For years, parents have been reaching out to the Cyber Safety Project for tips, tricks and recommendations when introducing a child to their very first smartphone without spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to get a device that is secure, has a vast array of functionality and is able to be monitored.
Parental control apps have most often been the go-to answer to enable parents to take some control of applications to keep an eye on things such as usage times, geolocation and app control. However, as the application is not native to the device and there are lots of parental control apps competing in the market with varying or similar features, it can be a trial-and-error process to find which option works best for your family, and most can only be used with a monthly subscription that ranges anywhere from $10 to $30 a month.
This is where Opel Mobile’s newest SmartKids Phone may be the answer we have all been looking for.
Coming in only at $249, the Opel Mobile SmartKids Phone is “Used by Kids, Designed by Parents” and is powered by the Opel Mobile GuardianApp subscription which comes free with the purchase of the device, along with a screen protector and a case.
The SmartKids Phone allows the parental phone, via the GuardianApp, to have real-time visibility into the child’s device, giving parents a lot more real-time control and viability.
The SmartKids Phone is jam-packed full of parental control features including:
- Lock & Control Screen time: Parents can control when the phone can and can’t be used.
- Location Tracker and Geo-Fence Safe Zone: Allowing parents and guardians to see the location of the device in real-time, as well as past location history. It can also set a geographical net around certain areas that alerts parents when users are outside that boundary.
- App Usage and Blocker: Allows for apps to be time-controlled. It will also alert the parent device of any new downloaded apps and can be controlled remotely.
- Whitelist Numbers: Only allows pre-recorded phone numbers to call inbound and outbound. This feature can also be turned off.
- SOS Emergency and GPS Location: When activating the SOS emergency button on the phone, it will send the alert, including the location, to up to five contacts.
- Activity Report and History: Displays a report of app usage as well as search history of any web activity and is not able to be deleted from the device.
- Camera-Free: The device does not come with a camera on the back or the front of the phone.
The Opel Mobile SmartKids Phone is the perfect stepping stone for a young teen or pre-teen before accessing the magnitude of a full smartphone. We have some top tips for families whose children are about to receive their first device, whether that be a smartphone, smartwatch, or tablet. You can also download our free My First Phone Agreement to support your family in setting guidelines and expectations before taking this next step to independence.
Author: Luca Gennai | Cyber Security Officer, Cyber Safety Project