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If your children are anything like mine, they probably started asking for a phone shortly after they started talking. Before we talk about the best phone for kids, the real question is whether they’re ready for a phone. The answer is complicated.

According to Statista, as of 2023, 31% of 8-year-olds already have a smartphone in the USA. That number goes up to 42% by age 12, and 69% by age 12. There’s even a whole campaign devoted to waiting until your kids are a bit older, dubbed Wait until 8th (as in 8th grade). With so many conflicting opinions, it’s hard to know when kids should get a phone. Let’s dive into the subject a bit, and then we’ll discuss the options.

Just want to know what some of the best phones for kids are? Scroll down to the bottom.

At what age should kids get a phone?

The truth is there’s no right age to give your kid a phone. Social pressure and the need to fit in with the crowd will have your kids asking from a pretty early age. That said, the most straightforward answer for a long time was to wait until your kid becomes a teenager. At least that is what tech mogul Bill Gates does, arguably one of the biggest supporters of tech.

So, when should you get kids their first phone?

Google Family Link

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

There are several ways to monitor your child’s activity, including Google’s Family Link system. We have a great guide on setting it up and using it, but what is it exactly? In short, the free service lets you set up restrictions, including control over messages, time limits for usage, control over apps, and even a basic content filter. It also has a way to track your kid’s phone, which is super helpful.

Okay, now we are finally ready for the central question: what are the best phones for kids? The answer to this depends, once again.

Unless you have a very young child, getting a specialty phone designed for kids is probably unnecessary. This is good because most of these options require a traditional plan, are overpriced, or will be something your kids grow out of fast.

Before we move on to the actual best list, it’s worth repeating: your kid will probably break or lose whatever phone you give them eventually. If you have a teen willing to save up and buy the device themselves, it’s up to them if they want one of the best Android phones or even an iPhone. We recommend a cheap phone for everyone else, such as one of the options you’ll find below.

Apple iPhone SE (2024)

Apple iPhone SE (2024)

Guaranteed long-term software updates • Improved battery life • Powerful A15 Bionic chipset

MSRP: $429.00

One of the most affordable iPhones you can get

The latest iPhone SE has the same body as its predecessor but sports a faster chipset, more RAM, and a bigger battery.

See price at Amazon

FAQs

This depends on your needs, but most people tend to agree that kids should have a phone after entering their teen years. This is when they start going out of the house more, or participating in activities. More communication with your kids is paramount after these factors come into consideration.

It’s not necessarily bad, but it does open the doors to negative situations. A smartphone can create distractions, affect social behavior, and possibly expose your kid to the world of bad things the internet can store. That said, you can always monitor your kid’s usage responsibly and make sure they use their smartphones according to your standards.

Children tend to be a bit more careless with gadgets, which is why most people prefer to buy them affordable smartphones. Either that or a rugged handset. It’s not really a good idea to get kids a high-end device, unless they are responsible enough to handle one. That said, we would say anything between $150 and about $400 is a good investment for a kid’s smartphone.

There are many apps and services for monitoring your kid, but the most common for Android users is Family Link. If you want to have more access to what your kids do, you can also check out some of the best spy apps here.

If anyone needs smartphone insurance, it’s kids. We all know what the little ones can do to anything they touch. Sadly, the chances of your kid damaging a device are pretty high. Here’s a list of the best phone insurance options you can get.

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How To Get Water Out Of Your Phone Speaker?

Imagine if the speaker starts creating a muffled, crackling sound. It is both an annoying and a panicky experience since mobile devices cost so much to replace.

Mobile phones are sensitive to any kind of physical or liquid damage. Technology has improved somewhat with the IP rating standard of waterproofing, but we still have instances when even these phones face water damage.

Accidental or unintentional, any liquid pour can be damaging. One wrong move and fluids enter the device, slowly eroding its internal components.

If water has seeped into your mobile speakers, do not worry. There are ways to have it working once again.

How to Get Water Out of Your Phone Speaker?

We have compiled a list of DIY approaches and the inclusion of third-party possibilities as there aren’t many options. Try each alternative one at a time and see what works for you.

Do the Emergency Steps

If the device was just submerged in water, take it out and turn it off immediately. At least give it a solid 48 hours before turning it back on.

Clean all the excess water with an absorbing cloth.

Shake the device gently with the speaker port facing downwards.

If you have a computer vacuum or a normal vacuum with a small nozzle, try sucking out the water from the ports.

Leave the phone in such a way that the speaker port faces downwards.

If it’s an old phone where we can take the cover and the battery out, we recommend doing so and cleaning as much as possible.

Use Phone’s Inbuilt Features

Some phones (androids) will have a clear speaker option in the additional section. This option is not found on all android phones. We have tested a few android phones with MIUI and found that some of these MIUI phones have this feature.

If the device doesn’t have this option, move on to the next alternative.

This clear speaker option lets a constant tone out of the speaker. The concept behind this option is that when the speaker is playing a constant tone, it vibrates ever so slightly but in a continuous manner. The vibration might help in ejecting the water from the speaker’s opening.

Please keep in mind that this method only works on the speakers. If the rest of the components are damaged by water, this method might not be enough to fix them all. For eg: Charging Port Water damage might affect the functioning of the whole device.

The speakers do need to be in a somewhat working condition for the app to work. We are trying to force any water off by vibrating the speaker during its use.

NOTE: This option will not work if the loudspeaker/Earpiece speaker has stopped working. This is because the issue may have originated in the flex, component, or the motherboard itself, rather than being contained within the speaker.

Use Tone Generation Apps

A lot of phones might not have the in-built feature stated above. In such cases, we can straight jump to third-party apps, websites, or shortcuts (in the case of IOS). 

These third-party elements can create mechanical tones at a constant rate. We also get options to change the sound frequencies in many of these apps. These sounds, in return, help eject the water from the speakers.

Remember to place the mobile so that the speaker faces downwards. Popular apps to check out are Speaker cleaner for android and sonic V for iOS. 

We can also get Siri shortcuts like Water Eject Siri. We can also generate the same tone directly from websites like Fix my speakers, Online tone generator, etc.

We recommend using full volume while playing these tones for maximum vibration in the speakers. Do it at intervals of 10-15 minutes.

Take it to a Professional Repair Center

They absorb the moisture or water that is outside of the phone. It will not bring out the moisture from inside the device.

The recommended approach is to follow the emergency steps stated above and take the device straight to a professional repair center. The repair center will dismantle the device, dry it out, and clean it with isopropyl alcohol. That is how we should handle a water-damaged speaker.

Generally, when speakers stop working, we understand that the corrosion has started due to moisture. If the moisture affects one component, how long do you think it will take before it starts affecting other parts.

Water leaves mineral deposits, and cleaning them is the only way to fix the speaker. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to replace the component.

Mobile phones are expensive, do not take the risk of it. Do the steps stated above, but understand that taking the device to a repair center should be the highest priority.

We recommend going to an authorized repair center. When tampered with through third-party repairers, many phones void the warranty. Also, note If the phone has had previous repairs, the water-resistant standard might not work anymore. Be extra cautious in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions Should I Use a Blow Dryer on a Water-damaged Speaker?

We do not recommend it. Some repairers use dryers, but they have years of experience with it. They understand the limits of heat that they can use on the internals.

Using a blow dryer at home to dry out water damage will only damage the device’s internals.

Is It Possible to Repair the Faulty Loudspeaker / Earpiece Speaker by Ourselves?

Technically yes! It all depends on how hardware savvy you are. Here is an insider look at how repairs work.

The go-to method for faulty speakers is replacing them. The components are not expensive and can be found at a couple of dollars. So, what makes repairs expensive?

The answer is the Risk Factor. Every mobile device needs to be opened from the front or the back. Back covers, Screens are not screwed in; they are glued and sealed. The only way is to pry it out with mobile repair tools. Repairers generally use a guitar-pick-looking tool.

So, Repairers account for the risk factor on the repair price. With experienced repair centers, the risk factor goes down if they have conducted many repairs on that model of the device, but with water damage, the risk is always high.

Most repairers will first take it under Inspection before quoting a price.

If you are willing to take the risk and void the warranty, approach repairs by first looking up the Teardown of the device on YouTube. 

You will also need to get the risk factor components ready and parallelly do the repairs on the device.

As stated above, Repairers will dismantle the device and dry the device’s internals with a dryer or use alcohol.

Should You Hire A Career Coach?

A career coach is someone experienced in a specific field, or in the general hiring and recruitment process.

Finding a career coach will depend on the networks and resources you have at your disposal.

Consider the pros and cons of a career coach before hiring one.

This article is for professionals who are considering a career change or finding other ways to progress in their careers.

Are you feeling unfulfilled in your current role? Have you applied to multiple jobs without success? Are you wondering if you are on the right career path? Do you want to switch industries altogether? If you said yes to any of these questions, consider hiring a career coach.

Career coaches are experts in career planning, resume building, interviewing and negotiating. While you may only search for a new gig or switch careers a handful of times in your life, these professionals are in the know of current hiring practices because they’re constantly helping job seekers.

We asked career experts to share everything you should know about career coaches and when you should hire one.

Key Takeaway

If you have spent a long time at a job and are looking for a change, we have outlined how to smoothly transition to a new job mid-career.

What does a career coach do?

At the most basic level, having a career coach is like having a brand awareness team, said Rachel Bitte, founder of RB Consulting.

“These professionals understand how to pinpoint the best aspects of your professional experience and market it in the most attractive way possible to potential employers,” Bitte said. “They’re well versed in crafting resumes, career planning, motivation techniques and, most importantly, network building.”

According to Vicki Salemi, a Monster career expert, job coaches usually have extensive experience in recruiting or human resources.

“They can help you with a variety of tasks,” she said. “For example, with my clients, we look at long-term dream careers, what they currently do and how their next job can lead them closer to their dream job.”

Coaches also give their clients accountability to keep the job seeker on track to move toward their next role, Salemi added.   

When to hire a career coach

Many people assume a career coach is only beneficial after you have submitted dozens of applications and are in desperate need of a job. While this would be a great time to find a coach, it’s not the only time they can provide support.

“Whether you’re just starting out and unsure which path to take, hoping to chase a new passion, or you’re ready to move to the next level, getting an outside perspective from a professional can be extremely helpful,” Bitte added.

Salemi suggests hiring a career coach before you really need one.

“If you’re thinking about leaving your job, but aren’t sure, you may want to hire a career coach,” Salemi said. “It’s important to be proactive. Don’t wait until it feels like you absolutely detest your job and can’t stand going into the office.”

Salemi explained career coaches don’t all provide the same service. Some coaches can help with an upcoming interview, while others specialize in negotiating salary and benefits.

How to find a career coach

The best way to find a career coach is through word of mouth referrals from friends. However, you can also find great coaches on social media sites like LinkedIn.

Tip

Don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet? Learn what LinkedIn is all about and why it can help you.

Get A Second Phone Number Without Buying A Whole New Line

Most of us only have one phone number, and we probably don’t want to share that one number with everyone. A disposable second number is awfully useful for one-time Craigslist conversations, or the early stages of online dating. Or perhaps you’re starting your own business and need a separate work number. If you want a way to separate your calls without shelling out an extra $30 a month for a second line, there are a few apps and services that can give you an additional number on the cheap.

Churn through temporary numbers with Burner

When you don’t want to risk spam and harassment on your real phone number, disposable numbers can be a godsend. Assign yourself a random phone number, give it out to people for one-time use, then delete it and grab another number whenever you feel the need. Burner is an app available for iOS and Android that allows you to pick a number from any area code you desire, and whenever someone calls it, Burner will forward them to your phone. You can even install extensions that block robocalls, save voicemails to Dropbox, or make your own text-message auto-reply bots, making it pretty powerful.

All this does come at a small cost, though it’s much lower than paying for another line with your carrier. Burner offers a 7-day free trial, after which you’ll need to pay $4.99 per month for one line, or $14.99 per month for three lines (with small discounts for paying a year’s subscription up front). With those plans you get unlimited calls and texts, plus the ability to swap your number out once per month, which should be enough to keep annoying people off your tail. If you prefer not to pay monthly, you can buy credits and get prepaid minutes as well.

Burner is far from the only app of its kind, and if you prefer something a bit more privacy-focused, Hushed offers a similar service for $3.99 a month. It doesn’t have as many features as Burner, but it does offer encrypted messages you can set to self-destruct, if that’s more your style.

Create a forwarding number with Google Voice

For a more permanent secondary number you can use with your existing phone, Google Voice is your best bet. This free service has been around for over 10 years now, and while it’s only received a few incremental improvements since then, it still gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Get another line for cheap with FreedomPop

No, not this kind of freedom pop. Nick Torontali via Unsplash

If you want to use two phones rather than merely two numbers, you’ll actually need another line with its own SIM card. You could obviously pay for a second line with your existing carrier, but if you’re trying to keep costs down, check out FreedomPop. It’s an AT&T-based cell phone carrier with a free service tier (well, technically it’ll cost you a few bucks to get started, but there are no monthly fees). You’ll get 200 minutes of talk, 500 texts, and 200MB of data per month—with some caveats.

The voice calling is technically VoIP (voice-over-internet protocol), which means it uses data to make calls—like Skype and other apps do. That means you’ll have to use FreedomPop’s app for calls and texts, rather than the built-in apps on your phone. Those calls don’t count toward your 200MB of data, but they do use up your allotted minutes and texts. You can also use Google Voice in tandem with FreedomPop to make free calls over Wi-Fi, if you don’t like the FreedomPop app.

When you first sign up for FreedomPop, you’ll pay 1 cent for an LTE SIM card they send you in the mail. Pop that into your phone, and configure your phone’s APN settings using these instructions from FreedomPop. Here’s the tricky part: your account will be, by default, signed up for two 30-day trials for different portions of FreedomPop’s premium service: one for your main plan, and one for some premium add-on services they offer. Once those trials are up, they’ll charge you—so when you receive your SIM card (not beforehand), you’ll want to log into your account and downgrade these trials to the actual free plan. This requires having a small account balance, so the process works like this:

It’s a bit tricky, but that’s the price you pay for free. You can read more about this process, and how to get the most out of FreedomPop, in this thorough and frequently updated guide. It may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it looks—I’ve used FreedomPop on my testing phone for months, and with minimal attention to my account, I’ve never incurred any charges. Sure, it’s a bit more work than a typical line, but for the price, you (literally) can’t beat it.

Which Smartphone Should I Get?

It’s time to ditch my battered BlackBerry 9000. Whether the successor should be a newer BlackBerry, an iPhone, an Android handset, or something else entirely is up in the air. Is it worth waiting for something that’s not out yet, like the Windows 7 phone?

My wish list for a new phone includes reliability, a speedy Web browser, lots of options for apps, a decent camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Easy access to Gmail and Google Docs would be great.

iPhone 4

The legendary loyalty of iPhone users doesn’t stop with all-night lines outside of Apple stores prior to the launch of a new handset. Despite the “antennagate” debacle and complaints of a bad proximity sensor, surveys show that most owners remain satisfied with their iPhones. (Yet, maybe the surveys spoke too soon.)

The slim iPhone 4 for AT&T has a 3.5-inch display with the best resolution available on any phone. Multitasking and cut-and-paste functions make this 1GHz, 802.11n model more work-ready than its predecessor–even if multitasking isn’t up to snuff. The 5-megapixel camera and HD video, plus the FaceTime videophone app, add to the appeal.

Among the drawbacks to the iPhone are the touchscreen-only keyboard, which can lead to a minefield of typos, especially when larger fingers are tapping. The lack of Flash support is more annoying on the iPad than the phone, but irksome nonetheless.

Also, do I really want a smartphone that drops calls if held a certain way, or that requires wearing a funky case to function properly? It’s hard to stomach the chairman and CEO of a company address a product flaw by pointing fingers at rival companies, and offering customers little but a Band-Aid workaround and a short, 30-day return window.

Droid X

Unlike with Apple’s iOS, you can choose from among many phones that run the Android operating system. Among these, the sold-out Motorola Droid X for Verizon is perhaps the most appealing.

Comparisons abound between the competing handsets from Apple and Motorola. A speedy, 1GHz processor and HD video are among their shared selling points. Yet, the Droid X comes with a 16GB microSD card, while the iPhone lacks expandability. The Droid X‘s call quality attracts better ratings than that of the iPhone 4, it’s supposed to offer an hour longer of talking time, and it’s got an 8-megapixel camera. Its 4.3-inch display dwarfs that of the iPhone 4.

Flash support will come later with Android 2.2 and more business-friendly features. In addition, the Droid X can serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot. However, I’ve heard users complain about limited battery life and new Motoblur software.

While the Android apps marketplace is smaller than the iPhone app store, it’s bound to grow, especially because Google App Inventor‘s interface makes it easier for budding developers to build apps.

Unfortunately, rogue apps are reportedly leaving Android phones dangerously hackable. Do you really want to integrate your professional and private life on a device that’s prone to invasion? Then again, recent headlines about Android security threats have been overblown.

BlackBerry Torch 9800

Maybe the best replacement for a BlackBerry is another BlackBerry. RIM had fallen behind on the “wow” factor in the smartphone market, but its new handset blends next-generation features found in Android devices and the iPhone. The 624MHz BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider combines a QWERTY button keyboard and a large touchscreen display,a nd it has 802.11n Wi-Fi. The BlackBerry 6 operating system includes the WebKit browser with tabs for online multitasking, as well as remote data-wiping options in case of theft or loss.

Unfortunately, BlackBerry App World is a disappointment, not just because it’s clunky to find and buy apps, but because, in general, their volume and quality pales next to the options for Android and iOS. Despite the other bells and whistles on a new BlackBerry handset, it’s hard to imagine RIM catching up in the apps arena anytime soon.

And, although BlackBerry remains the best choice for those whose companies lean on its mobile infrastructure, that’s not the case with my job.

Carriers

Since I have an AT&T account with a legacy, all-you-can-eat data plan, I’m not tempted to switch carriers and get nasty surprises on the next bill. But if AT&T doesn’t supply the best phone for me, would another carrier’s plan be affordable? Could it even cost less than the $130 I shell out each month? That’s what I paid in the last billing cycle to talk for 841 minutes, send 523 text messages, and receive 481 texts. I also sent or received 11 MMS messages, and Internet data usage reached 17.74 MB.

The Choice

Of course, these aren’t the only options for a BlackBerry 9000 replacement. Maybe the Microsoft Windows Phone 7, upon release, will look more alluring than in its recent iPhone-mimicking preview. Could Palm’s WebOS even see a resurgence?

Then again, since I don’t use my mobile phone often for calls, maybe a better investment is a hybrid tablet-phone. As a phone, the Dell Streak is a bit clunky–still more portable than Gordon Gekko’s Motorola DynaTAC–but it might do the job.

Which smartphone should I get? Chime in by taking this poll:

What Should You Do Before Putting An Old Laptop Or Phone On Sale?

Selling a used, no longer needed electronic device is a great way of getting back some of the money spent on it. Thanks to auctioning services you can sell your old devices on eBay or Amazon. What should you remember about before putting the device on sale?

First of all you should make sure that the future owner won’t be able to access you files. Depending on their size and the type of a device you can choose between a couple of methods for moving them onto a new computer, smartphone, or tablet. In case of Office files and similar ones it is most convenient to use the cloud.

Your film, photo and music collection – taking more space, 50, 100 or more GB – will be best transferred using an external hard drive. If you don’t have one you can also burn the data onto DVDs, but such a process may be quite time-consuming.

When it comes to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets there are fewer problems with moving user data between devices, as many application synchronize the saved information automatically and it can be accessed right after logging into a new device.

Keeping your sensitive data is just as important as moving files – a new owner should not be able to access your login data and passwords. The easiest way is by restoring the factory (or default) settings in the system. This will remove all the user-installed files and applications, remove private contacts and notes, and also logging data.

The first step in case of a computer should be a full format or wiping the partitions other than the system partition. Remember that only removing the files may not be sufficient – someone could always try to retrieve these files using a dedicated application.

The last step you have to take in a laptop or a dekstop is formatting the C: partition and installing a fresh Windows copy (from a hidden recovery partition or a DVD). This way all your programs, browser data and other important information will disappear.

Additionally a new user will receive a computer that is working with its maximal efficiency. The customer won’t call us after a couple of days after buying the computer and won’t tell us that we sold them a piece of s***.

An important thing when selling a computer is removing authorization of the device in various Web services. This kind of an authorization can sometime live through the formatting process (especially if files are stored online). Otherwise a buyer will be able to buy DRM music using your credit card.

To get the best price you should of course clean it (at least from the outside). This way it will look better on the photos in the auctioning service. Make sure to say clearly that there are standard signs of usage on the outside.

Of course, fewer customers may want to buy it, but you will not be faced with unpleasant suprises after you have sent the device.

When selling a laptop or a smartphone on Allegro you can add an extra piece of accessory, even the old case you used with it. You won’t probably need it anymore, and the offer will look more appealing to the potential buyers.

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