Author Topic: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?  (Read 2408 times)

milliemchi

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What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« on: May 19, 2017, 10:10:30 PM »
My anxiety-ridden insomniac kid shared with me the other day that listening to music in bed helps her fall asleep. Fine. The very same day the iPhone 4 that she's been carrying around and using as a miniature tablet/YouTube player crapped out. So now there she is in her bed with my phone, and I am left to relearn how to use my nightstand radio as an alarm clock.

What can you recommend? I've seen Cricket sell <$50 smartphones, and I've also heard people complain about their phones being laggy. I want an Android, because I don't want her to have to deal with iTunes. It should support browsing and YouTube, and have a reasonable camera. Some reasonable RAM/CPU support for apps would be nice. I don't need to completely cheap out on this, though that would be nice, too. (For reference, the last 5 smartphones that went through our home were all hand-me-downs from friends, we never paid for any.) She has a prepaid dumbphone, so this does not need to be her actual phone, but just in case, I would get something compatible with T-mobile. I've heard great things about some of the Chinese brands, but would have to weigh delivery time with price/specs.

Freedomin5

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:29:39 PM »
Regarding the Chinese brands, you're probably thinking about Xiaomi, OPPO,  or the Taiwanese brand whose name escapes my mind at the moment (Huawei maybe?).

However, if you allow your kid to take a smartphone to bed, you may be opening up yourself to power struggles in the future. A smartphone means texting, Facetiming, Facebooking, Skyping, Snapchatting, Twittering, What's Apping, Pinteresting, YouTubing, gaming, etc. in bed. She needs a music-playing device for bedtime; it doesn't sound like she needs the camera, browsing, and YouTube functions you mentioned when she is in bed. Besides, the glare from the screen itself is not conducive to sleep, which is why those who teach sleep hygiene recommend that all screens are turned off at least an hour before bedtime, especially for people who are already dealing with insomnia.

If the only purpose for having a phone in bed is to listen to music, why not just buy an mp3 player such as an iPod? The point is what she uses in bed to listen to music should be separate from what she uses during the day for browsing and taking pictures.

milliemchi

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 11:00:41 PM »
I'm totally aware of that, and not worried for the foreseeable future until she puts her T-mobile chip into the phone. The problem is that she likes the current modern music that plays on the pop radio stations (and that I don't even object to quality wise), and without YouTube/Pandora/whatever, I may be facing ever increasing purchases of mp3s, (not to mention the actual 'real' music that we sometimes explore together, but that doesn't have to follow her to bed). If there is a way around that problem, I would be all for an mp3 player. I would still want a smartphone for her daytime use, though.

milliemchi

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 11:01:50 PM »
A tiny FM receiver tuned to a desirable local radio station, maybe?

milliemchi

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 11:04:23 PM »

milliemchi

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 12:02:00 AM »
Just bought a FM radio + mp3 player + alarm clock, and a 'pillow speaker'. So nighttime problem is solved.

I would still like to get a daytime device, so we're back to the original question. Which cheap smartphone should I buy?

MarioMario

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 08:53:04 AM »
The Nexus 5x is relatively cheap.

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Syonyk

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 10:57:57 PM »
The Nexus 5x is relatively cheap.

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Lol @ the recommendation and sig together. :)

I'd agree though. The 5X is a good phone. Stock Android, so no carrier malware.

MarioMario

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 11:00:46 PM »
The Nexus 5x is relatively cheap.

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Lol @ the recommendation and sig together. :)

I'd agree though. The 5X is a good phone. Stock Android, so no carrier malware.
My wife has the 5x and I am jealous of how incredibly light that phone is.

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Molzy

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 08:33:30 AM »
Does it have to be a smartphone? If she isn't putting the cell phone chip in it, what about an Amazon kindle? Id look for a refurbished one or one of the Amazon warehouse deals (returned items).

MarioMario

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 12:24:56 PM »
Does it have to be a smartphone? If she isn't putting the cell phone chip in it, what about an Amazon kindle? Id look for a refurbished one or one of the Amazon warehouse deals (returned items).
Kindles fires can be had for &lt;$50

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MrsPete

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 05:46:11 PM »
Rather frequently I hear my high school students talking about texting one another in the middle of the night.  Waking up multiple times a night to read a text isn't healthy.  Sure, your daughter may not be doing this now, but it makes sense to me to shut the door on this ridiculous habit.  Get her a clock radio and require whatever phone she has to be left on the kitchen counter at bedtime.

milliemchi

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 07:12:33 PM »
I think this got lost among the replies, but I already ordered an FM radio/MP3 player last night. So, we're covered for nighttime, I'm just still looking for a daytime phone. I reached out to the local mom listserve, and got a HTC Butterfly 2 for $20. Not free, but almost. Now, looking at the specs, it seems like maybe I should keep it for myself, and get her something less advanced. So, we're still looking, and I still have a couple of leads from the listserve, but nothing definite.

I do want to thank everyone who pointed out the dangers of nighttime socializing.

rdaneel0

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Re: What cheap smartphone to buy quickly for my kid?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 07:37:27 PM »
Huawei isn't a bad option.