Three Mobile PAYG Review | Modern Mummy

Monday, 6 January 2014

Three Mobile PAYG Review


Before Christmas, Three Mobile asked us to review one of their Pay As You Go phones and to report back on their suitability for kids.

Obviously Daisy and Evie are a teeny tiny bit too young for mobile phones of their own but I agreed to the review firstly because I was interested in seeing exactly how Pay As You Go phones work (I've never had one) and also because I was keen to discover the things I'd need to take into consideration when the girls actually ask for their own phones in the future.

According to a recent survey, the average child gets his or her first mobile at the age of 12, so I've a few years left before I really need to worry - but there are heaps of things to take into account when choosing a mobile for your son or daughter.

Kids these days are very savvy when it comes to technology. Daisy is a pro on my iPhone and wasn't impressed when we fobbed her off with an Innotab when she asked for an iPad a couple of Christmases ago! Even Evie, at only 14 months, knows which button on the iPhone makes the screen light up, and knows she can scroll through photographs by making a swiping motion on the screen with her finger. I know, from conversations with friends that have older kids, that the model of their mobile phone is important to them but, as a parent, it's important to weigh up the pros and cons of going for the latest, most popular, model versus choosing something a bit more basic.

Of course there's the initial expense and the cost of replacing the phone should it get damaged to take into account - but there is also the worry that an expensive phone will make your child a target for thieves.

Then you need to look at whether you are going to opt for a contract or PAYG price plan. There are heaps of pay monthly tariffs to choose from - and these can be capped if you are worried about your child running up large bills, however you will be tied in for 12-18 months minimum. PAYG is, in my opinion, a better option as your child can never spend more than the credit you have given them.

Then of course you need to take parental controls into account, and this was the main aim of the Three review.

Three are committed to protecting under-18s from adult content, so they have made sure that all phones on their network can restrict access to websites and phone services that contain content inappropriate for people under the age of 18. Adult content is automatically filtered on all their Pay As You Go phones (unlike their Pay Monthly phones, where you have to set up an adult filter yourself). Of course you can adjust the PAYG settings if the phone is for a grown up, but this has to be done online and involves applying for a PIN number so isn't instantaneous. Knowing that I don't have to do anything myself (and therefore can't get anything wrong) really puts my mind at rest!

When setting up the Nokia Lumia 520 (the phone we chose) I had to link it to a Microsoft email account in order to download games for Daisy. Obviously I chose my own personal Hotmail account - without realising it would automatically link all my Hotmail contacts to the phone. If Daisy was going to keep and use the phone on her own I wouldn't be particularly keen on this, however it does mean that any contacts added to the phone also get backed up into the email's contact list which would be a good way of monitoring the phone's use.

There are heaps of free apps available (we haven't had to pay for a game yet) and this gives me great peace of mind as I've not had to enter any payment details and can relax knowing no 'in app purchases' can be made when Daisy is playing the games. (This happened to us with my iPhone before I learnt how to turn in app purchases off!)

Whilst talking about finances, I must mention that the £10 credit I topped the phone up with initially (almost a month ago) is still going strong which is brilliant - and Daisy has made a fair few phone calls to Granny & Grandad on it. The cost of the PAYG handset (£79.99) is also very reasonable bearing in mind it is a touch screen smart phone.

From working on this campaign I know for sure that I'll be getting the girls PAYG mobiles when the time comes for them to have their own phones. I'm also super impressed with Three and will most definitely consider them for the job as their mobile phone provider.

We were given a Nokia Lumia 520 for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own.
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