Which mobile for new y7 boy?

(55 Posts)
MrsRichards Wed 31-Jul-13 22:20:46

He's not had a mobile before and I said I'd get him one when he starts year 7, this September as he'll be travelling alone.

Where do I start? PAYG or pay monthly? Blackberry or other? (NB he's not having an iPhone!)

Any useful advice welcome, thanks!

lljkk Wed 31-Jul-13 22:24:16

I am impressed that he doesn't have own firm views. Might be better to wait until he does.
DD is starting yr7, she wants a Samsung Galaxy. Nokia might be okay. Must be touchscreen or have a tiny fully keyboard (stupid design).

Snorbs Wed 31-Jul-13 22:26:40

I'm looking at getting my Y7 DD a Galaxy S3 Mini. £15 a month for a two-year contract on TalkMobile.

MrsRichards Wed 31-Jul-13 22:27:48

lljkk - he does, he wants an iPhone! He has no experience of mobiles to know what's available. I have iPhone and DH has blackberry so that's all he knows.

meditrina Wed 31-Jul-13 22:28:38

My DS2 has just finished year 7, and he's got a basic Nokia brick on PAYG.

He says most of his friends have smartphones, but not everyone (contrast to a couple of years ago when most had basic phones and only a few had smartphones). He was nagging for an upgrade, but we've fended it off (in return for better laptop that lives at home!)

I suggest that if it's his first phone, you start with a brick, but dangle prospect of upgrade once he's kept it safe and used it sensibly for an agreed period. Then choose the smartphone that is covetable amongst his peer group. And install a device-based filter (like the excellent free K9) as this is the time when preteens start egging each other on to look up all sorts of stuff if they have Internet connectivity.

MrsRichards Wed 31-Jul-13 22:31:26

Snorbs - that's useful, thanks

Is Talk the provider? <dim emoticon> We have v poor network coverage here. O2 and Orange are fine but people tell us other network providers have no signal

I'm hopeless at this . I need to be better prepared before I go into car phone warehouse!

mummy1973 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:31:48

Maybe start with a cheap payg and see how he gets on. Be annoying if he lost an expensive contract one?

MrsRichards Wed 31-Jul-13 22:33:33

Fab advice med - please tell me more !

PS which kind of brick btw? Like my favourite Nokia 3310 I used to have?

Snorbs Wed 31-Jul-13 22:53:52

TalkMobile is Carphone Warehouse's "own brand" mobile network. It piggy-backs on Vodafone's network.

DS1 would say anything that's not a Blackberry or an iPhone. Either or those just have too high a resale value so regularly go missing at his school.

He had a brick for the first term and a half, managed not to lose it, so we upgraded him to a three year old touchscreen. He managed not to lose or break that either, so mid-way through Y8 we bought him half a Lumia for his 13th birthday (he paid the other half).

We have been paying for texts and calls but not internet access (his phone can use our Wi-fi at home). We have decided to fund 3G for him for the duration of the summer holidays, as a reward for consistently sensible online behaviour.

meditrina Wed 31-Jul-13 23:28:37

This is K9 for when you crack and get a smartphone!

I don't know offhand which brick handset he has - it was whichever one was the cheapo basic this time last year. I can check tomorrow.

He's on O2 because I am - it's a deal that if you top up a certain amount monthly, you get free calls/texts to other O2 phones, our thinking being that even if he uses up all his credit he can still get hold of me. I should imagine other networks do similar.

KnappShappeyShipwright Wed 31-Jul-13 23:47:31

DD1 has just finished Yr 7 and is on her 3rd mobile! One got left on the bus and never returned, the other was taken out of her PE bag. She's only had the very basic £9 Nokia phone from Tesco, I pay £7.50 a month for a capped 100 minutes and 5 thousand text messages on a rolling 30 day contract. They use O2 and I've had nothing but good experiences with their customer services.

As compensation, she has a tablet which means she can Skype and do the usual teenage girl things in the house without having a high value item in her school bag. If you believe her, every other friend has an iphone or a touch screen of some sort. I don't believe her. I have promised her an upgrade if she can keep her phone safe for a specific period.

xalyssx Thu 01-Aug-13 00:17:35

I would recommend a Samsung Ch@t 222, it's not a smartphone but it looks like a blackberry, it costs about 20 quid and I use it as a spare phone eg when I go camping where I know that it is quite resilient. It looks enough like a blackberry to be cool but enough like a cheap Samsung that it is unlikely to be nicked.

mindgone Thu 01-Aug-13 00:30:28

My DS2 has just finished Y11 with the same phone he got when he started Y7! It was the cheapest in the shop at around £10 or £15. It's always been on PAYG to keep him aware of his usage, and he pays for top ups from his pocket money. No one wants to steal it! Amongst his friends, it has gone through 'naff' and has now reached cool iconic status! I think for so many reasons you can't go wrong with a really cheap phone? Good luck with whatever you decide.

circular Thu 01-Aug-13 06:06:27

Can second the Tesco SIM onky rolling month contract. both my DDs on it. 10 yr old on the £7.50 a month with the Samsung Chat. Think phone was £40 last year.
15 yr old £10 per month, more minutes + data. Recently got Huawei smartphone, after great reviews and me refusing her an iPhone. Loves it. paid around £80 at CPW,. Well worth considering if you want to stretch to a smartphone.

With Tesco monthly,wWhen more than one family member in same account, they can each get a chosen freebie. So DD2 gets 250mb data, DD1 gets extra 150 mins.

The Tesco £7.50 package is the one that DS1 has. We have been happy with it.

exoticfruits Thu 01-Aug-13 08:52:43

A very basic PAYG. I would never get into a contract-they have to wait until they can afford their own.

meditrina Thu 01-Aug-13 10:16:27

OK - if you were a basic Nokia phone, kindly lent by owner to his mother as hers needed charging, and were now hiding, where would you be?

Yup, I've lost his phone. It's in the house somewhere, but goes straight to voicemail. It's not in the bags I was carrying, nor in the pockets of the trousers I was wearing. Nor it is by the places I normally empty pockets. Aargh.

He's been giving me Very Pitying looks, and is positively relishing telling me off for being careless.

numptysmummy Thu 01-Aug-13 10:24:55

Ds1 got a phone last year when he started yr7. Samsung Galaxy Ace, on contract with insurance from car phone warehouse. I pay £17 a month but that counts as some of his pocket money. He dropped it last week, took it to carphone warehouse last night and brand new one arrived first thing this morning. Very impressed! I think the actual tariff is about £11 or £12 but they have lots of reasonable options. Would def get the insurance tho!!

numptysmummy Thu 01-Aug-13 10:26:19

Tesco fab tariffs but not great coverage where we live - do check first!

MadeOfStarDust Thu 01-Aug-13 14:01:12

cheap and cheerful is best for Y7 - nothing too flash or desirable..... nothing linked to a credit card or uncapped usage - main reason for them in Y7 is parents peace of mind.

Our school suggested plain ordinary text/calls only phone for Y7, and I'm pleased to say that (apart from the usual suspects) most have stuck to this..

BackforGood Thu 01-Aug-13 19:20:19

I'd agree with Meditrina, Mummy1973, 3B1G, Mindgone, Exotic Fruits and MadeOf.....
Mine older two started Yr7 with a £9.50 PAYG from Tescos - neither have been ostracised for being uncool.
My dd2 (starting Yr7 this year) will get the same.
All have PAYG to begin with - up to them once they start earning their own money.

gobbin Thu 01-Aug-13 19:30:56

Virgin Mobile have v cheap tariffs for sim only montly rolling contracts. They start at £7.50 but for £10 a month my DS has 250 mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data.

Virgin Mobile uses the Orange/T-Mobile network.

pointythings Thu 01-Aug-13 20:07:55

DD1 has just finished year 7 and has basic small brick Nokia. They don't need smart phones, the phone is there for emergencies only.

It helps that I don't have a smart phone either though, we get no nagging that way.

I've told DD1 that subject to continued family economic prosperity she will be getting a 3DS for Christmas and some sort of tablet the Christmas after - she's happy with that.

lljkk Thu 01-Aug-13 21:23:28

plain ordinary text/calls only

You mean a phone that doesn't even have a camera? shock that the kids all go along with that.

lljkk Thu 01-Aug-13 21:28:54

where to buy the Samsung Chat 222 for less than £60? confused

I can't find Samsung Galaxy Ace for less than £109... Mini S3 is like £160?? I refuse to spend more than £20 including delivery.

DD is looking at phones that cost £59ish, will be a joint Bday-Xmas prez from grandparents. I will probably put her on Giffgaff.

pointythings Thu 01-Aug-13 21:31:51

lljk what do you mean, shock that the kids go along with that??? Who's the parent here? hmm

Or were you being ironic?

pointythings Thu 01-Aug-13 21:32:59

OP, FWIW my DD1 has a basic Nokia on PAYG. It's been useful in letting me know of late/early return of school trips and minor emergencies. She uses it responsibly and does not complain.

SonorousBip Thu 01-Aug-13 23:52:14

Just to add a different perspective, my DS - entering Y7 in September - does have an iPhone and it has not proved to be a slippery descent into Sodom & Gomorrah smile. I had an old one (iPhone 3) and we took out a parallel contract on DH's Vodafone contract which we also got a 20% discount on for some odd reason- I think we got the benefit of some sort of discount via DH's work. Using my old iPhone, we paid nothing for the handset, plus pay £9 a month and that gives quite a lot of talk time and - I think this is key - unlimited texts.

Ds has turned into a surprisingly chatty and droll texter and I often get entertaining updates on his school day, plus he texts his grandparents quite often, unprompted, which is sweet.

£9 a month seemed quite a good bargain effectively to implant a GPS in a dreamy boy who is going to travel on London public transport unaccompanied.

I would really look for an large or unlimited text package as that seems to be the most effective way of keeping tabs on them.

exoticfruits Fri 02-Aug-13 06:49:10

It makes me laugh 'the kids go along with that'- what choice do they get? They either put up with what they are given or buy their own! Or maybe you were being ironic.

lljkk Fri 02-Aug-13 08:26:14

Do you know what, I taught my children my children to think.
That means they question authority.
They question mine, they question the government, and they jolly well better question MNrs.
So yes I expect some protest about things they don't like. I'd be ashamed of them if they didn't argue with what they don't agree with.

As it happens * I * only spend £15ish for used tiny folders/sliders I buy on Ebay (does include a camera, I suspect pawn shops are only place nowadays where you can buy camera-free phone for under £15), and DC can pay for own phone if they want something nicer. Problem I've encountered is they will not use naff phones (friend has said same for her DC). They don't take them out, they don't check for texts, they are afraid to be seen in public so they simply don't ring, they don't bother to recharge, they don't keep track of where it is so lose it for weeks at a time (never lost out of the house because it would never be out of their pocket when out of the house), they don't let me know when credit runs out, they come home moaning how embarrassed they are because everyone else has a nicer phone (iffy whether that's true). On the plus side, this keeps down the phone bill and they rapidly learn where public pay phones are to use those instead. £7.50/month (£90/yr) still seems like an awful lot to me.

My phone is a small, genuine text only no camera item which suits me great. It brings out derisory giggles in DC and they would not, in public, be seen dead holding it. I would love to meet the many children who love their text-screen-only phones as much as I like mine.

He 'went along with' having a text/call only phone for the first term and a half because it was that or nothing and he knew that there was likelihood of an upgrade if he demonstrated responsibility.

He did use the text/call only phone when there was a change of plan (staying later at school for a club) but I very much doubt that he got it out at school to show it off to his friends! grin

harrietspy Fri 02-Aug-13 08:42:26

My ds is getting my old basic text/call Nokia with a PAYG sim. He's actually excited about prospect of any phone at the moment. I suspect this may change when he actually starts high school next year, but I'm happy to go along with cheap brick for as long as possible.

exoticfruits Fri 02-Aug-13 09:09:36

If they wouldn't be seen dead in public with it then the choice is theirs and they can do the alternative of no phone. I would never pay out beyond the basic and PAYG- anything else they get themselves.

MadeOfStarDust Fri 02-Aug-13 09:54:31

my kids think for themselves too - so they don't give a damn what other kids think about their phones - and if someone says something they joke that their phone is "retro"...

they know they are crappy, they know it is because they may get lost/broken/stolen, they need to be shown they can be trusted with them etc etc....

But in our family the phone gets used when it is needed.... for communication.... some days weeks I don't use the phone at all... the kids have been using their bricks more these last 2 weeks to keep in touch with friends in the holidays - not the "OMG", "send this to 20 people or die" type stuff their cousin gets involved in - but the "I'm going to town, do you want to meet up" stuff...

BackforGood Fri 02-Aug-13 10:46:45

Like MadeofStardust said - my dc think for themselves, that's how come they don't need to worry about another child making a snide comment about anything they own - they could answer that back pretty easily.

Theas18 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:59:12

simple phone on pay and go.

they don't need more and so much trouble comes from un monitored internet, sending photos.com, as well as the perils of loss and huge bills for You.

honestly they do not need the latest standard phone. my 17 yr old has a galaxy y. I offered to upgrade and he has chosen the extra 15/ month as cash... he texts a lot.

Julezboo Fri 02-Aug-13 11:01:17

DS also starting year 7 in Sept has a Samsung Galaxy Ace, he did get it for Christmas though. He has a rolling 3 contract with 100 minutes, 3000 texts and all you can eat data for £13 a month. I would worry with PAYG he will run out of credit and not be able to ring me if something was to happen.

He's looked after it well so far and has never used a single text from his allowance yet but I suspect that will change come Sept when he suddenly becomes a teenager grin

tiggytape Fri 02-Aug-13 11:36:24

We're in London so the main consideration is nothing so flash that you'll get mugged for it. Not by fellow pupils really (although some do go missing from bags) but on the way home by older teens from other schools who recognise certain uniforms as belonging to kids more likely to have smart phones.

Some children still have smart phones of course but it isn't as widespread - the school recommends the cheapest Tesco one you can get.

gazzalw Fri 02-Aug-13 12:17:51

At DS's super-selective in London, the parents are told to only buy their DSs the cheapest PAYG phones available. This then means that up-to-no-gooders know that it's not worth mugging them as they won't have anything worth stealing/coveting on them!!!

However, some boys (and parents obviously) ignore the advice and there have been a couple of incidents involving IPhones recently. Apart from endangering themselves it also puts all their fellow pupils at risk too....

Anthracite Fri 02-Aug-13 12:56:36

My new Y7 got a Samsung Galaxy for her 11th birthday.

It seems now that teens are moving away from Blackberry and onto Samsung.

pointythings Fri 02-Aug-13 18:24:35

So glad I'm not the only one teaching their DCs that they don't have to conform to everyone else or 'be cool'....

MrsRichards Fri 02-Aug-13 19:17:55

What a lot of replies, thank you everyone!

I think I will take DS to car phone warehouse and buy him a cheap brick with PAYG. I need him to be able to ring someone if he needs to and send texts etc. Nothing more.

On a related note, I can't imagine how he will manage to keep track of a mobile, house keys and travel card. He'd lose his head if it wasn't screwed on. Note to self - remove DS's head screws before he goes to secondary school or social services might come calling...

BackforGood Fri 02-Aug-13 19:37:56

With my ds, I resorted to sewing a long tape to the inside of his bag (with the key on the other end), so at least the keys could only be lost when the whole bag was. Unfortunately only thought of this after he'd lost the first 2 sets.
Another thing I tried was labelling the keyring with his initials and the name of the school in the hope that someone might get them back to the school and then he might be reunited with them.

I wouldn't worry about the screws - I expect the school would be SO delighted to find a Yr7 boy with his head screwed on, they would forget to call SS wink

tiggytape Fri 02-Aug-13 20:10:53

I sewed a tape in too - like a lanyard with his keys go on the end long enough to open the front door without having to remove them.
I tell him to clip his watch on it too when he takes it off for games.

Theas18 Sat 03-Aug-13 01:01:04

completely off topic but recent to kiss having house keys...

if you have a game luck on the front door go now at your leisure and But a replacement l ock barrel Ann's get some spare keys cut.

it's easy to replace the barrel. a few quid invested now means when you have to do it you have what you need in the house. at least one child will at some time have a key related incident !

we have changed the luck for mislaid keys a couple of times but are back to the first lock now as they keys were found!

DS1 has had a house key since he was ten and is now finishing Y8; he hasn't lost it yet, despite being quite absent minded.

DS2 has had a key for 18 months and also hasn't lost it yet.

In Y5/Y6, I attached the key to the inside of the schoolbag with a piece of strong elastic.

In Y7/Y8, DS1 has had his house key, locker key, USB stick and a metal nametag on a chain (like security guards have) which attaches to his trousers with a clip. The chain etc live in his pocket, but when he gets them out they are still attached. I wondered if he might get teased for this, but he said it was seen as "swaggy" which is apparently a good thing. Since he turned 13 he has started keeping them in his bag, which is fine as he's less forgetful now.

minesawine Sun 04-Aug-13 15:23:15

I got my DS an older version blackberry at the start of Y7 so that he could BBM, which worked out much cheaper.

He was awarded the Year 7 Academic Excellence award so as a 'well done' I have got him an iphone 4 on a £13 monthly contract. . Not as tempting for the thieves as an iphone 5! This is because he did so well and I am incredibly proud of him - grades means prizes wink

If he has an excellent y8 then he will get an iphone 5.

zipzap Sun 04-Aug-13 16:11:03

Look on moneysavingexpert.com to see if there are any phone deals around or hot deals uk.

I spotted a deal on MSE which was for a refurbished old nokkia, cost me a penny plus a tenner in a one off payg credit. I just top it up as needed rather than have it on a rolling contract as currently it's just a family phone - ds1 is only 8 so doesn't need his own phone but when he went to watch a rugby match with his dad it was nice to know he had a phone with him so if the did get separated he had a phone on him with the right numbers plugged in.

Obviously he didn't need it and it just got used to call me to say they were there, they had found their seats, they were on their way home... But it was nice to know he'd got it and that it was cheap enough not to matter if it got lost.

And separately as both dh and I have smartphones that lose charge much too easily and this phone holds it's charge for about 3 weeks I leave it lurking at the bottom of my handbag for when I need to make a phone call and my phone has gone flat grin

Ds1 will get it when he's old enough but in the mean time I wish I'd got a couple of them at the time!

MrsRichards Sun 04-Aug-13 20:57:57

Okay, took DS shopping today. Bought him a Nokia 105 for £20 and a 12 month sim only contract (added to my own account) for £8.50 a month for unlimited texts, 1,000 mins of calls and 250mb data (which he won't/can't use as phone doesn't have internet). It was impossible to get something without data but this was the best deal I could find and gives ample texts/calls

He was v excited by it smile

Takver Mon 05-Aug-13 10:17:26

Just one addition - unless it is very different where you all live, its not going to be like the new yr 7s are all totally phone aware and having strong views about them. Although quite a few of dd's friends have phones, definitely not all, and in my experience at least half of those that do don't actually ever use them (or like dd's yr 8 friend 'he's got a phone and he plays games on it but he isn't allowed a SIM til he's 13' grin ).

DD uses DHs old (£10 Alcatel brick) when out and about, and its certainly not a cause of any embarassment, in fact she's probably the one who will actually know how to use it and make the phone call when they need picking up or whatever.

Takver Mon 05-Aug-13 10:20:06

Sorry, should have said she is just out of yr 6, going into yr 7 next year.

racingheart Mon 05-Aug-13 10:41:08

Our DC swear that everyone has a smart phone and then get all hoity when I name some names who turn out not to.

Where we live, everyone has to travel on public transport to secondary and there have been incidents of children having smartphones whipped out of their hands by people jumping off buses and trains. So I told DC Nokia PAYG for the first term and if they feel really comfortable with it and never lose it, then we'll move on to a smart phone at Christmas.

You can get good Nokias online for as little as £5 on a PAYG contract. DS1 is on his second top up since November (spent about £30 in 9 months) and DS2 is still on his original £10, but he has an I-pad and skypes and facetimes people on it, so needs the phone less.

pointythings Mon 05-Aug-13 22:11:14

Takver you've just perfectly summed it up. DD1 has always used her phone exactly as it was intended to be used - texting me on school trips to let me know she was going to be back late and keeping me updated on ETA, letting me know when her younger sister was late back from school on a day she was not scheduled for an after school activity, generally keeping me in the loop. She's a very mature 12yo (most of the time) and sees the phone as a communication tool, not a gadget.

Marmitelover55 Tue 06-Aug-13 17:14:03

I have also given my old iphone 4 to DD1 who will be starting year 7 in September. My contract expired at the end of last month, so I upgraded to an iphone 5 and she has a contract which costs £7.74 per month, so this seemed like the best deal. I do hope that she doesn't attract any muggers though. She didn't really want my old phone but wanted a galaxy ace like lots of her friends, but this was the cheapest option.

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