Your guide
Team Android Authority is made up of dozens of writers, videographers, photographers, and more. We're passionate about all things Android!
Last Update
Jun 2017
We made no changes to our list this month.

Your child is ready for their first smartphone, and that’s great! There are plenty of cheap smartphones out there, and no shortage of great kid-friendly apps and games

While you might hear pleas to get the latest iPhone or Galaxy, the reality is that kids often aren’t ready for the responsibility that comes with their first phone. The odds of them losing or breaking it are just too high. There aren’t too many notable Android phones out there made specifically for children, but we’ve managed to round up some inexpensive options perfect as your child’s first smartphone.

Without any further delay, let’s get to it — here are the best phones for kids.

Related:

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.

Moto E5 Play

Moto E5 Play

Motorola’s Moto E5 Play is the latest, and cheapest, smartphone in the company’s budget E series. That alone makes it one of the best phones for kids, since the E series offers solid hardware and software for an ultra-low price. The Moto E5 Play has a 5.2-inch display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor. It also has an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera, along with a 2,800mAh battery.

There’s no waterproofing, but Motorola said it coated the Moto E5 Play with a with a water-repellent coating. It has Android 8.0 Oreo installed out of the box as well. You can snap up the Moto E5 Play right now from Boost Mobile for $79.99 without a contract. Verizon Wireless is also selling it, again without a contract, for just $69.99.

Specs

  • 5.2-inch display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 151 x 74 x 9 mm, 150 g

ZTE Tempo Go

ZTE Tempo Go ZTE

The ZTE Temp Go was the first Android Go phone released in the U.S. It runs a version of Android 8.0 Oreo, but has a number of Google apps pre-installed that are slimmed down in terms of storage size and features, so they can run on phones with 1GB of RAM or even lower.

The ZTE Tempo Go has a  5-inch display with a 480 x 854 resolution, and inside there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage and a microSD card slot to add more storage. There’s also a 5MP rear camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, and a 2,200mAh battery. The price for the phone is just $79.99. This phone is not only good for kids, but since it runs Android 8.0 Oreo, it also has the latest security patches and features.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch FWVGA display with 480 x 854 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • 2,200mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 5.73 x 2.83 x 8.5 mm, 0.36 g

Read More


Samsung Galaxy Express 3

 

 

The Samsung Galaxy Express 2 is not only a great phone for kids, it’s also pretty cheap, which should make any parent happy. AT&T is selling this phone as part of its prepaid offerings for just $129.99

The phone comes with a  5-inch HD (720p) display, the company’s own Samsung Exynos 7 Quad (7570) processor, running at 1.4Ghz, 16GB storage with up to 400GB expansion via microSD, 2GB of RAM, and a 2,600mAh removable battery. The cameras on the Express Prime 3 include an 8MP rear sensor and a 5MP front-facing camera. You also get Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

That’s a pretty solid phone for hundreds less than the current flagship devices, and it’s clearly a must on our best phone for kids list.

  • 5.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, 294 ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7 Quad (7570)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 400GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 2,600mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

LG K30

 

Another contender for the best phone for kids title is the LG K30. which is available unlocked from Amazon as part of its Prime Phones selection. It’s available for just $139.99 and works with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon’s networks.

For that low price, you get a phone with a 5.3-inch 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card slot for adding up to 2TB of additional storage. You also get an 8MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 3,000mAh battery, with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

Specs

  • 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 5.85 x 2.95 x 0.33 inches, 5.92 ounces

LG Stylo 4

 

If you would like to give your kid a big screen smartphone with a stylus to let them draw on the screen, you don’t need to spring for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Let them play with the LG Stylo 4, which was released earlier in 2018 and costs a lot less.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the handset, the Stylo 3 sports a huge 6.2-inch 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor, 32GB of onboard storage, 3GB of RAM and a 3,300mAh battery. It also running Android 8.0 Oreo, which is a huge plus. Since this is a member of the Stylo device family, it also comes with a stylus for note taking, or for your kids, for some quick digital art projects.

Boost Mobile is selling the LG Stylo 4 for as low as $149.99, which is a dirt cheap price for a phone with such a big screen, and that’s what makes it a great smartphone for kids.

Specs

  • 6.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 0.33 x 3.06 x 6.3 inches, 6.06 ounces

Unihertz Atom

Unihertz Atom Unihertz

If you want a rugged phone perfectly sized for a child’s hand, take a look at the Unihertz Atom, which is currently available to purchase via Kickstarter. A follow up to the company’s earlier Jelly phone, the Atom is designed to be thicker and more rugged than the Jelly. It could be the perfect phone for kids to hold onto.

It only has a 2.45 inch display, but the Atom has been given the highest IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, which means not only does this phone fit nearly anywhere, it should be able to take a lot of abuse. Kids should be able to use it anywhere, and it can take the kind of abuse that only children can put on it.

The phone uses an unnamed octa-core 2Ghz processor, and the Atom still crams in 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. It also has a 16MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 2,000mAh battery. It even has a USB Type-C port, a headphone jack, and a fingerprint scanner, along with a programmable key on the side that can be set to quickly launch an app, take a quick picture and more. The Atom’s Kickstarter campaign is already fully funded and the phone has just now started shipping.

Specs

  • 2.45-inch display, 432 x 240
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Octa-core 2Ghz processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage, 
  • 16MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • 96 x 45 x 18mm, 106g

Best phone for kids –  Conclusion

Whether decided to just give your kid an old Android phone you had lying around or have bought a new phone just for them, take a look at some tips and tricks on how to make your Android phone safer for your kids. From creating custom profiles to setting limits on mobile data, our how-to guide will give you a number of ways to help keep your kids from doing anything they shouldn’t be doing on your hand-me-down device.

Did you like our picks? Are there other kid-friendly selections we should add? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

The BEST from each category