It is back to school time. Uniforms, shoes, stationary, maybe a book or two. Mobile phone. Yes, in this day and age, a connectivity device is on the list.

A recent study by the Australian Communication and Media Authority found that 46% of Australian children aged 6 to 13 used a mobile phone, up from 41% in 2015. And in the 12 months to June 2020, 1 in 3 children (33%) aged 6 to 13 owned the mobile phone they use, a number unchanged for the last few years.

I am sure to no one’s surprise, the top mobile phone usage is to play games. In third and fourth spots is to send or receive text, and call parents and family. And given how 2020 was, who could blame parents for allowing kids more screen time on their various devices?

What is important to note, is that mobile phones are becoming an increasingly important part of everyday life for Aussie kids to stay connected with their parents as they navigate our increasingly digitised world. However, deciding how much to spend, and what features to look out for can prove a difficult decision for parents of this age group.
Of course every child would love a flagship phone, or at least a hand me down of one. Personally I have found the lifecycle of a flagship phone can go a little longer, which means the flow on becomes more an issue with older batteries in particular.

There are of course options out there, particularly for the younger age group of children. Here at DRN we have tried our hands on a few options (in descending order of RRP).

The 00 Agent phone, the gorgeous Nokia 8.3 5G in polar night, retailing for AUD$899.

Jo’s tried out the TCL Pro 10 with it’s long battery life, retailing for AUD$749.

The TCL 10L offering with a focus on cameras and display at AUD$449.

The Australian made ultra-rugged Aspera R9 that will survive any playground at AUD$269.

Also Jo’s review bench right now is the Alcatel 1SE, a sub-$200 smartphone with loads of features.

There is the budget friendly Nokia 3.4 that is available for AUD$249.

The super cheap emergency phone, the Aspera F42 flip at AUD$99.

The full report, Kids and mobiles: how Australian children are using mobile phones, is available at AMCA and is a quick read to arm yourself with knowledge.