Quick version: get THE safest phone for kids, Cyber Monday style! Take 50% off + 3 months of FREE services with code THANKS50PLUS3
Listen – if you've been searching for THE safest phone, the best phone for kids/teens, or just an ideal device to hand your kid that'll allow YOU to stay in touch with THEM, but will keep them OUT of trouble, then this is the post you need to read. And this is the phone you need in your hands (or theirs). I've done all the research, looked into every avenue, consulted all the safe tech resources out there, and this phone really is the best phone for kids.
Cyber Monday deal – 50% off ALL phones
Yes. You read that right! You can get HALF OFF a phone with this Cyber Monday deal.
Here it is: When you use promo code THANK50PLUS3, you can get any phone from Troomi for 50% OFF + three months of FREE service!!! Amazing right?!
For more information about Troomi and why our family LOVES their phones, read this post!
How long does this deal last?
This Cyber Monday deal on Troomi safe phones is TODAY ONLY, so don't wait!
What's the best smart phone for kids?
After doing HOURS of research, I came to the decision that Troomi is the very best cell phone for kids on the market. It gives parents complete control of who they can talk to, how much they can talk or text, whether they're allowed to picture or group message, and when and if they're allowed access to certain “safe kids” apps like Canvas for schoolwork, or non-addictive screen time educational games, or safe-streaming music from Spotify kids, etc. It limits distractions AND keeps them safe!
And it allows you to lock out the phone so that they're ONLY able to text or call the numbers you approve, or later on open them up to access to text and call just friends they add, or eventually open it up to calling or texting anyone. Peace of mind as they gradually learn how to use a smart phone!
Troomi has 3 different mobile phones; which one should I get?
We started with the Samsung A12. It's not available anymore, but it's just a little bit of a downgrade compared to the LTE 13. Super similar. The A12 has been AWESOME for our family as a home phone. But this fall my two older girls were in totally different after-school extracurricular activities, so we ended up getting a second phone. I needed to be able to get a hold of both of them at different times for coordinating pick-up times etc., especially when our oldest Ani was on a volleyball team with mostly away games.
When we got the second phone for our family for Ani to use, we decided to go with the Xcover Pro because it's MADE to be nearly indestructible. And even though this wasn't our reasoning for getting the Xcover pro, it does have a really nice camera! The Xcover Pro was made with defense-grade durability that can tackle dozens of repeated drops from nearly 5 feet high. It's also built to operate in temperatures as hot as 160°F with up to 95% humidity, and completely functional in wet, snowy & below-freezing conditions. It's also water resistant —tested to withstand 1.5 m water submersion for up to 30 minutes!
If the camera is the most important thing to you though, definitely go for the A13 5G which has the nicest rear camera of all 3 phones, and the longest battery life with the quickest charge.
How do the parental controls work on Troomi?
Troomi provides what's called a Parent Portal to the parents who purchase the phone for their kids. When you log into the parent portal, you'll see it's SUPER easy and user-friendly. You can give or take away access to calling and texting anyone, the use of apps (or no use at all – which is where my kids access is currently), certain periods of the day where they're allowed to or not (maybe only a couple hours after school and on weekends?), you can add or delete numbers or give or take away privileges ALL from the parent portal. When it comes to safe phones for kids, this is a HUGE game changer!
The parent portal allows you to make changes WITHOUT having to ask your kid to hand their phone over. I didn't realize just how helpful this would be until we traveled and one of my kids wanted to send us a picture of something they'd made at school. I was able to quickly log into the parent portal, give them access to picture messaging, and then they could send me the picture!
What age should I give my kid a phone?
I actually asked Bill from Troomi this exact question in my podcast interview with him a couple months ago. And his answer surprised me. “There's no perfect age to give your kid a phone, but I say wait as long as possible.” And I agree with him!
But what's been awesome about having a Troomi phone for my kids is that they can ONLY communicate with their parents (Neil and me) and grandparents on, is that they're learning to safely use a phone, and use cell phone etiquette (i.e. don't text 7,000 emojis at once that mean nothing!) before I just hand them a phone and set them loose talking to friends and who knows who else they meet.
What to do if you don't have a home phone
The Troomi phone has been a GENIUS solution to our problem of not having a home phone. The #1 reason I didn't want a home phone is because my parents have one, and the ONLY time it rings is when a solicitor is calling. What's amazing about the Troomi phone is, since they offer true safelisting, spam calls and spam texts cannot go through (another reason why this is my top pick for “safe phones for kids.”)
So when we go out of town and want to still stay in touch with our kids, they can call us, OR text us (my favorite!!) and we can stay in touch with them without them having to ask their caregiver to use their phone, or wait around till we get home to tell us all about what's going on with them, what happened at school, ask permission to do something, etc.
Texting with my kids while I'm out of town or away from them has been 100% the very most unexpected blessing and favorite part (for me!) about having a Troomi phone. Check out these cute conversations I was able to have with them while I was out of town – the best!!
What's the best cell phone plan for a kid?
We started with the most basic $19.95 a month plan from Troomi because it was the very least expensive smart phone and safe phone plan that we could find! Troomi's competitors start at $25 a month.
LEAST EXPENSIVE: With the base $19.95 a month plan, our kids were able to talk and text us as much as they want, we have a GPS tracker if they need to take it to an after-school activity and call us when they're ready to be picked up or if they go to a friend's house, and it has all the basic functionality we need.
MIDDLE: Once we were out of town and realized how much we wanted to be able to send photos back and forth, we moved them to the $24.95 plan that included picture messaging and group texts. Still really not bad for a smart phone plan!!
PREMIUM: A few months after that, we expanded to the $29.95 a month plan because it allowed our kids to use their very safe Troomi phone to access kidsafe smart apps while we were traveling, instead of a tablet where I had a lot less confidence in their screen safety. They also love accessing the Gospel Library app for studying church material like scriptures and talks, Duolingo for learning new languages, and their new favorite, the Epic reading app that they use at school too. I can activate or deactivate these apps at any time from MY phone on the parent portal.
BOTTOM LINE: for $19.95 – $29.95 a month, you can give your kids a really safe and ACTUALLY smart phone that will keep them in touch with you, and OUT of trouble.
Does Troomi require a contract?
There are NO contracts required with Troomi!
Can I transfer an existing phone number to Troomi?
YES you can! It'll ask for transfer info when you go to checkout.
How to block kids from unwanted images and videos on cell phones
If you know our story of addiction recovery, you know how very personally important it was to Neil and me to make sure we introduced technology to our kids in a safe way, that wouldn't give them open or easy access to finding (even stumbling upon!) pornography or violence or predators online.
The online world can be really truly a scary place, ESPECIALLY for kids. That's probably why “safe phones for kids” is searched on Google so frequently.
Troomi has iron-clad safe protection that only allows kids to be on apps and a safe browser that gives you the ability to ONLY list the websites you want your child to have access to, rather than having wide-open internet access which opens their world at a very young age to EVERYTHING. That includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media platforms. All of that social media is a lot for a kid barely learning how to use a phone in general, let alone safely! So I love the safe web browser SO much that keeps them off these platforms until in the future when I feel they might be ready.
It also has military-grade security to protect your kids from intruders and predators.
The best safe phone for someone overcoming an addiction to pornography
I remember back when Neil was trying to just STOP using pornography as a daily escape from hard things in life, he asked me to help him find a safer phone that would just keep him from having the temptation walking around in his hands all day long. We tried really hard to find a good solution – maybe a flip phone? Maybe some kind of filtering app? The apps didn't work because he could jailbreak them so easily, and a flip phone wasn't sufficient for him to do work on his phone and provide for our family.
He and I both were like, “WOW we wish this phone would've been an option, back when we needed something just like this!!!” Now Neil has an open access phone after working the 12-steps and 6 years of being able to abstain from his addiction, but man that would've been nice back when he was just trying to do what basically a drug addict does when they're detoxing and going to rehab, just trying to initially break the habit.
How is Troomi's tech support?
I had to call them once because I couldn't figure out one of their features, and the nicest guy got on the line with me and in the most friendly and patient way, walked me through step-by-step until I was 100% confident I had resolved my issue. Their customer support is Nordstrom-level world class. Seriously.
How long will the Troomi Cyber Monday deal last?
Remember, you can get 50% off ALL Troomi phones + 3 months of FREE services today only with code THANKS50PLUS3, so don't wait! When it comes to safe phones for kids this is absolutely my top pick and I know you'll love it for your family, too.
wow. 50% off sounds really appealing to me. Thank you for recommending the coolest cell phone for kids. I loved reading this blog seriously. Loved it big time.
Hi I just saw this 50% off code and it’s past will this be happening again anytime soon
Hi! The deal probably won’t be back until Black Friday! You can use code MINTARROW for $50 off though! 🙂 -Kourtney
Do you need a case? I have boys that are “physical” sports etc. I don’t see any listed on website.
Yes you for sure need a case! You’ll just want to get one that matches your Samsung phone, they are super easy to find on amazon or mall kiosks etc! 🙂 -Kourtney
This sounds like exactly what I am looking for. Great review! But I have a question… do you need additional service through a cell phone carrier, like Verizon, for this phone to be usable when not on wifi? Thank you!
Hi Amy! Yes you do need additional service – Troomi’s plans start at $19.99 per month and go up to $29.99 per month depending on which features you’d like, and you can cancel anytime!
How does the front (selfie) camera on the A12 compare to the A13? I can’t find info about it online but I think my daughter uses that camera more often than the back one. I know the back camera on the A13 is significantly better but on their website it says the selfie cam is only 5MP but I cannot find what the selfie cam on the A12 is.
Hi Heather! The A12 has an 8 MP selfie camera and the A13 is only 5 MP, but the quality is still great! The A13 camera though is a 50 MP camera and the A12 is a 48 MP. We got word from Troomi that they are running low on A12, so if you’re thinking about that one, you may want to act quick before they sell out! 🙂 -Kourtney
PS We are getting our better than Black Friday deal back this Friday for 24 hours since the last time it went live, there was an IG outage if you want to hold off until then!! 🙂
Yay! Thanks for letting me know!
Thank you for your review! I’ve been staring at kidsafe phones all morning and your endorsement really helped with making a decision. FYI, the sale is on again for the holidays, yay! We’re buying three so it makes a big difference.