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Firefly Phone

by Ronald A. Rowe | February 17th, 2010 | Elementary, Product reviews

The Firefly cellular phone is a neat concept for parents of children who want a cellphone but may not be ready for one. The Firefly is a simple to use cell phone designed for maximum parental control.

My nine year old son has absolutely no reason to own a cellphone. He doesn’t go anywhere without us. But he begged and pleaded for six months, and we finally relented and got him a Virefly for his birthday this year.

I have a password for his phone that he does not know, which can be used to program numbers into the phone. He can dial only those pre-programmed numbers. The phone has two large buttons on the front, one pre-programmed to call mom and the other to call me. Then there are a handful of other numbers (my office, grandma and grandpa, etc.) that he can choose from a menu. Without the passcode he cannot dial any other numbers.

There are a variety of plans to choose from, all of which are relatively inexpensive. We chose $10 a month for 25 minutes, which should be more than enough. The service has been reliable and clear everywhere we’ve used the phone.

The phone itself comes in two varieties: glowPhone and flyPhone. GlowPhone has all the functions that a kid could need (but not all the functions that a kid could want), including customizable ring tones and games. We went for this low option, on the promise that if he could show us that he could go a year without breaking or losing his phone we could discuss an upgrade.

The flyPhone is a full multi-media phone with a camera and a color screen. This is a full function phone with enough features to make many adults jealous. Grown-up features and functionality come with a grown-up price tag, and the flyPhone clocks in at $99.

A Firefly phone is a good tool for kids wanting a taste of adulthood and responsibility before they’re really ready. One note from personal experience: the Firefly cannot survive a trip through the washer and dryer.

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