Great alternatives to s‌martphones

It often feels like this is an either/or situation. You get your kid a smartphone or nothing. In reality, a good option is to take a step by step approach. Rather than leaping straight in at the deep end with an all the bells and whistles iPhone, we suggest:

01. Start with a smartwatch There are some good options designed for kids - see options below.

02. Move on to a simple phone And a tracker if you want to be able to see where they are.

03.  Later (much later!), introduce a tablet at home Which is yours but they can borrow at controlled times with limits in a communal area of the home, for WhatsApps or similar that you don’t want them to be left out. Let them know it’s not a private space, you’ll be reading their messages and keep an open channel of communication between you about their digital world.

Keep this going for as long as you can hold out for!

Smart watches

Imoo smartwatch £109

  • Phone and video calls with parents plus any Immo users approved via a free app on parent’s phone
  • Location tracker
  • Can be put on standby “class mode” during class time by the parents 
  • Step counter
  • No social media or internet
  • Two colour options

Xplora Smartwatch

XGO3 £139.99
For younger kids with less storage for photos, a less good camera

X6Play for £179.99
With bigger storage, slightly bigger screen, better camera

  • Calls and voice messages
  • Location tracker 
  • High-quality camera
  • Step counter
  • SOS Button for emergencies
  • Hundreds of colour options
  • No internet or social media

Simple phones

  • A premium, minimal phone designed to be used as little as possible
  • Black and white ‘paper’ screen like a kindle, which emits no blue light
  • A customisable menu which includes like: an alarm, calculator, calendar, directions 
  • Music player 
  • Podcasts 
  • No internet, social media, email or internet
  • Currently only compatible in the UK with Vodafone, Giff Gaff and Three

  • Texts and phone calls
  • Very long lasting battery
  • Range of colours
  • Bright, colourful display (non pixelated text)
  • Built in radio and torch
  • Snake (and Tetris but you need to pay for the full game)
  • Camera only usable for emergencies. 

    • Calls only the three contacts you rely on the most with A, B and C speed-dial buttons. 
    • Can receive text messages but can’t send them
    • Shows the phone’s location to assigned contacts.

      Nokia 105 £19.99
      Sim-free mobile phone

      • Talk, text and wireless FM radio
      • Amazing battery life 
      • Torch and snake game

        • Like an iPod with in-built wireless earbuds which charge when not in use
        • Inbuilt mp3 player with storage for thousands of songs
        • Inbuilt speaker
        • Wireless FM radio
        • Great sound quality
        • Great battery life
        • No wifi or whatsapp

          Sim cards
          IMPORTANT – When you get a SIM card for your child’s phone, make sure that it has NO DATA roaming, only calls and texts so that there is no chance that they can access the internet. Currently Asda are the only company that are offering this.

          Join the Smartphone Free Childhood movement
          Subscribe to our newsletter for latest updates from the campaign, including new guides, tools and inspiration  
          * indicates required
               HOME       ABOUT        THE PROBLEM      RESOURCES    OUR MISSION    JOIN US     CONTACT