Introducing the Best iPhone for Kids and Teens in 2023 – an ideal device that combines functionality and safety. In this article, we will explore the top iPhone models recommended for young users, taking into consideration their specific needs and age-appropriate features.
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Kids love what they see – and gadgets like iPhones, iPad and Apple Watch tempt them the most. From the moment they see an iPhone or an iPad, they want to grab it with their hands and use it for eternity like this is the last chance they get their hands on this phone.
Children are attracted to iPhones because they are all over the place, be it their parents, TV celebrities, or friends who have them and they see iPhones all of the time, which increases their interest in the devices and fosters a curious feeling about the device which entices them to own an iPhone.
But which iPhone is best for your kid or teen? Is the new iPhone 14 good enough for your teen, or is it an expensive choice for a young child and unsuitable for their needs? Is iPhone SE 3 the best option for a child due to its cheap pricing and minimal yet essential features?
There are many factors that are essential for parents to consider before buying an iPhone for their young child or teenager, including their age, iPhone pricing, children’s needs, and other specific use cases such as school, professional, Creative arts, Entertainment and Recreation pursuits, or other activities.
Parents also need to understand that, for children and young teens, they must create rules such as house rules, screen time limits, phone usage rules per day, and iPhone screen time limits after or during school.
You can also use the parental control app on your iPhone to monitor your kid’s online activities and keep them safe online from cyberbullying by blocking inappropriate content using porn-blocking apps and kid-friendly browsers that can keep them safe while browsing on their iPhones.
Now shifting our attention to buying an iPhone your kid and teenage child. For toddlers between 2 to 4 years, Parvinder Singh, Our tech head journalist, advises parents to avoid buying an iPhone or iPad.
Instead, he recommends parents buy a basic kid’s phone or a learning tablet for kids, or a basic iPad that can be used for educational learning or other art + creative activities. You can check our best iPad for kids and teens guide to know whether they are the best fit for your child’s needs, and for that, you can check the best iPad deals to get the best available online prices. For toddler’s, parents can also buy toys that are good for their cognitive development. We recommend reading Best Toys for 4-year-olds, 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, five year, and 6-year-olds.
For parents who are worried about their children’s whereabouts after school or when they are not accompanying them to their schools, friends’ houses, or while playing outside – they can buy GPS tracking devices to track their kids if they are not old enough to carry or use an iPhone. We recommend parents buy a smartwatch for their young kids who are still young enough to use an iPhone or parents properly are hesitant about giving an iPhone to their children who are less than 8-10 years old.
But if you are child is old enough, let’s say more aged than eight years, then you can have a chat with your boy or girl to know if they want an iPhone and decide if they are ready to use mobile internet, text friends, or taking phone calls, then it’s time to buy an iPhone for your child.
For parents who are buying a first phone for their kids and are not sure if their child can keep the iPhone intact without damaging it, they can also have the option to buy a refurbished iPhone directly from Apple Store or other online stores like Amazon, Bestbuy, Target at a much lower price.
4 Best iPhone for Kids and Teens in 2023
|Uses for Kids
|iPhone SE 3
|Compact size, A15 Bionic chip, Touch ID, affordable price
|Educational apps, communication, entertainment
|Screen time limits, app restrictions, content filtering
|$429 (New) / $315 (Refurbished)
|8 and above
|iPhone 13 Mini
|A15 Bionic chip, dual-camera system, Face ID
|Photography, creative projects
|App monitoring, content restrictions, screen time control
|$599 (New) / $490 (Refurbished)
|12 and above
|A15 Bionic chip, dual-camera system, Face ID
|School tasks, productivity, entertainment
|Screen time management, app restrictions, content filters
|$699 (New) / $590 (Refurbished)
|13 and above
|Action Mode for video, vibrant color choices
|Photography, video creation, social media
|Parental controls, app restrictions, screen time limits
|$799 (New) / $685 (Refurbished)
|14 and above
Let’s determine why iPhone you should choose for your Kids and where to get one.
1. iPhone SE 3
The small size, budget pricing (Starting at $429), good camera quality, and durability are the major factors that pushed the iPhone SE 3 to the top of this list.
For kids and teens, who are interested in photography, parents can gift them one of these recommended cameras picked by our editors.
The iPhone SE 3rd generation stands out as an excellent choice for kids and teens because it provides outstanding performance for daily tasks (like calling, reading, messaging, location tracking, and learning apps) due to its faster A15 Bionic chip (also used in iPhone 14) and durability.
It’s compact size and affordable price make it an ideal entry-level option. The age recommendation for the iPhone SE is eight and above. Kids can also play games, run apps, take photos, and stream shows and cartoons on its 4.7-inch Full HD screen.
Why We Recommend the iPhone SE for Kids
The iPhone SE balances functionality and affordability. Its smaller size makes it easier for kids to handle while still providing robust features. Additionally, its parental control options allow parents to monitor and limit usage, ensuring a safe digital experience for their children.
Useful Features for Kids and Parents
- Parental Controls: With Screen Time, parents can manage their child’s usage limits, app restrictions, and content filters.
- Easy to Use: The iPhone SE’s intuitive interface and familiar iOS operating system make it user-friendly for kids and parents.
- Camera: The iPhone SE boasts a high-quality camera, allowing kids to capture and share memorable moments.
The iPhone SE 3 starts at $429 for the 64GB model, making it affordable for parents who want to provide their children with a reliable smartphone without breaking the bank.
2. iPhone 13 mini
For kids and teens who prefer a more compact and lightweight device without sacrificing performance, the iPhone 13 mini is an excellent choice. Its age recommendation of 13 and above offers a premium experience in a smaller package.
Why do We recommend the iPhone 13 mini for Kids?
The iPhone 13 mini combines the power of the latest A15 Bionic chip with a pocket-sized design, making it highly portable. Its impressive camera capabilities and OLED display offers a superior visual experience. The device also boasts improved battery life and durability.
Useful Features for Kids and Parents
- A15 Bionic Chip: The iPhone 13 mini delivers exceptional performance, ensuring smooth multitasking and gaming experiences.
- Enhanced Photography: The device features improved camera sensors, allowing kids to capture stunning photos and videos.
- Water and Dust Resistance: The iPhone 13 mini is rated IP68, providing added protection against accidental spills and splashes.
The iPhone 13 mini starts at $599 for the 128GB model, making it a premium option suitable for parents looking to provide their kids with cutting-edge technology.
3. iPhone 13
The iPhone 13 is a versatile smartphone that offers a balance between size, performance, and advanced features. Its age recommendation of 14 and above caters to older teens who require more capabilities.
Why do We Recommend the iPhone 13 for Teens?
The iPhone 13 boasts an impressive Super Retina XDR display, enhanced camera system, and extended battery life. It also supports 5G connectivity, making it future-proof. The device’s powerful A15 Bionic chip ensures smooth performance for gaming and multitasking.
Useful Features for Kids and Parents
- Super Retina XDR Display: The iPhone 13 offers a stunning visual experience, ideal for multimedia consumption and creative projects.
- 5G Connectivity: Teens can enjoy faster download speeds, seamless streaming, and enhanced gaming experiences.
- Extended Battery Life: The iPhone 13’s optimized battery management system ensures more prolonged usage between charges.
The iPhone 13 starts at $699 for the 128GB model, making it a premium option suitable for older teens who require advanced features and capabilities.
4. iPhone 14
For parents seeking the latest features at an affordable price for their teenagers, the iPhone 14 is an excellent option.
Why do We Recommend the iPhone 14 for Kids and Teens?
We recommend parents buy iPhone 14 for their teenagers because it offers various features teens can use, including great rear and front cameras for photography and social media, making it an ideal choice for older kids and teens.
Its powerful performance (A15 Bionic chip), enhanced camera capabilities (12MP dual and Ultra- Wide camera), and affordability provide an exceptional user experience for college-going teens.
While the iPhone 13 may be a close alternative if you are on a budget under $600, the iPhone 14’s distinctive features, such as a more sophisticated camera system, fall detection, and excellent battery life of up to 24 hours, make the latter an attractive option for tech-savvy teens.
We believe the iPhone 14 is suitable for kids and teens aged 14 and above due to its pricing and features, which target teenagers and adults rather than the younger generation.
The advanced features and functionalities of the iPhone 14 cater to the needs and interests of teens who are older than 14 years old, providing a seamless and enjoyable smartphone experience.
We advise parents to buy this iPhone if their kid is ready to handle it, as it is not a tiny gadget and offers many features and capabilities that can be used for good and evil. We suggest parents carefully monitor their kid’s device activity using parental control apps and try to have a meaningful conversation with them regarding online safety and phone usage.
Parents can o use family locator apps or kid tracker apps to keep an eye on them when they are outside – in school, playing with friends, or at a relative’s house.
Since teens use iPhone 14 for social activities like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and youtube due to its camera capabilities and excellent display quality, the parent must monitor their social activities from time to time and also teach their kids to be alert and not share any personal info online with strangers or with school + college acquaintances.
Useful Features for Kids and Parents
- Action Mode for Video: The iPhone 14 introduces Action Mode, allowing users to capture smooth videos while walking or running. This feature is handy for kids who enjoy recording and sharing action-packed moments with friends.
- Advanced Camera Capabilities: The iPhone 14 offers improved camera sensors and image processing technology, enabling kids to capture high-quality photos and videos. This feature caters to budding photographers or those interested in creative pursuits.
- Color Choices: The iPhone 14 comes in various attractive colors, including blue, purple, midnight, starlight, and red. Although the color choice is subjective, kids can select a vibrant shade that matches their style and preferences.
The iPhone 14 provides an affordable option for parents seeking the latest features for their kids. Pricing starts at $799 for the 128GB model, offering excellent value for money compared to other flagship smartphones in the market.
Buy a refurbished iPhone
Before buying a new iPhone for your kid or teen, we advise parents to check out refurbished iPhones from Apple or other online stores, including eBay, Amazon, Target, and BestBuy. Parents on a budget can save a lot of money on refurbished or second-hand iPhones.
Also, you don’t have to worry as Apple gives a one-year warranty for all its refurbished products. You can also check Amazon’s renewed store, which has more stock than Apple’s official refurbished store, like we found this iPhone 13, 128GB, Blue – Unlocked phone at $590 with 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee. The new iPhone 13 128GB costs around $699, so you save $100 bucks with the refurbished iPhone 13.
Also, you don’t have to worry about the quality of these refurbished or renewed iPhones as they go through rigorous testing. Apple Certified Refurbished Products undergo rigorous functionality testing, and Apple replaces any defective modules identified in testing. Amazon pre-owned products are also professionally inspected, tested, and cleaned by Amazon-qualified vendors.
You can buy these renewed iPhones from amazon and Apple:
- iPhone 13 128Gb unlocked for $590 – View on Amazon.
- iPhone 13 mini 128Gb unlocked for $490 – View on Amazon.
- iPhone 14 mini 128Gb T-mobile for $685 – View on Amazon.
- iPhone SE 3rd Gen 128Gb Unlocked for $315 – View on Amazon.
- iPhone 15 and 15 Pro
iPhone 15 for older teens
Recently, Apple introduced the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, representing the pinnacle of smartphone technology. However, are these devices necessary for every age group, especially younger kids?
Based on comprehensive testing and reviews by our team, we believe the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro are premium devices, offering cutting-edge features and capabilities that might exceed the requirements of younger children. However, for teenagers aged 16, 17, or 18, these models can serve as a highly beneficial device, considering their advanced functionalities and potential uses.
The iPhone 15 and 15 Pro come with impressive specifications, including enhanced cameras, powerful processors, and additional features that cater to a wide range of applications. While the price tag may seem daunting, the investment could be more justified for older teenagers who can utilize these advanced capabilities for school, creative endeavors, work, and diverse app usage.
For parents seeking a smartphone for their younger children primarily for communication and limited app usage, less expensive or more basic models might suffice. On the other hand, older teenagers who need more sophisticated features and processing power could significantly benefit from the iPhone 15 or 15 Pro.
Ultimately, the decision rests on evaluating your teenager’s specific needs, intended usage, and your budget. The iPhone 15 series may be pricier, but they offer an array of functionalities that can be incredibly valuable for older teens entering a stage where their smartphone becomes an indispensable tool for various aspects of their lives.
Give Them an iPhone You Already Have: Promoting Responsible Device Usage
- Cost-effective: Giving your kids an old iPhone that you are using eliminates the need to purchase a new device. It saves you a couple of hundred bucks while giving kids or teens access to a reliable and functional iPhone, which they are already familiar with.
- Familiarity and Compatibility: Another reason is the reliability and ease of usability. Since you are giving them an iPhone they are already familiar with and have used before; Kids may find it easier to navigate. It ensures a smoother transition for kids since there will be no learning curve to use it as they are aware of its features and functionalities to using the device. Additionally, existing iPhones will likely be compatible with apps, accessories, and software updates, providing a seamless user experience.
- Parental Control Features: iPhone has built-in parental control features like Screen time, and Family setup, allowing parents or caretakers to monitor and manage their child’s device usage effectively. Parents can also use parental control apps, family tracker apps, and GPS trackers to promote responsible and safe usage.
Digital Footprints: Understanding the Influence of iPhones on Kids and Teenagers
|Teenagers with iPhones (Piper Sandler Survey)
|Percentage of U.S. teenagers with iPhones
|Teenagers heavily favor iPhones in the U.S., indicating a shift towards mobile-centric consumption.
|Teenagers’ Spending and Habits (Piper Sandler)
|Teens purchasing secondhand items
|Teens prioritize sustainability with 51% buying secondhand items.
|Teens consuming plant-based meat
|14% of teens opt for plant-based meat, largely favoring Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
|Teens spending on clothing
|Clothing expenditures (22%) surpass food spending (21%) among teens.
|Teens wearing makeup daily
|Makeup use among teens has risen from 22% to 33% in the recent past.
|Favorite Social Media Apps among Teens
|Teens favoring Snapchat as favorite app
|Snapchat (35%), TikTok (30%), and Instagram (22%) are teens’ top social media choices.
|Teens favoring TikTok as favorite app
|Teens favoring Instagram as favorite app
|Technology Ownership Among Children (Common Sense)
|Children with smartphones by age 11
|More than half (53%) of U.S. children own smartphones by age 11.
|Teenagers with smartphones
|84% of teenagers possess their own smartphones, engaging in a range of digital experiences.
|Screen Time Activities (Common Sense)
|Average daily video viewing for teens
|2 hrs 52 mins
|Video content remains a dominant screen activity for teens, averaging 2 hours and 52 minutes daily.
|Average daily video viewing for tweens
|2 hrs 30 mins
|Phone Acquisition Age and Well-being (Stanford Medicine)
|Average age children received their first phones
|No significant correlation found between phone acquisition age and well-being indicators.
|Percentage with phones by age 10.7
|Percentage with phones by age 12.6
- 87% of U.S. teenagers have iPhones, Piper Sandler survey finds” Source: Axios
- “It’s A Smartphone Life: More Than Half Of U.S. Children Now Have One”Source: NPR
- “Age that kids acquire mobile phones not linked to well-being, says Stanford Medicine study” Source: Stanford Medicine
- “The Impact of Teen Smartphone Ownership” Source: Pew Research Center
- “Teens, Social Media & Technology 2021” Source: Pew Research Center
- “The Dark Side of Smartphone Usage Among Teens” Source: Psychology Today
- “The Impact of Screen Time on Children’s Well-being” Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Considerations for Age-Appropriate Usage
We advise parents to consider their child’s age when giving them an iPhone to ensure they understand its functionalities and can handle the device properly.
Younger children generally are unable to understand the risks of the online world. That’s why we suggest parents place restrictions and establish supervision on their phone usage while older teens can be given more independence and responsibility.
The Importance of Parental Involvement
Parent involvement is crucial in guiding and educating children about responsible device usage, whether the iPhone is new or pre-owned. Engage in open conversations about internet safety, digital etiquette, and balancing screen time with other activities.
Tips for Setting Guidelines and Boundaries
- Establish Clear Rules: Parents can establish clear phone usage rules and communicate their expectations with their kids on a regular basis regarding device usage, such as designated usage times (no phone during dining, no phones before completing school work, finishing home chores), restrictions on certain apps or websites, and guidelines for social media interactions.
- Use Parental Control Features: Parents must take advantage of built-in parental control features on the iPhone, such as Screen Time and Family Setup, to restrict access to inappropriate content, set screen time limits, track location, and monitor app usage.
- Promote Healthy Habits: You, as a parent, need to encourage your kids and teens to engage in physical activities such as playing sports, cycling, or running, pursue hobbies, and spend quality time with family and friends. Physical activity and social activeness will instill healthier choices and fosters a sense of responsibility in their mind, which is essential to living a healthy work and personal life. Parents can also gift their kid’s hoverboards for riding or electric scooters to enjoy a day out with their friends and play with them.
- Lead by Example: Be a positive role model by demonstrating responsible device usage. Show your child the importance of unplugging, setting boundaries, and utilizing technology for productive purposes.
What are the Uses of an iPhone for Kids and Teens in Various Areas?
There are various uses of iPhones for Kids and teens. From education and creative skill development to entertainment and fostering recreational activities with the help of workout apps, iPhones offer a plethora of features to children, helping them in every step and task through their school until they reach their home and in-between.
- Education: iPhones are small handheld devices, yet they are excellent for educational purposes, including note-taking, accessing educational resources, including libraries or online book stores such as Amazon book store, kindle, or other publishing houses, and organizing schedules.
They provide a platform for productivity apps that aid in studying, collaborating with classmates, and communicating with teachers. Kids can download learning, reading apps, or educational apps to read in their spare time. Parents can also let their kids or teens buy and download books for themselves.
Teens interested in social issues or philosophy can read books for free or pay a subscription fee. Young teens can also read books from Science and Math to fantasy and adventure subjects.
- Professional Development: Another essential thing teens can do is they can utilize iPhones for professional activities such as part-time jobs, internships, or freelance work. They can manage tasks, schedules, and deadlines through productivity apps and use communication tools like email, messaging apps, and video conferencing for professional interactions.
- Creative Expression: iPhones offer a range of creative possibilities for teens interested in photography, filmmaking, graphic design, and other artistic pursuits. The advanced camera capabilities, video recording features, and editing apps allow them to capture and edit photos or videos, create multimedia projects, and showcase their work on social media platforms.
- Entertainment and Recreation: iPhones offer a plethora of entertainment options, allowing kids and teens to stream music, movies, TV shows, and games directly on their devices. Social media apps and messaging platforms enable them to connect with friends, and express their creativity through content creation.
- Safety and Communication: iPhones offer safety and communication features that provide peace of mind for parents. GPS tracking, emergency calls, and location-sharing functionalities ensure the safety of kids and teens. Parental control features allow parents to monitor usage, restrict access to inappropriate content, and manage screen time to promote a healthy digital lifestyle.
Parvinder Singh is a seasoned IT developer and network engineer with over 5 years of experience. He is also a skilled tech columnist, offering insights on the latest trends and developments in the tech industry.