Thursday, 31 August 2017

At What Age Should a Child Own a Mobile Phone? An Alcatel Pop 4 Smartphone Review and Giveaway, Plus the Aussie Giveaway Linkup September...

Exactly when is the right age to give your child the independence and responsibility of their very own mobile phone? Sorry! For all parents and their kids, there are so many considerations to explore, making any kind of straightforward answer here fraught with a myriad of 'if's, buts and maybe's.'

As a parent of six kids ranging in age from preschooler, to primary-aged and high schoolers, even I can tell you that the factors to determine the 'need versus want' of arming your child with a mobile, are considerable and varied and often different for each individual child. 

Not surprisingly, giving-in to your child's demands regarding their desire to covet their own phone is a big parental decision. With considerations to weigh-up such as safety, (being the primary concern for all parents), followed by actual need, then cost balanced with responsible and mature usage, it's quite a murky step for all families to navigate.

The mobile phone question will arise at some stage for all parents, so here are some points to consider if mobile phone ownership for your child is currently on your mind, or close by on the horizon:

The age of your child and their maturity level. While I personally would be incredibly reluctant to gift a primary-aged child a mobile phone, this does not mean to say that all primary aged children and their needs are created equally.

Perhaps your child travels quite a distance to school via public transport, or walks a fair way on their own? A parent or care-giver who works long hours leaving their child unattended and alone for a time may be faced with little choice regarding the need for a mobile. Maybe your child just seems 'old enough' and worldly enough to deal with the fundamentals of basic phone usage?
These simple factors alone could warrant early-aged ownership of a mobile due to basic safety considerations for some.

Teenagers and mobiles. There's no hiding from tech usage and desires in this age group. Gadgets are everywhere and kids from around the age of thirteen onwards, can certainly feel the pressure to comply with tech trends as experienced by their peers.

As a general rule, if your child's close circle of friends all have mobiles of their own, then the time may be right for your child too. Consider that your child may be experiencing a sense of feeling 'left behind' in these circumstances. Modern kids spend a vast amount of time socialising via text messages and email, even on weekends. (Perhaps especially so during these periods!) If you're open to the idea that this is the way of the world now, then perhaps gingerly accept that it might be time to allow your child some freedoms too. (As difficult as that may be!)

Whatever your particular circumstances surrounding this issue, go your own pace and weigh-up your individual considerations to come to a decision that works for you. Whatever suits your own parental ideals and needs, as well as those of your child's, will be the right decision for your family regardless of the thoughts or behaviours of others.  

Only once this important decision is firmly settled upon, can you begin to hunt for the perfect entry-level mobile phone to impress the fussiest of teens. (The fun part!)

For parents, a mobile device that's not too expensive is ideal, despite your child probably wanting all the bells and whistles of the very latest smartphone on the market. Meeting somewhere in between is these days, very do-able and ideal for both parties. Prepaid is an excellent place to start too.
We think this latest Alcatel Pop 4 Smartphone pretty-much caters to the needs of all.

With a large 5 inch, full colour screen and flat, streamlined body, from the very first glance this mobile phone gripped the attention of our mobile-loving seventeen year old daughter. (In truth, her siblings too, and us grown-ups!)

Like all teenaged girls, having the right gadget is of utmost importance and on the appearances front alone, our daughter was impressed with this one from the outset.

Big ticks for flashy appearances.

Features of the Alcatel Pop 4 include a 13MP camera, (front and back), with a built-in flash function and wide viewing angle.

The big, BIG 5 inch screen in full, vibrant colour is in our opinion, up there with the best. The phone has a slim profile with a depth of only 7.9mm and it's also lightweight without a 'flimsy' feel. This is an android smartphone and it works on the 4G network, (available in conjunction with Optus prepaid), which gives great coverage and speeds. Battery life is good too. (One charge has lasted over a day so far with lots of play time and counting...)

The model we received for review was from overseas and its instructions were provided in Italian. This was not a problem however, as the phone itself was defaulted to the English language. Once it was charged and switched-on, the Alcatel Pop 4 basically guided its own setup, step by step. We were up and running after a few sign-ins and personal preference adjustments.
The verdict - very simple for inexperienced users who will get the hang of this phone in next to no time.

Videos play at great speeds on this mobile and in full-colour. There are a huge range of android apps available too, so our favourites were easy to find online. Searches on the internet are carried out via Google Chrome and also at impressive speeds.

Alcatel's Pop 4 mobile comes with a choice of two attractive backings in brushed gold or silver.

Watch all your favourites in horizontal-mode.

If you're looking to buy a smartphone that does all the basics simply and reliably, and at a fraction of the cost of similar phones, then the Alcatel Pop 4 is definitely worth your investment. This smartphone offers all the features of a mobile many times its price.

For all mobile phone users who simply want a device that handles their day-to-day needs and entertainments, this model comes highly recommended following our road test. We are impressed all-round with the Alcatel Pop 4.

The Alcatel Pop 4 has a RRP of $129 from Optus. 
For further information regarding specifications, please visit the Alcatel Pop 4 page here.

Win an Alcatel Pop 4 Smartphone
valued at $129!
Total prize pool: $129.
Promotion ends September 28th, 2017.

To Enter
Please fill out the short competition form below.
Please note this is a game of skill. Entrants MUST leave a comment and their name along with their comment as these are unable to be matched. Entrants who do not leave a comment and their name will be disqualified.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September is here and that means another great month of prizes to be won across so many Australian blogs! Visit the new-look Aussie Giveaway Club here on either Six Little Hearts, Agent Mystery Case or The Baby Vine from the 1st of each month, all month long, to enter the best of the best giveaways available across many brilliant Australian blogging websites!

Bloggers are welcome (and encouraged!) to link up their giveaway posts and readers can enjoy the spoils - feel free to enter whatever you please and best of luck!

All links added here will display across our three websites for maximum exposure. Do make sure you return every few days to see what's been added to the exciting list of prizes below as it grows daily.

Please pop over to Agent Mystery Case to meet your hosts and familiarise yourself with the guidelines for linking and entering. Plus, make sure you stay on top of your game by following the Aussie Giveaway Club on Facebook.

Please do follow Six Little Hearts on Facebook too, or sign up to our email database (right hand side-bar), so that you don't miss a single thing.

*Disclosure: Six Little Hearts was gifted the featured item in exchange for our thoughts.
All opinions expressed are our own and genuine.


  1. I want to give them a mobile phone so that they don't nag me to borrow mine. I'll restrict the usage, to only use it at the same time I use mine. Cause I admit it I also need those Facebook, Youtube and all those entertainment for myself. Indria Purnamasari

  2. Safety is the only reason for me but still I think maybe 12 or 13 is the best age for my kids anyway

  3. It's off to school he goes
    little brother and sister he tow's,
    on the bus they sleep,
    he's their knight without a peep,
    he's my treasure I admire,
    to a phone he's well and truly aspired.

  4. If my little one,
    had to travel on a bus.
    If they were all alone,
    they'd need something they could trust,
    to call their Mummy on,
    if they needed help quick fast.
    The Alcatel Pop 4,
    looks strong enough to last!
    (Peta Newsome)

  5. High school ...12-13. Earlier than I would like, but we don't have the public telephone boxes anymore, so it's necessary now for safety and communication.

  6. High school kids think they’re tough,
    but missing the bus can be rough.
    With public phones a thing of the past,
    an Alcatel Pop 4 will reach Mum fast.
    Peace of mind this phone will bring,
    and it’s praises I will sing.
    (Maree Gray)

    1. CONGRATULATIONS Maree! This Alcatel mobile is yours and will be in your children's hands shortly. We hope it does a great service to you all - we know you will love it!

      Great responses from everyone. Thank you so much for entering and keep and eye on coming promotions in the lead up to Christmas and beyond. x

  7. I got my first mobile phone when I started working in late high school. It was STRICTLY only for calling my parents (though less of an issue back in those days as I doubt any of my friends had phones anyway, so who else would I call?!).
    I don't envy parents making this decision - and I also think it'd be hard to teach kids about responsible use (especially of data)

  8. I think when they are in high school, particularly if they catch public transport to/from school.

  9. As mums sometimes do, this mum can get a bit anxious when my adventurous 'two little hearts' are off exploring and they've been gone a while. An awesome Alcatel Pop 4 would be great for these occasions, cos I can make a quick call or send a text to make sure all is well. So, truth be told, I want my kids to have this phone more for my benefit than theirs... peace of mind is a priceless reward!

    From the kids' perspective, they would absolutely love the look, feel and size of the phone and we could load it up with videos, educational apps and games for long car trips or when the kids just have to wait around!
    (Lorna Williams)

  10. My parents were hesitant when it came o me having a phone when I started year 7, I was 13 years old and they were the size of a brick. Dad was adamant I have one though so i could be contactable at all times or if I was going to a friends or having a sleepover. No snap chat or selfies back then. I still feel that Year 7 or the start of high school is the perfect time for one. The issue is that these days smartphone are not just a phone, they are a personal computer!

  11. somewhere around they age when they start to do things on their own, like go to and from school or sport etc as gives them the chance to stay in touch, not like the old days when you would make sure you had 20 cents for a phone call.. as you cant find a public phone like the old days

  12. Definatley for safety to call whenever they need to I think around 13 is a great age
    Jessica Ashbrooke

  13. I would like to win for my grandson so he can contact his Dad who is in the Navy and lives in WA

  14. I would like to give this to my daughter (16) if I win it because her other phone has so many problems and is on the way out, plus she needs it to be able to contact me when she is out.

  15. My god-daughter and an Alcatel Pop 4 would be the perfect fit. 
    When she's late from school, her mum just loses it.
    With this fabulous mobile, they can now communicate
    No more worries and in panic state.

  16. It's hard to say what particular age they should be, but I think around the time they start high school would be a good time

  17. For my peace of mind when the kids are walking home from school on their own.

  18. I think generally once kids hit high school it's a good idea for them to have a mobile phone, or younger than this if they are getting their own way to and from places like school and friends' houses. (Sonya N)

  19. i would love to win this prize purely for me (not my children as they are not old enough yet to have a phone as much as they would love one lol) - i dont own a smart phone at all (just an old nokia) and i really get sad as i miss out on some fantastic photos of my children when we are out and about as i dont have a phone that takes good pictures.

    1. sharyn williams (my name, i have to figure out how to change the automatic one that comes up) :)

  20. i would love to give this phone to my younger brother as he does not own one yet and this could be a great first phone for him.

  21. Twelve or thirteen, when they reach the age of wanting to socialise. A phone can be their lifeline to call parents if they feel uncomfortable and want to be picked up.

  22. With age comes responsibility!
    The BIG 10 (hahaha) is a milestone deserving of less restrictions and more independent decisions.

  23. I'd love to win it for me. I've got a very old Samsung Galaxy TrendPlus that has surely seen better days!! ;-)

  24. Same with Angela, I've got quite an old phone (a brick, in that) and I'd like to "keep up with the trends" :D

  25. I would want a phone for my kids for emergencies, and to call me or their dad if they needed us for any reason.
    Samara McRae

  26. Emergencies, getting lost, missed buses
    With Alcatel Pop 4 on hand, lots of pluses!
    Kids want to prove their independence
    Alcatel for safety and quick parent attendance.
    Lets me have piece of mind
    Alcatels battery life, very kind :D

    Blake Haugen

  27. I would love to win this for my 14 year old boy. I would like to see him out and about on his bike with his friends and having a phone would make us both feel more secure knowing he can contact me at any time.

    Karen Thompson

  28. 18 years old is a good age. When they leave home, it's nice to know that they can still contact me
    Tanya Ap

  29. When my teens went to high school they both got cheap, prepaid phones. They were walking home or catching the bus some days, and I wanted them to be able to contact me. Both would have liked them in primary school, but as I was taking them and picking them up, I saw no need. My 6 year old has already started asking for one :o I'd love to win to replace my teen daughter's phone that was smashed on Thursday (a few days after my son dropped our tablet and smashed the screen on that! Arghhh!) Kylie Embury

  30. We are a blended family and a phone has provided my two older children (14 & 9) the opportunity to stay connected with both parents regardless of whose house they are at. When they are with my they know they can call their Dad whenever they like. Likewise I love receiving goodnight phone calls, funny photos or special news about their day at school. Lexy H

  31. First and foremost security would be major enabling them to contact help etc as well as the need for kids to be more tech savvy in today's world Mick Gillies

  32. depends on the circumstances but without any other better reason when they are old enough to earn the money to pay for their phone bill.

  33. Sara Zielinski - I would give them a phone when I thought they were responsible enough to handle it, again it depends on the circumstances of the child and how responsible they are.

  34. An excellent insight into children and mobile phones, our 10 year has been offered one of our old mobiles, however strings are attached, and so far, she is miles away from actually getting it at this stage. But, she has been putting in the effort, and may get it within a year if she keeps the good work up, doesn't mean I'm putting a sim card in it. I'm also keeping close eye on google's Family Link app, and awaiting it's release in Australia.

  35. I think it depends on your child and as every child is different, it is when they are away from you and may need it for emergencies - letting them spread their wings and test that independence whilst still having the security net of phoning for support if they need it. Thanks. Dianne (enetered with email address)

  36. For us is eight. He has a one hour bus trip after school one a day a week to grandma's. If that bus does not turn up (happened twice so far) or he is anxious, he has a lifeline.

  37. Here are the options.
    Press 1 for Trustworthy
    Press 2 for Reliable
    Press 3 for Responsible
    For all other requirements including Mum's intuition Press 4
    Every child is different and depends on the circumstances. I feel like if you can press any of the above options, and with guide lines you should be ok.

  38. A new mobile phone would mean that I could keep up with my grandchildren. They would think that I was a cool Grandma.

  39. I think to get out of unwanted situations, like they could text as a code word and then we know whatever situation they are in they want/need to get out of - but without alerting the other person to it. We would call then and say they must come home now and its not negotiable - that way they can leave the unwanted situation

  40. Age is definitely the biggest factor. It can be scary allowing so much information to be available to a young child. Literally anything they can think of. On the other hand, increasing communication ability is great for safety.


  42. After school activities mean coordinating so much,
    So it's important we stay in touch.

  43. I'd love to win this for my children, purely for safety. While I like to give my kids some freedom I still like to know they are safe. Alison Hillier

  44. Sarahjane. I think it's more about safety, trust and maturity of the child than age. To send an encouragement text or just simple messages throughout the day is also ideal. To have lines on communication open always.

  45. I think early high school is the earliest to consider a mobile phone for most kids. Once they are out and about more, I want them to be able to contact me if they feel unsafe (although, let's be honest, mostly they'll just want a pick up or drop off from "mum's taxi service" ����).
    "Back in my day" (yes, I know how old I sound when I say that!) we would just use a phone booth. But they are available less and less often. Plus, who actually answers their phone when it rings? Everyone should just text me ���� - so my kids will need a mobile by then so they can be sure I will receive their communication ��
    - Lauren B

  46. Even though we must have TRUST,
    SAFETY first is a MUST,
    Whether emergency or weather EVENT,
    Alcatel pop 4 is heaven SENT!
    Vanessa Charalambous

  47. Knowing that you can make contact in an emergency is my first reason for my kids to have mobile phones.
    Alicia Bardsley

  48. Well to me there is not really an age. Your child will let you know when they are ready. I also believe there are situations in life where it is necessary to provide your child with one for security!
    My son is 3 he has a smart phone now. I got him one at the dollar general up the road. I didn't pay a fortune and it doesn't have time on it so he cant make or receive calls. I actually sat down *and still do* and teach him how to use it. He cant upload pictures to ANY site. I have a lot of parental controls on it.
    I am on one all the time and he sees everyone on TV with one and all family and friends so I controlled the situation like us parents do (before the situations control us ;) ) I didn't want his curiosity of phones to create a bad situation whether he was sneaking and getting mine eventually rendering it incapable of use or someone else.

  49. If my son had a phone, it would give me peace of mind, knowing he's just a phone call away would make me less worried during the day!
    Eva Kiraly

  50. Definitely safety. If my kid has a mobile phone I can easily notify them that they need to pick up bread and milk or they risk starving to death. (Jennifer Robertson).

  51. Can I just say what a reduction to seek out someone who actually is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know how you can bring an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra folks have to read this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre not more in style since you undoubtedly have the gift. gpu optimization


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