It is a well-known fact that children desire iPhones. They idolize celebrities who use them, observe their parents using them, and may even have friends who own them. However, when it comes to choosing the most suitable iPhone for your child, there are many factors to take into account. One crucial factor is the child’s age. When is it appropriate for a child to have their own iPhone? We will address this topic in a later section.
No matter which iPhone model you have, it’s important to utilize Screen Time for managing its usage. Screen Time is a feature already integrated into iOS, allowing you to set restrictions on your child’s phone such as time limits, permissible apps, and designated phone-free times. This is a convenient tool for busy parents to monitor their child’s actions when they are not physically present and should be a top priority during setup.
Let’s talk about the iPhone itself. If you’re looking for a device for young children to watch approved videos and play educational games or apps, we suggest avoiding iPhones and opting for a basic iPad instead. It’s cost-effective and does not require cellular connectivity. Additionally, the larger size is ideal for toddlers who are still developing their fine motor skills. You can refer to our guide for the best iPad options for kids, and take a look at our roundup of the best iPad deals to find the best prices.
However, when a child reaches an appropriate age where having a phone becomes beneficial (for accessing the internet, messaging friends, and being reachable by you), it is necessary to upgrade to a proper iPhone. Below are our suggestions.
In 2023, Apple released the new iPhone 15 series and lowered the prices of their existing models. How will this impact the options for the best iPhone for children? Keep reading to learn more.
Top choice for children’s iPhone
Here are our top picks for iPhones suitable for kids. We understand that not everyone has an endless supply of money, so we’re not suggesting the most expensive iPhones. After all, a child is prone to losing or breaking their phone. However, if you’d like more options to consider, check out our iPhone purchasing guide and comparison.
The Apple iPhone 13 is the top choice for older children.
Good battery life
Best Prices Today:
The price for this item is €699.00 at OTTO, €722.00 at amazon.de, and €722.00 at coolblue.
Teenagers and high school students have high expectations. The iPhone SE may be suitable for them, but its smaller screen is outdated and they may want to appear trendy to their peers. Additionally, taking photos and using social media becomes a significant aspect of their social circle. Therefore, if you are willing to invest in an iPhone with better camera capabilities, Face ID, and a full-screen display, we suggest considering the iPhone 13.
The iPhone 13 boasts a larger 6.1-inch screen, making it ideal for older children. It also has a sleeker design and advanced features. Additionally, its battery life is impressive and can easily last an entire day.
You might be curious about our decision to choose the iPhone 13 over the iPhone 14 and 15. One factor is its affordability, which is a valid reason. However, we also believe that the iPhone 13 holds up well against the iPhone 14. While you may miss out on some of the latest features, such as Action Mode for recording videos on the go and Crash Detection on the iPhone 14, the difference between the two is not significant, as they both have the same A15 processor. We believe that the iPhone 13 is comparable enough to the iPhone 14 that even an older child would be satisfied with it.
The base model of iPhone 13 costs $599/£599 for 128GB, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 require an additional $100/£100 each. Considering that a typical ninth grader may use up storage space quickly with activities such as creating TikTok videos, taking selfies and photos for social media, and texting friends, it would be wise to invest in a higher storage capacity for the iPhone 13 instead of splurging on the bells and whistles of newer models if your budget allows.
Please refer to our comprehensive review of the Apple iPhone 13.
The ideal iPhone for younger children is the Apple iPhone SE (2022).
No Face ID
Outdated, antiquated, or obsolete design.
Best Prices Today:
The price of the item is €498.00 at coolblue, €508.99 at digitalo.de, and €517.01 at OTTO.
If your child is in grade school and responsible enough to have their own phone, the ideal option is the iPhone SE. It boasts the powerful A15 processor found in the iPhone 13 lineup, ensuring excellent performance and longevity with software updates. The 4.7-inch screen is also compact and suitable for smaller hands and pockets. The iPhone SE is a reliable choice with all the necessary features, except for those that utilize the TrueDepth camera exclusive to higher-end iPhones equipped with Face ID, such as Memoji and Animoji.
One great aspect is its affordability (for an iPhone) at $429/£449. However, this price is for the 64GB model, which may quickly run out of storage if the child wants to download numerous games and content to watch. Upgrading to the 128GB model ($479/£499) can solve this issue, but it does increase the overall cost. Nonetheless, by sacrificing features like the all-screen Liquid Retina display and dual cameras, and opting for Touch ID instead of Face ID, the SE remains a more budget-friendly option compared to other iPhones. Additionally, since children are often rough on their possessions, even with a durable case and screen protector (highly recommended), it’s not advisable to entrust them with a $700 phone.
Honestly, we do not suggest the iPhone SE (2022) for adults (although it may be suitable for older individuals) as it may seem outdated and restrictive in today’s standards. However, for a child’s first experience with Apple products, it could be an excellent option.
Please take a look at our complete review of the Apple iPhone SE (2022).
The Apple iPhone 15 (128GB) is perfect for children who desire all the latest features and technology.
The new model is clearly stated by Dynamic Island.
There isn’t much new or different compared to the iPhone 14 and 13.
Price When Reviewed: €949
Best Prices Today:
939.99 euros at amazon.de
949.00 euros at büroshop24
949.00 euros at Media Markt Online Shop
Having the latest iPhone gives a certain status, which is not lost on kids. There are many more reasons to purchase the iPhone 15 compared to the iPhone 14 released in 2022. One of the major upgrades is the significantly improved camera with a 48MP capability. However, it is advisable not to use the highest resolution to avoid filling up the camera’s memory too quickly. The camera’s aperture has also been upgraded from ƒ/1.5 to ƒ/1.6. The new iPhone will be easily recognizable from the front due to the introduction of Dynamic Island, which is an evolution of the notch seen on the iPhone 14 Pro.
One of the major updates for 2023 is the switch to a USB-C port on the bottom of the iPhone 15-series. This could render some of your existing Lightning cables obsolete, but a USB-C to USB-C cable is included in the package. If you have USB-C adapters, this won’t be an issue and charging with USB-C is quicker than with Lightning (although the same was true for Lightning to USB-C).
There are no significant factors that would justify selecting an iPhone 15 over an iPhone 14 or 13. Given that the iPhone 13 is essentially the same as the iPhone 14, we suggest saving your money.
We suggest purchasing a case. Please refer to our list of the top iPhone 15 cases.
The iPhone 14 is the ideal choice for children who want to capture moments while on the go.
Video’s Action Mode
The iPhone 13 is similar in many ways.
Price When Reviewed: €999
Best Prices Today:
The price of €793.00 can be found on amazon.de, while büroshop24 offers it for €807.99 and myswooop.de has it for €808.00.
As mentioned earlier, the iPhone 14 closely resembles the iPhone 13 in specifications and design. However, there are certain features that are unique to the iPhone 14. One such feature is Action Mode, which is beneficial for aspiring videographers looking to capture footage while in motion. It ensures smooth video recording even while running.
The iPhone 14 offers a variety of color options, including blue, purple, midnight, starlight, and red. This sets it apart from the iPhone 13, which also had green and pink as choices. However, regardless of the color, it is recommended to use a sturdy case for your iPhone’s protection.
Please check out our complete review of the Apple iPhone 14.
The iPhone 13 mini is the most cost-effective option for children.
No longer available from Apple, making it more difficult to locate.
The battery’s longevity is not particularly impressive.
Best Prices Today:
The price is €709.00 on Proshop.de, €712.00 on coolblue, and €719.99 on amazon.de.
Unfortunately, Apple has stopped producing the iPhone 13 mini. However, if you are able to obtain one, it is a great option for young individuals with a petite build, as it is designed to fit comfortably in smaller hands.
The smaller version of the iPhone 13, the device has many similar features to its larger counterpart, such as the processor and dual rear cameras. Despite its compact size, Apple engineers were able to include a 5.4-inch display in the device, even smaller than the iPhone SE.
Please keep in mind that the iPhone 13 mini has a smaller size, which may result in shorter battery life. If you anticipate your child using it frequently, especially while on-the-go, we recommend considering a portable power bank to recharge the battery if it runs low. The iPhone 13 mini is compatible with MagSafe, so you can select one from our list of the top MagSafe portable battery packs and power banks.
Please take a moment to read our comprehensive review of the Apple iPhone 13 mini.
Purchase a pre-owned iPhone.
Our recommendation is to consider looking into the second-hand and refurbished market before purchasing any of the phones listed. Opting for a used or refurbished iPhone can result in significant cost savings.
To begin, visit Apple’s official Refurbished store for iPhones that have been returned due to defects or lack of interest. These devices, along with other products, are restored to their original condition and sold at a discounted price of approximately 15%.
Purchasing from the U.S. or U.K. Apple Refurbished Store offers several advantages, such as a one-year warranty for all products.
It is possible to come across a previous version of the iPhone that is no longer offered by Apple, like the iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 Pro, in their refurbished store.
However, Apple is not the sole retailer of refurbished iPhones. There are numerous companies that specialize in refurbishing and selling these devices. For further information, refer to our guide on where to purchase used and refurbished iPhones.
The market for refurbished older devices is expanding. It is important to review the refurbishment and return policies of these sellers before making a purchase. It is recommended to purchase more recent models of iPhones from these outlets, as some may offer outdated models. Refer to “How long does Apple support iPhones” for guidance on which handsets to avoid.
Sellers of restored iPhones in the United States.
Decluttr is a well-known choice for purchasing reconditioned devices, frequently offering discounted prices. Additionally, you have the option to exchange your old technology, gadgets, and media (such as books and CDs) for even greater savings.
The iOutlet on eBay provides affordable rates for reconditioned products and also allows for the trade-in of various items, including iPads, Apple Watches, and gaming consoles.
The primary advantage of the Amazon Renewed Store is that all purchases are covered by Amazon’s standard return policy. Additionally, the “Renewed Guarantee” allows for a refund or replacement within 1 year of receiving your product.
Unfortunately, Best Buy does not provide a lot of details about the condition of their pre-owned iPhones. However, if you receive an item that is unopened or has any defects, you have 14 days to return it.
Walmart does not directly offer refurbished iPhones for sale. Instead, they obtain them from other sellers. The return policies may differ between sellers, but there are certain minimum requirements that apply to all.
Sellers of renewed iPhones in the United Kingdom.
Music Magpie is the UK equivalent of Decluttr and is a great option for searching for used iPhones. You may come across discounted prices on sales.
The iOutlet, available on both its own website and eBay, offers competitive prices for reconditioned electronics and also accepts a variety of other devices, including iPads, Apple Watches, and gaming consoles.
The Amazon Renewed Store is only available for businesses to sell on, however, individuals can find a variety of options for purchasing a refurbished iPhone on Amazon Renewed. One major advantage is that all purchases are covered by Amazon’s standard returns policy, and the “Renewed Guarantee” allows for a refund or replacement within 1 year of product delivery.
Envirofone offers the option to exchange your old phone for money that can be put towards buying a refurbished one. However, their focus is primarily on phones, so you cannot trade in DVDs or books for cash.
4Gadgets provides a one-year warranty for all purchases made online.
Reworded: The company guarantees that their devices are thoroughly tested and in excellent working condition. They also offer a 12-month warranty with no questions asked.
Smartphone Store: Keep an eye out for the extra 10% discount available for students and young adults.
This website, Refurb-Phone, provides a 12-month warranty like many other sellers of refurbished items. However, what sets it apart is its unique policy of accepting returns within 14 days if you have a change of heart.
The Big Phone Store guarantees that their refurbished phones undergo a rigorous testing, repair, and cleaning process before being shipped out. They also provide a 12-month warranty as a testament to this claim.
Laptops Direct offers a 12-month warranty for both parts and labor. However, please be aware that their grading system may be a bit confusing. For instance, the label “A3” indicates that the laptop is in “Average” condition.
At Back Market, you have a 30-day window to reconsider your purchase and also receive a 12-month warranty, sometimes even longer.
Businesses such as musicMagpie (based in the UK), Decluttr (based in the US), Amazon, and eBay now offer this service. They also include one-year warranties and money-back guarantees in case you are not fully satisfied with your purchase. Choosing to buy older technology is not only beneficial for you, but it also helps the environment by preventing iPhones from being discarded into landfills, even though they still have the potential to function for many more years and bring joy to a child.
These products provide assurances, help you save money, and contribute to environmental conservation. What’s not to appreciate?
Transfer your previous iPhone to them.
Consider exchanging your current iPhone for a new one! If you have owned it for a long time, it may be past its contract period. However, if you purchased it outright, all you need to do is obtain a new SIM card for your child, give them your phone, and visit the Apple store to reward yourself for being a generous parent. If you are unsure of which iPhone to choose, our top iPhone recommendations can provide useful guidance.
Prior to giving your old iPhone to your child, it is important to properly set it up. Take a look at these five steps to complete before handing over an old iPhone or iPad to your child, including how to ready the device for sale and how to reset it. Additionally, learn how to enable parental controls on both iPad and iPhone.
Is it appropriate for children to have iPhones?
This is a complex issue with both positive and negative aspects. Every individual is unique. Some parents still restrict their children from watching TV or playing computer games. However, there are others who see no harm in introducing technology to their kids. And some parents simply need a brief break while running errands or traveling with their children. Surely giving children occasional access to a mobile phone will not hinder their growth and development.
One option is to give them your personal iPhone, but this comes with the potential risk of them accidentally sending inappropriate content to your boss. Alternatively, you could provide them with an older iPhone or iPad that can still be connected to your account, allowing them access to the apps you have already downloaded without any additional cost.
As children grow older, they may desire a phone that is considered more reputable. During this time, the potential dangers of owning a mobile phone become more apparent, particularly regarding their use of social media and its influence. It is important to understand Parental Controls and to ensure that your child is emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibilities and potential risks associated with this device. It is crucial to prevent them from becoming overly reliant on their phones.
The creator of Apple, Steve Jobs, was known for restricting his children’s use of technology. Perhaps we should learn from his example. Alternatively, we could acknowledge that our children are growing up in a tech-saturated world and accept that technology will be a significant part of their lives, whether we approve of it or not. Our focus should be on managing their access to it rather than completely prohibiting it.