Verizon has announced a new mobile data plan that it’s positioning as “the first smartphone plan designed for kids.” The Just Kids plan includes 5GB of monthly data and unlimited talk/text to 20 parent-approved contacts. It also bundles in Verizon’s Smart Family Premium suite of parental controls, which usually costs an extra $9.99 per month. The plan has “safety mode” enabled, meaning kids can keep using data (at reduced speeds) after hitting the 5GB LTE limit without any additional charges or penalties. And video is restricted to 480p — just like Verizon’s cheapest unlimited plan for adults.
The Smart Family Premium tool allows parents to set screen time limits, track the location of their kids, and put content filters in place. Verizon notes that “to get Just Kids, at least one line on the account needs to be on Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited.” Remember that the company’s three unlimited plans — yep, there are three of ‘em — can be mixed and matched on a family account.
Just Kids starts at $55/month on a two-line account and drops to $35 if there are four people on your family plan. You can take a look at the pricing grid below; just remember that the rates shown reflect autopay and paper-free billing.
Verizon is being vague about the age range that its Just Kids plan is meant for. The company told PC World “the decision of when to get a child their first phone is up to parents and varies family to family. Our role is to make sure we’ve got products and services to meet their needs when parents feel they are ready.”
Is there really a benefit to this over, say, just getting a regular plan once you’ve decided your child is old enough for a smartphone and using the built-in parental controls on Android or iPhone? If you’re really drawn to what Verizon is offering with its Smart Family features, maybe there is. Here’s an FAQ that might help you determine whether Just Kids and its integrated parental controls are worthwhile.