We’ve officially hit the point of full Apple product saturation in our household — and as so many parents in our Out Tech Your Kids community tell us, they have too. So what do you do when you’re all basically on Apple devices, your kid needs a new phone, and you want all the connectivity, Family Sharing, and other perks of an Apple family network…but you’d rather not spend $999 for the latest and greatest iPhone 13 Pro?
Well, first you can hand-me-down your older devices. That’s the go-to solution in my own home.
Next, you could look for a newer model that’s been refurbished.
OR (drumroll…) you can check out the brand new 2022 iPhone SE, that was just announced yesterday at the latest Apple Event.
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The 2022 iPhone SE Features:
Why it’s good for kids and teens
There are so many reasons that I think this third generation iPhone SE upgrade is a great starter phone for (responsible!) kids, or a new phone for a tween or teen. Here are a few that parents will probably care about most — in addition to the iOS 15 of course, which is already built with so many privacy, safety, and just fun features that make a smartphone more practical and….well, smart.
Price Price Price
The 2022 iPhone SE starts at just $429, which is a little more than the last SE, less but, less than half of what you’d pay for the newer, top-of-the-line iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max. It’s also $200 less than the next model up, which would be the iPhone 11, plus it has lots of newer features.
Even if your kids need more than 64GB storage for all those photos, apps and games — and trust me, they do — you can upgrade to 128GB for just $50 more.
You can even get $100-650 off if you’re trading in an iPhone 8 or newer in good condition.
(Now eagle-eyed readers may think, wait — $650 is more than the $429 purchase price and you’d be right! If your older phone is worth more than the newer phone, you’ll not only get the new SE for free, but you’ll get an Apple Gift Card for the difference.)
Extended Battery Life
While I always tell my kids not to leave the house without a full battery, by the end of a long day I’m still apt to get texts that say, “Sorry Mom, 2% on my phone! On the subway, home soon!”
I do not like those texts.
Thanks to the A15 chip (same as the iPhone 13) and a reportedly larger battery, that problem should be solved with the new 2022 iPhone SE. Apple claims you’ll get about 10 hours of streaming video playback, or about 25% more — so unless your teen is watching Euphoria literally all day at a friend’s house, you should still be able to get through to them by dinner.
Talk time should still provide plenty to get through the day, but of course we all know that teens don’t “talk” on the phone anymore. So my tip: look at the streaming hours they’re promising if you want a real sense of how well the battery will work.
5G comes to the new SE, and faster downloads and uploads are always a plus. And real-time interactivity in apps (i.e. no stuttering or delay, ideally) is fantastic whether they’re on a class Zoom, gaming to relieve some stress, or FaceTiming Grandma.
The iPhone SE is Water-Resistant, Dust and Dirt-Proof. So Basically, Kid-Proof
If you have kids, you always want a water-resistant phone, if not a fully waterproof case. The new iPhone SE has a IP67 rating, which means I might not swim with it, but will be fine out in the rain, dropped in a toilet (been there), splashed by a leaky water bottle in a backpack, tossed in the dirt, or even submerged up to 30 minutes in about 3-feet of water.
Parents: Make sure whatever phone you get has some reasonable degree of water-resistance!
Fewer Cracked Screens…We Hope
Apple claims their “toughest glass in a smartphone” is being used in both front and back of the phone. And as someone who’s spent far too much time at the Genius Bar dealing with cracked screens, I’m grateful for this.
Security with Touch ID…Not Face ID
No, there’s no Face ID yet, but I actually prefer the fingerprint/home button security combo for kids. Touch ID still allows you to add other fingerprints to a phone (i.e. YOU), making it easier for parents to have access to a kid’s phone on-demand. Some kids still need more tech training wheels than others.
That Terrific Camera
What even is a phone if it doesn’t give you access to selfies, TikTok videos, and Instagram Reels? The new iPhone SE has advanced camera features older kids will loooove for more gorgeous photos, more flattering light, and more customization options.
Plus, yay for Portrait Mode! My kids always borrow my phone just to get photos in Portrait Mode. And if the low-light photo capabilities are anything like my own iPhone 13, it will be incredible.
So when can you get it? Preorders for the iPhone SE start this Friday, March 11 at 8 a.m ET (Sorry west coasters!) You should have it in your hands a week later — or you can pick one up at an Apple Store near you starting on March 18th, if you want to try the phone in person first.