A few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to review a mobile phone for the kids. Given my thoughts on screen time I was apprehensive, so after skimming the email I sent it to Mr Aimee with a “to talk about over gin” note.
It’s important to let you know, that the guy who sent the email was very honest. He appreciated the boys were young, that it was too soon for them to have their own mobile phone, but perhaps it would be an interesting exercise to give us more food for thought when the investable happens. After all, I’m seeing kids as young as seven wandering around the cul-de-sac at the weekends or after school, smartphones glued to their hands while they arrange where to meet with their roller-skates and loom bands.
In the end, as dubious as I was about introducing another electronic item into my not-quite-six-year-old’s life – curiosity won over and I agreed – selecting a Blue Nokia Lumia. This in itself is quite a big deal, as a totally ‘Apple’ Family (except Mr Aimee who works with actual PCs – hmph) I was interested to see if The Beast took to a Windows operated phone as quickly as he did the various Apple devices.
When the phone arrived courtesy of Pay as you go on Three along with £10 worth of credit I charged it, popped the sim card in, and then after setting it up for him I hid it away until a more appropriate time. When that time came (i.e. when he wasn’t being a little toad) I sat him down and talked to him about how we had to see how it worked for some people who wanted to know what big boys and girls thought of their mobile phone. He was thrilled, and was twitching with excitement when the box appeared in front of him the following day.
His instant reaction was “who can I call?” and was quite disappointed when he discovered he couldn’t. You see, as much as I was interested in the experiment, I wasn’t comfortable with him having access to the outside world on it quite yet – Facetime on the iPad is bad enough.
I had deliberately password protected the phone side of things, but had given him full access to the ‘kids section’ which I actually think is a really good concept, in theory if it was a phone for me, I could be reassured that if it ever fell into his hands (which amazingly my phone frequently gets pick-pocketed out of my handbag or pocket) there was no danger in him calling anybody or reading anything inappropriate. (We learnt a valuable lesson after I caught him asking Siri about Poo – I’ve never seen him look more ill.)
Anyway, I digress. Setting it up in this way meant that he could access his games and apps whenever he wanted. Except he couldn’t because every now and then it would randomly ask for the password.
As a whole, I think both The Beast and I have mixed feelings about the phone. In theory it’s great. The interface is clean and easy to understand, the kids section is cool, allowing them to use the camera and all their apps in one place – in fact I think it looks a lot nicer then the iPod. Please don’t send me to windows hell – Apple you’re still my favourite! BUT the battery life is appalling. I’d often shove it in my handbag before we went out for the day along with The Chunks iPod and when they (I) needed a quiet few minutes I would thrust it in their direction. Often the nokia would run out.
The other big let-down was that, and this might not seem like a big deal to you but it is to him, there was no Minecraft which you could download. I know people say the Nokia Lumia is not a gamers phone (and with the battery life you can see why), but in all honesty, if you’re aiming it at kids as well as adults then this is one game which probably should be available.
Although from my point it was nice to get him on Minion Rush or colouring instead of building libraries and rockets…although I would question which is more mind-numbing when you put it like that.
To finish up here are a few thoughts from The Beast…(ignore the slightly high-pitched question from me at the beginning – was head butted in stomach by small child!)
I was sent this phone from Three Mobile in return for an honest review. The Beast and I are both very honest. Except the part where he says he gets to call people on his phone – he has honestly never had the chance!