With how prevalent technology is in our lives, it’s only a matter of time before your child will be asking for their own phone. There is great debate over which age is most appropriate for a child to have their own mobile phone, but no matter the age a child may get one there are certainly risks involved.
The phone can be a valuable tool, but it can also expose your child to harmful content or bring them into contact with unscrupulous individuals. You may think the risks are too great to consider, but there are options that allow your child to have a phone while still being kept safe.
That’s where the Bark Phone comes in, a phone that is specifically designed with child safety in mind. In this review, we will go over everything that this phone includes in order to show you whether it would be right for you and your child.
- A Bark phone is functionally a regular mobile phone, but it has various safeguards in place to protect your child.
- Bark Phone’s parental controls give you more control over what your child can access and hide on their phone.
- We will go over all of the main features and benefits the Bark phone has to offer.
- The phone will monitor apps, emails, and browser activity to scan for anything harmful.
- The Bark phone is an improvement over the Bark app, as the phone has been specifically optimized for the features and benefits of the app without restrictions.
What Is A Bark Phone?
The Bark Phone is a phone that has been designed specifically for child safety and is an extension of the Bark App. The phone looks and operates like a regular phone, but it has various customizable restrictions and monitoring included that can help prevent your child from accessing content that is harmful to them.
As we mentioned, the phone looks like a regular phone, so you will get the benefit of these features and your child won’t be embarrassed by being spotted with what is obviously a ‘kid’s phone.’
Keeping your child safe online may seem like a losing battle, but as we have seen before, it is possible to take measures to protect them. The Bark phone has been designed to make this battle much easier.
Overview Of Bark Phone
When you sign up for a Bark phone, you will receive the phone itself, the Bark Premium app, and wireless service. The Bark app is accessible on ‘normal’ phones, but the Bark phone has been designed with it in mind, meaning you won’t be restricted by setbacks of the phone’s design.
It also doesn’t come with a one size fits all approach to monitoring, as you will be able to set the controls and limitations yourself to suit your child.
With kids getting more tech-savvy by the day, you may think they’ll just disable the restrictions, but tamper-proof measures have been incorporated to prevent this.
For a more visual look at some of the Bark phone’s features, you can check out this video on the subject.
How Bark Phone’s Parental Control Helps Protect Your Children
The parental controls implemented by Bark are designed to give you control over what your child will be able to access. Having a phone can be a great thing for your child, but it can also lead to some bad outcomes such as cyberbullying, accessing inappropriate content, and even contact with predators.
These threats are common on social media, and we have previously looked at ways you can monitor social media usage.
The Bark phone allows you to monitor content for signs of bullying, predators, or inappropriate content. You will also be able to set screen time parameters to prevent your child from getting addicted to the screen, filter websites that are harmful, and set location alerts so you will always know where they are
All of these features and more are designed to give you more control over what your child will access without making them feel like they have no privacy or autonomy.
In the past, we have looked at the 5 biggest benefits of using parental controls for your child’s phone.
Bark Phone Review
We have briefly looked at what the Bark phone has to offer, but now we will go over some specifics of what this phone has to offer.
Key Features And Benefits
- Comes With Bark Built-in – The benefits of the Bark app and protection can be accessed on other phones, but the Bark phone is built with all of these features implemented and optimized.
- Doesn’t Look Like A Kid’s Phone – Kids of all ages are going through a formative time where they’re building social connections and learning how to interact in society. They naturally don’t want to be ostracized by their peers, so giving them a phone that is obviously for kids may expose them to bullying. The Bark phone looks and acts like a regular phone, so your child will be kept safer without being bullied for having a kid’s phone.
- Customizable Controls – Some children may need more help or restrictions than others, so you will have control over the restrictions and monitoring in place so that you can disable anything that isn’t necessary for your child.
- Tamper Proof – The phone has been designed so that your child won’t be able to disable the protections in place. They won’t be able to delete messages without permission or change your controls. Even downloading a VPN won’t be enough to circumvent your protections.
- Bark Premium – Each phone plan comes with the Bark Premium app for the entire family, making things more convenient.
What Does The Bark Phone Monitor?
- Apps – The phone will monitor the apps your child uses for harmful content and will send you an alert if anything is detected.
- Email – Similarly, ingoing and outgoing emails will be scanned for any harmful content you should be alerted about.
- Browsers – Bark can monitor activity on all major browsers as well as most of the apps that are most popular with kids and teens such as Discord, Instagram, and TikTok. This means kids can still access these apps but you will have more control over what they’re exposed to. For a more thorough look at which apps are covered, check out this page from Bark.
The Bark phone at first glance may appear to just be a regular mobile phone. This is by design, as your child may get bullied or picked on if they’re seen with a phone obviously made for kids.
Even with all the protection features, it is essentially a modern Samsung phone with all of the benefits that entail. The phone has a sleek, cool design and even has benefits such as a quality camera incorporated.
Performance And Reliability
Samsung is known as one of the top tech companies today, and a high watermark for quality is present with this phone. It should be very reliable for whatever your child may need it for. The protection features and Bark app have also been optimized for the phone so that you can rest easy that everything should work as intended.
You have a few options for pricing when signing up for the Bark phone. Each plan comes with the phone, Bark Premium, and wireless connectivity.
The lowest tier starts at $49 per month, and this includes unlimited talk and text but is limited to wifi only.
The next tier is $59 per month, and this includes unlimited talk and text along with 4GB of data per month.
Finally, you have the highest tier which is $69 per month. This includes unlimited talk and text and 8GB of data.
Pros And Cons
- Great protection measures are in place – You have access to all manner of features that will monitor and protect your child.
- Looks like a normal phone – It looks and functions like a regular phone, so your child won’t be embarrassed.
- Control over what is monitored – Have more control over what is actually monitored.
- State-of-the-art phone features – The Samsung design ensures you have a quality device with all the best features.
- Options for pricing – You can choose which tier is best for you and your child so you won’t pay for features you don’t need.
- Some apps aren’t covered for coverage – While the Bark phone covers many major apps and browsers, some may not be fully covered.
- The app can sometimes slow down the phone – The Bark app is sometimes performing many functions which can occasionally cause minor slowdowns.
- Available In certain countries only – The Bark phone is available only in the United States, Guam, and South Africa at the time of writing. Even in Guam and South Africa, only the software is available, as the hardware itself is restricted to the United States.
Bark Phone Vs Bark App
The Bark App is useful on its own, but it is more limited when not paired with the Bark Phone. For example, the Bark Phone will not allow messages to be deleted from the phone. This can be handy as kids may delete harmful messages in a panic for fear of getting in trouble.
Doing this is good for no one, as it means you won’t be aware of these threats. You will also be able to monitor and control much more when you’re using the phone.
Location tracking is also a lot more robust with the phone than with the app. Customization options are increased with the phone, so you will be able to change the protection policies when they’re not needed or maybe needed more.
Kids are very tech-savvy these days, so they may be able to figure out how to bypass the app on a regular phone, whereas the Bark phone has additional safeguards.
Put very basically, while the Bark app can be very useful, the Bark phone takes it a step further and gives you more control. You can check out this overview by Bark for more information on this subject.
What Age Is It Appropriate For A Kid To Have A Bark Phone?
There is no one-and-done answer to this question, as each kid is unique. This could depend on their maturity level and how aware they are of the various threats that are facing them. Some kids may be ready for a phone at age 10 or even younger, while others may only be ready when they’re a teenager.
There are some downsides to a kid having a phone, such as spending too much time on it or having access to threats and inappropriate content. The Bark phone is no different, but it will be much safer than a regular phone, so it may be more suitable for a younger child who wouldn’t be ready for a regular phone.
While there is no hard and fast rule, most children should be okay to have a Bark phone from ages 10-14.
Once again, Bark has covered this in an overview you can read for more info.
Bark Phone Reviews: What Customers Are Saying
Customers have been very impressed in general with the Bark Phone and Bark app features. On this page, you can find a collection of testimonials and positive experiences had by everyday parents who have been very happy with what the Bark phone offers.
Conclusion And Where To Buy
It’s only a matter of time before your child will be pleading for a phone of their own, and you may want to delay it as long as possible because of all the risks. The Bark phone is a great middle-ground that will allow you to grant your child’s wish for a phone while still being able to keep them safer from modern threats.
We would highly recommend the Bark phone and app to any parents who wish to have more control over what their child is exposed to online and elsewhere. If you wish to get a Bark phone for your home, you can check coverage and choose a plan on this page.
What Network Does Bark Mobile Use?
Bark is partnered with T-Mobile and will provide network services using that network.
Can Kids Remove Bark App From Bark Phone?
Bark is built into the phone infrastructure, and therefore can’t be removed or uninstalled.
Can Bark Kids Phone Detect Sexting?
The Bark phone will detect and alert you to any inappropriate messages that are received or sent.
What Does Bark Phone Notify Parents Of?
The Bark phone will notify you of any suspicious or harmful activity throughout app usage and message correspondence along with browser activity.
How And When Are Bark Notifications Sent To Parents?
You will receive an alert via email text or an app alert if there is anything that comes up because of Bark monitoring.
Does Bark Phone Also Use Bark App?
Yes indeed, the Bark app is integrated into the Bark Phone by default.
How To Set Up The Bark Phone For Kids
For information on how to set up the Bark phone for kids, you can check out this handy and informative video on the subject by Bark