Kids want Kajeet Android phones, but should they have them? Let’s face it, kids want smart phones these days so they can download cool apps and games and videos on YouTube.
One of the phones I tested was a prepaid phone with QWERTY keyboard, 2 megapixel camera and mp3 music player. Not too bad, right? Well it was called an “eighteenth century phone” by one of our children because it wasn’t an iPhone or Android smartphone that could download the latest and greatest apps and games. (Note: Yes, they do know there weren't any phones in the eighteenth century!)
School children these days want iPads and Kindle Fire’s (boy do they want them) and whatever else is the latest gadget by the time you read this. I admit I first had a problem with how eager they are for technology and with how familiar they are with brands. A friend of mine who teaches high school related to me the results of a study done a while back that kids can identify hundreds of corporate logos, but know the names of only a few trees. I don’t know if that’s a real study or an urban legend, but it feels about right to me.
However, when my kids borrowed one of the smartphones I was testing for this site, I was surprised to find that they were no longer concerned with gadgets and stuff anymore. Now it was used to look up information like different breed of dogs and animals that begin with the letter “X” (quite a few, actually). Sure they looked up videos on the latest pop song, but they also found out how to make pom-poms with yarn or make the latest arts and crafts project.
Still, I was concerned about how they would use phones without supervision. We’ve had Kajeet service on a basic phone for a while now. The only parental controls we really needed to set on it were the call restrictions. However, a smartphone would require a new set of controls, and, luckily they’re there.
That’s where the Smart Blocker comes. On Kajeet Android phones, you can set different levels of filtering based on the child’s level of maturity. Or you can block access altogether. As you can see, the controls are labeled based on what’s appropriate for kids at different grade levels, but you don’t have to follow it. If you feel are more responsible then you can allow them greater access. On the other hand if they’ve done something recently they shouldn’t have, they can be digitally grounded!
One thing that the smart blocker does not do is control which apps can be installed or used. This is an issue if you want to restrict communication apps like Skype. There was a free app called Kytephone that let you do just that.
Okay, so this is not an Android phone, but I don't yet have a separate page for other Kajeet smartphone since there's onlye one. This iPhone 5 costs $439.99 and comes with their parental controls.
You also have a choice of a few Android phones. The prices on the phones can be a little higher than expected, partly because they’re no-contract phones. There’s usually a sale on one or two of them going on at any given moment, so you’ll usually have a couple of reasonably-priced choices available.
Here are the models available and their prices when I last checked (Oct 2014):