By Christina Tynan-Wood
Virgin Mobile's Flare ($19.99), a traditional flip phone, is simple to use: open to talk, close to hang up. Then toss it in a backpack, and it won’t make calls on its own when your little techster hits the buttons by accident. And like the Jax, if anything untoward happens to the phone while it’s in that backpack, it’s easy to replace.
The Flare even has a speakerphone for pajama-party gabfests. Since it's a prepaid phone, there's no commitment. Turn on texting when your child is ready for it, and give her a fixed number of texts. Turn it off if she misuses it.
Bottom line: Easy to use and replace. A no-contract plan that will let you dole out minutes as you see fit.
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