phones for teens

Best phones for teens

Buying a phone for a teenager, or older child, may not be as simple as you think. There are a few things you need to consider (as a parent) to ensure your teen is getting the most out of their device. Check out our recommendations for the best phones for teens below. 

What to look for

Before buying a phone for a teen, you should keep the following things in mind:

Battery life

Phones with long-lasting batteries are life-savers when travelling around. Getting a smartphone with a big battery capacity will ensure your teenager’s phone doesn’t run out of charge while they’re out with friends.

Screen size

They’ll want a phone that’s easy to handle and portable enough to place inside pockets and bags. It should also be big enough for them to watch videos on - either for entertainment or educational purposes.

Good cameras

Your teenager will likely want a phone with good camera quality. It’ll let them capture high quality memories, selfies, and photos to share with friends.

Tough materials

It helps to have a phone that protects against drops and water submersion. Looking for a smartphone that has an IP waterproof rating is important to keep it safe. Also look for phones which are made out of Gorilla Glass, which is more durable than plastic.

Safety features

To keep your child safe online, you’ll want a phone that’s full of security features to protect against malware. You can also invest in parental control software for younger children.

Price

You don’t want to spend £1000s on a phone, only for your child to lose it. Our recommendations below are more on the value side of things. If you want an ultra-affordable option, you can check out our lists on the best phones for under £100 and £200

 

Best iPhone - iPhone SE (2020)

If your teenager is an Apple fanatic, they’ll definitely want an iPhone. Our top recommendation for a younger user is the iPhone SE (2020), the updated version of the popular 2016 model. 

Release date: April 2020

Price: £398.99 - £548.99 

Portable and easy to handle 4.7 inch screen is ideal for travelling and storing in a pocket or small bag

Operates on the newest Apple system, iOS 14, so security measures and bug fixes are up to date

Fast A13 chip for speedy processing and downloading 

Has a waterproof rating of IP67, which means the phone can withstand up to one metre of submersion for a maximum of 30 minutes

Comes with three storage options: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB

Bluetooth 5.0 for playing audio wirelessly 

Compatible with Qi wireless charging 

Only two cameras - 12MP rear and 7MP front - which aren’t as powerful as many other models and brands

Small 1,821mAh battery life might not be enough for most teenagers to sustain all day

No 3.5mm headphone jack, so if you want to plug earphones in, you need to buy an adapter for the Lightning cable

No memory card slot - if you need more storage, you’ll have to invest in cloud storage like iCloud

Not 5G compatible

Discover more iPhones.

 

Best Samsung - Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

If you want a great value Samsung phone that doesn’t sacrifice quality, look no further than the A42. 

Release date: November 2020

Price: £317.99 

Huge 6.6 inch screen, perfect for watching videos

Operates on Android 11, Android’s most recent operating system

Has a quad rear camera: 48MP Wide, 8MP Ultra Wide, 5MP Macro, and 5MP Depth, as well as a 20MP front camera, for high-quality pictures and selfies

Long-lasting5,000mAh battery capacity will not run out too quickly 

Comes with a microSD card slot if you need to expand on the 128GB of internal storage

Comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless listening

NFC-enabled device, allowing you to use contactless payments at shops, restaurants, and cafes 

5Gcompatible

No IP rating. The phone is not guaranteed to be resistant to water or dust

Doesn’t support wireless charging 

Discover more Samsung phones

 

Best battery life - Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Whether you’re travelling, out with friends, or just at home, having to find a charger every few hours can be frustrating. To avoid the fear of your teen’s battery running low, you should invest in a phone with a big battery. And if you also want to keep control of your budget, the Galaxy A32 is one of the best big battery smartphones around. 

Release date: April 2021

Price: £250

5,000mAh battery capacity, capable of providing up to 21 hours of internet usage, 36 hours of talk time, 20 hours of video playback, and 106 hours of audio playback

Big 6.5 inch screen

Quad rear cameras - 48MP, 8MP, 5MP, and 2MP, with a 13MP front camera, and 4K video recording capabilities 

64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot capable of expanding memory up to a whopping 1TB

3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.0 for listening to music, radio, and podcasts

Made from Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is one of the strongest materials for phones at the moment

NFC-enabled so you can use the phone to pay without the need for coins or a card

5G compatible

 

Best camera - Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G

If your teenager likes taking photos, they’ll love a smartphone with a powerful, high-megapixel camera. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G will capture selfies and landscapes without any need for editing! 

Release date: October 2020

Price: £400 - £500

Triple rear cameras with a powerful 108MP Wide, 13MP Ultra Wide, and 5MP Macro. It’s also got a strong 20MP selfie camera

8K video recording capability for crystal-clear and blur-free footage

AI technology built into the camera to naturally enhance and stabilise images

Large 6.67 inch screen with high-resolution 2400 x 1080 pixels - perfect for looking back at their favourite photos

Large 5,000mAh battery. Also supports Fast Charging 33W to get it back up and running in no time

Comes with internal storage of either 128GB or 256GB

Upgradeable to Android 11, the newest OS

Has Bluetooth 5.1 for strong wireless connectivity

Made with Gorilla glass

May be slightly heavy for some at 218g

No card slot built into the design, so cannot manually expand storage 

No 3.5mm headphone jack so you will have to use either an adaptor or wireless headphones to listen to audio

No formal IP waterproof rating

Discover more Xiaomi phones and camera phones.  

 

Best for watching videos and playing games - LG v60 ThinQ 5G

A phone for videos and gaming needs to have a large, clear screen and a big battery. It should also have decent storage, multiple audio options, and a speedy processor. Luckily, this LG model has all of this and more. 

Release date: March 2020

Price: £400 - £500

Huge 6.8 inch screen made up of two detachable displays. This is a foldable phone, which is great for saving space too

1080 x 2460 pixel resolution, capable of displaying vivid, colourful, and detailed scenes

Large 5,000mAh battery that can last all day. Also supports wireless charging and fast charging

Speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G processor 

128GB or 256GB in-built storage, with a microSD card slot for expansion if needed 

Supports wired or wireless headphones with both a 3.5mm audio jack and Bluetooth 5.1

Includes a 32-Bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC converter for deep, immersive sound

Triple rear cameras: 64MP Standard, 13MP Ultrawide, 0.3MP Depth, with a 10MP front camera, and powerful 8K video recording 

IP68 waterproof rating

Made from Corning Gorilla Glass 5, one of the most durable materials

5G compatibility makes the device faster and smoother, with less chance of buffering 

Discover more film and gaming phone recommendations.

 

Easy to use - Google Pixel 4a with 5G

The Google Pixel range thrives off having simple interfaces and helpful features for the less tech-savvy. The Pixel 4a in particular is perfect for those looking for an easy to use smartphone

Release date: September 2020

Price: £499

Big and clear 6.2 inch screen 

Includes AI Google Assistant, which allows you to make verbal commands hands-free

Dual rear cameras: 12.2MP Wide and 16MP Ultra Wide, with an 8MP front camera, and 4K video recording capability 

Decent 3,885mAh battery capacity, which also supports fast charging technology

Fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor decreases chances of buffering and slow downloads 

IP68 waterproof rating, letting it withstand up to one metre of water submersion (for a maximum of 30 minutes) 

Comes with 128GB internal storage, but you also have unlimited storage with Google Photos

5G compatible

Discover more Google phones.

 

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