Best Android Phones for Kids Android Central 2020
Like it or not, there will come a time when you need to buy a phone for your kid. Deciding at what age they should get a phone is entirely up to you, but when you do go out and pick one up, you want to make sure you're getting something worthwhile without completely wrecking their college savings fund. Lucky for you, there are tons of great handsets that your kid and wallet will equally love. We think the Moto G7 is the best all-around choice, but if it's not catching your fancy, there are plenty of other stellar phones on this list.
- Best Overall: Moto G7
- Best Alternative: Samsung Galaxy A50
- Best Stylus: LG Stylo 5
- Best Camera: Google Pixel 3a
- Best Battery: Moto G7 Power
- Best Affordable: Nokia 2.3
- Best for Small Hands: Palm Phone
- Best for Younger Kids: Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch
Best Overall: Moto G7
As mentioned in the above paragraph, buying a phone for your kid is a balancing act of getting something they'll want to use without spending a fortune. In our eyes, the Moto G7 best fits that bill.
Motorola's G-series has become famous for offering quality experiences at low price points, and the G7 is no different. The glass back gives it a premium in-hand feel while the 6.2-inch Full HD+ display is bright and colorful for homework and Fortnite. There's also plenty of power for the G7 to keep up with everything your kid throws at it, including a Snapdragon 632 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 3,000 mAh battery for all-day endurance. When the phone needs to be charged up, it does so over USB-C with 18W wired charging speeds.
Other highlights of the G7 include 64GB of expandable storage, 12MP + 5MP dual rear cameras, compatibility on all U.S. carriers, and Motorola's excellent software add-ons. We're expecting an update to Android 10 soon, but thanks to Motorola's lackluster update policy, major updates beyond that are unlikely.
There are other phones on this list that have some edges over the G7, but when you factor all of these features together with the price that you pay, we think it's the phone that'll make both you and your kid the happiest.
- Works across Big Four carriers
- Large display with Full HD+ resolution
- Plenty of power for most apps/games
- Headphone jack and expandable storage
- Clean Android UI with thoughtful additions from Motorola
- Updates beyond Android 10 are unlikely
- Not the biggest battery on this list
The phone that'll make you (and your kid) happy
There are plenty of excellent Android phones for kids, but overall, the Moto G7 stands out as our top recommendation.
Best Alternative: Samsung Galaxy A50
We can't recommend the Moto G7 enough, but if you or your kid just aren't thrilled with what it has to offer, another phone we'd suggest picking up is the Samsung Galaxy A50. This is the best mid-range phone Samsung sells in the U.S. right now, and it packs quite the punch.
From a design standpoint, one of the most notable aspects of the A50 is its 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. It's bright, colorful, crisp, and has very minimal bezels all around. Assuming your kid's hands are big enough to comfortably handle the A50, this display is reason enough to look into the phone.
Above the display is a 25MP front-facing camera, which is great news if your kid is an avid selfie-taker. As for the rear cameras, the A50 is equipped with a 25MP primary sensor, 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and 5MP depth sensor. Under the hood, you'll find a Samsung Exynos 9610 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery. In other words, the Galaxy A50 is fast, has room for tons of local files, and could potentially last two full days on one charge.
Just like the Moto G7, the Galaxy A50 works on all U.S. carriers. Whether your family relies on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can use the A50 without any problems.
- Large AMOLED display with slim bezels
- Triple rear cameras
- 25MP selfie camera
- Large 4,000 mAh battery
- Compatible with all U.S. carriers
- Might be too big for some kids
If you don't like the G7, check this out
Whether your kid takes a ton of selfies or wants a top-notch display for games and studying, the Galaxy A50 fits the bill nicely.
Best Stylus: LG Stylo 5
The Galaxy Note is the most popular Android phone with a stylus, but it's also ridiculously expensive. If your kid wants a stylus with their phone and you aren't ready to spend Galaxy Note money, the LG Stylo 5 is a hidden gem that might be perfect.
Just like the Note, the LG Stylo 5 comes with a stylus that can be used for whatever your heart desires. Use it to take handwritten notes, create a work of art, or more easily navigate the phone's interface. It's a nice touch of added functionality you won't find with any of the other phones on this list, and when your kid is done using it, the stylus is stored in a hidden slot on the bottom frame of the phone.
As for the rest of the Stylo 5, it has everything your child needs for a good experience. There's a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display, 13MP rear camera, 5MP selfie camera, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage that can be expanded up to 2TB with a microSD card. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor isn't the most impressive out there, but it should be plenty powerful for most apps and games your kid wants to use.
Just like the above phones, the LG Stylo 5 works on all U.S. carriers — meaning you don't have to worry about whether or not it'll work with your phone service.
- Comes with a free stylus
- Large display for taking notes/drawing
- Storage expands up to 2TB
- Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
- Works with all carriers
- Lower-end processor
For note-takers and doodlers
For kids that like to draw or take notes, the LG Stylo 5 with its included stylus makes for a perfect starter phone.
Best Camera: Google Pixel 3a
When Google launched the Pixel 3a back in May 2019, it took the smartphone market by storm. The 3a is the first mid-range phone to ever be released under the Pixel brand, and the value proposition offered by it is phenomenal.
Let's start with the most jaw-dropping aspect of the 3a — its camera. The 12MP rear camera takes downright gorgeous photos, matching the quality of pictures taken with much more expensive phones. Even in low-light environments, the 3a's camera is a beast. If you have a kid that's an aspiring photographer, you can't go wrong with the Pixel 3a.
Another highlight of the 3a is its software. It's currently running the latest available version of Android 10, and since it's a Pixel phone, it'll keep getting major OS updates and security patches through May 2022. In other words, you can rest assured that your kid's phone is always as safe as can be and protected from new vulnerabilities that pop up.
The rest of the Pixel 3a experience is just as strong, thanks to its 5.6-inch OLED display, Snapdragon 670 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 3,000 mAh battery. The 64GB of internal storage should be enough room for all of your kid's apps/games, but the lack of microSD card support is a bummer.
- Takes phenomenal pictures
- Guaranteed software updates through May 2022
- Snappy performance
- Fingerprint sensor and headphone jack
- Works with all carriers
- Storage is not expandable
Take amazing pictures
Have a budding photographer in your family? The Pixel 3a has the camera tech to help them live out their dreams.
Best Battery: Moto G7 Power
Just like the regular Moto G7 above, the Moto G7 Power delivers a good mix of features and price. However, it drops one of the rear cameras, lowers the display resolution, and has slightly lesser specs across the board in favor of a downright massive battery.
How big of a battery are we talking? How does 5,000 mAh sound? Paired with the modest HD+ resolution for the 6.4-inch display, Motorola says this is enough juice to get the G7 Power through up to three days on a single charge. If you think your kid might have a hard time remembering to charge their phone every night, this could be a huge perk.
As for the rest of the G7 Power, it has the Snapdragon 632 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB), 12MP rear camera, and an 8MP selfie camera with its own LED flash — something you won't find on the G7.
You can use the Moto G7 Power on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, meaning carrier compatibility isn't something you have to worry about.
- 5,000 mAh battery allows for three days of use
- 6.2-inch display with relatively slim bezels
- Expandable storage up to 512GB
- Fingerprint sensor
- Supports all carriers in the U.S.
- Lesser specs across the board compared to Moto G7
So. Much. Battery.
Since the G7 Power is packing a 5,000 mAh battery, you don't have to stress out if your kid forgets to charge it before school.
Best Affordable: Nokia 2.3
We fully understand if you're trying to keep costs as low as possible when buying a phone for your kid. Going too low can result in there being a lot of crap handsets to sift through, but one option that sticks out as a worthy contender is the Nokia 2.3.
Before we even talk about price, the phone on its own is rock solid. The polymer back features a wonderful texture that looks and feels great, and that's paired with a diecast metal chassis to keep the package nice and sturdy. On the front of the Nokia 2.3 are a 6.2-inch HD+ display and a 5MP selfie camera, with the back housing dual 13MP + 2MP camera sensors.
Other specs of the Nokia 2.3 include a MediaTek processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and a very generous 4,000 mAh battery. The processor and RAM combination is one of the weaker ones on this list, but when you're spending this little money, that's to be expected. It's also worth pointing out that the Nokia 2.3 only works with GSM carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile. If you rely on Sprint or Verizon, this isn't for you.
Rounding out the Nokia 2.3 is the fact that it's part of the Android One program. This means it's guaranteed to get software updates through January 2022 and security patches through January 2023. It's a similar guarantee offered by the Pixel 3a, but at a much lower price.
- Textured back with aluminum chassis
- 6.2-inch display with thin bezels
- 4,000 mAh battery for long endurance
- Expandable storage + headphone jack
- Dedicated button for Google Assistant
- Only compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile
- Mediocre performance
A dream come true for penny pinchers
The Nokia 2.3 isn't the most technically impressive phone out there, but it delivers a solid experience at an ultra-low price.
Best for Small Hands: Palm Phone
The Palm Phone is one of the most interesting devices we've seen in recent years. While it failed to capture the heart and soul of Palm devices of yesteryear, it ended up being a good phone for kids thanks to just how tiny it is.
Smartphones seem to be getting bigger and bigger with every day that passes, and for small kid-sized hands, managing them comfortably isn't always possible. The Palm Phone is under four inches tall with a screen size of just 3.3 inches, meaning its incredibly portable and easy to use by even the tiniest of hands. It's also running a customized version of Android, which is much more simplistic than what you'd find on other devices.
On the specs front, the Palm Phone delivers a Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 12MP rear camera, 32GB of expandable storage, and an 800 mAh battery.
You'll need to be a Verizon Wireless customer to purchase the Palm Phone, but if you are, it's definitely one of the more unique options out there. You'll get a better specs-to-price ratio with the other phones on this list, but if your kid wants something that's a good fit for their hands, the Palm Phone is worth considering.
- It's so tiny!
- Perfect for kids with small hands
- Simplified version of Android
- Expandable storage
- Dust and water-resistant
- Exclusive to Verizon
- Most expensive on this list
Best for Small Hands
Tiny phone for tiny hands
It may not be the best value on this list, but when it comes to phones that work well with kids' hands, the Palm Phone delivers.
Best for Younger Kids: Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch
This last pick isn't technically a phone, but rather a smartwatch that stays connected with a SIM card. If you aren't quite ready to give your kid a fully-fledged smartphone but still want them to be within a phone call or text, the Dyno is kind of perfect.
Available in blue and pink colors, the Dyno has a fun and durable design that's made with kids in mind. They'll love the cartoon characters on the display, you'll love the IP65 dust/water resistance and up to 2.5 days of battery life the watch gets per charge.
Along with the Dyno watch, you'll get access to a companion app that helps you manage the watch remotely. You can access calls and messages, choose which contacts your kid has access to, and even create GPS-based safe zones. There's also an SOS button on the Dyno watch itself, giving your kids instant access to you in an emergency.
Assuming you rely on a GSM carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile, the Coolpad Dyno is a really interesting option that might be just what you're looking for.
- Fun, kid-focused design
- IP65 rating for dust and water resistance
- Up to 2.5 days of battery life on one charge
- GPS-based safe zones
- SOS function
- Only works on AT&T and T-Mobile
Best for Younger Kids
If they're not ready for a smartphone
If you have a younger kid that isn't ready for the full-on smartphone experience, the Dyno Smartwatch is a great alternative.
Buying a phone for your kid can be a stressful task, but it doesn't have to be. This list is proof that there are plenty of phones out there that are a great match for you and your kid, with the best one being the Moto G7.
Motorola has virtually perfected its formula for mid-range smartphones, with the G7 packing all of the features your kiddo could ask for. It has a good-looking design, vibrant display, ample performance, and goodies like a fingerprint sensor and headphone jack. The G7 is a phone we'd happily recommend to anyone, not just kids.
Not only can you buy the Moto G7 with confidence and know that your kid is getting a great Android experience, but it also won't bleed your wallet dry. That's a win-win if we've ever seen one, and it's why the Moto G7 is our top pick for the best Android phone for kids.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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