Phones for your teenager (roundup)

It seems like just about every messaging phone is aimed for teens and tweens, but some smartphones and cell phones are better suited than others.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Jessica Dolcourt
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Josh Miller

I sometimes find myself in the middle of negotiations between teens and their parents about which phone to get. Invariably, the teens want the top-of-the-line smartphone, and who can blame them? What they eventually wind up with, however, is often further down the list.

I've rounded up a range of teen-friendly phones that includes some Android smartphones with youthful (or affordable) characteristics and a couple of other messaging phones that make a more visual splash than some of the other adequate texters out there.