- Best iPhone
- Best Samsung
- Best battery life
- Best camera
- Best for watching videos and playing games
- Easy to use
What to look for
Before buying a phone for a teen, you should keep the following things in mind:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you want a great value Samsung phone that doesn’t sacrifice quality, look no further than the A42.
Release date: November 2020
✔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
✘No IP rating. The phone is not guaranteed to be resistant to water or dust
✘Doesn’t support wireless charging
Discover more Samsung phones.
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
✔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
✔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
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
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.
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
✔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
Discover more Google phones.
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