes and kindle accounts and has loads of games, music and especially books. Very long bus ride books and music are essential

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 23:16:09

Yep Hula and there's plenty of cross-platform chat apps so she isn't forced to shun her non-Apple friends - Whatsapp and so on. Skype as well as Facetime, etc. My fave is Voxer.

If she already has iTunes content you may be better off biting the bullet and going for the iPhone, although now that I am welded to iTunes myself I wonder if it might be better to break the habit sooner rather than later if you can smile

miggy Fri 03-May-13 23:19:47

No so much phone but if new contract, tesco mobile contracts are capped so child can't run up a bill bigger than monthly plan.
Dd has iPhone and loves it, I am very jealous but she had it for her 14th birthday.
Would have thought 11 bit young for such an expensive phone but you know your own child and how responsible they are, ds at 16 I personally wouldn't trust with one ;)

MillyMoo1113 Fri 03-May-13 23:23:38

I think how much you want to spend will play a part in your choice. For the deal I mentioned about we pay £10 a month, but that was my limit roughly for what I wanted to pay and I got a good deal on it as an additional line on my account. Which helps as I can track how he's using it and therefore why he using up his allowance, and that's helping him manage his own usage better too.
But I do think unlimited data would be a better option and I may try add a bundle on at some point if I can

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 23:31:43

In defence of teens using their allowance on YouTube, my DH did that one month watching BBC News on his iPhone, not realising that Wifi was switched off. So he was in our house the entire time <headdesk>

Anyway, I didn't ban him from further usage but it's worth keeping an eye on it - which is easier if they are phones on the same account as MillyMoo describes.

jellybeans Fri 03-May-13 23:39:44

I would go for blackberry curve. They all seem to BBM and my two teenagers are happy with theirs. Tesco capped contract is the way to go. I wouldn't get anything more expensive than that.

Euphemia Sat 04-May-13 07:40:33

Thanks for the tip about the Tesco capped contract. smile

MTSCostcoChickenFan Sat 04-May-13 10:24:02

Recently bought DS a HTC 8S Windows 8 phone. Not many kids have Windows 8 phones so even the iPhone 5 boys were impressed smile

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 11:10:01

Luckily dd is the responsible type. She looks after her stuff on the whole. Has had an Itouch since being 5 or 6 and its still in perfect condition, etc.

Euphemia Sat 04-May-13 12:32:08

Does the phone warn you when you are near or at the data limit?

tribpot Sat 04-May-13 12:35:08

I'm not aware that I can do it on my iPhone but off to check now. I came across this explaining how to do it on an Android (like the Samsung).

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 19:30:21

On Android phones you can set data alerts and caps through the settings very easily.

headlesslambrini Sat 04-May-13 19:33:52

Just make sure you get a capped contract or you might end up like DSIL and end up with a phone bill for £678 as DN had linked her phone to her facebook shock

Take a look at tesco mobile.

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 19:40:44

On my iPhone (mine isn't unlimited) I get an email/text warning me that I am near to my data limit. I don't think I can block it from going over, but it does warn me.

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 19:42:58

My phone is linked to FB, Twitter, email, etc. In the UK I never go over my 500m data limit, nowhere near. I have mine on auto downloads/notifications for all, etc.

I think it is more downloading of videos, etc that is the issue.

tribpot Sat 04-May-13 19:49:11

But Hula you are not a teenager grin

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 20:19:45

True but I do have my phone on a lot!

I guess it depends on your limit and how much it is thereafter.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sat 04-May-13 20:40:14

I wouldn't buy an expensive phone until age 17/18. The likelihood of it getting stolen or lost is too high. My younger DCs ages 16 and 18 don't want IPhones as they don't want to take the risk.(and we live in a nice areagrin ) It is not that they are irresponsible it's just that expensive phones are a magnet for thieves and can get broken etc.
They have Galexy Aces @£80 plus THREE's all you can eat plan 'Ultimate Internet SIM 200' plan for £12.90 per month (monthly rolling contract)

All-you-can-eat data (no tethering)
200 minutes
5000 texts

I know this is not the cheapest way to own a phone but the ALL YOU CAN EAT data plan is great and it wouldn't be the end of the world if something did happen to the phones.

Don't forget to add the cost of insurance to any monthly cost if you get an expensive phone.

My DD has a friend at Uni who is on their 5th IPhone. The previous ones all got stolen or lost. grin

Apart from bragging rights a basic Galaxy Ace does everything an 11 year old could need. BTW. I am not anti DC's having expensive stuff I just think that carrying an expensive phone around is asking for problems for a teen.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 04-May-13 22:30:23

Why do you want your 11yo to have unlimited internet access?

Euphemia Sat 04-May-13 22:48:05

That's a strange way to phrase it, Wish.

I want to make sure that the pay monthly cost is the maximum, and that there's no danger of accidentally going over the data limit.

5madthings Sat 04-May-13 22:50:43

My 13 yr old has a Samsung galaxy ace not sure which one but he is very happy with it.

,y almost 11 yr old will be getting a basic phone when he starts high school this sept and once he has proved he can look after it we will upgrade.

Wuldric Sat 04-May-13 22:56:32

In answer to the question 'which smartphone for an 11YO' I would say none. Don't do it. It isn't necessary. They need to experience a little deprivation in their lives. They also do not need unlimited internet access, FB bullying,twitter madness or sexting.

My DCs are 13 & 15 and had their smartphones at 11. It is the one thing I caved on that I truly genuinely wish I hadn't.

tribpot Sat 04-May-13 22:59:04

Can't they get most of that without a smartphone, Wuldric? Particularly the <holds stomach> sexting?

Genuine question - my ds is 7 and the only social network he is on is LearnAnywhere where the teacher can read every message that's sent! Might keep it that way til he's 30 grin

Euphemia Sat 04-May-13 23:04:23

I think the cost of replacement if it gets lost/broken is what is putting me off. Reading the terms and conditions of the insurance, it's a total waste of money as I'm sure the insurers would wriggle out of any claim.

It's one of those things where my judgement is to say no, but when the nine year-old across the road has an iPhone 5, her best pal has a Samsung Galaxy and an iPad, etc., etc. it becomes hard to see her wee disappointed face when Christmases and birthdays come and go and she hasn't got any of these things.

She's not a grabby or a covetous child at all - her whole life she's been surrounded by friends with more money than sense us. She knows she doesn't get things just because everyone else has them.

Maybe for starting high school next year ... smile And no Facebook ever if I get my way!

Wuldric Sat 04-May-13 23:08:12

It's funny but as parents we are more nervous of letting our kids out to play in the woods than we are of letting them have unlimited and unmonitored access to the internet - which is far far worse for them.

DD has 1200 odd friends on facebook. People she doesn't really know at all. Friends of friends of friends. They message, the messaging turns into exchanging numbers and before you know it ...

Too much too young and none of it particularly healthy IMO. And you can't control or monitor the access. DD was 8 and DS was 6 when I overheard the following conversation 'I can't get onto this game because of parental controls' 'Don't worry, I'll take those off for you, They're easy to get around.'

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 23:30:47

I have full access to my 11y's phone. It is linked to my account too. I have all the passwords for her emails, etc. She has none of the passwords for any of our restricted areas of her phone. I check her texts and emails regularly. I can also check her web history very easily.

Wuldric Sat 04-May-13 23:36:15

Hula, you may be technically more competent than your 11 YO now (will that last?) but with respect you do not have access to her texts, internet histories can be wiped, you have access to the email account that you know about (and not the others) and your loving and compliant 11 YO will become a teenager who will need privacy.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sat 04-May-13 23:51:25

I still wouldn't buy her an expensive phone even if ALL her friends had them. Just explain that it is too expensive.

You say you feel sorry for her, but she already has an iPod touch. What do you think she will be using the phone for.

Hulababy Sun 05-May-13 22:34:56

Wuldric - yes that may be the case i guess but I am it/ computer science trained and keep very up to date with most things technological. Can see that changing. I am very aware if what can and can't happen. I can access anything still in her phone ad have access to what is occurring via my own via iCloud too. Emails all linked to my phone too. If things suddenly change I will know by its absence.

Have also brought dd being very it aware and have discussgrin e safety in detail. But I'm not niave and it will be continued and discussed constantly.

I'm the one paying the bill at the end of the day so if she doesn't like the level of control I impose I can always stop paying. Without my cash in the future for phone bills there will be no phone.

Theas18 Tue 07-May-13 16:20:10

Faints at the thought of my 11yr yr old having a better phone than me!!!!!

Sorry but I do think you are setting her up to be a bit of a " mugger magnet" these phones will be in her locker all day at school etc.

Make sure it's insured and capped contract wise. Otherwise look at MSE for the tales of woe of fully competent grown ups who " lent it to a mate/had it borrowed at a party /didn't " know " that roaming data costs £££££ etc etc - Oh and of course it's always the networks fault- NOT!

Mine have galaxy y's ( they are 17 and nearly 14 ) and the eldest (19) has my old iphone 4.

No " all their mates" don't have the latest smartphones either, one of DD2s friends doesn't even have a phone!

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 18:21:13

Today I am very glad my DD has an iPhone.

I washed mine in the washing machine this morning. Retrieved it after 10 mins, but it is dead. Sat in rice seeing if it will do anything to help but I am not convinced. So, at least, this week - DD is away on a residential - I am using DD's iPhone as a replacement!

Wuldric Tue 07-May-13 18:37:27

You put your dead phone in some rice.


Cooked rice or dry rice? Or did you stick it in the pan with some rice that was cooking?

Is pasta a substitute or is rice the only known (well in fairness unbeknown to me) cure for a dead phone.

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 18:50:06

Dry rice in a sealed bag. It absorbs excess water slowly which can be beneficial. It is a tried and tested method and recommend all over the internet. The minute I told anyone what happened they all recommend it.

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 18:50:55

Pasta wouldn't work no. The best thing is the silica gel packets you get in parcels. But dry uncooked rice is a fair substitute in its absence.

tribpot Tue 07-May-13 19:40:25

Yep, rice saved a friend's iPad when he left it out in the rain for 5 hours. Good as new now but it took at least 10 days.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 12:03:23

I save all the little silica gel sachets you find in various packaging. I have quite a stash of them now. Hopefully I won't have a wet phone incident but if I do I am prepared.

<<PFB with IPhone emoticon>>

NetworkGuy Fri 10-May-13 09:08:21

Without needing that "all you can eat" option the Essential 200 from Three is a pretty good deal, given it includes 5000 texts a month (many "unlimited texts" promises are "subject to fair use" which means 100/day or 3000/month, from other networks). Usage can be capped on Three as well as Tesco (so you can tell them that any usage over the "included" minutes and data is blocked - but you'd need to speak to Three customer services).

I would not suggest the Samsung Galaxy Ace (if at all possible) because of the memory restrictions. I own Galaxy Ace, Europa and Mini and all complain about 'low on storage' after adding a few Apps.

While I can see the "plus" (as a heavy internet user myself) of "unlimited" data, which I think it offered by Three and Virgin (but Virgin has a 3.5 GB 'fair use' limit) and T-Mobile (Full Monty at 25-30 quid), can I suggest a PAYG alternative?

How about the T-Mobile £10 bundle (100 landline minutes, 400 texts, 1 GB data). OK, not as generous as Three, I'll admit, but will assist with "knowing limits" (£15 gets 2 GB, 600 texts, 200 minutes).

NetworkGuy Fri 10-May-13 09:08:56

More important in my view, however, is that they can get the Sony Xperia Tipo mobile phone, running Android v4 and with over 2 GB of internal storage plus micro-SD card slot (so buy an 8 GB micro-SD card, if they are avid MP3 users, and they will have more than enough room to store music and swap with friends using Bluetooth).

Included is 50 GB of online storage FREE, through a deal Sony has done with "Box" (just download the Box App), so they can use that to backup photos and music. How much is the Tipo? 49.99 on PAYG, so it won't break the bank... It also has 3.5mm headphone socket, so can be plugged into an amplifier/ powered speakers to give them a bit more volume for their bedroom/etc.

My local EE store was out of stock yesterday, so popping into central Liverpool today to get one (before they are sold out online and across the country). O2 sells the Tipo for about £80 (I bought a refurbished one for 50 online a few weeks ago), but my year-old Huawei was complaining there was no SIM in it yesterday evening (despite me watching the lunch time news in a coffee shop), so am treating myself to a brand new Tipo on T-Mobile today...

The Tipo (and Xperia T) and others are coming down as newer Sony phones (such as Xperia Z) come into the shops. Given the majority of cheaper Samsung phones are running Android 2.2 or 2.3, I'd recommend the Tipo over them as some newer apps may not work on them (for example, the version of Flash on the Galaxy Mini means I cannot use some video services... sorry, don't remember which - I now use it more for radio {with TuneIn Radio Pro} than for video. On my Tipo I have used the BBC iPlayer and TV Catchup and, of course, YouTubenest...

NetworkGuy Fri 10-May-13 09:13:32

sorry for typos - must dash as sister in L'pool today, so want to get on the 9:30 train...

IrritatingInfinity Fri 10-May-13 09:45:01

Really useful post networkGuy. brew
PAYG is the obvious choice for an 11 year old. My kids are older and we have only just gone to monthly rolling contracts. I think the usefulness of extrernal memory SD cards is overlooked.

NetworkGuy Fri 10-May-13 10:37:08

Will enjoy cuppa later... PAYG is a reasonable choice, and a lost/ stolen phone cannot be used to run up huge bills.

NetworkGuy Fri 10-May-13 13:24:21

Third shop lucky - bought the last Tipo they had... While in L'pool saw a SIM Only deal on Orange at £11 giving unlim texts, 500 min and 1 GB data, so finally Orange offering better value for money,as they have started at a very stingy 100 MB...

derektheladyhamster Fri 10-May-13 13:28:25

My son has a blackberry, bbm ing is all the rage apparently! We set up an account on our virgin account and pay £7 for unlimited texts, 150 mins (teens never phone each other!) and 500mb data.

chicaguapa Fri 10-May-13 13:33:35

A lot of DD's class have the Huawei Ascend G300. It's on Android so they can all have the same apps and is an excellent budget smartphone. DD(11) has it on Vodafone, which has a built in Guardian app where you can restrict incoming calls from unknown numbers, internet usage etc.

If you were ok with getting a Windows phone, the Nokia Lumia 520 is the best budget smartphone at the moment on spec vs price.

DD sends texts via Whatsapp and a £5 top up lasts her for a good couple of months. She doesn't use it to make calls or browse the internet though. She's happy with playing games and texting her friends.

niceguy2 Fri 10-May-13 17:15:37

OP, I recently had a similar dilemma with my DS who was 11 at the time and wanted a 'good' smartphone.

What I ended up doing was buying him a used Samsung Galaxy S2. It's a good couple of years old now but in terms of screen and performance it's still very good. Certainly more than enough power for a child.

The phone cost me £160 and it lasted a total of 4 months before the muppet spilt a drink on it and broke it. I haven't replaced it as such because I needed to teach him a lesson.


You may wish to also look at the HTC Sensation. These are selling used on eBay in good condition for around £100 mark. That is also very good phone which should be enough for a child.

I've put my DS on a Tesco SIM only contract for £7.50 capped. First month he bust his data limit after two weeks as he'd downloaded games which was chewing his data. Lesson learned for him. But the cap is absolutely essential.

The bottom line is that I think it's better to get them a used phone which was top of the range a couple of years ago, than a new mid to low range phone. It will save you money, not tie you to a contract and just be less hassle all round when if they break it.

agnesf Mon 05-Aug-13 15:52:14

Reviving an old thread but I wondered if any of you can educate a smart phone novice.

DC wants a smartphone but I'm wondering if you can get one without any mobile data usage - say if you get a Tesco mobile sim only contract which costs £7.50 a month. .

Would you be able to just use the internet on our home internet connection or other WiFi?

I'm not keen on DC using internet outside of home.

NetworkGuy Tue 06-Aug-13 20:52:32

There are certainly some SIM only deals with no included data. I think you can use sliders to select how much data, how many texts, monthly spending limit, and so on (and thus which deals are shown) on e2save.com and www.mobiles.co.uk and possibly on carphonewarehouse.com (owner of e2save and the other site!!!)

Note, that only compares the main networks (Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone etc) and won't mention rates on Asda Mobile, Tesco, Ovivo mobile, etc.

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