Which Smartphone & contract for DS going to sec. school?(6 Posts)
I need advice on choosing a phone/organizing a contract for my DS' 11th birthday in April as he will need a phone for secondary school. I don't have or want a smartphone myself - my phone is an old Nokia and I am PAYG. The phone market has changed a lot in the years since I got my phone and I really don't know where to start. Is insurance necessary for example. What is a reasonable amount to pay per month for a Y7 boy? Any words of advice welcome.
Don't get a contract for an 11yr old. Honestly too risky for you and too much responsibility for him, unless you can really get a proper cap on it (and ask about lag time to activate the cap - it's no good it being stolen or " borrowed" and used for premium services/ calls to Africa all night if the cap doesn't activate until the service provider is informed of the excess charges the next day, and you are still liable, ditto huge data roaming when he takes it on s a school trip abroad ) .
Giffgaff " goody bags " are pre paid and tremendous value - as good as a contract but when they are used the phone can't use more money up if there is no credit on the account. It's the safe, value for money way forward.
For a new phone using 11yr old I'd get. Fairly basic phone that calls and texts. Tbh I don't think he needs a smart phone- dare I say especially if his parent isnt at all smartphone wise. You don't allow him unlimited internet access unsupervised now do you? So why would you do that with a phone especially if you don't know what to do re parental controls etc.
There will probably be people alomg saying how important it is for them to have Internet to message mates etc - they can do that from the PC where you can see!
You won't need a phone that's expensive enough to bother to insure. If you really think he needs a smartphone there are sub £50 ones - my 15yr old has a huawei one - it does the job . Even my uni kids have moto g which is amazing value and and capabilities for around £130.
Three and Tesco do firm 'capped' contracts. With my Three contract, I cannot dial or text any 'short code' (88291 for BBC Radio 2, for example, but loads of premium rate services use these 5 digit numbers too), nor send MMS (multimedia short messages similar to SMS/text but photos)... Nor dial international or 0800 / 0845 / 0870 (though Three's new plans now allow 0800s).
Three has coverage in Europe and USA (and some bits of Far East) with "Feel at home" pricing, and > something to investigate < (link) fully if this is possible or likely. It does mean data and calls at UK prices despite being overseas (though I don't have an up-to-date passport so have not fully checked or tested it).
I would go the other way, towards a smartphone, but in part, because youngsters may get bullied or ridiculed if they are "in the stone age" compared with their peer group.
I think it might be worth making him the promise of a smartphone when he gets to secondary school, as he can see what other have (and short of them having the 'top of the range' phones such as iPhones, and 5" screen HTC / Samsung / etc there may be better options to purchase in October than April.
Then come back when you know what others are using, and have some idea of what budget (a) you can afford, and (b) what others have.
Only you know your DS and whether he would be exploring the options on a smartphone (ie is he technical, and keen, or laid back about gadgets and they are less of interest than football, etc?)
Lots of options on SIM only deals, comparable with GiffGaff, or The Peoples Operator, Asda, Tesco, and so on. I just looked at the current plans on >Three Clearance < and see that for £7 (12 month contract) they offer 200 minutes, unlimited texts, and 500 MB of data (not massive, but enough for a few e-mails and a bit of browsing, and anyway, so long as the mobile phone has wireless option, can use home broadband most of the time, and 'free' broadband option at some places for food / pubs (if as a family you are out).
I mention the Three Clearance site, because I got a deal around 18 months ago for a Blackberry phone plus unlimited data, 5000 texts, and 100 minutes of calls, for £13/month. I had wanted an older Nokia (at £11) but that phone was sold out. Sadly the lowest cost phones are now smart phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, or S4, or Sony Xperia T, which are significantly more costly.
Of course, if you get a SIM only deal, or use a PAYG SIM, you then need to consider what phone to get, and I'd recommend checking for some of the lower cost SIM-free (ie not locked to any network) phones on Ebay (there are businesses selling new in box phones, it's not all second-hand stuff) and on Amazon. There are some good Android phones up to £150 such as the Motorola Moto G, and others well below £100, as mentioned by Theas18.
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