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A cell phone designed for kids!

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  • A cell phone designed for kids!

    And it actually kinda makes sense! The Cingular Firefly has no dialing capabilities except via 5 buttons programmed by the parents...who also have a PIN in order to do so! One of those buttons is a 20 entry phonebook, again programmable by the parents. Calls can only be received from one of the programmed numbers.

    The magazine ad I saw shows a little boy of about 7. This hit home with me because my 2 oldest grandsons are 6 and 8. I love the safety features of this phone but, jeez, the misplaced and loss factors have gotta be huge! Altho', to my grandson's credit, he still has the iPod shuffle he received for his birthday last August!

    Do any of you know of any children who use this phone? I'm wondering what other 'negatives', besides loss, there might be.

  • #2
    Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

    There was a good article by David Pogue of the New York Times on three such cell phones for kids: the Firefly, the LG Migo, and the Enfora TicTalk.

    PC Magazine also reviewed them: TicTalk, Migo, and Firefly. They seem to favor the TicTalk.

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    • #3
      Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

      This is something I'd definitely look into...after I find out about the GPS chips I can get inserted in the back of my kids' necks! If they can do it for pets...
      Aloha from Lavagal

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      • #4
        Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

        The phone also has a caller ID display and probably the best feature of all, the phone automatically rejects any phone call not originating from the 20 pre-programmed numbers.
        I'm not a big fan of cell phones and probably won't buy one.

        However this feature mentioned in the firefly cell phone is something I definitely would love to see implemented into regular phones utilizing a larger phone number database. I see this as an excellent way for end users to get only the calls they want to from approved users on their own phonebook lists and nothing else, including pesky non-profit organization telemarketing calls. This I like.

        Anyone know if such a feature is implemented on other phones, cell or preferbably landline?
        I'm still here. Are you?

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        • #5
          Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

          Originally posted by mel
          I'm not a big fan of cell phones and probably won't buy one.

          However this feature mentioned in the firefly cell phone is something I definitely would love to see implemented into regular phones utilizing a larger phone number database. I see this as an excellent way for end users to get only the calls they want to from approved users on their own phonebook lists and nothing else, including pesky non-profit organization telemarketing calls. This I like.

          Anyone know if such a feature is implemented on other phones, cell or preferbably landline?
          I can almost do that on my Razr, by setting my default ring to "silent" and setting each phonebook entry to vibrate or ring as I prefer. It doesn't reject non-phonebook calls, but it makes it ultra-easy to ignore them because when they come in the phone won't vibrate or make any noise. The "incoming call" message will still flash on the screen, but you can just let the voicemail pick it up. Then, like email spam, you can just delete the messages you don't want. Unfortunately, also like email spam, this method doesn't stop them from arriving in the first place.

          Edit:
          Oops, a little googling shows that indeed the Razr can do what Mel wants. In the case of this model, it's Settings > Security > Restrict Calls > Incoming Calls > [change to "Address Book"]. And knowing that this model can do it, I imagine others can too.
          Last edited by Glen Miyashiro; March 15, 2006, 12:40 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

            I just thought of a 'negative', other than loss, for the Firefly. If mom or dad need to reach their child and they're not near any of the numbers they've programmed into the phone...they won't be able to call the child. That said, they've probably programmed their cell phone #s but there's always a chance of leaving the cell behind. It's a small negative, imo.

            Still, I think the Firefly's a good idea and I like that it can't be used for games.

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            • #7
              Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

              They have that phone on sale at Verizon Plus sites. It's a green phone that looks like one of those Motorola FRS radios. It has two stubby antenna's and five buttons. Four of them are numbered 1 thru 4 with one button in the middle in red with a hand indicating a "stop" motion.

              As you can figure each of the numbered buttons can be set to speed dial whatever you want and the red one is for emergency 9-1-1 calls.

              The slogan was something like: The phone kid's parents love. I think these phones would be great for the elderly as well. It's so simple to use. Turn it on (leave it on) and press whatever button you want to call. The one I saw at Verizon was $49 with a 2-year activation calling plan. It's pretty neat and fits entirely in the palm of your hand.

              Now onto the Razr. I got the new one the Razr V3c Vcast phone. It's an update to the first one that came out last year. This one has the 1.3 megapixal camera. One thing I can't figure out is how to use the speaker phone!
              Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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              • #8
                Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

                Originally posted by craigwatanabe
                It has two stubby antenna's and five buttons. Four of them are numbered 1 thru 4 with one button in the middle in red with a hand indicating a "stop" motion. As you can figure each of the numbered buttons can be set to speed dial whatever you want and the red one is for emergency 9-1-1 calls.
                The prominent positioning of the emergency button is one of the common criticism of these phones. Yes, we know, one of the primary purposes of giving a child his or her own first cell phone is for safety and the ability to summon help... but there's something unmistakably alluring about a centrally placed, scary looking red button on a new gadget.

                False 911 calls are part of the reason why dedicated 911 buttons are less common on home phones than they used to be, just because there might be a child in the house. So putting one in the middle of a phone made for kids seems a little silly.

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                • #9
                  Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

                  Originally posted by craigwatanabe
                  Now onto the Razr. I got the new one the Razr V3c Vcast phone. It's an update to the first one that came out last year. This one has the 1.3 megapixal camera. One thing I can't figure out is how to use the speaker phone!
                  Craig, I found some instructions for you:

                  1. Start the call.
                  2. Activate your speakerphone.
                  3. Wait a moment until after the "Speakerphone on" message disapears.
                  4. Press the menu key. (The center top button)
                  5. Scroll down and click "Mute".

                  (link )
                  Edit:

                  Oh, whoops. Forgot to tell you how to activate the speakerphone, didn't I.

                  When you have made your connection, the "soft button" on the lower right of your screen will say "Speaker". Press the button on the keypad, just below the soft button, and the call will be routed to the phone speaker.
                  Last edited by Glen Miyashiro; March 16, 2006, 09:20 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

                    Originally posted by craigwatanabe
                    They have that phone on sale at Verizon Plus sites. It's a green phone that looks like one of those Motorola FRS radios. It has two stubby antenna's and five buttons. Four of them are numbered 1 thru 4 with one button in the middle in red with a hand indicating a "stop" motion.

                    As you can figure each of the numbered buttons can be set to speed dial whatever you want and the red one is for emergency 9-1-1 calls.

                    The slogan was something like: The phone kid's parents love. I think these phones would be great for the elderly as well. It's so simple to use. Turn it on (leave it on) and press whatever button you want to call. The one I saw at Verizon was $49 with a 2-year activation calling plan. It's pretty neat and fits entirely in the palm of your hand.[...]
                    Hmmm...I wonder if the different cell companies have different colors and designs available to them. I couldn't find the Firefly on the Verizon site. The Firefly linked in my first post (Cingular) is blue and the buttons don't contain numbers; rather icons. The big icon in the middle is the phone book. The 2 buttons under that have icons representing mom and dad. I can't make out the 2 upper icons but one is red so I assume that could be 911. Anyway, I agree that they could be useful for the elderly.

                    I've never been a fan of cell phones for kids based on the potential of abuse of minutes, lack of parental control over incoming and outgoing calls and game features. But the Firefly (and the others posted by Ryan) caught my eye.

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                    • #11
                      Now this is a cell phone service I would buy for my child

                      The Chaperone!

                      The child can only dial 4 pre-programmed numbers...Has GPS attatched so parent can see where child is at all time...

                      And an emergency 911 Alert button on it!

                      http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1040_22-6082472.html

                      On the news I actually saw a phone designated just for it...the above link is verizons version of it I guess...
                      Last edited by damontucker; June 13, 2006, 06:25 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Now this is a cell phone service I would buy for my child

                        Does the GPS work to find the phone when a kid loses it...which could easily be on a daily basis?

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                        • #13
                          Re: A cell phone designed for kids!

                          One thing I don't like about this phone is that it won't appeal to some of the older kids who rely on the "coolness" of the product. Even my 10-year old thinks it looks, "dorky".

                          Put it in a Gameboy Advance and then I think you got something.
                          Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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