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  1.    #1  
    Hi,
    I promised my son a phone after he finished 5th grade... He has an iTouch (made sure it could be locked down before I bought it).

    My requirements are:
    1. good phone, preferably GSM (though see below)
    2. text/email
    3. no games, or easily controlled
    4. no web browser or youtube, or easily controlled/removed

    What would be nice:
    1. cheap plans. I'm on Sprint, and have Verizon for TV/internet, but would prefer a GSM phone, though that isn't a deal breaker. Pay as you go would be great.
    2. wifi hot spot (I can control the iTouch, but want to allow it when I'm there).
    3. some kind of student planner/agenda
    4. google calendar sync.
    5. gps/maps

    So a blackberry or nokia feature phone would come close, though I'm not sure I can disable the web on either.

    I could hack up WebOS, but would prefer something out-of-the-box.
    KA1
    Visor Deluxe->Visor Prism/Digital Link->Treo 650->Treo 700p->Pre->GSM Unlocked Pre 2 (wifi only)->FrankenPre + Touchpad 32 ->+ Touchpad 4G ATT + ATT Pre3 + 64 White Touchpad... bliss.
  2. #2  
    if you like the control you have on iOS, get him a 3gs or the iP4.

    with webOS, dont give him the appcat password and you can control his game usage. I'm fairly certain with some patches you could remove youtube or browser (someone verify?)
  3. #3  
    I thin that is too young for a phone. Sorry.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Garage91 View Post
    I'm fairly certain with some patches you could remove youtube or browser (someone verify?)
    It would be easy to hide the icons on WebOS. But it would be easy to bypass with email. All he would need is a link to launch the browser and youtube app. Same if not bigger issues with an iphone or Droid.

    Sounds like a dumb phone with a keyboard for texting may be your safest option.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    I thin that is too young for a phone. Sorry.
    +1 Sorry, I have to agree here. It'd be different if we were talking high school or even 8th grade.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevesrjr86 View Post
    +1 Sorry, I have to agree here. It'd be different if we were talking high school or even 8th grade.
    Assume the age battle has already been decided (lost? lol).

    And no, I'm not going to get him an iPhone, after I just bought him an iTouch.

    Any suggestions about particular dumb phones, or carriers/plans? pay as you go?
    KA1
    Visor Deluxe->Visor Prism/Digital Link->Treo 650->Treo 700p->Pre->GSM Unlocked Pre 2 (wifi only)->FrankenPre + Touchpad 32 ->+ Touchpad 4G ATT + ATT Pre3 + 64 White Touchpad... bliss.
  7. #7  
    What does the kid have to strive for? Phone for making it through elementary school. A car for getting through middle school. A condo in the city for getting through highschool. and then what ? A Gulfstream jet and a seat on the board of Daddy's company for finishing college?

    Seriously, how is this kid going to survive on his own as an adult?
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    What does the kid have to strive for? Phone for making it through elementary school. A car for getting through middle school. A condo in the city for getting through highschool. and then what ? A Gulfstream jet and a seat on the board of Daddy's company for finishing college?

    Seriously, how is this kid going to survive on his own as an adult?
    My daughter is 12 and she's getting a Pre Plus. Mind you she's getting it on Pageplus and will have to pay her own way, data is prohibitively expensive and she'll have access to wifi at home (openDNS).

    Every parent has their own scheme of motivations and their own permitted devices etc. Let's try to keep this about helping the guy with the question and avoid turning this into "What a bad parenting decision you've made..."
  9. #9  
    I can only laugh at the folks who believe there is a set age where phones become appropriate. 1) no 2 kids are the same 2) Times have changed.

    I understand there is a certain amount of fear, because there are no precedents for this kind of thing. technology has never been this readily available. But raising a child now is not the same as it was when you were a child. Its a completely different world. You might argue that it has changed for the worst... and your parents probably said the same thing when you were coming up.
  10. #10  
    My daughter is only 16 months and she has a phone, although she can only call Elmo and Big Bird so I'm not out to much just 10 dollars up front.............


    Now with your dumb phone there are many options that are out there and if you are going the pre pay route they are all the same in reality it's just a matter of some being cheaper than others, you will have to study the plans that they come with and decide what is best for your child. Like I wouldn't worry about a plan that has free nights as the kid is likely not going to be taking advantage of that. Granted with the dumb phone you are going to lose google sync and an agenda so you are going to be weighing your different options.

    If you have WiFi at home and you don't want the child using data, you could attempt to put a data block on the phone after it's activated this will keep any data from going through. Some phones will allow you to change the data connection address so that it won't be able to connect to the data server and will always error out and not use data.
    Ex HP webOS Tech Support

    5Ts: Five ways to get your webOS tablet working again: http://www.hpwebos.com/5Ts

    6Ts: Six ways to get your webOS phone working again: http://www.hpwebos.com/6Ts
  11. #11  
    It's the email requirement that opens a Pandora's box. Any chance he can do without the email? Email means data, and data means $$ and the potential for unsupervised access, no matter how locked down the device is. I'd say skip the email and get him a texting phone without a data plan. Plenty of prepaid choices out there, but I'd probably start with Virgin Mobile.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  12. #12  
    A nice dumbphone is the LG VX8300 for $40 on amazon.com. Activate it on pageplusdealer.com with a cheap plan.
  13. #13  
    A phone makes it easier to contact the kid, plus with the GPS on, there is small possibility if something happens one would know where your kid is. My 9 year old nephew inherited his dads IP 3GS. It is kind of nice, when my dog died, he was close to him, I could call and text him. Plus he likes to text me, which makes me feel good being far away.
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  14. #14  
    Cell phones for kids without GPS






    The Disney D100 is a quadband GSM phone with Mickey Mouse-shaped answer and reject buttons. The phone has parental control that let you prevent changes to the phone or limiting the call times and also disallowing the phone from ringing during school hours. The phone supports both 12 and 4 button keypads and features conventional parental controls. The internal phonebook can be set up to 20 contact numbers. Calls and messages may only be made to, or received from the contact numbers held within the phonebook.

    Disney has ended its cell-phone service at the end of 2007.


    Firefly Mobile's Firefly was the first cell phone for tweens (8-12 year olds). It has only five buttons. There are speed-dial keys to call mom, dad, and 911, plus on/off and a menu button. Parents can program up to 20 additional phone numbers through the menu. A parent can also limit received phone calls to those listed in the phone book. Firefly is a GSM phone for the 850/1900 MHz band. The company will release a GSM 900/1800 MHz version for Europe, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. In the US it is available in three ways: Cingular Wireless Contract, OPEX Wireless no contract plan, and Prepaid.


    Enfora's TicTalk lets parents authorize certain numbers to call in and dial out. Parents can also control how and when the phone is used. The TicTalk looks and functions more like a walkie-talkie than a standard cell phone. It lacks a keypad and is equipped with a monochrome LCD screen showing caller ID, the time, and remaining battery life. To place a call, kids navigate an on-screen menu to choose from a list of authorized phone numbers. A scrolling button on the right side of the handset controls navigation. To get service on the unit, parents must buy a prepaid Enfora SIM card. Activation is free. Parents can set a limit on the number of minutes their child can use in a given time period. TicTalk works on a GSM network and is preloaded with five educational games from LeapFrog.


    The Buddy Bear Phone is a simplified GSM handset aimed at children in the 3-10 years old range. The Buddy Bear can only dial four pre-programmed numbers, or send a pre-programmed SMS message to four different recipients. There is a SOS button on either side of the bear's head. For added cuteness, LEDs flash in the bear's ears when it receives a call. There's no screen on the Buddy Bear which reduces cost and is one less thing to break. The Buddy Bear can be remotely controlled by parents who can block the phone with a PIN number if it is lost or stolen. It can also be turned into a remote baby monitor, so parents can listen to what is going on in their handset's vicinity without their child knowing. Parents can also remotely control the Buddy Bear's settings and will get an SMS if the handset gets a low battery. The phone is either remotely programmed from another mobile handset or via the USB cable. Buddy Bear's distributors also say that the handset has a very low SAR rating and is paint-free for added safety.


    The Barbie My Scene cell phone, created by Mattel and Single Touch Interactive, is a Nokia 3587i with the option of three different faceplates, exclusive Barbie ringtones and wallpapers and prepaid wireless service.

    Cell phones for kids with incorporated GPS receiver






    From Eazytrack comes the OWL Phone, a pay-as-you-go mobile phone for children that doubles as a location device. For the location service, Eazytrack lets parents log on to Eazytrack's web site to locate their children's phone. Alternatively, parents can use their own mobile to request a map locating the child's OWL phone which is then sent directly to their own mobile. The OWL phone can dial just five numbers (pre-programmed by the buyer) and comes with a pay-as-you-go SIM card.


    Verizon's Migo, developed by LG as the VX1000, is a little, rounded green phone that looks a little like a bug. Two little stubby antennas stick out of the top: one is for Verizon's network and one is for forthcoming GPS services. Aimed at the 5-10-year-old age range, it has five buttons; four speed dials and an emergency button; and a two-line text-only display. It doesn't handle text messages or play games. It just calls a few numbers that you program into the phone (and receives calls from anyone). The phone prevents you from accidentally dialing numbers by requiring two key-presses for each call. To dial the emergency number, you must hold down the call button for several seconds.

    Verizon Wireless plans to launch a child-tracking service called Verizon Chaperone for parents in May 2006. The Migo will be used with this service. Chaperone will have three options that a parent can choose for the service: "always track", "ask to track" and "deny tracking service". Different options can also be set to coincide with days of the week or times of the day.


    The iKids GPS phone is a 8cm long, pre-teen phone (for ages four and above) which can only dial four numbers via dedicated buttons. An emergency button dials each of the four pre-set numbers in turn until one is answered. It can receive SMS messages, but can not send them. It has a built-in GPS receiver, which remains working even when the phone is turned off. Parents can select three 'safety zones', areas where their children are allowed to play. If they wander off to another area, parents receive an SMS message. They can also look up the child's whereabouts on a virtual map through a secure website or from their own mobile phone. The iKids phone emits only very low levels of radiation, far less than conventional mobiles designed for adults and far below EU safety recommendations.


    Hop-on's Chitter Chatter kid's phone was designed to empower kids and parents with both phone and LBS tracking capabilities. The Track-Me! Feature allows the user to send the address of his/her location to their parents' cell phones via a SMS message. Parents can also track their children by sending an SMS message to their child's phone. The parents will receive the address of the child's location. The location can also be tracked over the Internet. Hop-on's Chitter Chatter kids phone will let kids and parents talk from anywhere so they will not lose contact. The kid-friendly cell phone was designed with a form factor as small as a watch and can be worn at all times. Kids can easily contact parents using the Mom, Dad and Home speed-dial keys. Parents can also control who can call the phone and whom their kids can call using 7 parent-programmed numbers.


    Wherify's Wherifone is the world's smallest GSM/Enhanced-GPS Locator Phone and provides a totally unique and affordable way for families with pre-teens, seniors, mobile workers, or those with special medical needs, to stay connected and in contact with each other. As well as two-way voice calling, the Wherifone features Enhanced-GPS location technology that lets it be located in lightly obstructed areas, such as many types of wood frame buildings and vehicles, and under dense foliage. The Wherifone gives a child or adult carrying it a new level of security knowing they can stay connected to friends, family and colleagues, and request an emergency response at the touch of a button. The Wherifone provides affordable peace-of-mind to the modern mobile family. The slim, small and lightweight Tri-Band GSM cell phone (900/1800/1900 and 850/1800/1900) weighs under 70 grams and features incoming and outgoing calling, five programmable buttons for one touch dialing, a headset jack, and a backlit LCD display. The cell phone is supported by a Location Service Center, which can be accessed 24 X 7, by telephone or the Internet to locate and plot a device's position on both street maps and aerial photographs. The Wherifone is a great "First Phone" for pre-teens. The small, compact design is a perfect fit for kids, and comes in a variety of great colors that will make them the envy of the neighborhood. The phone's five pre-programmable buttons let kids stay in touch with close family and friends, or summon help with one-touch dialing -- while letting parents manage outbound call costs. The Wherifone's Enhanced GPS location technology also lets parents, caregivers and safety officials quickly locate a child in need of help, bringing peace-of-mind and added safety to the mobile family.


    Kajeet, the cell phone service made for kids, announced a new GPS Phone Locator service to help both kids and parents find the kajeet phone. This makes kajeet the only pre-paid operator to offer a GPS phone locator to both parents and kids. The kajeet GPS Phone Locator uses satellite technology to help find your child‚€™s phone and gives subscribing families easy-to-use information regarding the location of their kajeet phone via Web-based maps. Parents can schedule automatic location checks at specific times of the day, so they know where their kid‚€™s kajeet phone is at any given time ‚€“ whether the phone is in their child‚€™s backpack on the school bus or in their sports bag at soccer practice. Kids can also use the service to help find their phone, addressing another concern of parents and kids who want to find a misplaced kajeet phone. Powered by WaveMarket‚€™s location-based services, the kajeet GPS Phone Locator is the latest arrival to the portfolio of customizable features that kajeet offers
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  15. #15  
    Also: Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says - NYTimes.com
    A World Health Organization panel has concluded that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic,’’ putting the popular devices in the same category as certain dry cleaning chemicals and pesticides, as a potential threat to human health.
    Which means you should give up cell phone before your kid does, anyway they only text, no phone calls now - a days....

    Sorry just trying to give OP information, both cons and pros.
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  16. #16  
    I teach a 6th and 7th grade confirmation class of about 20. One girl did not have a smartphone this past year. This is a farm town, not rich and these are 11, 12, and 13 year olds.

    They are all in soccer, band, dance, gymnastics, track, basketball, volleyball, baseball, football, softball, choir, and so much more. All but 6 are on traveling teams as well.

    They text for pickups as they are coming home. They text if practice has been canceled today. They text if practice is ending early or will run late tonight, rain delays, and rainouts.

    When I was a kid, there were no traveling teams in our area. There weren't back-to-back camps all summer for every sport. We played in the yard, drank water from the hose, shared cans of pop, and rode in the back of pickups. But that was in a galaxy far, far, away.

    Don't even think that a dumbphone will last two months.

    If you are on Sprint, have you considered the Replenish? It is free at Best Buy and has no monthly data fee, just the normal added line fee a dumbphone has. It is the Pixi form-factor so is very durable. He might like Artic Blue. The solar charger back is perfect for all-day tournaments.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by HardBeatZ View Post
    If you have WiFi at home and you don't want the child using data, you could attempt to put a data block on the phone after it's activated this will keep any data from going through. Some phones will allow you to change the data connection address so that it won't be able to connect to the data server and will always error out and not use data.

    Can you provide info on how to do this with Palm Pre Plus?
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by kkhanmd View Post
    Also: Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says - NYTimes.com


    Which means you should give up cell phone before your kid does, anyway they only text, no phone calls now - a days....

    Sorry just trying to give OP information, both cons and pros.

    On the flip side there is not a lot of compelling evidence to point to problems - only a lot of uncertainty and doubt. Let's not derail the conversation - (me included) - parents should weigh this like all the other factors.
  19. sjaakb's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    I thin that is too young for a phone. Sorry.
    Hey......... Rubenstein's 9 year olds have Veers.......... ;-)
  20. #20  
    try tracfone. Minutes "rollover", phones are decent, and most phones double your minutes. Aircards are cheap.
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