How Old Should Your Kids Be For Their First Smartphone?

How Old Should Your Kids Be For Their First Smartphone?

There’s not a single right answer for when your kids should be allowed a smartphone — kids and parents differ. When do you think your kids will be ready?

Kids are tech-savvy, have their own ideas about when they’re responsible enough for gadgets, and can be awfully persuasive. Nonetheless, many parents have a specific age in mind for when it’s appropriate for their kids to have smartphones of their own. For others, it’s about when the kids can pay (or help pay) for it on their own. We’ve talked before about how you can kid-proof your gadgets and how set up non-annoying parental controls.

But now, we’d like to hear from you. How old will your kids be before they get first smartphone? Tell us in the comments.


  • My kids wont be getting phones until it is necessary, i would say 13+ for sure and only when they are somewhere that they need it. When they are at home and at school there is no need for a phone.

    That being said my boy is only 6 weeks old, and a lot can change in 13 years…

  • Pretty much whenever they start doing things by themselves – as in, walking home from school without a parent/guardian, catching the bus, etc. It’s probably 99% just in my mind, but it would make me feel safer to know that we’re only a call or a text away. If Google Latitude was still around, I’d totally enable that too 😉

  • If I had kids, they wouldn’t get a smart phone until they’re able to pay for it and its bills themselves. If I’m the one paying for everything, then a non-smart phone will suffice. A regular mobile phone still makes phone calls and sends text messages, so it’ll be more than enough to keep in touch with them.

    • This +1

      A featurephone like the Nokia 101 makes a great first phone. No data, no camera, but it does have a 3.5mm headphone jack, MP3 player, memory card slot and a couple of games. And of course it sends TXT and makes calls, but the key features? Tough as nails, and a battery life measured in weeks, not days.

      Specifically on the question of smartphones: when they earn it and only under certain conditions. I have heard several horror stories about certain compromising pictures being shared between young teens that amount to illegal acts, and until the law sorts itself out in this area I’d rather err on the side of caution.

  • As soon as they can hold one. It’s more than a phone. Asking how old your kids should be for their first smart phone is like asking how old your kid should be for their first book, encyclopaedia, puzzle, game, note pad etc… 2nd hand smart phones are cheap, and will give your kids the resource of the worlds knowledge. If you’re worried, make sure you lock down the parental controls. Start them early and they’ll be ahead on so many fronts.

  • My 10 yo son has my wife’s hand-down 3GS with a pre-paid SIM. He used it up within a week on data, its more there for us to reach him on his phone when he is with friends down the road.

  • When they’re of legal age to sign contract or when they have sufficient earned funds to pay for it themselves. My friends daughter always blows her caps and I always end up hearing how much it’s costing my friend every month. Simply, if you can’t afford it you can’t have it.

  • My friend’s kid is 5 and already knows how to work his iphone and for his birthday got a iPad.

  • I got my first phone when I was 13 and in year 7, I’d say that’s the time to get them at least a basic phone, when they begin their high school years. Bu the way things are going, 8 years old will start becoming the norm.

  • Primary school a locked down “dumb Phone”
    (only call a few people and that’s IT)

    Starting High school they can have a med range phone.
    Say a HTC One-mini, Nexus 4/5, Galaxy-mini.

    After that they can buy there own phone and pay for it.

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