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Smartphones, Tablets and Handheld Computing From Android, Symbian to Apple devices, this is the place for discussion and debate, whether it's smartphones, tablets or even gaming handhelds.

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Old Aug 3, 2020, 11:31 PM   #1
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Lupine
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Default Phones / phone plans for teenagers

So my older two boys are heading off to high school this fall, COVID-19 permitting. Seems reasonable to equip them with cell phones, and I'm thinking our current provider, Ting, is probably not the best option. So throwing it out there R3D ... best phones and cell plans for teenagers?

Criteria:

Plan - budget oriented. They can and should be using wifi as much as possible. Current provider, Ting, uses "buckets" where you pay what you use. That seems reasonable for me, but I get that kids will probably use a lot more data than I do. So maybe there is a budget unlimited plan out there, that maybe just throttles or something when they pass a certain threshold? Target $30/mo per kid.

Phone - I'm big brother daddy. Yeah, that means I want some level of controls / filtering. My oldest has an Android phone, so I use Google's Family Link app to keep my nose in his business. I've heard iPhone has better parental controls, but I'm totally unfamiliar with that. Target couple hundred per phone. They can pay the difference if they want something better / newer.
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Old Aug 4, 2020, 04:08 AM   #2
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Get the kids loads of data - at least 10-25 GB. Also get them at least an iPhone SE so that they can feel at least respected in their community. [

Android phones suck ass.
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Old Aug 4, 2020, 07:09 AM   #3
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i dunno about your providers, but for around 30 bucks you won't get much data let alone a flat. With a "few hundreds" you also won't get something from apple
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Old Aug 4, 2020, 01:29 PM   #4
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Get them something simple that works. If they want something better they can get a job and work for it.

Buying kids iPhones for "respect" is how you create shitty entitled ****ing brats.
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Old Aug 4, 2020, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunz View Post
Get them something simple that works. If they want something better they can get a job and work for it.

Buying kids iPhones for "respect" is how you create shitty entitled ****ing brats.
100% this. Kids/Teens don't need the latest smartphones. Heck, the sole purpose of giving them phones is so you can contact each other and keep track of them. A basic flip phone will do that. If they bitch and moan about not having something better like their friends do, remind them who pays for everything. They'll be mad at you, of course, until they have kids of their own. It's amazing how much wiser my mom became once I became a father.
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Old Aug 4, 2020, 03:46 PM   #6
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We bought our daughters their first phones, then made them work to pay us back.

Carrier - we're switching to consumer cellular (from T-mo) using AT&T's network for 2 lines, unlimited everything for ~$71 + the usual fees.

T-mo has some of the best rates of the big 4, but coverage in your area ?? don't know.

Verizon and AT&T = pricey

Sprint soon_to_be_T-mo...anyone's guess as to how that will shake out.

Good luck with it - there's no perfect set up for teens. But MVNOs might give you the best bang for the buck.
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Old Aug 4, 2020, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunz View Post
Get them something simple that works. If they want something better they can get a job and work for it.

Buying kids iPhones for "respect" is how you create shitty entitled ****ing brats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munkus View Post
100% this. Kids/Teens don't need the latest smartphones. Heck, the sole purpose of giving them phones is so you can contact each other and keep track of them. A basic flip phone will do that. If they bitch and moan about not having something better like their friends do, remind them who pays for everything. They'll be mad at you, of course, until they have kids of their own. It's amazing how much wiser my mom became once I became a father.
My thought is I'll give them $200 toward whatever phone they want. They can get a decent used phone for around that (thinking Pixel 3a, iPhone 7 or 8), and they can pay more if they want more.

As to plan, maybe Ting spoiled me but we avg under $50/mo for both my wife and I. The pay as you go model worries me for teenagers, as you can hit overages awful quick if you aren't paying attention. Course, again with Ting, I can set per phone hard limits. Same as above though, could always give them a basic plan, and they can fund more if they want. I'm doing this so they have tools, not toys. If they want the toy side, they can fund it. They have and will continue to earn $$$, and can decide how they want to spend it.
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Old Aug 5, 2020, 09:11 AM   #8
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There are other ways to make them work. iPhone SE is an iPhone SE and everyone understands it. Most of their work can be done on the phone which is a necessity these days. I know it can be done on an Android phone as well but better and stable OS, speed of phone etc do come important. Just getting an SE doesn’t make anyone entitled.

From a practicality standpoint and having something that can last at least 2 years it is better to go iPhone. Also you can also get device on plans (that’s what I did) and keep paying it off over the 2 year period.
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