Do your kids have a smartphone? Mine have smart technology but we haven’t ventured into smartphones yet and we’re keeping our options open. Kids should have something that is reliable, affordable, and should reflect their personality and interests, right? We had the chance to try out a Windows Phone, an HTC Radar4G, a phone with Live Tiles that kids can design on their home screen to reflect the things that matter most to them. Here are some of the included functions:
Office Mobile: Microsoft Word and Excel on your phone makes homework on the go helpful for students.
Groups: Keep in touch with family and friends by creating a group. Pin a tile to your home screen and get photos, updates, Facebook messages, tweets, and texts all in one place.
XBox Live: Games on the go! Angry Birds and Kinect games if you do have XBox.
Her Take: My oldest (almost 14) does not have a smart phone (yet) and she tried the HTC Radar Windows phone for a month and here’s what she said:
Starting high school this year, I think that the built-in GPA calculator and student planner is super helpful. I really pay attention to my assignments and grades, those are important to me, and if I just have one more place to keep all my important school info, that’s cool that my phone could have it. I did edit one paper I was writing in Microsoft Word just to try it and that option was really cool, I didn’t need to have a laptop with me. To save changes via phone and they’ll be updated on our PC whenI get home, that is efficient!
The app store was easy to navigate and I really like how you can try out some apps before you buy them! I am sad that it doesn’t have Instagram yet, that’s something I love about my iPod Touch. Navigation and Local Scout was really helpful to me and my family, love that built-in feature and I feel good about helping out when my parents are driving as we don’t have navigation in our car. I can do it from the phone.
The design is slim and fits in my hand well, also in my pockets in my jeans even though my mom doesn’t think that’s the safest, but I don’t carry a purse. The home screen is customizable to all the things you use most, I’m used to that and you can even can change the color schemes, that’s neat. You can move the Live Tiles around easily and pin them into the spot you need. I love that all my updates from Facebook and my texts are in one spot to find and it shows my friends faces. I was really impressed by the music sound, with both earphones and without the sound is really clear and even and true to the music. The best part is the 5 Megapixel camera.
I love all the pictures I took and the color is so crisp and vibrant. I usually have to enhance the photos from my iPod 4, I wasn’t doing this with the Windows Phone photos. There are a lot of free effects built into the camera so that was fun to play with.
I was surprised that being 4G, the speed was really slow on everything I was doing. I’m not sure if it was our particular location that didn’t support it, but my mom’s 3G phone is so much faster.
Overall, it was a great experience. There is no T-Mobile nearby so it isn’t a choice for us that makes sense, but I know if you do have T-Mobile, this phone is really cool.
Mom’s Perspective: The price point is right on. I think that the camera is fabulous and my daughter really enjoyed trying it out. I didn’t find her on it more than usual since her regular phone is not of the “smart” variety. Often parents would rather not offer this option to their young kids, but with all the great apps I feel it to be beneficial just as much as a possible distraction. It’s all about setting limits. I would feel secure that she could take care of it and it has all the features she needs minus a few perks she enjoys on her iPod.
They are marketing this phone for students and T-Mobile wants you to have it for free with a 2-year plan!
We were sent the phone with one month’s free calling/texting/data for honest review.