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Thread: Mobile phone for an 11 year old

  1. #1
    Master
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    Mobile phone for an 11 year old

    Before I succumb to the wifeís suggestion we get a contract for my daughter, what are your experiences with phones for kids? She wants one for her birthday.

    My daughterís a sensible thing most of the time but very brand conscious. To be frank, I suspect we canít afford the iPhone version she wants, but we donít want her embarrassed (too much). I recall Mercury trainers at school when Nikeís were the thing 😁

    What are your experiences/thoughts please?

  2. #2
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    We got one for my ( then, 2 years ago ) 11 year old, iPhone 6, I don't think a Phone a few generations old will cause her embarrassment, it will be the norm rather unless she has to be at the top of the 'bragging rights' pile, my son would love a newer phone but seeing as he treats it like crap and has needed screens etc theres no chance. The restrictions and filters you can set upon are pretty good, and of course set up app purchases to login overtime with you as the password holder. Insist its conditional on you knowing the screen lock pass code so you can periodically check the numerous watsapp group chats for shady stuff.
    So far so good.

    I say iPhone as thats what we have and its easy to link our iTunes and cloud for control, I expect if you have android and a Play account you can do the same. Its a added phone to the wifes Vodaphone account so we can see usage etc
    Last edited by JasonM; 5th February 2020 at 10:19.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  3. #3
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahiti View Post
    we get a contract for my daughter
    Make sure you send a spending bar...

  4. #4
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    Have a look at Monqi phones available from Tesco. It can be locked down and you can set geo locations to alert you say when your child enters an area. It is what it is, I am an iPhone fan and itís a long way from that but my daughter is 10. She was over the moon with but now hardly uses it that said itís there for emergencies. It may be a bit big brother but the parent app gives me full control. She canít even message someone of the contact has not been approved.

  5. #5
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    If you're going to do it, and I wouldn't personally, then the post below seems like good advice.

  6. #6
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    For us, the 'find my phone' linked app is a great feature for seeing he is where he says he is when out with his mates.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  7. #7
    Any iPhone, set your child up properly as a family member on itunes so you have control over screen time, app downloads, location settings etc.

  8. #8
    My 11 year old daughter started at the local state grammar school in September. She gets the bus at 7:30am so we wanted a way to check up on her. We got my wifeís old LG G3 out of the drawer and set it up for her. Sheís using a Tesco Mobile PAYG sim. I top it up around £10 a month, mainly for data. I share her location using Google Maps. That way my wife and I can check up on her location. We both have iPhones so need to use the Google Maps app to see where she is. Sheís been happy with the phone and has looked after it. We may consider getting her a newer phone for her 12th Birthday.

    If I were you Iíd try out an old phone with a PAYG sim first. Second choice would be a cheap Android phone from Amazon for around £100 with a PAYG sim. Once your daughter has proved she can look after a cheaper phone then consider a more expensive one.

  9. #9
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Our 12 year old has a used iPhone SE with a sim-only deal for about £7 a month with minimal data. It’s all locked down and synced to my cloud so he can’t download anything and Screen Time set up so he can’t spend hours playing games.

    He seems happy enough

  10. #10
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    Got my daughter a refurbished iPhone 7 plus when she was 11. She didn't mind that it was a few models old (as it was an iPhone so all good) and with buying refurbished, with 12 months warranty, it didn't really cost that much. She's on a SIM only deal with BT which I have control over and its great being able to contact her when needed.

  11. #11
    Make sure itís an Android phone.

    You donít want them hooked on iOS, and then pestering you for a £1000 phone in 5 years time.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    Any iPhone, set your child up properly as a family member on itunes so you have control over screen time, app downloads, location settings etc.
    This, it is very handy indeed. I've just given my son my old phone when I get a new one, he is now 12 and has my old Iphone X and is quite happy with it, even though it is used and over two years old. If I'd buy him a new one, it would be a 500 euro Iphone 7 or 8.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    My daughter has been using my hand-me-down phones since we got her a phone a few years ago (she was in hospital with a burst appendix and we wanted to be able to message her when one of us wasn't with her). She is just about to turn 13, her last phone died before Christmas so I got her an unlocked Moto G7 at Christmas and she's very happy with it, cost about £180. (She was originally on a PAYG, but I switched it to a SIM only contract a year or so ago.) That's the first new phone she has had, and she knows it's the phone she's got for a couple of years so she'd better take care of it!
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  14. #14
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Just out of interest, GiffGaff are doing a sim for £6 which from late February will have unlimited calls, texts, and 500mb data. Not a bad deal!

  15. #15
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    My son was given an old Sony Xperia Z3 compact on his 11th birthday.
    I'm on EE & with a bit of negotiation managed to add another phone number/sim onto my account for £6/month (unlimited calls/texts + 500mb data).
    As he's on my account, I can control his useage (to a degree) & I also gift him 2gb of data from my own allowance as a top up each month.
    He's now age 12 & as an upgrade after a year, for £140 I managed to get him a used (great condition) Samsung S8 as a Christmas present last month - which he was chuffed with!

    As the phone's android he has a junior gmail account & I can also monitor his phone & app useage on the Google Family Link app - also shows me where he is (when the phone is switched on) when looking at Google maps & I have to OK any app downloads that he wants via the Family Link app on my phone.

    He's always asking to have WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram etc installed. - but so far we have resisted & his only means of messaging is text.

  16. #16
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    Make sure itís an Android phone.

    You donít want them hooked on iOS, and then pestering you for a £1000 phone in 5 years time.
    +1
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

  17. #17
    Master raptor's Avatar
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    Always used
    Iphone 6 in our case

  18. #18
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    This thread is very timely. I'm giving my 12 year old a phone this weekend. She wants it so she can access some home work via apps, 0365, Edulink etc. We want her to have it for the occasional times she needs to contact her. She will be getting an iPhone SE which will be fairly locked down. I set up an Apple ID for her earlier in the year with family sharing. As stated previously a great way to track usage, set up restrictions etc.

  19. #19
    Master dickbrowne's Avatar
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    A practical consideration, from personal experience.

    Check out the cost of repair, especially screen replacement. The screen will get broken and the cost of replacement for a bonded (ie, waterproof) -v- non bonded screen is surprisingly high.

    I handed a few old phones down to my daughter when she was 14/15 and they were treated particularly poorly, but always with a good excuse as to why the breakage wasnít her fault.

    At 18 she worked for o2 at weekends whilst still at school and bought her own phone, an iPhone 8 Plus. When the screen got broken on that, she was responsible for the repair and, guess what? It never got fixed (although, to be fair to her, it lasted around 18 months before the inevitable). Instead, she bought a 11pro a couple of months ago.

    Weíve always had all of our phones insured, but she didnít even want to pay for the excess, preferring to invest much more into a new phone, but that was her choice.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by gerrudd View Post
    This thread is very timely. I'm giving my 12 year old a phone this weekend. She wants it so she can access some home work via apps, 0365, Edulink etc. We want her to have it for the occasional times she needs to contact her. She will be getting an iPhone SE which will be fairly locked down. I set up an Apple ID for her earlier in the year with family sharing. As stated previously a great way to track usage, set up restrictions etc.


    All providers can now offer a CAP
    So if itís xxxx many mins you can say it never goes over
    Itís data theyíll eat though so get it capped

    Sky mobile is awesome as you can have a few sims and roll over unused data and plug any overs into a different sim on your set if that makes sense if needed

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahiti View Post
    Before I succumb to the wife’s suggestion we get a contract for my daughter, what are your experiences with phones for kids? She wants one for her birthday.

    My daughter’s a sensible thing most of the time but very brand conscious. To be frank, I suspect we can’t afford the iPhone version she wants, but we don’t want her embarrassed (too much). I recall Mercury trainers at school when Nike’s were the thing 

    What are your experiences/thoughts please?
    We gave our daughter a smart phone when she was 11 and it was the dumbest thing we have ever done as parents.
    She is completely addicted to it now at 14 years of age. Getting her to put it away is always a struggle. It has affected her concentration.
    It has made her more solitary, narcissistic and moody also.
    These changes occurred before she became a normal abnormal teenager.
    If I could reverse the decision to give her a smart phone at 11 I would.
    Don't do it!

  22. #22
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnthemull View Post
    We gave our daughter a smart phone when she was 11 and it was the dumbest thing we have ever done as parents.
    She is completely addicted to it now at 14 years of age. Getting her to put it away is always a struggle. It has affected her concentration.
    It has made her more solitary, narcissistic and moody also.
    These changes occurred before she became a normal abnormal teenager.
    If I could reverse the decision to give her a smart phone at 11 I would.
    Don't do it!
    What he said.

    Apparently a 1/4 of 6 year olds already have them, why do parents risk damaging their children in this way, the impacts on such young minds will be far reaching I think. But it's the futuuure. Duh.

  23. #23
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    What he said.

    Apparently a 1/4 of 6 year olds already have them, why do parents risk damaging their children in this way, the impacts on such young minds will be far reaching I think. But it's the futuuure. Duh.
    Because so many parents are just herd animals, whether it's phones or trainers or bloody McDonald's they simply can't say no.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  24. #24
    Journeyman
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    Our 12 year old used her Christmas money to buy a Moto g8 and loves it. Under £200 and she'll look after it as it was her own money that paid for it.

    Sent from my moto g(8) plus using TZ-UK mobile app

  25. #25
    Master
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    Thank you. Plenty of sensible thoughts.

    My gut says second hand for obvious reasons, and it wonít be a case of keeping up with the classmates. Some of them have the proper expensive phones and that is not happening.

  26. #26
    Master
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    Friend's old 5S, of giffgaff with alot of calls/ texts and reasonable data allowance. He's pretty good with it, to be honest.

    We were advised to let him have it in the summer before he started secondary, so he had chance to get used to it.

    Chose his own Calvin and Hobbes case!

  27. #27
    Master
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    We're going through a similar thing (twin daughters turn 11 in a month). We'll probably go iPhone 8ish I think. Don't be swayed by android, everyone at there school has iPhones and as you quite rightly said, you need balance between spoiling them and embarrassing them!

  28. #28
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Oldest (nearly 15) migrated from a hand-me-down iPhone 5 to a refurbished (Music Magpie) iPhone 7 at Christmas and is well happy with it as it is similar in functionality to what her friends have. Youngest (nearly 13) now has the iPhone 5 but barely uses it other than to send the odd message. It is very handy to be able to exchange messages at the end of the school day, and for FaceTime when I'm travelling. Family sharing of location data, iCloud storage and Apple Pay account are handy features. We're all on various Tesco SIM only deals that give more than enough for our needs, total for four of us is £34 a month.

  29. #29
    A good used phone of the same type you use would be good, and set up whereís my phone or similar from day one - at least then you might be able to track it if itís lost, or if you want to know where they are at any given time - which could be invaluable with a young child.

    If you use iPhone they will want one. If you use Samsung or whatever they might want one of those - or whatever their friends have. Being connected to family or friends might be important. My kids want iPhones as their friends use them and FaceTime/imessage all the time for example.

    An iPhone 7 shouldn't be too expensive, and more than adequate. Get them used to slightly older tech phones rather than the latest model, as that is just crazy for teenagers or younger, and likely stolen or cracked etc.
    It's just a matter of time...

  30. #30
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    I would recommend you ask the child what sort of phone she wants. Android, MS or Apple.

    My son (now 17) got his first phone at 11 and he was very specific that he did not want Apple (despite both my wife and me being Apple users).

    His first phone was a Motorola Play (cheap and cheerful) and has now migrated to a OnePlus 6S. Great phone and. Much nicer than my old Apple 6.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  31. #31
    Interestingly the tech heads in Silicon valley are no longer giving their kids smart phones and iPads. The reason being that they are seeing how well the mind corrupting nature of their creations are working on their own kids. If the OP is determined to ignore best advice I would recommend an Apple phone that supports SCREEN TIME. This system is effective at limiting the damage


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  32. #32
    Craftsman
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    We put in place a rule that phones (or tablets) should be left downstairs at bedtime - this works well & was more aimed at setting expectations early for when the kids get older.
    Also the use of Google Family Link allows you to set daily time limits & daily phone lock/unlock times - can also lock down the phone instantly from my phone should the need arise!!

  33. #33
    Both of ours started off with our old iphones when we upgraded. It worked well as we could put them on fairly cheap sim only deals. Also meant we could put them on the apple music family plan and control their usage using the screen time restrictions.
    It is really a slippery slope though and kids are much more clued up than we are on the ways of bypassing the controls. Our eldest seems to be able to access everything at all times now, despite screen time restrictions being on. Her phone also packed up in December so we got her a new one on a new contract only for her to drop it into a sink full of water within a month. It still works but is clearly water damaged and probably wonít last the term of the contract. It seems that, despite Apple now stating that their phones are waterproof, they donít guarantee it and wonít touch a water damaged phone under warranty, or even at a charge. You pay £650 for a new one or make do with the damaged one.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Danstone View Post
    Both of ours started off with our old iphones when we upgraded. It worked well as we could put them on fairly cheap sim only deals. Also meant we could put them on the apple music family plan and control their usage using the screen time restrictions.
    It is really a slippery slope though and kids are much more clued up than we are on the ways of bypassing the controls. Our eldest seems to be able to access everything at all times now, despite screen time restrictions being on. Her phone also packed up in December so we got her a new one on a new contract only for her to drop it into a sink full of water within a month. It still works but is clearly water damaged and probably wonít last the term of the contract. It seems that, despite Apple now stating that their phones are waterproof, they donít guarantee it and wonít touch a water damaged phone under warranty, or even at a charge. You pay £650 for a new one or make do with the damaged one.
    Could it be covered by your house insurance if you have accidental damage or indeed one of the insurances bolted onto some bank accounts?

  35. #35
    Just got an iPhone XR for my 10yo works fine got a data cap so he canít hammer it, still havenít found out how to work the parental control yet which I really need as my wife has found him searching for naked photos of Ariana grande 😂

  36. #36
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    We started our daughter off with my wifeís old iPhone when she started secondary school a couple of years ago.

    Its on a BT contract at £5 pm which gives her unlimited minutes and texts and 1.5 gb of data a month.

    Useful feature is find my iPhone so I can determine where she is at any one time if I feel the need.

  37. #37
    Craftsman
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    We got out 10 year old a Motorola G7 plus which she's more than happy with. Also a £6 p/m sim only deal with Sky which includes 3GB of data and unlimited minutes and texts. (January sale deal no longer available). I control the account with the sky app on my phone and set a £0 speed limit.

    We have the family link app too which is great for checking their location and keeping tabs on apps downloaded etc

  38. #38
    Master
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    Just to pick up on the point of what sheíd like, Apple is her thing. Purely down to brand recognition I suspect.

    Iím thinking refurbed 6S (exactly what Iím using as I type) and a cheap contract as things stand.

    Thanks all.

  39. #39
    Craftsman djjuk's Avatar
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    Huawei P20 Lite for less than £200 new - great phone that apparently is still cool enough for a 12 year old + BT pay monthly sim reduced to £5. Android family link installed so you have full control over time used, bedtimes, app usage installation and location tracking via google maps.

    Works well for us.

  40. #40
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnthemull View Post
    Interestingly the tech heads in Silicon valley are no longer giving their kids smart phones and iPads. The reason being that they are seeing how well the mind corrupting nature of their creations are working on their own kids. If the OP is determined to ignore best advice I would recommend an Apple phone that supports SCREEN TIME. This system is effective at limiting the damage


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Every tech head? Must have taken ages for you to ask them all?!
    My twin girls are 11 in March. They will get their first mobile phones then. Am I totally happy about it? No.
    Is it necessary? In truth, yes. They will be spending more time being independent so need to be contactable. But more importantly than that, it's how kids these days interact. They're not going to be allowed to spend their waking hours on it but it's the modern way. I do it. It's about balance, not non participation.

  41. #41
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    I see 1200 teenagers every day in my school. 99% of them has a phone and 99% of the phone users have their eyes glued to the screen when possible. I think that >70% has an Android phone because that way you can have a new phone for less than an iPhone. Most Androids around are Samsung and Huawei. Regarding repairs: you won't believe how many phones are dropped during the day. Make sure the phone has every possible protection: extra layer on the glass, shock proof casing etc.

    Brand-awareness is more important for girls than for boys. It's also the way they use the phone. Boys use it for WhatsApp, Insta, SnapChat and games. Especially games. Girls use the phone in a different way: especially insta, snap and tik tok. For girls, their phone is their life line to the world. Equally important as going to the mall with their 'besties'.

    I don't want to preach doom and gloom but I'll share my experience. A lot of parents don't keep up the pace of their children when it comes to the use of social media. And the results of that!
    About 3 -5 % of the girls (no boys!) get into trouble using the social media on their phone. They (that small amount of 3-5%) use their phone for bullying or worse: sexting! That small amount of girls tend to send selfies to their BFF who then turns into their worst enemy at a certain point. Sadly a lot of those pics are compromising(...) and then shared with others. You can tell daughters not to send nude pics to boys, but they don't see any harm of sending that sort pics and videos to their best (girl) pal, "... we are BFFs!" Luckily >95% of the girls is wiser. Sadly, the stupidities happen at every school level. As if intelligence (IQ) has nothing to do with it!! In fact more intelligent kids have a more intelligent way of bullying and erasing their tracks for investigators.

    Young girls are often uncertain about their person and how they look and are vulnerable for the phenomena 'sexting'. They like a boy and they will do anything to get his attention. They send him pics wearing a nice dress and he asks for more. I can tell you first hand that the vice-squad of the local police have a daytime job sorting this sort of things out. Dutch laws are quite strict: nude pics of an underaged child on your phone is child pornography - even when they're 'best friends'.

    Check your kids' phones, go to school-organized parental meetings about social media! Learn how to spot a fake insta account (often used for bullying) and how to reveal the anonymous owner of a nasty insta account. And make a big fuss about leaving the phone downstairs at night. No matter what, check that every evening. It's worth it. Every single fight you have.

    If you want to know more about fake account etc., send me a PM.

    Menno

  42. #42
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Looking through a drawer this morning and I happened across this, perfect phone for a youngster.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    Looking through a drawer this morning and I happened across this, perfect phone for a youngster.
    I bought my son something like this when he started secondary school.

    He has an iPod touch I bought him years ago that heís kept pristine and can use to film and watch YT so didnít see the issue really as theyíre not allowed phones out at school at any time.

    His Mum bought him an iPhone, new but an older model on cheap contract (we split years ago). Heís very good with his stuff (just like I was when I was a kid) and looks after it.

    My GFís son must have had 4 second hand iPhones in the time my lad has had his iPod touch (which is still perfect) I saw it the other day and his latest is smashed. Youíd think it was spoilt abuse but heís worked Sundayís from the age of 14 & pays for them himself so just goes to show youíre either careful or not.


    Personally Iíd do what my ex has done, go for an older model of iPhone on a cheap contract. Probably wise not to update them too much though, or at least wait and read about effects of updates on older models.

    Having had iPhones since they first came out, I can safely say thereís marginal changes since the iPhone 6. Mine is a 7+ ive had 3 years and have zero desire to change it.

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