Gabb Phone Plus Review

We compared the Gabb Phone Plus to competitors, including the Gabb Phone. It’s one of the simplest kids phones.
Best for budgets
Gabb Phone Plus
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$29.99
/mo
  • pro
    Unlimited talk and text
  • pro
    No web browser
  • pro
    No social media
Plan name
Device cost
Early termination fee
Monthly cost
No contract$199.99N/A
1-year contract$179.99Up to $100
2-year contract$159.99Up to $150
Cathy Habas
Jan 13, 2023
Icon Time To Read5 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

The Gabb Phone Plus is an excellent starter phone for kids thanks to zero internet access and almost no apps. It’s not that much different from the Gabb Z2, but we think the Gabb Phone Plus is the better option thanks to improved battery life, larger display size, free cloud backup, and the promise of Gabb Music Plus compatibility.

But we do have some cautionary complaints. This isn’t a grow-with-you phone, so it’s not ideal for teens unless you have a reason to keep them totally offline. And parents can’t see text messages sent or received—even if there might be a problem.

icon of the safewise owl icon with a banner saying deals
Gabb Wireless deals

🔥Use promo code SAFEWISE to get $25 off Gabb Phone 3 Pro, or Gabb Watch 3!*

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Codes are applicable for new lines only. Promo codes can not be stacked. $30 activation fee.

pro
Pros
pro 15-day money-back period
pro Multi-line discount
pro No web browser
pro Vetted third-party apps available
pro Spam call blocking
pro Cloud backup
pro Can’t be uninstalled
pro Location tracking and geofencing
con
Cons
con Limited text monitoring
con Doesn’t work with carriers other than Gabb Wireless
con Battery lasts about 1 day
con Warranty costs extra

Gabb Phone Plus vs. other kids phones

The Gabb Phone Plus is one of the most restrictive kids phones on the market—and that’s both good and bad.

The good: Because there isn’t much to do on this phone, your kid won’t want to be glued to the screen—and you won’t have to spend quite so much time figuring out how to block, supervise, or otherwise control all of their activity.

And now for the bad: Other kids phones do a better job of growing with your child. You can shut down features on other phones until they mimic the Gabb Phone Plus, but then lift those restrictions—like internet access and contact management—as your child matures.

With the Gabb Phone Plus, there’s nothing to lift. You’ll probably end up getting a different phone in a couple of years so you can guide your child toward safe, healthy internet use.

(We really don’t recommend the other option: blocking your child from the internet until they turn 18 and then unleashing it on them all at once.)

Compare the Gabb Phone Plus to the competition

Product
Best for
Lowest phone price
Lowest service price
Cost to add another line
Money-back period
Warranty
Learn more
Best overall $29.00/mo. Full price
Icon No  LightNone
Icon Yes  Light1 year
Best for multiple kids $14.99/mo. $4.99/mo.
Icon Yes  Light30 days
Icon No  LightNone
Best for budgets

$24.99/mo.

$1.75/mo. off starting with 3rd line
Icon Yes  Light15 days
Icon Yes  Light1 year
Best for preschoolers N/A N/A
Icon Yes  Light30 days
Icon Yes  Light3 months
Best camera

$13.95/mo.

Full price
Icon Yes  Light30 days
Icon No  LightPaid warranty only

*No contract required. $30 activation. New lines only.
Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Gabb Phone Plus vs. Gabb Z2 Phone

The Gabb Phone Plus is very similar to the original Gabb Z2, so let’s break down the differences:

  • Cost: The Gabb Z2’s full retail price is $50 cheaper than the Gabb Phone Plus.
  • Image and group texting: The Gabb Phone Plus automatically includes image and group texting, but it costs an extra $2/mo. to add this feature to the Z2.
  • Radio: The Gabb Phone Plus does not include a radio app like the Z2. It does come with a free 30-day trial of Gabb Music, though. Z2 users pay full price for Gabb Music from the get-go.
  • Gabb Music Plus: Once the premium version of Gabb Music is released, it’ll only work on the Gabb Phone Plus.
  • Gabb Cloud: Up to 10GB of backup cloud storage is included with the Gabb Phone Plus. It costs an extra $0.99/mo. for the Z2.
  • Notes app: Only the Gabb Phone Plus has it.
  • Voice recorder: Only the Z2 has it.
  • Display size: The Gabb Phone Plus’s 5.83-inch display is slightly larger than the Z2’s 5.45-inch display.
  • Battery life: The Gabb Phone Plus has a better battery life than the Z2—but it still lasts less than 24 hours on average.
  • Fingerprint scanner: Only the Gabb Z2 has it.

The third-party apps are the same, Gabb Music is the same, storage and memory are the same, and even the cameras (8MP rear-facing and 5MP front-facing) are the same.

We do think the Gabb Phone Plus is worth buying instead of the Z2. You get a larger screen, better battery life, a nifty notepad app, and access to Gabb Music Plus in the future. Plus, you don’t have to worry about adding optional monthly services since Gabb Cloud, image texting, and group texting are all included in the baseline monthly price.

Gabb Phone Plus costs and fees

The Gabb Phone Plus’ up-front cost depends on the contract you’re willing to sign. If you don’t want a long-term contract, the phone costs about $200. You can get it for 10% off by signing a 1-year contract, or for 20% off by signing a 2-year contract.

There’s also a one-time $25 activation fee no matter which contract option you choose.

The Gabb Phone Plus’ monthly cost starts at $29.99/mo. across all contracts. The monthly fee increases if you add these services:

  • Gabb Music subscription: $4.99/mo. (Gabb Phone Plus users get one month free)
  • Gabb Music Plus (coming soon) subscription: $9.99/mo.
  • Optional extended warranty: $4.99/mo.

Gabb’s multi-line discount

The first Gabb Phone Plus on your account is full price, but Gabb offers a multiple-line discount for the next 5 Gabb Phones (Plus or Z2) added to your account: $1.75 off per line per month.

Great for limiting screen time and internet access

Let’s start with what the Gabb Phone Plus does well: keeping your kid away from the internet and from their phone in general.

There’s no web browser, no social media, and no YouTube. The Gabb Phone Plus is primarily a communication device—for talking to people you approve of, of course. No creepy strangers on the Gabb Phone Plus!

Gabb Phone Plus apps

The Gabb Phone Plus includes some of the basic apps we’ve all gotten used to carrying around in our pockets, like a timer, calculator, notepad, and calendar.

Parents can add six optional apps:

  • A weather app
  • 4 spiritual apps for Bible, Torah, and Quran study
  • A library reading app

Gabb is currently screening additional apps related to education, finance, health, productivity, and more—but there’s no word on when new apps will become available.

Other kids phones have more third-party apps

Gabb’s six third-party apps are a good start, but check out what the competition has to offer:

In all of the above examples, parents either add the apps or approve the downloads before kids ever get to interact with the apps. The same is true for Gabb phones.

Gabb’s approach to message monitoring

Kids send text messages through Gabb Messenger, which has built-in content filters that block spam and profanity.

But you don’t get to see the full content of your child’s messages—you just see a timestamped log of who your child texted. That said, Gabb is currently developing better text supervision and reporting based on feedback from parents.1 

Photo messaging and group texts are included in the monthly cost of the Gabb Phone Plus but costs extra to add to the Gabb Z2. You can toggle off permissions for photo and group messaging in the parent portal.

Final word

The Gabb Phone Plus is a worthwhile upgrade from the Gabb Z2 Phone, and its kid-friendly music platform is exceptional.

But the Gabb Phone Plus gets left in the dust when compared to the message monitoring, battery life, camera quality, and storage capacity on other kids phones.

Our main concern is the lack of features for teens. Phones like Bark and Troomi provide a stepwise approach to ease the transition from control to guidance—and we think that’s much healthier in the long run.

That said, the Gabb Phone Plus is a great (and affordable) starter phone for kids around age 8 and up. Start looking at other options by age 15.

Gabb Phone Plus FAQ

Yes, you can transfer an existing phone number to the Gabb Phone Plus during checkout. Otherwise, the phone comes with its own number.

Nope, no games. That’s part of the appeal, though—it’s a simple phone that your child probably won’t spend too much time staring at.

How we reviewed the Gabb Phone Plus

For our Gabb Phone Plus review, we compared its features and specs to the Gabb Z2 and other prominent kids smartphones. Hands-on testing is in progress. Learn more about how we rank and review products on the SafeWise methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. Megan R., Gabb Wireless, “Can I Monitor My Child’s Texts and Activity on Gabb Messenger?” October 2022. Accessed December 14, 2022.
Disclaimer

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon 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.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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