The best phones for kids available in Australia (2022)

Whether you’re looking for the best first phone for a 12-year-old in Australia or a handset for younger or older kids, this guide has you covered.

Best overall
Samsung Galaxy A13 | Best phones for kids
Samsung Galaxy A13
From
$295
Screen size
6.6-inches
Storage
128GB
Battery
5,000mAh (15W fast charging)
Best parental controls
Realme C21 | Best phones for kids
Realme C21
From
$295
Screen size
6.6-inches
Storage
128GB
Battery
5,000mAh (15W fast charging)
Best for teens
OPPO A54S | Best phone for teens
OPPO A54S
From
$299
Screen size
6.52-inches
Storage
128GB (expandable 256GB)
Battery
5,000mAh
Best first phone
Nokia 225 | Best first phone for kids
Nokia 225 4G
From
$75
Screen size
2.4-inch
Storage
128MB (expandable 32GB)
Battery
1,150mAh
Best for battery
Motorola Moto G Power
Motorola Moto G Power
From
$245
Screen size
6.6-inch
Storage
32GB or 64GB
Battery
5,000mAh
August 07, 2022
6 min read

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When it comes to buying a phone for yourself, it’s worth having a gander at the best Android phones available or saving dollars upfront and paying off a shiny new iPhone 13 via a Postpaid plan from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

But when it comes to getting a phone for young’uns, there’s money to be saved by buying a cheaper handset upfront, then combining it with the best phone plan for kids (depending on their age bracket). Check out that article if you want a focus on the best phone plans for kids and teens, otherwise scroll on for a breakdown of the best handsets for tykes.

Best phones for kids compared

Phone
Price from
Screen size
Battery size
Internal storage
See full features

Samsung Galaxy A13

Best phone for kids overall

Display
5.5-inch
Battery
5,000mAh
Storage
128GB (up to 1TB MicroSD)
Starts at
$295
pro
Pros
pro Two-day battery life
pro Great performance
pro Works with parental controls
con
Cons
con Low screen brightness
con Slowish charging
con Some camera compromises

The Samsung Galaxy A13 smartphone takes out the top spot because it ticks a lot of the right boxes. For starters, you can buy it for below $300 and it comes with two days of battery life and value-for-money performance. As an Android phone, there are robust inbuilt parental controls to activate (depending on your child’s age), plus some great picks on the Google Play Store. We like that the Galaxy A13 comes with 128GB of internal storage, plus up to 1TB expansion via MicroSD card. While it’s not the brightest, the large 6.6-inch screen Full HD+ screen is a great size for study and study breaks.

For a better pick, you’ll likely have to spend more than $300, but then you can consider options like the Oppo A76, Motorola Moto Edge 20 and Oppo Find X3 Lite.

We’d recommend pairing the Samsung Galaxy A13 with a Prepaid or SIM Only plan that doesn’t cost more than $30 a month. Check out popular picks from our comparison engine.

Realme C21

Best phone for parental controls

Display
6.5-inch
Battery
5,000mAh
Storage
64GB
Starts at
$199
pro
Pros
pro Big battery
pro Durable design
pro Generous screen size
con
Cons
con Locked to Optus
con Average multitasking
con No USB-C charging

of inbuilt features and a wide array of apps via the Google Play Store. We’ve gone with the Realme C21 for this category because it’s a great mix of value and features. While the performance isn’t as great as the Samsung Galaxy A13, it has a newer processor than the cheaper Motorola Moto E7 Power. Admittedly, the low memory count means the Realme C21 isn’t great for multitasking, and it is locked to the Optus network by default (though you can unlock it).

For alternatives, pick any Android phone from this page to match your budget: the Samsung Galaxy A13 or Oppo A54s for more money, or the Motorola Moto E7 Power for less.

If you don’t mind sticking with the Optus network, we’d advise pairing the Realme C21 with an Optus network Prepaid or SIM Only telco that doesn’t charge more than $20 a month. Check out your options from our comparison engine.

Oppo A54s

Best phone for teens

Display
6.52-inch
Battery
5,000mAh
Storage
128GB (up to 256GB MicroSD)
Starts at
$275
pro
Pros
pro Dependable battery
pro USB-C charging
pro Decent photography
con
Cons
con Multitasking performance lag
con Missing water/dust resistance
con Lower refresh rate than last model

As your kids start to get older, they’ll want more from a smartphone, but that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Take the Oppo A54s, for instance. This phone has a 5,000mAh battery for good battery life, plus USB-C charging. While performance isn’t as great as the Samsung Galaxy A13, the Oppo A54s should keep budding photographers happy at a cheaper price point. Parental controls are still available, depending on your child’s age and your trust levels, plus there’s a big 6.52-inch screen for ease of use. We like the 128GB default storage, and that can be expanded up to 256GB via MicroSD. It's a shame there’s no water or dust resistance, but you can change that with an appropriate case.

For alternatives, we’d advise spending a bit more for the Samsung Galaxy A13 or saving around $100 by opting for the Motorola Moto E7 Power.

As your teen’s data needs grow, pair them with a Prepaid plan that has at least 10GB of data. Below is a list of popular Prepaid plans with at least 10GB of data from our comparison engine.

Nokia 225 4G

Best first (feature) phone

Display
2.4-inch
Battery
1,150mAh (removable)
Battery
128MB (up to 32GB MicroSD)
Starts at
$75
pro
Pros
pro Great battery life
pro Iconic, robust design
pro Physical buttons
con
Cons
con Limited functionality
con Small screen
con Camera isn’t great

If you have a tween that’s closer to child than teen (or even younger) who you want to gift a phone, we’d recommend starting with a feature phone. The Nokia 225 4G is one such phone without internet, and a restricted phone is a great first choice for a child. Still, the Nokia 225 4G has apps like Twitter and Facebook, but we’d advise saving those for older kids. We love the iconic and robust design of the Nokia 225 4G and the great battery life. The battery is removable, too, so you can pay this phone forward to younger siblings if it’s in good nick with an affordable battery upgrade.

For phone alternatives around the $100 mark, consider a refurbished Nokia 1.3 or alternatives from Nokia like the 6300 or 8110 4G. Otherwise, if you don’t mind being locked to the Optus network, consider the Optus X Lite 4G for under $50.

In terms of plans, consider a SIM Only plan with minimal data and prices around $10 a month. Check out some popular picks below from our comparison engine.

Motorola Moto G Power

Best phone for battery life

Display
6.4-inch
Battery
5,000mAh
Battery
64GB (up to 512GB MicroSD)
Starts at
$250
pro
Pros
pro Three-day battery life
pro Day-plus juice for one-hour charge
pro Good performance
con
Cons
con Screen isn’t the best
con Older Android version
con Audio is a bit tinny

Motorola Moto G Power for under $300 if you don’t mind importing the smartphone. As you’d expect from this category, the Moto G Power has a lot of juice: as in, up to three days before charging. When you do charge, you can get up to 50% of battery back in an hour. While the Moto G Power 2022 model unfortunately doesn’t ship with the latest version of Android, it does have decent performance for a respectable price. It’s also great to see a budget smartphone with a 90Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling.

In terms of alternatives, consider the cheaper Motorola Moto E7 Power, the Samsung Galaxy A13 or other sub-$500 Motorola smartphones, which tend to have at least two days of battery life.

Pair all of that battery life with a Prepaid plan that doesn’t cost more than $30 a month. Check out the daily updating popular picks from our comparison engine below.

Price Tag
What to look for in a kids phone
It’s important to match a phone to the age of your child. If they’re below tween age, consider something like the Spacetalk Kids Smartwatch Phone, which is a cheap wearable with basic call and text functionality, as well as GPS tracking. For tweens, it’s worth first looking at a feature phone. These are cheaper phones with great battery life and they tend to have durable builds. Feature phones aren’t smartphones, so you can save money on a minimal-data phone plan, but they’re good for staying in touch in terms of voice calls and text messaging. If you have a teenager or a child who’s close to teens, consider a smartphone. We recommend starting with Android phones, and start comparisons with smartphones that aren’t from Google or Samsung (though the Galaxy A range is worth considering). Android phones aren’t only cheaper than iPhones, they also have access to better parental control apps that allow for call and text monitoring, as well as GPS tracking and app management. Ultimately, we recommend spending $300 or less until your child is a teenager who’s had experience with smartphones. Always protect a smartphone with a case to preserve its longevity.

How we choose the best phones for kids

At Reviews.org, our team has years of experience with dozens of smartphones across all major brands. We pair our knowledge of phones with the specifics of what makes an appropriate kids phone to make our recommendations.

Our recommendations are based on either a mix of hands-on time with specific phone models, earlier series releases or comparable alternatives. For phone models that we haven’t had hands-on time with, we spend time researching the specifics of what makes them worth considering for our categories.

The best overall kids phone is a mix of optional parental control flexibility, battery life, everyday-use versatility and cost. Durability also ranks well but we appreciate that a sturdy aftermarket case can do this job, too. We try to keep our picks under $300 to reflect the reality that kids may be first-time users, but we favour phones that are cheaper and still tick at least some of the core boxes of our best overall pick.

Frequently asked questions about kids phones

These days it’s tricky to find a handset that doesn’t at least have some sort of smart features (aka a “dumbphone”). What you’ll find, instead, is what’s called a ‘feature’ phone, which have limited smart functionality. Smartphones are basically computers in your pocket, which means they need data to operate effectively. Feature phones benefit from data, but because they’re restricted in terms of the apps they can use, they should require less monthly data to use.
A good first phone for a child is one that matches the needs of their age requirements. For younger children, we recommend a feature phone, but for tweens and teens we recommend a smartphone.
We recommend going with a feature phone (aka a ‘dumb phone’) for younger kids. Feature phones don’t have data-using apps, so they’re much more kid-friendly than smartphones.
There’s a lot of debate on this, but the average age that kids get phones in Australia is between eight and 12. We recommend feature phones for the younger end of that age bracket and a cheap smartphone for those closer to 12.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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