Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tips for Buying your Kids a Smartphone this Holiday

I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. With the exception of one gift for each kid, I have yet to check anything off my list! Nate really wants a new smartphone this year. He has been getting our hand me down phones, so it might be time for a new phone all his own to put under the tree

I'm pretty phone saavy, and I'm sure most of my readers are as well, but this list from AT&T has some great reminders. I know that I want a quad core processor, unlimited data and a durable case, but sometimes I go into the store and have an "Oooh, shiny!"moment and forget all that. I love the idea of bringing a checklist. This is especially helpful if you plan is to buy whatever phone is a good deal. If it's not one of the big two (iPhone or Samsug Galaxy S series) you may not be as familiar with the specs. Keeping a list with you will make sure you get exactly what you want for the best price.

Here are the tips from AT&T:

Smartphone Buying Tips for Parents
When it comes time to buy your child his or her first smartphone, there are several considerations and decisions to make. Determine exactly how your child plans to use the new cell phone. Parents can alleviate confusion and potential disappointment by finding out this key information before buying a phone.

Parents may want to prioritize the features of a wireless device that will be most important to their child, so they can narrow down the choices and make a wise purchase decision. Wireless carrier stores offer a wide variety of options. For example, AT&T stores stock nearly 70 wireless phones. There’s a device that’s just right for everyone; you just need to know what features will be most useful. Consider ranking the child’s mobile wish list using these criteria:
  • Text messaging
  • Send/receive e-mail
  • Social media
  • Take and share photos
  • Games
  • Listen to streaming music and mp3 files of music they already own
  • Watching TV (YouTube or streaming video)
  • Apps
  • Browsing Web
  • Video chat
Bring the list of priorities along when shopping for a wireless phone. A store salesperson can then offer several devices in a variety of price ranges that will meet those needs. If a child enjoys video games and streaming video, a smartphone with larger display screens may be a better choice. It’s also helpful to know how a child will use the phone when selecting the right voice and data plan. Streaming audio and video use more data than email and social media posts, so the mobile data plan you select should match how the phone will be used to avoid any surprises later.

After selecting a wireless phone, mobile protection insurance should also be on the shopping list. Anyone can drop a phone, no matter their age. Another key decision a parent should make is whether to choose a wireless device that requires a contract or not. The latter may be a good option for a parent trying to teach a child financial responsibility—the parent may purchase the device and make the child pay the monthly cost of voice, data and texting. A no-contract option has no activation charge or contract. Choices of prepaid phones range from basic voice phones to quick messaging devices all the way up to smartphones.

I was not compensated for this post, I just think there are some smart considerations here. Thanks, AT&T.

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