Smartphone Review & Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

In this house, we’re a bunch of geeks technology aficionados. Ken buys gadgets like I [would love to] buy shoes. As I type this, he is playing with his newest gadget, a micro reverse adapter for his camera lens that allows him to take crazily close-up photos.

So when BlogHer gave me an opportunity to review the latest LG Connect 4G Android smartphone from MetroPCS, I knew my family would enjoy testing it out.

MetroPCS smartphone

Although we’re more familiar with iPhones, the LG Connect 4G has some seriously cool features, including a crystal-clear 4î touchscreen great for viewing pictures or video and doing some online browsing — or blog reading! It has a big brain in its little package: a 1.2 GHz processor, which is powerful enough for using multiple applications at the same time. Since we’re photographers, we do have professional cameras, but they are too big to carry around all the time. Most of our in-the-moment photos are taken with our cell phones; the LG Connect 4G is ready for photo-taking with a 5 MP rear camera and a front facing camera. (If you, like me, have ever tried taking pictures of yourself with only a rear camera, it is far more difficult than it seems, so I like having the front facing camera!)

For a limited time, MetroPCS is offering the LG Connect 4G smartphone for $249 (+ tax and after instant discount and mail-in rebate). MetroPCS has one of the most affordable plans out there and is the only no-contract service provider offering 4G LTE service. They also allow you to choose any plan you like and change devices or plans any time to fit your needs.

We first gave Brandon a cell phone when he was 14, but that was because he lived mostly at his mom’s house, and it was often hard to get in touch with him. When we met Lindsey at age 14, she came with a cell phone; we felt that was too young but didn’t want her to feel as though we were taking everything away when she’d first moved away from everything and everyone she had known. Kathryn is almost 12, and we’re not planning on giving her a cell phone anytime soon, but I have a hard time deciding exactly what the magic age is for a cell phone. One of my friends has an “extra” cell phone that she gives her daughter only on days when she’s in homeschool enrichment classes so she can easily contact her mom in case of emergency. We’ve considered doing something like that as well, especially since we no longer have a home phone.

What age do YOU think is most appropriate for kids to have a cell phone? Answer this question in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card! (See rules below for details.)

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 8/20/12 – 9/20/12.

Be sure to visit the MetroPCS brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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The age at which a child should have a cell phone depends on the child, I think. It has been very helpful to me for my 13 year old to have a phone so that if he is at an event, birthday party or practice, he can call me to let me know he is ready to be picked up.


Age 13-15. Depending on the child’s level of how responsible he or she is. :~)


My oldest is only 8, so I don’t really know what a good age is. But I do think that many, many kids who have cell phones are way too young. I like the idea of giving your kid the extra cell phone when they’re away from you, but I just don’t think a young teen should have their own.

Brenda Torres

I think it depends on the maturity and trust level for the child. I would say when the child is driving. Then they can call in case of an emergency. Before that, there is nowhere they would go where they would not have access to a fun. Yeah, I’m conservative about this!


I think it definitely depends on the family, the child and the situation. I got my phone when I started driving for emergencies, etc. I know some that are giving children phones earlier because they have a lot of outside activities, etc and need to be in touch with parents about pick-ups etc. All things being equal I would say 16, but there are situations when they might be warranted earlier, with additional restrictions.

Ralene B

I like the idea of having the extra phone to hand out as needed once they’re out and about more often. However, for their “very own” cell phone, I would say whenever they get their driver’s license. They have more independence then and are out at jobs or activities, where it might be important to have a cell phone.


Age 10 because this is old enough for them to use as emergencies and will probably be a little more responsible than a younger child


My oldest is 9 and has asked about having a cell phone, but I don’t think he’s old enough. I would say 12 years old.




My son is 10 years old, and he will get the phone next year


i would say age 12

Ashley H

I would say 12-13 years old.


That’s a really tough question. I think it depends on the kid as well as what his or her home life is like. I taught 8th grade in a public school for 6.5 years and I saw a lot of students come through who got into trouble because they misused their cell phones. I don’t think I’d want to give a middle schooler a phone. But at the same time, if my child had to walk home from school or has several hours of unsupervised time after school, I would want him or her to be able to call me… Read more »

Jessica To

My son is 9 and a classmate showed him his phone. I think this is too young. I hope to wait until he is about 12.


I think no sooner than age 13 or so. It shouldn’t be necessary at all until a child is old enough to go places without a parent, and even then they’re usually around another adult or in a place where phones are available. I hope our children won’t have phones until they’re driving. My parents told me I could have a cell phone when I had money to pay for it myself. I did get a job, but all my money was used for more important things. I still don’t have my own cell phone (although my husband does), and… Read more »

Julie Snider

My thirteen year old still does not have a cell phone (she’s not happy about it). I like the idea of having an extra and letting her use it whenever she’s away from home for an extended period of time. My husband and I both have resisted much of the new technology for the reason that it can be somewhat stressful just having to learn more after we’ve just mastered the more recent gadget. I think it has something to do with teaching an old dog a new trick, LOL!


I think that in general, kids who are old enough to drive should have limited use of a cell phone, for safety sake. I also think kids who are really involved in after school activities could benefit from the limited use of a cell phone. however, I think it’s ridiculous for kids to bring them to school, etc. As a teacher, I can verify that it contributes to cheating, bullying, and worse. While at school, if a kid needs to call home, they can always use a school phone, and this has been true at every school I taught at.… Read more »

Robin Cowgill

We also have an extra cell phone as we don’t have a home phone. I don’t think it is a specific age but more about when kids will be out and about without parents. This has worked really well in our home!


I think like most things, it should be determined not by a specific age, but by the individual readiness and need. We gave our oldest a cell phone when he was 15 because of a job he was working during the summer with no ready access to a phone. Of course, texting had yet to take off, so that wasn’t an issue. Our younger son, his before he started driving so he would be able to reach us in an emergency. We had texting and vm blocked until he was 18 to avoid the temptation while driving. Our oldest daughter… Read more »

Elizabeth Hewett

I am doubting that there is a magical age for a child to have a cell phone. I think there are some 14 yr olds that would show more maturity than some adults! And there are some 16 yr olds that could not handle having a phone very well. Evaluation of your current circumstances, children, and motivation for providing a phone will help you make a wise decision.


I think using the extra phone we have for 10$ a month is good for when my older kids have occasion to need a phone. Otherwise I think that waiting until a child can contribute to the cost of a phone and the calling plan gives them the responsibilty of a cell phone not just the privilege. Of course different circumstances will dictate different decisions on when a cell phone is needed for a child. I am still wondering how i ever grew up, went to college, entered the working world, married and had a couple of babies before ever… Read more »


To clarify, we pay for the 10$ not the kids. . It sounded like I was charging them to use the phone when they needed it. 😉

Andrea Julian

I think around 15 with limited emergency use.

Kristin T

I think when the child has either 1) a job or 2) a driver’s license then it’s appropriate.

Kristin T
Kelly Massman

I know my son couldn’t get one until he could afford to buy one himself..which is 16 when he got his first job… Thanks kmassman gmail

Amanda Sakovitz

I would say 11-12 would be a good age for a child to have a phone.

Amanda Sakovitz
marci h

i think between the ages of 12-13. 🙂

Livivua Chandler

my stepdaughter handled a phone starting at age 8 or earlier. Her mom never kept a phone in service so my husband wanted to keep in touch with his daughter so we started with the firefly phone then moved up to regular planned phone. Each one had restrictions that he put in place such as media, texting, and who she can call.


13 probably, i didnt get one until i was driving

Susan Stahley

I think a 13 yr. old is responsible enough to have a cell phone.


I am planning on giving my daughter her first cell phone when she enters middle school
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I thin kthis is one of those questions that depends on how active/busy your child is, how mature, safety, etc. So, it depends


Remembering myself as a young man, I would have to say 13-14. However, I’m sure it is different for most kids.


I would say 14.
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Nataly Carbonell

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I personally think it is okay to give a kid a cellphone as long as you are sure they will be responsible

Harmony B

I think 10 would be a good age

Tiffany Winner

i think they can have a cell phone when they get a job to pay for it, so around 16

Melissa Thomas

We gave our oldest a cell phone at 14. Looking back I think that was a little too young. But he was starting to go on youth trips and things without us and we wanted to make sure that he had a way to get in touch with us and for us to get in touch with him (OK more for the us than for him). But I wish now that we had told him it was for only those times when he was away from us and not his all the time. OH well, live and learn.

Thomas Murphy

I think age 12 is good for a child to have a cell phone

Thomas Murphy