If you’ve got a pre-teen, you’ve likely wondered when the right time to get them their own phone might be. Maybe you’ve resisted giving in and putting them on your plan — even though calling and texting with your child when you’re separated would be so convenient — because you’re worried about stunting your child’s development or enabling their inevitable metamorphosis into a phone-addicted, anti-social, pasty little hunchback with bloodshot eyes. Fair Enough. Or maybe you’re rightly concerned about social media cyberbullying, inappropriate internet content, and online predators. Gabb Wireless has a solution.
To digress for a moment.
You’ve likely noticed that it’s only possible to buy two basic types of phones from your wireless carrier. Your first option is a smartphone, and those can range from relatively expensive to ridiculously expensive. Without the added investment in a solid case and possibly a screen protector, those smartphones won’t be able to survive your son’s friend horsing around and accidentally knocking his phone from his grasp. Nor will that smartphone’s screen survive your daughter dropping it that one time her friend wants to see her phone without its case (true story). Buying a smartphone will also mean trying to set the proper parental controls to help keep your child safe from things that aren’t yet age-appropriate. When buying your preteen a smartphone, you’ll have to attempt to create a compromised ecosystem where your kid has a means of communication without falling into any of the smartphone’s pitfalls.
Your other option is to buy an updated 90s-looking flip-phone that still manages to somehow costs $200 (or more). On it, your kid will learn the joys of T9 texting on its “cute retro” numeric keyboard — or at least, “cute retro” is what you hope the smartphone-obsessed kids at your child’s school will call it. At least on that type of phone, you can worry a little less about your pre-teen’s online safety because it won’t have any apps, but it will still have basic internet access.
Then there’s Gabb Wireless.
Gabb sells GPS-enabled, no-contract, $99.99 phones that look like smartphones — with their ubiquitous black slab design and 5.45″ screen — but they really aren’t. On a Gabb phone, kids can make and receive unlimited texts and calls with the basic $19.99 per month plan, or they can get unlimited talk and text with MMS (which handles sharing images in texts and group messaging) for $24.99 a month. Beyond calls and messaging, Gabb’s Z2 phones are fingerprint protected; they have a 5-megapixel selfie cam, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and they also come with built-in essential apps like music, contacts, a gallery, a calendar, a calculator, a clock, a voice recorder, an FM radio, a file manager, and settings. The phone has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of user memory, but it can also take microSD cards, which will enable them to sideload all of their favorite songs or save all of their favorite pictures and videos.
There are no parental controls necessary on a Gabb phone, though. While the Gabb Wireless Z2 looks just like many other ZTE smartphones, there’s no way for your young engineer to figure out a work-around to get past your parental controls and add games or social media apps because it’s simply not possible. Want to know more? You can read up on the Gabb Z2 here or learn all about Gabb’s mission here.
So this brings us to the point of my post. As part of its new Gabb Days of Giving, Gabb Wireless is going to give away 2,500 of its new Gab Z2 phones. They will also be donating $25,000 to the SaveTheKids Foundation that was started by the late Collin Kartchner, “an advocate for Gabb Wireless and founder of a nationwide effort to protect kids from the dangers of social media and too much tech too soon.”
Giving away 2,500 phones will help even more kids be safe. This has been a difficult year for many people, and we want to give back so parents and children can focus on enjoying time together and connecting with each other during this holiday season. – Stephen Dalby, founder and CEO of Gabb Wireless
How do you get a free Gabb Z2 phone for your child?
On November 23rd at 11 a.m. EST, you can visit this link. If you are one of the first 2,500 to snag one of these $99.99 phones for free on a first-come-first-served basis, you’ll just need to choose the Gabb Plan that best suits your child’s communication needs, and then check out. You’ll be able to give your child a bit more independence without throwing them directly into the internet’s often troubling waters.
What do you think? Would a device like this make you feel better about putting your pre-teen on their first phone? Let us know if you’re able to grab a Gabb.