Texting all parents: U shd get ur kids Kajeet cell phns KWIM?

Each year, the world becomes more high tech, cell phones become cooler, and kids get more technology savvy. This leads to those savvy kids wanting to keep up with the latest in cellular communication. But parents who do decide to permit a child to have a phone may not want to get locked into some five-year contract with termination and activation fees, or add another line to their phone that makes their own cell bill more expensive. A great solution is a Kajeet cell phone.

Kajeet (their name is an anagram of the first letters of the founders’ children’s names) was founded with this simple idea: give kids a cell phone they’ll enjoy, without parents worrying about activation fees, contracts, and other junk like that. And they’re not just cool looking, they also provide a kid with a sense of security and the ability to get in touch with their parental units when necessary. The phones live up to this simple philosophy: no activation fees, no termination fees, no contract, no minute expirations, and very low rates designed to save the parent money.

Kajeet is similar to the other pay-as-you-go networks and runs off of Sprint’s Nationwide PCS Network, which isn’t very reliable at times. I experienced difficulty when trying to call home after sports or school, and occasionally had no bars, which indicate coverage, showing on the phone’s screen when I was trying to connect. But Kajeet has a great selection of ringtones, wallpapers, games, and more on what they call the “Kajeet Navigator.” The parents have the ultimate control through the Kajeet website: the parents (or adult guardians) set up the phone, and put money into the “wallet” for the kids to use. They also have the ability to monitor things like when the phone can be used and can even choose what incoming and outgoing numbers are allowed, for both talking and sending text messages.

My little brother Jonathan and I reviewed a pair of Sanyo Katanas, the best phone Kajeet offers, to test. Mine has received many routine nicks, scratches, drops, and jostles, but still functioned quite well. (My little brother’s Kajeet phone almost got a free trip through the washing machine but my mom rescued it before we had the opportunity to test its water resistance.) My only complaint about the Katana is that the battery life wasn’t as long I’d like, and it ran low a little too early IMHO. But other than that, I highly recommend this as an alternative, if not superior, network to the high priced family plans offered by the bigger networks. If your child puts “getting my own cell phone” on his or her list of New Year’s resolutions, this is the phone you’ll want to get.

Thomas Fogel, Posted 12/20/2007

For more information on Kajeet cell phones visit: www.kajeet.com