sponsored by Verizon Wireless
As a #vzwbuzz blogger I get asked a lot of questions about how to go about picking a new device to give for a child or a teen. Figuring out what to buy can be confusing, getting the device set up, making sure it is parental controls are in place can be maddening particularly on Christmas morning. Here’s a few tips that can save your sanity and turn a great mobile device into an epic offering, sure to elicit screams of delight from your child when they open your gift.
At Time of Purchase
Know the Operating system, remember you will be the one overseeing software upgrades and general troubleshooting for young children. Pick a platform you are comfortable with.
Tempting as they are price wise, try to avoid knock off or no name tablets, stick to trusted mainline manufacturers.
Open the device in store if you can, be sure it boots up and the screen is good. If you bought the device online, go through the same steps NOW in case there is a problem with the device and it needs to be exchanged ASAP for a good one.
For devices with cellular capability, get your sim cards and have them activated, if you are buying the device at your carrier they can do this for you! Alternatively, you can often activate on your computer at home.
If the device has 16GB of storage or less, consider buying a microsd card to gain additional storage for apps, music, pics and movies.
Consider purchasing an addition charger/ cable to keep as a spare and/ or a car charger for those long road trips.
Decide upon what sort of warranty coverage you want/ need. Shop around and read the fine print, some plans will repair or replace a broken device but don’t cover you if they are lost or stolen.
Setting up the Device
Buy a case and/ or a screen protector for the device before it is handed to the child. An unprotected new phone or ipad that slips out of the hand or gets stepped on during the frenzy of opening gifts is often a device with a cracked or shattered screen.
Have the screen protector professionally applied in the store ( many retailers will do it for free or for a modest fee, trust me, this is worth it to get a smooth result)
Assuming this device is a gift for a child or teen and you already have their email address and passwords. Set up the device, go to Google Play store, Windows Store, Apple App store or Amazon and install basic apps. A new device is even cooler when you boot it up and your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Vine accounts are ready to use.
Do NOT use a credit card for App purchases. Buy gift cards to use on the devices instead, this minimizes fiscal damages if your child makes in app purchases or if the account gets hacked.
If this is a young child be sure to go through any parental control options offered on the device and set restrictions. Be sure to check out any parental control resources your carrier offers.
Resources For Help
AppleCare Protection Plan – provides extended warranty support for hardware & software including accidental damage.
Square Trade – offers protection plans for smartphones, Tablets, desktops, laptops and more.
Should you Switch Wireless Plans? – Read the fine print closely!
How to Chose the Right Tablet – there is a perfect device for every need!
How to Choose a Smartphone – one size doesn’t fit all!
Comparing Smartphone Operating Systems – choose the right device for you!
Tech Gifts for the holidays – In case you still are confused about what to buy!
If you are a Verizon Customer you’ll be pleased to know they offer a lot of Family friendly controls and safety options, many at no extra charge or for a modest monthly fee.
Still haven’t purchased that special gift? Head over to the Verizon Website to compare devices, plans & accessories you will be sure to find a gift to please every gadget lover on your list.
Getting your child’s device protected and securely setup will ensure your gift is useable immediately and will save you a lot of stress come Christmas morning!
Disclosure: As a member of the #vzwbuzz team I am given devices for review and other benefits by Verizon Wireless. All opinions are my own.