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Best cell phones for kids

Considering a phone for your child, but not sure which one to choose? Our tech expert fills you in on her favorites.

By Christina Tynan-Wood

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Sanyo Innuendo

Ages: Elementary and up

That text-crazy tween of yours will screech with delight when you hand him this slick phone with a full QWERTY keyboard so he can fire off texts faster than you can think. Flip the Sanyo Innuendo ($79.99), closed to conceal the keyboard and use the sleek, touch-sensitive phone interface. He’s happy and you’re happy. Why? This phone is cool enough for your kid, but mercifully isn't a data phone (though it will connect to the Internet in a pinch), shielding him from the never-ending distractions and hazards of an always-on smartphone. And with an unlimited call, text, and web plan for $50, he can go crazy gabbing and texting without worrying about overage charges.

Bottom line: A slick texting phone with an unlimited plan at a fairly reasonable price.

Christina Tynan-Wood has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Science, PC World, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, and many others. She currently writes the "Family Tech" column in Family Circle and blogs at