How To Pick a Cell Phone For a Teenager

Picking a cell phone for a teenager may present as a challenge for you as it does for me. Fret not. Let us take a look at the following steps to help us make a good choice.

Some important features to look at upon our selection will be:Smartphone 1

The price tag

Take a long look at your budget? What are you willing to pay for a phone for a teenager? There are some very pricey phones out there. However, you can still purchase a decent and more modern phone at an affordable price as well.

Phones that can be considered are:

  • Unlocked android phones. These are affordable and very capable handsets.

The quality

Metal or glass design phones tend to look like they have higher quality than the plastic ones. Metals do however tend to bend and dent and glass design phones are very fragile and prone to smudges. Plastic ones are tough, though most of them might feel slimy.

Battery life

Get long-lasting batteries. A good phone should last at around 10hrs on a charge. The capacity of a battery is largely influence however by the screen size, resolution and software. You can have an idea of a battery capacity by its mAh rating.

A good example is the Moto G Power.


Aim for crystal clear phone displays. It will provide the best experience for watching movies, playing games and viewing photos.


Lower numbers for the aperture in the camera are better for low-light photography. Look out for special features such as dual lenses and optical image stabilization. Do not concentrate entirely on megapixels. A good camera will give you good photos which should be what you are aiming for.

Storage space

Consider the phone’s storage capacity. Remember teens take lots of photos and they may have lots of videos and music. Therefore, their phone should at least have 32GB of storage. With that in mind, more games, photos and videos can be stored. Some phones do come with lesser storage capacity. Android phones do however have a micro SD card slot but unfortunately Apple does not have that option.

Nowadays we also have also the cloud option for storage.

Phone performance

This depends relatively on both the processor and the RAM.

The newer the processor is the better for speed and power efficiency of the phone.

RAM of 4GB is applicable for Androids only. iPhones do not require as much RAM though.

Furthermore, in regard to teenagers in particular we should take these things below into considerations:

Pay attention to the trend

Take note that cell phones have evolved over the years. Since we are talking about teenagers, one type of cell phone that will suit them well is the modern and popular smartphone.

A typical phone, provide basic functions such as text messages and phone calls.

A smartphone on the other hand, involves more than just making and receiving calls and exchanging text messages.

A smartphone is both a cell phone and a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) which is a digital organizer with a calendar. A smartphone is a combination of a cellphone and a PDA. Smartphones have more things in common with a computer.

Both its hardware and software contribute in making the smartphone to be smart.

The following are the advantages of such phone and why teenagers will fall in love with it.

  • It works as a computer.
  • Its functions are more advance such as browsing the internet and running software programs.
  • It usually uses a touch screen for interaction.

Some of its disadvantages are:

  • Due to heavy internet usage, the smartphone emits high electromagnetic radiation which can cause health problems such as brain tumor and skin cancer.
  • Due to long exposure to the glare coming from the screen, it can cause damage to the eyes.
  • It also affects sleep cycle which leads to fatigue and sleepiness.
  • Outdoor activities are greatly reduced.
  • It causes more online security risks.


Teenagers might prefer certain brands such as Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy which are the most popular phones out there. However, they are rather expensive.

What will the phone be used for?

Most teenagers use a phone to text or call their friends, for watching videos or interacting on social media. Therefore, a phone with a large screen may be considered as a good choice for them. They will definitely have a better experience while watching videos or playing games.

Check out the Operating System (OS)

The Operating System of a smartphone may also influence the choice of a teenager. There is a choice between iOS and Android.


  • Easier to use and more secure.
  • iPhone uses iOS. It is actually a type of smartphone made by Apple that has better hardware quality. It is popular because it’s hardware and software compatibility makes it run much smoother than any other mobile OS available. Upon buying a new iPhone, you will get the latest version of iOS. However, you will have to live with the memory that you got when you purchased it. It cannot be kept in the back pocket because it will bend.


  • Better for more hardware choices or affordable options.
  • It has a higher risk to get viruses because you can download apps from anywhere. Android in itself is very secure. It is your choices that put it at risks.
  • It is more difficult to get updates for Android phones.

Another noteworthy point is the choice of a carrier

Choose a carrier- The more products and services you take from a single carrier you may obtain more discounts if you ask for it.

Suggested ideas for phone for teenagers:

  • Unlocked android phones (affordable and very capable handset). Enable you to change carrier in the future.
  • Moto G7 has smooth performance, great battery life and good camera.
  • Google Pixel 3a is another one which can be considered but a bit expensive.



  • Smartphones can last a minimum 2-3 years. After that, it will gradually lose its speed.
  • You can prolong the life of a smartphone by keeping it and its charger clean.
  • Providing protection such as screen protector and a shock absorber casing can make your phone last longer.

I personally like Android phones simply because I am more accustom to them. I use my phone mostly for texting, calling and web searching. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you pick out a phone that your teenager will be comfortable with.

To sum it all up purchasing any mobile devices for a teenager will turn into a real treat. That also applies to mostly everyone.

However, the way that the device is being handled remains the responsibility of the individual. In which case, we are talking about a teenager.

Parents should play a big role in keeping their offspring safe while using their cell phone. This is in order to avoid cybercrime and to prevent health issues.

Choosing the right phone together with using it the right way, will be a great asset to any teenager. Phone accessories will also complete the package.

Thank you for stopping by.

Do leave a comment below.

4 thoughts on “How To Pick a Cell Phone For a Teenager”

  1. Hi Carol,

    This is very useful article, thanks for posting. Teenagers will always want the phone that is in fashion, but it is good to know these details so you can help to explain which is best for them. I was wondering, what your thoughts are about monitoring the phone to make sure they are safe.

    • Hi Tom,

      It is great to hear from you. I think that we should be always keeping an eye on what our teens are doing. Now more so on the online world. We know of the thrills and dangers of the internet and like in the real world we should caution them about the virtual world.

      Forearmed is better than ignorance. The phone should be used as a tool and as a treat so it is up to the parents to prevent it from becoming a threat. There are plenty of help out there to make good use of phones.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. Hello Carol! Thank you so much for this article. I have a sister that is actually looking to purchase a phone now, and we are debating from Apple to Android (such a huge debate for our family, as some of us recommend apple as others recommend android). I fully agree on all your points that you’ve provided, but i also take into consideration the durability and whether if its waterproof, as my sister is quite clumsy this is something that I really take into account of~ Other than that, your article really has helped me as you have unlocked some of my thoughts towards Android phones that are worth exploring before making any decision. Thank you once again for your article, really do appreciate it a ton! 

    • Thank you Joel for your great comment. I am glad that it is of some use to you. It is great that you point out about the durability and whether a phone is waterproof or not. I definitely agree with you on these points in regards to teenagers. Lovely to have your input! 


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