By: Nick Gambino
It’s a concept so simple, I’m surprised nobody’s thought of it before. Verizon just announced their new smartphone plan aimed at kids with parental controls and limited data that will hopefully calm the nerves of parents who are looking to get their kid their first phone.
The Just Kids plan, as it’s called, features unlimited calls and texts to a limited 20-person contact list that’s pre-approved by the parents. Kids will have access to 5GB of LTE data that’ll let them access anything parents have allowed them to. Now, because any parent would be worried about their kid going over the allotted data, there is a Safety Mode that’ll allow them to keep using data over 5GB, albeit at reduced speeds, without incurring overage charges.
Video is limited to 480p, mostly due to the cheap price, which is on par with cheap adult plans, so this is not unexpected.
Parental controls are available through the use of Verizon Smart Family Premium. These parental controls allow parents to limit the amount of time spent online, apply filters to content they don’t want their kid to see and a locator function, so they always know where their kid is at.
“With Just Kids, we’re leading the way on growing up with tech, providing parents with plan options and features that give them the peace of mind they need for safe and responsible phone usage,” Verizon said in their announcement.
Prices for the Just Kids plan are variable, like most smartphone plans, depending on how many people you have on your plan, how many kids, adults, etc. Verizon says it can be as little as $5 more a month to add a single Just Kids line, but obviously it can go much higher. In reviewing their prices, it doesn’t seem to go much higher than $55.
Choosing to give your kid their first smartphone is a big deal. It’s the point in your kid’s life where they are effectively being given a communication device that taps right into the overwhelming, fast, and sometimes dark, flow of global data. So, this kind of set-up is a nice gradient that eases you into it without fear that the world is going to corrupt your child as soon as that screen lights up.