10 Best Phones for Kids

Wally Nowinski
editor

Choosing the best phone for kids requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure safety, durability, and practicality. The operating system is a critical aspect, and in this context, iPhones are a preferred choice due to the heavily moderated and safer app store experience they offer for younger users. The Apple ecosystem provides various parental controls and restrictions, allowing parents to monitor and control the type of content and apps their children can access. This level of oversight and the quality of applications available make iPhones particularly appealing for parents concerned about their children's online safety and exposure to inappropriate content.

Regarding budget, targeting a price range of $400-600 is sensible when selecting an iPhone for a child. This budget range is ideal for purchasing an older model or a refurbished iPhone that still delivers excellent performance and reliability without the high cost of the latest models. Children, being prone to accidents, may drop or damage their phones, making a moderately priced iPhone a wise choice to mitigate the financial impact of replacements or repairs. Furthermore, battery life emerges as a paramount consideration. Long-lasting battery life ensures that the phone remains operational throughout the day, keeping children connected with their parents without frequent recharges. Given the potential conflict between various preferences, prioritizing battery life becomes essential, as it guarantees the phone's reliability for communication, especially in emergencies. This approach of balancing operating system safety, budget consciousness, and battery longevity offers a comprehensive strategy for selecting the best iPhone for kids, aligning with both parental concerns and the practical needs of younger users.

Our criteria for the best phone for kids:

  • Operating System: We limited the search to iPhones since the app store experience there is more heavily moderated and safer for kids.
  • Budget: We chose a medium budget of $400-600, which should cover an older or refurbished iPhone without shelling out top-dollar for something a kid is likely to drop.
  • Battery: We focused on phones with a long battery life. Most Important: If preferences conflicted, we said battery life was the most important factor.
To consider others factors, try the PerfectRec decision engine to get your personalized phone recommendation
Get your personalized recommendations

10 Best Phones for Kids

1
BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.7
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max comes at an upper midrange price offering 128GB of storage and runs on iOS. It features glass on the back and houses a hefty 4352mAh battery. The display is a 6.7-inch OLED screen without curved edges but with a high refresh rate for smoother visuals. Its screen delivers peak brightness for visibility even in bright conditions. The A15 processor paired with 6GB of RAM ensures top-notch performance. Camera capabilities are very good for both stills and videos, supporting HDR video and RAW output. It has a 12MP main camera as well as telephoto and ultrawide lenses. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is capable of 4K video recording and supports 5G connectivity. Note that it lacks a headphone jack, but offers NFC and dual SIM capabilities. If you're looking for high performance, excellent camera quality, and long battery life with premium screen features, this phone is a strong choice, albeit at a higher price point.
Pros
  • Large, high-quality OLED screen
  • High refresh rate for smooth visuals
  • Exceptional camera with RAW and HDR video
  • Long battery life
  • Solid build with water and dust resistance
Cons
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No SD card slot for expandable storage
  • No always-on display feature
  • Heavy compared to some other phones
2
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.1
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Fair
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 11 is a budget-friendly option with a glass body and an LCD screen measuring 6.1 inches. It runs on iOS and is powered by the A13 processor with 4GB of RAM. The iPhone 11 was released in September 2019 and offers 64GB of storage without the option to expand via SD card. Its battery capacity is decent, offering around 7 hours of life, and it supports wireless charging at 7.5 watts. The camera setup includes a 12-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, delivering fair photo and video quality. It is capable of recording 4K video at 60fps and does not support 5G. For security, it comes with Face Unlock but no fingerprint sensor. This model is also resistant to dust and water, and it charges through a Lightning port.
Pros
  • Released by trusted brand Apple
  • Runs on smooth iOS operating system
  • Decent battery life for normal use
  • Good enough camera for everyday photos
  • Supports wireless charging convenience
Cons
  • Lower screen resolution compared to competitors
  • Lacks always-on display feature
  • Camera may fall short for enthusiasts
  • No 5G capability for faster internet
3
BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.6
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 14 Plus comes with a high-end price tag and offers a large 6.7-inch OLED screen, which is great if you prefer a bigger display for streaming or gaming. It runs on iOS and has a strong glass build. You'll find a potent A15 chip inside, paired with ample storage for your apps and media. Camera capabilities are excellent, with a high-quality 12 MP main camera that supports advanced features like Dolby Vision video recording. The battery is robust, likely to last a full day on a single charge, and it supports wireless charging. However, if you're looking for a high refresh rate display, you should know this model is capped at 60Hz, which is lower than some competitors that offer smoother visuals. The phone lacks a headphone jack, which is common in newer smartphones, but it has a notably good sound system. For connectivity, it uses the proprietary Lightning port over the more widely used USB-C. Overall, if you're invested in the Apple ecosystem and prefer a larger screen and strong performance, this phone is a solid choice, though it comes at a premium price without some features found on competitors, like high refresh rate screens or USB-C ports.
Pros
  • Large 6.7-inch OLED screen
  • Excellent still photo and video quality
  • Long battery life up to 9.3 hours
  • Runs on the smooth iOS platform
  • Wireless charging capability
Cons
  • No high refresh rate display
  • No always-on display feature
  • Lacks a headphone jack
  • Maximum brightness could be higher
4
BEST RATING
Videos:
4.9
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Excellent
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is a high-end device with a premium price tag. It boasts a large 6.7-inch OLED display with a high refresh rate and always-on capability, providing excellent screen quality. Its A16 processor and 6 GB of RAM offer top-tier performance. The phone has a highly capable camera system, with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, all contributing to what is considered excellent overall camera quality, including best-in-class still photo and video capabilities. It has a substantial battery life and offers 5G connectivity, but doesn't come with a headphone jack and can't expand storage with an SD card. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is designed with a glass back, supports wireless charging, and is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, ensuring good durability. It operates on iOS and comes with a Lightning port for charging and data transfer. If you're looking for one of the best displays and cameras on a smartphone and are willing to invest in a premium device, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a strong choice.
Pros
  • Excellent camera photo quality
  • Outstanding camera video quality
  • Dependable battery life
  • Premium screen quality
  • Powerful A16 processor
Cons
  • No headphone jack
  • Lacks SD card slot
  • Higher price point
  • Heavier weight
5
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.9
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 comes at a premium price with glass body and an OLED display of 6.1 inches. It operates on iOS with an A16 processor and 6 GB of RAM. It offers best-in-class camera quality for both still photos and videos, supported by a main camera of 48 megapixels and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. There is no telephoto or periscope camera, but it can shoot 4K video at 60fps and 1080p video at 240fps. Its battery capacity is substantial and it is rated for up to 8 hours of life per charge. With 128 GB of storage, wireless charging capabilities, and resistance to dust and water, this phone doesn't support 3.5mm headphones but does have front-facing stereo speakers and NFC for contactless transactions. If the high cost is within your budget and you're looking for excellent camera performance and quality features, the iPhone 15 is a strong contender.
Pros
  • Excellent overall camera quality
  • Very good screen quality
  • Supports 5G connectivity
  • Fast wireless charging available
  • Best performance in class
Cons
  • No headphone jack
  • Does not support SD Card
  • No reverse wireless charging
  • Limited to 60Hz refresh rate
6
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.9
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 Plus comes with a premium price tag and is a high-end offering from Apple's 2023 lineup, released in September. It operates on iOS and features a glass back. The phone has a large battery and a 6.7-inch OLED screen without curved edges, offering a crisp viewing experience with high peak brightness, although it lacks a high refresh rate. The A16 processor and 6GB of RAM ensure top performance, while its 128GB storage is ample for most users. Camera enthusiasts would appreciate its excellent photo and video capabilities, with the main camera boasting a high megapixel count and additional features like RAW output and Dolby Vision for HDR video. The device supports 5G but omits a headphone jack and SD card slot. It is equipped with a USB-C port, offers great battery life, and is built to withstand dust and water exposure. If you value top-notch camera performance and a large screen in an iOS device and are not deterred by the high cost, the iPhone 15 Plus is an impressive choice.
Pros
  • Excellent still photo quality
  • Excellent video quality
  • Premium OLED display
  • Very good screen brightness
  • Powerful A16 processor
Cons
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No high refresh rate
  • No always-on display
  • Limited battery capacity
7
BEST RATING
Videos:
4.6
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro is a midrange-priced phone released in September 2021 that offers a balance between price and performance. It has a glass back, a 6.1-inch OLED display that does not curve at the edges, and supports high dynamic range video with Dolby Vision. The phone has a high refresh rate screen for smooth visuals, and a peak brightness good for outdoor use. Its A15 processor is paired with 6GB of RAM, providing strong performance, and the battery can last around 6.9 hours. The iPhone 13 Pro's camera system includes a 12MP main, telephoto, and ultrawide camera, delivering very good still photo and video quality with the option to shoot photos in RAW and HDR video. It lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack but supports 5G, has front-facing stereo speakers, and offers dual SIM capabilities. Additionally, it's equipped with Face Unlock, but doesn't have a fingerprint sensor, and is well protected against dust and water. The phone charges via a Lightning port and supports wireless charging, but does not have expandable storage via an SD card.
Pros
  • Excellent overall camera quality
  • Supports Dolby Vision HDR video
  • High screen refresh rate
  • Strong processor performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Doesn't support SD cards
  • No always-on display
  • No reverse wireless charging
8
BEST RATING
Overall Camera:
5.0
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Best in Class
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has a premium price and is a high-end smartphone featuring 256GB of storage, released in September 2023. It runs on iOS and the back is made of glass. The battery capacity is large, offering long hours of use before needing to recharge. It has a large 6.7-inch OLED screen with high resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals. Its camera system is top-of-the-line, with a main 48MP camera and additional 12MP ultrawide and telephoto lenses, supporting high-quality photo and video capture including 8K recording. The phone does not have a headphone jack but includes front-facing stereo speakers, 5G connectivity, NFC, and fast wireless charging capabilities. Additionally, it is water and dust-resistant, ensuring durability. This phone is best suited for users looking for the latest technology and best possible camera in a smartphone, prioritizing premium features and performance over cost.
Pros
  • Top-notch photo quality
  • Superb video capabilities
  • Long battery life
  • Bright and vivid OLED display
  • Fast A17 processor
Cons
  • Lacks 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No SD card slot
  • Expensive compared to rivals
  • Heavy at 7.8 ounces
9
BEST RATING
Videos:
4.4
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Good
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
If you're looking for a device with a solid camera, the Apple iPhone 13 is indeed a very capable choice, offering very good still photo and video quality. It doesn't feature the highest resolution screen around, but with its 6.1-inch OLED display, it provides very good screen quality. The battery life, rated for around 7.1 hours, may be a consideration if you need a phone that lasts longer on a single charge. It has an upper midrange price, and you'll get 128GB of storage with the base model, which should be ample for most users. Its processor should ensure smooth performance, and it comes with iOS as the operating system. Keep in mind, there's no 3.5mm headphone jack or high refresh rate display, and it supports 5G connectivity.
Pros
  • Excellent still photo quality
  • Robust video recording features
  • Long battery life
  • Durable design with water resistance
  • Strong A15 processor performance
Cons
  • No high refresh rate display
  • Lacks periscope and macro cameras
  • Doesn't include headphone jack
  • No reverse wireless charging
10
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.3
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Good
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 12 offers a good balance between price and features, with a midrange cost and adequate storage. Launched in 2020, it operates on iOS with a glass body and houses a 2815 mAh battery. The 6.1-inch OLED screen provides clear visuals with very good screen quality but lacks a high refresh rate, sticking to the standard 60Hz. Camera performance is good for both stills and video, supporting HDR video with Dolby Vision, and the main camera has 12 megapixels. Notably, the iPhone 12 does not have a headphone jack or expandable SD card storage but is equipped with 5G capabilities, wireless charging, and is water-resistant.
Pros
  • Good still photo quality
  • Good video recording quality
  • Supports Dolby Vision HDR video
  • High-quality OLED display
  • Robust A14 processor
Cons
  • Moderate battery capacity
  • No high refresh rate screen
  • Limited to 60fps at 4K video
  • No SD card expansion