Thoughts, News and Banter from PowerPackXL

Does your child NEED a mobile phone?

A recent survey showed the average child gets their first mobile handset before turning 12 – just in time for the start of secondary school.

While the same study showed that 15 per cent of children had mobile phones that were worth more than their parents if you’re sending them out with their first handset it may be best to opt for a cheaper model. Phones can get damaged, lost or stolen (see this blog about phone theft) at school – and while that may be a disaster with an iPhone, the models selected below are more easily replaceable.

They are also all cheaply available with pay-as-you-go deals, which is a good payment option if you want to keep a limit on your child’s spending. If you do set up a monthly bill – which is likely to work out cheaper if your child uses their phone several times a day – talk to the provider to set up a spending or data cap to make sure they don’t rack up large charges – you know how these teenagers can talk!

Nokia 100

Max battery talk time: 7 h 20 min

PAYG price: From £12.95


The Nokia 100 is one of the most affordable colour-screen phones on the market. It may not come with many extras – it doesn’t even have a camera – but for a first phone you could do much worse. It’s portable, comes with games and an FM radio and boasts up to 840h of standby time. The Apple brats may mock, but they’ll come crawling back when their battery’s died once again and need to make a call home.

JCB Tradesman TP121

Max battery talk time: 3 h

Camera: None

PAYG price: From £54.95


What’s tougher than a mobile phone designed by a digger company? Nothing. This one “meets military specifications for hardness”, according to the Carphone Warehouse, floats on and is resistant to water, and can operate between -20 and +60 degrees centigrade. It has a built-in torch, radio and Bluetooth connectivity but no internet connection or camera. Ideal for the child with a love of the great outdoors and/or breaking things.


Nokia Asha 201

Max battery talk time: 7 h

Camera: 2 megapixel rear video and photo

PAYG price: From £29.95



The Nokia Asha 201 isn’t quite a smartphone, but the QWERTY keyboard makes it look swish and it’s the closest you are likely to get for this sort of price. It also allows access to basic apps and social networking platforms. While there is no 3G or WiFi internet connection, users can get online via GPRS or EDGE mobile internet – allowing them to send text messages through WhatsApp without incurring extra SMS charges, for example.

Alcatel One Touch T’Pop

Max battery talk time: 13 h

Camera: 2MP rear video and photo

PAYG price: From £39.95



If your child is set on a smartphone, this could be one to start with. It can connect to the internet through WiFi and 3G and, like other Androids, allows users to access the hundreds of thousands of applications on the Google Play store. The display and processor can’t compete with the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy but the T’Pop still offers a touchscreen and extremely good value for money.

Like all mobile phones, the battery life is ALWAYS a let down.  Here at PowerPackXL, we have the solution that will keep your mobile topped up with juice all the time never leaving you stranded and without charge.  PowerPackXL works with all brands of phone, find out more at



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This entry was posted on September 2, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , .
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