Best Mobile Phones for Kids in Australia

The best mobile phones for kids range from feature limited to feature-rich. Here’s our pick of the best.
Best overall
Motorola Moto E7 Power
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to three days battery
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Triple-lens camera
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    Affordable price
Best budget
Nokia 225 4G
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Epic battery life
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Durable design
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Basic smart features only
Best feature phone
Optus X Lite 4G
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Week-long battery life
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Durable design
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Feature phone only
Best for tweens
Realme C21
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Generous screen size
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Good battery life
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Solid first smartphone
Best for teens
Oppo A54s
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Decent camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Dependable battery life
  • Icon Pros  Light
    The price is right

There’s no point fighting it. Sooner or later, your kid is going to want a phone. Starting out, you can get away with a feature phone (read: “dumb phone”) that doesn’t have internet connectivity but does have great durability and battery life. Alternatively, opt for a kids' wearable like the Spacetalk Adventurer 4G or bridge the gap between physical buttons and a decent-sized screen with something like the Opel Mobile SmartFlip 4G.

And when they reach smartphone age, the Motorola Moto E7 Power is our pick thanks to a great mix of a great price, decent performance, fantastic battery life, and some okay front-and-rear cameras.



Compare the best phones for kids

Product
Outright price
Screen size
Battery life
Smart features
Learn more
Best overall
Motorola E7 Power
6.5 inchesOver two daysFull
Best budget
Nokia 225 4G
2.4 inchesUp to 24 daysPartial
Best feature phone
Optus X Lite 4G
2.4 inchesUp to seven daysNone
Best for tweens
Realme C21
6.5 inchesUp to two daysFull
Best for teens
OPPO A54s
6.5 inchesUp to two daysFull

Prices are accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

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Pro tip
When shopping for a mobile phone for your kid, keep an eye out for these terms and features:
  • Smartphone: This is a phone with internet connectivity, which can use apps.
  • Feature phone: Also called a “dumb phone”, this is a phone without internet connectivity.
  • Battery life: One day is standard, but up to two days (or beyond) is better.
  • MicroSD: A cheap storage expansion option.
  • Ingress Protection: An IP rating determines how waterproof and dustproof a phone is.
  • Durability: Plastic backing is fine for durability, but we strongly recommend investing in a case for any smartphone.
  • Network locked: Certain handsets are locked to a particular network provider, which means they need to be unlocked if you want to shift networks.

1. Motorola E7 Power: Best overall phone for kids

Best overall
Motorola E7 Power
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$159

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you want a smartphone for your kid (regardless of their age), the Motorola Moto E7 Power is a good place to start. The battery life is great, the performance is okay, and the price is most definitely right.

It should keep most kids happy as a first phone, even if they’ll appreciate something a bit speedier down the track when they get into app multitasking.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet More than two days battery life
Pro Bullet USB-C charging
Pro Bullet Great bang-for-buck value
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Multitasking performance lag
Con Bullet Cheap-feeling plastic back
Con Bullet Below-average RAM

While the plastic back of the Moto E7 Power doesn’t feel as great as the glass or aluminium backs of pricier flagship smartphones, your kid shouldn’t have to worry too much about cracks or scratches with this phone. Granted, every new phone should go in a case, if only to better protect the all-important touchscreen.

The other bit on the back of the handset we like is a triple-camera stack, which offers good versatility for budding smartphone photographers. Performance-wise, the Moto E7 Power isn’t the speediest, but it’s fast enough for a first smartphone user who isn’t into multitasking.

What we really like about the Moto E7 Power is its 5,000mAh battery capacity. This translates to more than two days of regular use which, importantly, means your child is more likely to be contactable even if they forget to recharge overnight.

You can buy the Moto E7 Power outright for comfortably under $200, then pair it with a cheap prepaid mobile plan (like one of the popular picks below).

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Online safety considerations

Smartphones tend to include great features, such as a GPS, which is useful for tracking a lost device (or AWOL child). But whenever a device has internet connectivity added to its functionality, it also increases the risk of exposure to some of the nastier sides of the World Wide Web. There is a chance that all smartphones sold in Australia could have parental controls added in the future, but there’s also a range of smartphone apps that are useful for parental controls
when it comes to younger smartphone users.

2. Nokia 225 4G: Best budget phone for kids

Best budget
Nokia 225 4G
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$77.96

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Nokia 225 4G is to the next generation what the Nokia 3310 was to the original generation or prepaid mobile phone wielders: namely, a phone with a durable design and epic battery life. While it has basic smart features, the Nokia 225 4G is mostly about calling and texting than anything else.

This focus on basic functionality over smarter features also means no Wi-Fi, plus the camera is only good for very basic photography.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Epic battery life
Pro Bullet Durable design
Pro Bullet Some smart features
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No Wi-Fi
Con Bullet Average camera
Con Bullet Small screen

While there are some great parental control apps out there, another way to not have to worry about them at all is to get a kid-friendly phone that minimises the smart functionality. The Nokia 225 4G isn’t quite a feature phone, but it is a cheap way to stay in touch with your kids.

It’s best treated as a good choice for a first phone, alongside the Optus X Lite 4G below, intended for calls and texts only. The 2.4-inch screen and physical buttons are a good match for young eyes and smaller digits, plus the Nokia 225 4G boasts up to 24 days of standby battery life.

For homes with multiple kids, the Nokia 225 4G has a replaceable battery, which means it can be paid forward to younger siblings (assuming it’s unlocked). It’s a lightweight handset that’s easy to use, too.

Given the minimal data connectivity, you can pair it with a cheaper prepaid mobile plan. Check out some popular picks below.

3. Optus X Lite 4G: Best feature phone for kids

Best feature phone
Optus X Lite 4G
Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
$49

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Optus X Lite 4G is a network-locked feature phone that’s a cost-effective entry into the world of mobile phones. As a feature phone, there’s no internet connectivity or apps, which means it’s useful exclusively for calls and texts.

That does mean limited functionality, though, and you might have to pay extra or source unlock codes if you want to shift away from Optus.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Week-long battery life
Pro Bullet Durable design
Pro Bullet Safe from smart features
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No smarts means limited functionality
Con Bullet Locked to the Optus network
Con Bullet Small screen

We don’t particularly mind that the Optus X Lite 4G is locked to the Optus network by default, given the network’s reach (wider than Vodafone) and competitive pricing (compared to Telstra). The fact it’s a 4G handset also means there’s future-proofing, given that 3G is being phased out in Australia.

By far the biggest selling point for the Optus X Lite 4G, though, is it has standby battery life for up to seven days. Pair that with a removable battery, and the future-proofing improves a couple of notches.

As you’d expect from entry-level pricing, the Optus X Lite 4G does have limited functionality, but the physical buttons and 2.4-inch display are a great starting place for kids.

You’ll need to pair the Optus X Lite 4G with an Optus plan, and you can see some of the popular prepaid options below.

4. Realme C21: Best mobile phone for tweens

Best for tweens
Realme C21
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$149

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

As kids start to get closer to high school, there’s a good chance they’ll have outgrown a feature phone and will want a smartphone. This is where the Realme C21 steps in as a great first smartphone, thanks to respectable battery life and a big screen.

It’s not the speediest of smartphones, so multitasking in particular can be challenging, plus the cameras aren’t anything to write home about.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Generous screen size
Pro Bullet Two-day battery life
Pro Bullet Good first smartphone
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Performance lag
Con Bullet Camera isn't great
Con Bullet Not great for gaming

We like that you can get a decent smartphone in the Realme C21 for under $200. This makes it a good choice for your tween’s first foray into the land of smartphones. Expect decent performance except for busy multitaskers, and a generously sized 6.5-inch display.

The two-day battery life means the Realme C21 can leave home at around half capacity and make it through the day. While the camera will struggle to compete with more expensive competitors, the triple-lens stack on the back and selfie cam on the front make for decent photographic results.

We also like that storage upgrades are a MicroSD card away. Your kid shouldn’t expect the best gaming performance from the Realme C21, but that might not be the worst thing.

Consider pairing the Realme C21 with one of the popular prepaid plans below.

5. Oppo A54s: Best mobile phones for teens

Best for teens
Oppo A54s
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$299

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

With a high-school age kid who’s yet to discover the ‘joys’ of part-time work, the Oppo A54s is a step up from the Realme C21 for about $100 more. That price nets you a fully-featured smartphone with a decent camera and solid battery life.

The lack of water or dust resistance does mean you’ll want to pair the Oppo A54s with a decent case.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Decent camera
Pro Bullet Dependable battery
Pro Bullet USB-C charging
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Step down refresh rate
Con Bullet Performance lag when multitasking
Con Bullet No water or dust resistance

It’s a shame that the Oppo A54s has ditched the 90Hz refresh rate of its predecessor for a standard 60Hz, but that’s not enough to tarnish the A54s as a recommendable smartphone upgrade. For starters, your kid should appreciate the decent photographic results.

Importantly, like the other phones on this page, the Oppo A54s has great battery life, measuring in at up to two days. We also like that it comes with USB-C charging, which is more likely to be compatible with other smartphones and smart devices in the home.

Too much multitasking leads to some noticeable performance lag, but that’s true of most phones at this price point.

Pair the Oppo A54s with a prepaid plan, like one of the popular picks below.

Final word

According to ACMA research, just under half of kids aged 6 to 13 use phones and a third have their own phone. When your child gets to the age that you determine they can have a phone, it’s good to know there are affordable feature phones to start that journey and stay in touch.

As kids grow up and it becomes more appropriate for them to have a smartphone, you don’t have to opt for a flagship Android or iPhone smartphone to give them access to great battery life, decent photography and a range of apps. The Motorola Moto E7 Power is a good mix of all of those elements, but you can just as easily opt for the other options on this page instead.

How we choose the best mobile phones for kids

We make our picks based on our extensive experience with feature phones and smart phones, research, as well as deep knowledge of Australian prepaid plans. While it would be easy to just recommend cheap smartphones, we appreciate that feature phones have a place for younger mobile phone users.

To make our picks, we draw on our own hands-on experience or analyse reviews from reputable Australian sites, as well as feedback from user reviews. First and foremost, a mobile phone for kids has to have great battery life, and we treat up to two days of battery life as the minimum.

Price is absolutely important, especially because the cost of a mobile phone has to then be paired with the ongoing cost of a phone plan, so we keep our recommendations under $300 to buy a handset outright. While feature phones are a great way to keep your kids safe from the wild World Wide Web, these phones also tend to lack handy components like GPS tracking, Wi-Fi and apps for managing parental controls.

FAQ

It’s up to you to determine whether your child is ready for a smartphone or should start with a feature phone. There aren’t any wrong answers, but while feature phones are safer, they lack some of the smarter features (such as Wi-Fi and GPS).
Yes, mobile phones that can only call or text are called feature phones. They’re sometimes also called “dumb phones” to indicate that they lack the extended features of a smartphone.

Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence

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