Best mobile phone options for kids
EXCLUSIVE: Children as young as preschool age are being given mobile phones by their parents but many don't trust their kids from running up exorbitant bills.
As Christmas nears mobile phones will be a popular present choice for parents.
But new data from financial comparison site finder.com.au found many a majority of parents (71 per cent) are looking at prepaid plans to avoid their kids running up high costs.
Only 29 per cent of parents are considering signing up kids to a postpaid plan where the costs are tallied at the end of the month by the telco and a bill is issued.
Telstra Foundation's head Jackie Coates said it's not uncommon for "young preschool kids" to have their own device.
"It's a personal choice, it's up to parents on what they device they want," she said.
The finder data also found of children who have a smartphone many are getting a hand-me-down (42 per cent) and only 36 per cent get a new phone purchased outright.
About 17 per cent received a phone with a contract.
Father-of-two Jon Slade is looking to buy his Isabel, 10, a phone this Christmas.
"My daughter might get a phone to be a bit more independent and she'll be able to call her mum and dad," he said.
"We've chatted to her about her getting a phone, she's been asking to get one."
He said he still undecided if he will get her a brand new device and is likely to choose a "low-end plan."
Finder's tech spokesman Alex Kidman said kids can be rough with their possessions so buying them the best device isn't always best.
"There are plenty of entry-level devices that are very good between $300 and $400 and even some of the sub-$200 handsets are surprisingly decent."
But he warned: "Competition in the playground can often lead to kids not wanting to have a 'lesser' smartphone than their peers."
He suggested parents stick to prepaid plans to avoid bill shock.
Telstra also has a free mobile protect service for its users that can restrict how kids use their phones.
This includes blocking unwanted calls and texts, choosing web content that be accessed and managing outgoing calls.
BEST 3 DEVICES FOR KIDS
1. Nokia 1 $127
2. Nokia 2.1 $199
3. Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro $179
BEST 3 10GB MONTH-TO-MONTH NO-LOCK-IN PLANS
1. Pennytel large, $35.99 per month, on Telstra network.
2. Amaysim 4G, $30 per month, on Telstra network.
3. Moose 25, $25 per month, on Optus network.
*All include unlimited calls and text. Source: Finder.com.au.