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

Best overall

Moto G5 Plus

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

Motorola has been the budget phone champion for years now, and its most recent releases are no exception. The Moto G5 Plus is inexpensive without being cheap, especially when it comes to a solid battery and better-than-average camera. The software is solid and simple, with the promise of consistent updates to ensure the phone stays secure.

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: This phone is available on Amazon's offers and ads program for a discount, but the current $180 price tag is more than reasonable for what you get.

Why Motorola's Moto G5 Plus 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 Moto G5 Plus is a phone that genuinely lets you have both. While not quite as capable as the more expensive flagship phones, Motorola's budget line has a history of not feeling like a cheap experience when you use it. On top of consistent 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 Features

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

See at OnePlus

The folks at OnePlus have a history of being David to the Goliaths that are Apple and Samsung. These phones are often hundreds of dollars cheaper than the "best" while offering nearly every high-end feature you can get with those other phones. The OnePlus 5 continues that tradition by being noticeably less expensive than the price tags you'll see in the store, but without sacrificing much when it comes to features. You're going to get a superior camera, great battery life, and all of the top features for $479.

Bottom line: This is the phone you get when you want your older kid to have something nice, but aren't ready to shell out the $800 for one of the bigger names.

Best on Verizon

Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse

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 or high end Samsung phones recommended to you by the folks in the store. Before you put any money down, ask to see the Galaxy J3 Eclipse 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 free on Verizon's payment plan if you don't want to pay the $168 up front, 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, Motorola's G5 Plus is what you want. If you're eager to spend a little more for some higher-end hardware, OnePlus offers something great with the new 5 model. Verizon Wireless subscribers who would rather buy in a store, be sure to ask about the Galaxy J3 Eclipse from Samsung.

Best overall

Moto G5 Plus

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

Motorola has been the budget phone champion for years now, and its most recent releases are no exception. The Moto G5 Plus is inexpensive without being cheap, especially when it comes to a solid battery and better-than-average camera. The software is solid and simple, with the promise of consistent updates to ensure the phone stays secure.

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: This phone is available on Amazon's offers and ads program for a discount, but the current $180 price tag is more than reasonable for what you get.

Updated August 2017: All of the latest choices for 2017 have been added to help you make the best choice!