Smartphone Recommendations

I’ve understood Android phones are more compatible with Bark and easier to monitor. But since I’ve only ever owned an iPhone I feel clueless about what to buy our son. Side note: anyone else doing the wait til 8th campaign??

Hey Cindy! I was in the same boat as you - and then I played with the Palm phone (Android smartphone that looks like an iPhone) and fell in love.

It’s the perfect phone for my tween son. I wanted to wait until 8th, but ultimately needed a way to text/call/track my son (location) in a way that a smartwatch or dumb phone (flip phone) could not. Lmk if you have any questions!


Hi Cindy! I would also recommend checking out this awesome blog post to help you out when choosing which phone you want to buy for your son! I hope you find it helpful :phone:


And this is a great resource once you decide what phone to go with!

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Hi, Cindy! I am an Apple lover at heart. :slight_smile: My guys are in 8th & 5th. They do have iPhones, BUT only because they were my old previous / hand-me-downs from when I upgraded, and we already had them paid for and unused. My guys are honestly NOT interested in social media, and rarely text with friends. Shockingly (and refreshingly!) they genuinely use the smartphones mainly for communications to us (family), location tracking (for my peace of mind / so they can roam & have a bit of freedom to explore), to stay in touch with school, teacher, & homework communications, and maybe some light gaming (not the real purpose).

All that said, if I had to BUY them a phone, I likely would not buy them an iPhone, simply because they are so expensive! I personally don’t believe in getting kids such an expensive item that may be lost or stolen. My youngest actually managed to accidentally drop his iPhone from his shorts pocket (he didn’t notice) and it got ran over by CARS in the street! Thankfully, somehow, his Lifeproof case SAVED his iPhone! What can I say? BOYS! Ahh!!

If I had to buy and didn’t already have the phones we have, I would likely buy an affordable Android with a newer OS version (Android 8 or 9). I did purchase my mom a Samsung J3 last year; it was a prepaid phone and less than $100. Seems to do the job well. We also have Samsung tablets, so they hold up nicely and we haven’t had any problems. Seems a solid brand. Prepaid Androids are going to be the most affordable you’ll find I think. You can find them at nearly all stores, pharmacies, even grocery stores staring around $30! May be a good, affordable option for a starter phone. Most prepaids you can transfer to a post-paid monthly line depending on your carrier, after 6 months. We have Verizon, and after 6 months of active prepay, we can transfer to a post-paid line on our family account.

Androids also have Google Family Link for parents controls (free), which we use on our Android tablets for filtering and screen time allowances and it’s worked out well for us.

If you asked me years ago if I would’ve gotten my 10y/o a smartphone (or any phone) I’d have laughed in your face and said, “Heck no! High School, maybe”! But the reality for us was that we needed communication and location tracking as my kids venture the neighborhood alone and also either walk or bike to school, activities, etc. With frequent talks, it’s worked well for us, and my kids are really responsible with them! :slight_smile: No regrets!

I personally ended up getting my daughter an Essential PH-1 when it was on fire-sale for $180. We got it for her for all the usual reasons (somewhat affordable, durable, stays up to date on security, wouldn’t be outdated a month after we bought it) but also because we wanted to encourage her to start taking more pictures and that one had a pretty slick camera and was fairly indestructible.