Buying your child a phone can present some dilemmas. The decision hinges on their age, independence levels and social media access.
Your budget is also a strong decider, and now there are companies making phones specifically for parents who don't want to spend too much. The sub-$300 phone market is growing everyday as more families take up phones for their kids so they are always contactable.
It's best that children don't have unfettered access to the internet on their phones, and that once you have bought their phone, you should carefully set up all privacy and internet blocking features. Teenagers also still need sound security measures that block adult content.
With some models it's possible, for example, to enable maps while blocking search engines. You can always go for a dumb phone if you don't want the risk and hassle of a smartphone, or if your child is younger.
Here are five great smartphones (in no particular order) that won't bust the bank balance and will keep your kid happy and contactable.
The Oppo sub-$300 category gives you two options - the AX5 ($279) and the AX7 ($299). These beauties offer brilliant battery life which is a big deal when you have the kind of kid who forgets to charge.
The $20 difference gets you a more-powerful front-facing camera.
Left to right - 1x, 1s, 3. Photo: Alcatel
Alcatel has just released not one, but three sub $300 smartphones aimed firmly at the teen market.
The 1x retails for $179, the 1s for $199 and the 3 for $279.
The best way of comparing their features is to take a look at this handy chart.
3. Samsung Galaxy A20
Samsung's popular Galaxy range offers the A20 well under $300. Teens will love the dual-lens camera and selfie feature.
4. LG Q7
The LG-Q7 retails for around $249 and offers fantastic battery power, a decent camera with portrait mode, and great screen quality.
5. iPhone SE
If most of the tech you currently own is Apple, then it might be easier to stick with what you know. You can pick up an iPhone SE these days for well under $300 on eBay. Make sure to check the warranty details and buy from a reputable dealer.
These little beauties are great workhorses for teen requirements and you don't have to move mentally out of Apple-mode to set it up and maintain.