11 Smartphone Alternatives for Kids and Teens

In today’s digital age, smartphones are ubiquitous, but many parents are concerned about giving their kids and teens access to a full-fledged smartphone. Concerns range from exposure to inappropriate content, excessive screen time, and the potential for cyberbullying. Thankfully, there are several smartphone alternatives designed specifically for younger users that provide necessary communication tools without the drawbacks of a traditional smartphone.

11 Smartphone Alternatives for Kids and Teens

1. Gabb Phone

Overview: The Gabb Phone is designed to be a safe alternative for kids and teens. It looks like a smartphone but doesn’t have internet access, social media, or games. It focuses on essential functionalities such as calling, texting, and a few necessary apps like calendar, clock, and calculator.


  • No internet access
  • No social media or games
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • GPS tracking for parents
  • Durable design

Why It’s Great: The Gabb Phone is perfect for parents who want to ensure their child stays connected without the distractions and dangers of the internet.

2. Pinwheel Phone

Overview: Pinwheel offers a smart device tailored specifically for kids, focusing on safety and simplicity. The phone provides essential features without access to harmful content or time-wasting apps. Parents have full control over which apps can be installed and used.


  • No internet browser
  • Parent-controlled app installation
  • Pre-approved apps for educational and productivity purposes
  • GPS tracking
  • Customizable contact list

Why It’s Great: Pinwheel phones offer a balanced approach, allowing some useful apps while keeping kids safe from the potential dangers of the internet.

3. Relay Kids Phone

Overview: The Relay Kids Phone is a screen-free alternative that functions more like a walkie-talkie. It’s designed for younger kids who don’t need all the functionalities of a smartphone but still need to stay in touch with their parents.


  • No screen, reducing screen time
  • Nationwide 4G LTE coverage
  • GPS tracking
  • One-button communication
  • Durable and water-resistant

Why It’s Great: Relay is an excellent choice for younger children, providing peace of mind to parents without the complexities of a smartphone.

4. Light Phone

Overview: The Light Phone is a minimalist phone that encourages kids to stay connected without the distractions of a typical smartphone. It includes basic functionalities like calling, texting, and an alarm clock, with no internet browser or social media apps.


  • Minimalist design
  • No internet or social media
  • Calling and texting only
  • Long battery life
  • Sleek and compact design

Why It’s Great: The Light Phone is perfect for teens who need a way to communicate but don’t need the added distractions of a smartphone.

5. Nokia 3310

Overview: A modern take on a classic phone, the Nokia 3310 offers basic functionalities without internet access. It’s durable, has a long battery life, and includes essential features like calling, texting, and a few simple games.


  • 2G connectivity for calls and texts
  • Long battery life
  • Durable build
  • Basic games like Snake
  • FM radio and MP3 player

Why It’s Great: The Nokia 3310 is an affordable and durable option for kids and teens, keeping them connected without the extras of a smartphone.

6. Jitterbug Flip

Overview: While designed for seniors, the Jitterbug Flip is also an excellent choice for kids due to its simplicity and large buttons. It includes basic functionalities like calling, texting, and a camera, without internet access.


  • Large buttons and easy-to-use interface
  • Calling and texting
  • Built-in camera
  • Long battery life
  • No internet access

Why It’s Great: The Jitterbug Flip is perfect for younger kids who need a simple device to stay in touch with their parents.

7. Verizon GizmoWatch

Overview: The Verizon GizmoWatch is a kid-friendly smartwatch that allows parents to stay connected with their children. It includes calling, messaging, and GPS tracking, with parental controls to manage contacts and features.

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
ForEveryMom staff contributed to this article.

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