Re: If I were to get a phone for my kid
My 'phones all filter down to the kids as I upgrade the phones, although I gave each of the kids their first phone at whatever age they started spending significant non-school time out of the house, normally early-mid teens. First phone always low end, low value phones, often hand-me-downs on PAYG to give them a means of calling-home, never as a means of keeping tabs on them.
Currently my daughter is waiting for me to replace my Sony Xperia Neo so she can have it, and her Samsung Galaxy (one of the low end ones which was my first Android phone) will then go down to my youngest son, which will replace his Nokia clamshell. This will mean that everybody in the household except my wife will have smartphones, and she just doesn't want a mobile at all.
Eventually, the low end phones just end up sitting in a drawer as 'spares' (like my old Nokia 7110, now really only kept as a curio). The exception is my Palm Treo 650, which I am keeping as my active spare (with a PAYG SIM in it), because its not that desirable to anybody who was not a Palm user, and I like it too much.
The only real thing that bugs me is how soon service provider locked Android phones stop being updated by the service providers. My oldest son noticed this, and as a result always buys SIM-free phones (he's old enough to have his own money to spend) that get the updates direct from the phone manufacturer or Google, not waiting so see whether the service provider is prepared to package the updates. Maybe SPs should be forced to admit that they will never update old phones, and allow them to be un-branded so stock ROMs can be installed on the phones without hacking them.