Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Is Firefly the Right Cell Phone for Kids?

You know how valuable your cell phone is. Not just for calling home from the grocery store to see what need restocking. Or to fritter away the minutes while you're sitting at red lights. Cell Phones can be a life saver when you need help fast.

The quick access to emergency help and family members makes the idea of packing a cell phone with your kid's lunch pretty desirable. Ah, but you know how those kids like to talk. Deep down inside you just know that the month after you give little Timmy his emergency cell phone you are going to get a eye-popping overage bill for a million extra minutes. Oh, if they only made a cell phone for kids that allows parents to keep a tight reign on the calls.

Now they do. The Firefly is a mobile phone designed especially for kids. It's got a tough plastic case that can take some schoolyard abuse. The antenna is hidden inside the phone so it won't break off. Surprisingly, what the Firefly doesn't have is number buttons. No just dialing any number you want with this phone, kids. Instead you have to select from a few numbers that mom and dad have preapproved.

The two largest buttons on the front of the Firefly have pictures of a man and a woman. Those are the speed keys to dial mom and dad. There's also a special button to instantly dial 911 for emergency calls. All other calls have to be made by using the built-in phone book. The phone book is PIN protected and contains up to 20 numbers. You keep the pin and they'll only be able to call the numbers you put in the book. You can even set it to reject incoming calls that aren't in the phone book.

The Firefly is a serious cell phone but one that is friendly to grade schoolers. There aren't very many buttons or functions to confuse little ones. It's a cool looking phone and comes with a flashing light show, 5 animations and 12 ringtones to choose from. It's also hard to lose when you attach the built-in backpack clip.

The Firefly weighs in at only 2.2 ounces but is capable of up to 6 hours talk time and 205 hours of standby time. It measures in at 3.46 inches tall, 1.75 inches wide and 0.79 inches thick.

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