The time has come. You've decided your kid needs a phone. These are their best options!

Best overall

Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

See at Amazon

Google's Nexus line offers the latest security updates on the least complicated version of the Android operating system, and the Nexus 5X is one of the best vehicles for this experience. Under that plastic casing you'll find an incredible camera, reasonable battery, and one of the fastest fingerprint sensors available today. It's a little overkill for "My First Smartphone," but given its common price point, and knowing it will last for quite awhile, you can buy it with confidence for your kid.

Bottom line: This is a great phone before you look at the price tag, which makes it that much easier to recommend.

One more thing: Nexus 5X comes in Carbon (Black), Quartz (White), and Ice (Mint Green) depending on where you shop.

Why Google's Nexus 5X is the best

For many people, buying a smartphone is all about getting the most important features at the most reasonable price. When purchasing a phone for their children, parents have a tendency to emphasize price over features. The Nexus 5X is a phone that genuinely lets you have both. While not quite as capable as the more expensive Nexus 6P, LG's partnership with Google has created an incredible phone by just about any standard. On top of guaranteed security updates, so you know your kid is using a phone that will keep their data safe, you're giving your child a great overall experience. This is hands-down the best phone for the money right now, and it's a phone that will work on any U.S. carrier should you decide to pack up and leave your current provider.

Best Value

Moto G4 Amazon Edition

Moto G4

See at Amazon

Maybe you're a parent who believes your children should save up their own money and buy their own phone. Or maybe you don't want that new phone to hit your wallet too hard. Either way, sometimes it really does come down to price. The Moto G4 has always been a decent phone for the price, but Amazon has taken that one step further by offering a special version with their lockscreen ads on board for $50 cheaper than the standard retail version. It means you get a phone for cheap that delivers a decent overall experience, and it works on all of the U.S. carriers.

Bottom line: This is a decent phone on its own, but if price is the biggest feature for you this is where you need to be.

Best on Verizon

Samsung Galaxy J3 V

Galaxy J3 V

See at Verizon Wireless

If you find yourself sitting in a Verizon Wireless waiting to add a phone to your account for a little one, there's a good chance you'll have iPhones and Droid Editions and several other phones recommended to you by the folks in the store. Before you put any money down, ask to see the Galaxy J3V by Samsung. It's a simple phone which claims 10 days of standby time and an extreme battery save mode that ensures your child should always be reachable. It's also only $7/month on Verizon's payment plan, so anyone can afford it.

Bottom line: If you need a Verizon phone and aren't looking to spend a lot, this is what you need.

Conclusion

Smartphones give you a little more information regarding where you kids are and what they're doing, but they also give your kid some freedom to have a little fun or get in some trouble. If you want the best for your kid, the Nexus 5X is where you need to be. If price is a real concern, Amazon's version of the Moto G is fantastic. Verizon Wireless subscribers who would rather buy in a store, be sure to ask about the Galaxy J3 V from Samsung.

Best overall

Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

See at Amazon

Google's Nexus line offers the latest security updates on the least complicated version of the Android operating system, and the Nexus 5X is one of the best vehicles for this experience. Under that plastic casing you'll find an incredible camera, reasonable battery, and one of the fastest fingerprint sensors available today. It's a little overkill for "My First Smartphone," but given its common price point, and knowing it will last for quite awhile, you can buy it with confidence for your kid.

Bottom line: This is a great phone before you look at the price tag, which makes it that much easier to recommend.

One more thing: Nexus 5X comes in Carbon (Black), Quartz (White), and Ice (Mint Green) depending on where you shop.