Dumb Phone for Kids: A Smart Move?

Paige Geis Bradshaw
Dumb Phone for Kids: A Smart Move?

Dumb phones used to be the only option if you wanted a cell phone. Back when they were in their prime, they were actually pretty cool!

But luckily, by the time I was in high school and deemed old enough to have a phone, dumb phones were on their way to being phased out by iPhones. (Though that didn’t stop my parents from starting me off with a dumb phone anyway.)

Around this time, social media was beginning to boom. Apps like Snapchat joined the surge, too. But now that more than a decade has passed since these innovations were introduced, people are coming to realize that smartphones aren’t all they’re cracked up to be—some are even making the switch back to a dumb phone!

Now that it’s common for kids to have phones of their own, it makes you wonder which phone is best: A dumb phone for kids or a smartphone for kids? What is a dumb phone, anyway? Let’s check out the perks and pitfalls of these phones for kids!

What Is a Dumb Phone?

A dumb phone—more technically known as a feature phone—is a mobile phone that lacks any kind of computing capability or Internet access.

These phones look like cell phones from the early generations. They typically feature a top that flips or slides, press-button keypads, and non-touch screen displays. While they can be used to send text messages and make calls, they don’t have apps, the Internet, or most other features that modern smartphones do.

Do Dumb Phones Still Exist?

Yes, they do! In fact, CNBC reported that dumb phones are becoming more and more popular in the United States. Around the rest of the world, dumb phones make up about 25% of all mobile phones that are actively in use.

If you’re on team smartphone, you might be wondering why anyone would want to use a dumb phone. In addition to their affordability and how easy they are to operate, one of their more attractive traits is counteracting the impact that constant access to social media and the Internet has on our mental health. That’s why so many people are ditching their smart devices!

Dumb Phone vs. Smartphone

So, when it comes to picking the phone that’s best for your child, which do you choose? A dumb phone for kids that only allows the basics, or a smartphone with all the bells and whistles?

Let the dumb phone vs. smartphone battle begin!

Dumb Phone Benefits

Here are a handful of dumb phone benefits:

  • Affordable hardware. Dumb phones are, by default, much cheaper than smartphones. They’re smaller, feature limited functionality, and lack the sophistication of high-tech smart devices.
  • Cheap monthly plans. Since you won’t be paying for data, the Internet, or any apps, monthly plans for dumb phones are remarkably affordable. You’ll even have the option to pay for functionality as you go, or simply pay for the minutes you use and the texts you send!
  • Unbeatable durability. Dumb phones aren’t jokingly called “bricks” and “dinosaurs” for nothing! Dumb phones are built to last and withstand years of wear, tear, drops, and damage. (Not to mention you’ll save big bucks on phone cases and screen protectors—you won’t need either of them!)
  • Long-lasting battery life. With fewer functions to keep up and running, a dumb phone can go days without a charge. Stay powered up and ready for phone calls for days at a time—an especially useful feature in case of an emergency!
  • Pretty much “unplugged.” If you want a way to be contacted while staying disconnected from features like social media, a dumb phone offers the best of both worlds.

Smartphone Benefits

Here are some of the many smartphone benefits:

  • Communication and connection. Without a doubt, one of the most significant selling points of smartphones is the different methods of communication: phone calls, text messaging, picture and video messaging, video calls, online messaging apps, social media, and more!
  • Instant access to information. The next best benefit of smartphones? Always having access to the information you need! Thanks to the Internet, you can find the answer to any question you have or order pizza delivery in a matter of minutes.
  • Made for making memories. With multiple top-of-the-line cameras, smartphones make it easy to quickly snap a picture that’ll last a lifetime! No matter where you are—and regardless of Internet connection—you can take pictures, film videos, and creatively edit them both.
  • Safety first. Many smartphones have helpful features that protect us and keep us safe. From real-time GPS apps to apps like what3words, you can rest assured knowing you’ll have access to help in an emergency.
  • Endless entertainment. Smartphones offer endless entertainment! Gaming apps, video streaming platforms, audiobooks, and more will keep the boredom at bay.

The Verdict: Choose Troomi

Still can’t decide between a dumb phone for kids and a smartphone for kids? Don’t waste too much time worrying—we’ve got the solution all sorted out for you!

Troomi phones are the perfect blend of dumb phone benefits and smartphone benefits. They look like any other smartphone and feature our expertly vetted KidSmart® Apps as well as a kid-safe Internet browser. You can also limit the functionality to talk and text only on a Troomi phone. Better yet, you can adjust your child’s access somewhere in between, depending on their age, maturity, and needs!Through the Troomi Parent Portal, you can completely customize how your child’s phone operates. You can set screen time limits, windows of complete shutdown, approve or deny contacts, add or remove apps, and so much more! To learn more about what makes Troomi different from other kid-safe phones, click here.