Not-smart phone for a kid?
Kid wants a phone. I've said no in the past, but he's getting old enough to wander farther from the house, so I'm more open to it now just for the safety and hoverdad factors.
Since you seem to be able to ask anything on Qt3, I figured I'd see if any of y'all had any ideas.
I don't want to pay for a smartphone plan for him (and I don't want him to have unfettered Internet access at 9), so an iPhone/WP8/Android phone isn't an option. (AT&T forces a smartphone plan on you if you have a data-capable phone.)
So, anyone know of a GSM dumbphone that includes a kid-tracking feature?
Not sure about tracking, but you should definitely avoid the Samsung Intercept from Sprint. Got it as a cheap phone for my daughter when she turned 12. What a lemon. We had to have the phone completely replaced at least 6 times due to system failures - stopped texting, wouldn't turn off, etc. Finally paid extra to upgrade to an iphone earlier this year so that she could finally have something reliable - and she had displayed decent responsibility with her previous phone. Much better now.
Just a reminder that free isn't always inexpensive ;)
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Aren't there parental controls on smartphones? Maybe not yet, huh? WinPhone8 could sure use some, since we have the exact same dilemma....
Our kids' plan is up for renew and we're trying to figure out the same thing. They had the Pantech, which was one of the freebie ATT phones. While it didn't have any hardware failures, I have always struggled to do much of anything with it, including turning it off. The kids don't seem to mind it. I wanted to get them some non-smart phone that might hold off their iPhone cravings for a little longer. My kids are 14, and I don't mind them having Internet access, but I don't want to spend for a data plan.
I wish you could get an iPhone with only Wifi data access and texting, but this is dissallowed by ATT. When I went into the store to dicuss, the lady told me it was an FCC rule, which I find hard to swallow. Really? The FCC mandates that you have to have an expensive ass data plan to go with your smart phone. Sheesh!
Ah, meant to add, you can get a 3GS for .99 cents (at renewal time) at AT&T! My kids would love it.
Kyocera. We've had 3 phones from them over the years, all for one child or another. The latest we've purchased is the Kyocera Duracore for my 9 year old daughter. She's got a severely limited plan (so, no texting with her friends) as it's just for emergencies.
Nokia were (at one point) the kings of feature phones. Maybe that?
I didn't allow my kids to have a phone until they were in sixth grade, and they only got simple flip phones. This was three years ago for my son (now 14) and five for my daughter (now 16). Smart phones then were sort of a fad, not a common device, my kids were thrilled when I gave them phones with a slideout qwerty keyboard. Fast forward to today...we all have iPhones, and I sort of feel sad when I see their friends using old school phones. You might as well get your kid a basic smart phone, be it a last gen iPhone or some Android thingamabob. Have you looked at the new ATT data plans? I'm going to look into their new shared data plans myself, it might make sense for my family, heavy data usage for my wife and myself, almost none for my kids because I won't let them use their phones for data much without wifi.
Data plans are per phone, not per family, I'm pretty sure. So you can't just get one unlimitted and let everyone use it.
How can you do this? Unless everyone gets an unlimitted data plan, there are almost sure to be expensive overages. I know my kids hit Youtube for hours on end. If they do an innocnet screw up and use data instead of wife one time, it's going to hurt.
Originally Posted by robsam
My kids know they better not be surfing the web unless they see the little wifi symbol on their phone, with rare exceptions. I have actually been praised by ATT customer reps for having the same bill three months in a row with two teenagers on the plan.
Edit:Tim, ATT and Verizon are now introducing "Shared Data Plans", where you pay for x amount of bandwith to be shared with all devices on your account. I can't decide if it will help me or not, still trying to figure out the numbers.
Thanks, folks! As far as shared data plans go, I have grandfathered unlimited on my wife's and my iPhones, so I don't want to do anything that will mess those up.
I'm looking into whether I can block data on the line if I get him an old iPhone...
If you can, let me know. That might be just the ticket for our house!
Originally Posted by DennyA
You should be able too. I have used that feature on Sprint in the past as punishment for my daughter's misbehavior - always effective to hit 'em where it hurts.
Originally Posted by DennyA
With regards to Data on a smart phone. You could go into the settings and delete the APN. On an Android this should just be in the settings. I am not sure about iPhone but this page might be accurate: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4839
The APN settings are basically the 'Internet Connection Settings'. If you remove them or set them to something invalid "example.com" then the phone will fail to get any data connection. Obviously your child could google and add the APN settings back in but removing them would stop accidental data charges (wifi will still work)
Also note: (at least in Canada) you should be able to puchase an unlocked older iphone/android and a basic gsm plan. Put the sim into the smart phone. Delete the APN. Now you have a voice/text basic plan on a smart phone with just wifi access. (if your child adds the APN back in manually you will probably get a month of very high data charges)
Just to confirm your suspicions, this is not an FCC rule. The FCC says diddly squat about what you have to buy with a phone -- in fact, they're all for you being able to connect any damn device you can to any network. This is purely a carrier issue.
Originally Posted by TimElhajj
Ha! I figured as much and appreciate confirmation.
Originally Posted by Aleck
Before I renew with ATT, I plan to scope out the rest of the carriers and see if I can't get a deal more suitable to my family's needs. I really liked Sprint and only switched to ATT for a sexy iPhone. I'm pretty sure Sprint carries iPhones now, but I'm not wedded to any particular carrier.
If nothing else, meta's fine suggestion regarding the APN setting also sounds like a winner, albeit a bit of a hassle.