It’s coming up to the time of year when parents start to sneak a look at their kids wishlists to Santa Claus and undoubtedly a smartphone will be on a lot of those lists. For older kids it’s likely that they will want one of the top-end phones on the market for Christmas such as the Apple iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3 but younger children will not necessarily appreciate something quite so flashy and you might want to get a phone for them that you can regulate use of in different ways.
We recently told of a survey about the most wanted electronic gifts for Christmas and the iPhone was fifth most wanted gift according to kids in the US between the ages of 6 and 12. The iPhone 5 is incredibly popular with all age groups and we’ll give you a brief rundown of what it offers. We’ll also give you some details of the most popular Android alternative, the Samsung Galaxy S3 (S III). For some more of the best new phones for the holiday season you may also want to check our best smartphone choices post at the link.
The iPhone 5 is available from carriers worldwide so is likely to be selling in huge numbers this Christmas but of course Santa Claus will have his own stock that some lucky children may receive. This phone has the A6 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4-inch display, 1GB of RAM and comes in three storage versions, 16, 32 and a whopping 64GBs. For budding photographers there’s also an 8-megapixel camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and the latest iPhone is also 4G LTE-equipped (certain regions). It all runs on the iOS 6 operating system.
Of course the Android platform is vast and there’s a huge choice available but the Galaxy S3 is the biggest hit of them all and is also available on carriers worldwide. No doubt Santa will also have plenty of the Galaxy S3 for some lucky recipients. This phone has a quad-core or dual-core processor (depending on region), 4.8-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and also storage options starting from 16GB (varies by region). Again the camera set-up is very decent with an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, 4G LTE connectivity (certain regions) and it released on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, upgradable to Jelly Bean.
What about if your child is younger though, and doesn’t need or desire a high-end phone or maybe you’re having difficulty deciding if they’re old enough to have their own cell phone? First off there are certain Internet sites such as Kajeet who specialize in smartphones for kids. Services such as this can make it easier to protect your kids by preventing unsafe web access, can find your kids with GPS and send you alerts, block unwanted calls and also allow parental control such as setting time limits. Phones are available for sale but some sites also allow you to bring your own phone and activate it with their own plan.
As for whether they’re the right age to own their own smartphone we recently posted an article about the pros and cons of allowing your kids to have a phone giving some commonsense tips and guidance for setting some basic safety rules and times for when it can and can’t be used. One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is that there’s no ‘perfect’ age for when kids are ready, it depends on the child and parents are often the best judge of what their children are ready for.
Also if you’ve decided to take the plunge but are still unsure if you’ve done the right thing, then why not let them use it only in your presence at first, until you’re happy that they are responsible enough. Hopefully this will give you plenty of food for thought about kids smartphone wish lists and we’re sure that Santa will be heading to many homes over the holiday dropping off plenty of little packages.
Tell us your thoughts on kids having smartphones on their Christmas wish lists. Are you happy for your kid to have one of the most in-demand top smartphones? Maybe you feel there should be a limit to what sort of phone you let a child have? Have you any good tips on this to share with other parents? Let us have your comments.