Over the past week, we have been testing out a new mobile phone designed for children, the 1st Fone. The aim with 1st Fone is that your child’s phone is pre programmed with up to 12 numbers to call. There is no text message or internet capabilities so no shock phone bills at the end of the month. All this comes on a slim, lightweight and very funky handset.
We are testing out a new style of 1st Fone, the new image handset. Other styles include the name handset, so replacing pictures with words of the people your child would call.
I find the new style phone perfect, especially for my son. He’s 4 years old and is currently learning to read so this way he can work out who he needs to call by choosing the recipients picture.
The ordering process for the phone was very good, not the quickest process but all in all very simple and user friendly. Lewis had alot of fun deciding his style of phone and also helped me choose the pictures to use for his contacts.
Firstly, we needed to decide just how many people we were going to have pre-set to his phone, initially we came up with 9 contacts, we were going to make it up to 12 but decided this would give Lewis too many people to call which he didn’t need to. So facing a tough decision to remove a contact we went ahead with 8.
Secondly, Lewis chose his design (this took the longest out of the whole ordering process), if he could have had his own way he’d of had a different design for everyday of the week! But in the end he decided to go with the Blue Splat.
Lastly, we had our final stage of ordering. This is where we added the finer details to the 1st Fone, i.e. Lewis’s Name and if we opted for a 999 button. As Lewis is young I decided against the 999 button for he wouldn’t need one.
Then we added all Lewis’s contacts to his phone and also pictures. You can also opt to have your child’s mobile phone number printed on the back of the handset.
This was our final design.
Within 48 hours Lewis’s phone had arrived which I was incredibly impressed with and Lewis’s was completely made up with it.
First of all he called his Nanna.
He soon got bored, so called his Uncle Chris.
And before I knew it he’d called everyone in his phone book… including me, sat next to him!
I’ve had mixed comments about my son having a mobile phone at such a young age, I’ve decided for him to have this type of mobile phone due to its safety aspect. Lewis can only ring the pre-set numbers, he’s unable to use text messages and internet so I feel this is a very safe handset for him. Also due to it being a pre-set phone it has very little meaning nor value to anyone else so if it was to go missing I wouldn’t be concerned about data!
As yet he doesn’t leave the house alone but he does visit relatives so can call myself or ClearlyDaddy if he wants to talk to us and as he grows up he’ll be visiting his friends local to us so can take his phone with him then. Also in holidays he may visit his relatives up North so he’ll have the freedom to call home when he wants to.
Recently we visited a Local Theme Park where Lewis took his 1st Fone so if he got lost he could ring us or we ring him. As it turned out it was very useful on the day as we lost ClearlyDaddy so needed to call him to locate him, which Lewis immediately piped up “I’ll ring him!”.
Lewis wore his 1st Fone all day, we even had a couple of queries about it which we were happy to show people what it does!
I find the design and use of the phone very easy, especially for Lewis who actually taught ME how to make a call. The 1st Fone is incredibly lightweight (40grams) and is the size of a credit card, it also comes with a neck strap attached, perfect for your child to keep it safe.
Having now had some “Lewis free time” to play with the 1st Fone I can now vouch just how simple it is to use.
- To call a contact, simply press the picture of your contact
- The end call select “End Call” – same with “Answer” a call
- To shut the phone down or start up, press and hold the “On-Off” button.
- Once Off, flick the shut-down switch to off and this will be the best way of preserving your battery life (for up to a year)
There are various flashing lights on the phone also, ones I have come across are:
- Flashing Red – Low battery
- Slow Flashing Blue – Good signal and working
- Quick Flashing Blue – Poor Signal
- Solid Blue – No Signal
- Solid Red – Phone Charging
A concern of mine when I first ordered the 1st Fone, and your possibly thinking the same now is “How do I update a number on my phone?!”. This is SIMPLE, you simply contact 1st Fone, they will take a couple of details from you and update your phone for you instantly. No details are stored on the handset, all details are stored on a secure server at 1st Fone HQ! If you require a complete contact change this can also be done and a new stick-on button created.
There really is nothing else I can report about this marvellous phone, I find it a brilliant piece of kit for Lewis to have now and also as he grows up… until he’s old enough for the latest smart phone (and its bill!).
For the new Image Handset, prices start at £50 going up to £70, depending on the amount of contacts you wish to choose (2, 4, 8 or 12). Next is your design, a plain solid colour is free whilst factory designs are £1 each, you can even upload your own design at a cost of £5. Also a charger for the phone is an extra £5, you can opt out of purchasing this as these days most people have so many chargers lying around (I know I do). The 1st Fone requires a Micro USB charger.
There are various price plans to choose from, Pay-Monthly (on a rolling 30 day contract), Pay as you Go and also 6 or 12 months airtime plan (pay for 6 or 12 months up front). I think this is a good idea, having various plans for parents flexibility.
Having recently spoken to my contact at 1st Fone, I can confirm in the near future there will be an online system launched to review remaining minutes of your child’s monthly allowance and also amend contact details online. At the moment this system is only available for Pay as You Go customers but will soon be available for all customers.
**This is not a sponsored post, I have been provided with a 1st Fone for reviewing. All words and opinions are my own.