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Kids and teens want smartphones. While teens might have a better idea of why they want a phone and what they would use it for, the dangers are still there regardless of age. That's why it's important to use a smartphone designed for kids from a trustworthy source. Gabb Wireless is a U.S.-based brand that provides both devices and custom software to help parents feel more confident handing over smartphones to their kids.

My 10-year-old son has been helping me test the Gabb Phone Plus for a few months, which is a Samsung Galaxy A10e with a custom software layer on top of Android 10, and it's a great option for parents to consider when looking for a phone for their child. However, the phone itself, while an important piece of the puzzle, isn't the primary selling point for Gabb Wireless — it's the software.

As part of the Gabb Phone Plus program, users get access to more third-party apps and additional features that a standard Gabb Phone doesn't. I reviewed the Gabb Phone before my time at XDA, and the Gabb Phone Plus is everything the regular model is but with a few extras, making it a more expensive service to use for kids that are ready for a bit more from their phone. Is it perfect? No, but it can be a great option for your family if you decide you need the extra features.

Gabb Phone Plus
Gabb Phone Plus

The Gabb Phone Plus from Gabb Wireless is a great option for older kids because it offers more apps and configurations compared to the standard Gabb Phone. While the Gabb devices will change over time, the Gabb Phone Plus is a platform running on a custom Android build to make it more secure and versatile for families.

Octa-Core 1.6GHz,1.35GHz processor
5.83-inch edge-to-edge Infinity Display
Li-Ion 3000 mAh
Operating System
Android 10 with custom Gabb skin
Front camera
Rear cameras
8MP with LED flash, panorama, HDR, 1080p video at 30 FPS
IP Rating



No access to the internet, social media, or games

A very limited list of third-party apps at this time

An easy-to-use parental companion app

Missing some key parental control features

Gabb Music is great for streaming music safely

You have to use Gabb Wireless as a carrier

Parents can create Safety Zones to know when kids leave an area

Gabb Phone Plus: Pricing and availability

  • Gabb Phone Plus is only available through Gabb Wireless
  • The Galaxy A10e launched on the platform at $199.99

Gabb Wireless launched the Phone Plus platform in June 2022. The platform launched with the Samsung Galaxy A10e for $199.99 at full retail price. When purchasing the phone, you can choose a two-year contract to get the phone for free, a one-year contract to get the phone half-off, or skip the contract and pay for the phone outright. Regardless of the option you choose, the monthly service for Gabb Phone Plus is $29.99/month plus taxes. The phone and service are only available through Gabb Wireless.

Features: What you get from the platform

  • No access to apps for games, social media, or the internet
  • Parents can set up geofencing and live tracking for the phone
  • Gabb Music allows access to kid-appropriate music

As a parent, I must be constantly aware of the amount of time my children spend in front of a screen and the potential threats they could be exposed to when using devices. So before my wife and I allow them access, the tech needs to be secure, and we need control over what's available. This is what's so appealing about Gabb Wireless. It created an ecosystem of devices and software that work together to try and give families a safe way to stay connected.

The Gabb Phone Plus is a way to give kids who want more than the basics of the regular Gabb Phone. Even with the additional features the more advanced platform offers, ultimately, parents have the final say in what the device can access. The difference between using the Gabb Phone Plus and the standard Gabb Phone is in the additional apps and software features. Both platforms are managed by Gabb Wireless and allow parents to locate their child's device from the MyGabb companion app.


When it comes to using their phone, kids will see an interface similar to many of the best Android phones grown-ups use. But as for the rest of that experience, it's much more locked down. There are no games, social media, or even access to the Google Play Store. The Samsung Galaxy A10e that my son and I tested came preloaded with 14 basic apps, including a calculator, calendar, contacts, phone, and more. Of those 14 apps, three are Gabb apps. One is for pairing the phone to the MyGabb companion app, another is for a kid Gabb ID, and lastly is the Gabb Messenger app to send instant messages to the MyGabb app and other Gabb devices. See? Pretty basic.

I'll give a quick bit of info on the Samsung Galaxy A10e that Gabb Wireless is currently offering with the Phone Plus platform. Overall, the phone is fine. It is likely going to be plenty powerful for kids through middle school. The phone has a single rear 8MP camera that takes decent photos in good lighting but understandably suffers in low-light situations. There is a flash to give the camera a boost in those situations. On the front, the phone comes with a 5MP sensor for the all-important selfie. The 5.8-inch LCD panel is colorful and responsive, and this is the overarching experience of using the phone. Because of the custom software it uses, there is little to bog the system down, which also means great battery life.

But because this is a Gabb Plus device, parents can log into their Gabb account through a web browser to see not only their subscription status and billing but also manage third-party apps and other Gabb services. The list of available third-party apps is very short, with only seven options, of which four have a religious theme. The others are for weather, audio listening, and an app called Sora that links up with participating schools, so your child can check out books, magazines, and audiobooks from their phone.


My son's favorite app is Gabb Music. This is an in-house service that Gabb launched alongside the Gabb Phone Plus platform back in June 2022, and I found it to be good at filtering out music with inappropriate themes and language. Gabb partnered with many of the world's largest music labels in addition to using its own AI system to offer a service that kids will enjoy and parents can feel safe letting their kids use. Unfortunately, it isn't free; it's an add-on service that will run you an additional $4.99 per month.

Right now, Gabb Music works like the free version of Spotify or YouTube Music, where you're limited to the number of skips you get. However, unlike other services' free tiers, there aren't ads on Gabb Music. Kids get to explore their musical tastes by picking from a wide range of curated playlists and mixes. There is a Gabb Music Plus on the way for $9.99 per month that will remove the skip limit and allow for custom playlists and offline listing. But at the time of publication, there isn't a launch date. Gabb also offers a really nice Bluetooth speaker and wireless earbuds, letting kids can share their party jams or listen alone so that parents can escape their kid's playlist preferences.


But what is a kid's phone without some safety features? Aside from restricting the apps allowed on the device, parents can also create geofences, or safe zones, to get alerts when their child arrives at a location and/or leaves it. For example, I get an alert when my son gets within 500 meters of a school, so I know when he arrives and when he leaves. I can also check the live location of the device at any point as well, which is great when he goes on field trips. Managing the location features is easy to do from the MyGabb companion app.

While I can't access the device's location from my web account, I can see a call and text log. I can see the number a call came from, how long it lasted, and when it was made. Texting is very similar, where you can see if it was an MMS message or not, the day and time it was sent, and the number it went to or came from. The option of seeing the message contents would be nice, not to invade privacy but as a protective measure to ensure there isn't inappropriate or dangerous happening in the messages.

Gabb Phone Plus: The platform needs more

  • The list of third-party apps is very limited and missing some popular options
  • Parents can't manage contacts
  • Can't use just any cellular carrier service

Gabb Wireless has a very good product in the Gabb Phone Plus platform. But there are a couple of areas that could improve, including one that needs to be addressed sooner than later. Starting off, I'd like to see more options in the third-party app catalog. Other platforms, like Pinwheel, offer a broad catalog of curated apps that parents can choose to install on their child's device. Each app is broken down into categories, given a rating, and an explanation for the rating. Most 10-year-olds don't need a bunch of apps, but there are some missing pieces from what Gabb does offer.

I'm not the biggest fan of Facebook or its messaging platform. But the fact remains that it has a massive user base and is accessible over Wi-Fi. Facebook Messenger Kids is a "safer" way for kids to access the power of the grown-up version but with restrictions and parental oversight. Many of my son's friends have access to the service and have asked if they could chat with him on it, but because the app isn't available on his Gabb Phone Plus, he can't message them using his phone.

Depending on the child's age, they probably don't need many apps. But the Gabb Phone Plus catalog is so tiny that it is missing what could be considered key options — even for kids.

The area I feel needs attention right away is contact management. As it stands now, adding a contact to the phone works just like it would on regular phones. Open the contacts app, tap on the plus sign, and add it. While that's fine in most situations, as a parent, I want to know who my child communicates with on their phone. I can add contacts from the MyGabb app, but I can't see the contacts added from the phone and am not notified when one is added.

Not having access and control over this function worries me as a parent. My son is 10 years old, so my anxiety is low for now, but not gone entirely, and it'll only grow as my child gets older. His contacts aren't something I need or want to watch at all times, but I want that peace of mind to see who is talking to my child.

While not a major issue, if you want to use the Gabb Phone Plus, you'll have to use Gabb Wireless as its carrier. The $29.99 per month cost isn't overly expensive, and depending on your current carrier plan, you might be able to save some money by just adding a line to it. Gabb Wireless operates as an MVNO using Verizon's network as the backbone. I tried putting my T-Mobile SIM into the phone and got an error and no service. So, this is something to keep in mind if you live in an area with poor Verizon coverage.

Gabb Phone Plus: Should you buy it?


You should buy this if:

  • This is your child's first smartphone
  • You don't want your child to have access to games, social media, or the internet on their phone
  • You have good Verizon coverage
  • You want to track your child's phone easily

You shouldn't buy this if:

  • You want a broad catalog of apps to choose from
  • You need access to the message content and contact management
  • You want to add the phone to your current carrier plan

The Gabb Phone Plus is a great platform for kids and parents — that is, if you temper your expectations. Gabb Wireless has cultivated a simple interface with protections to keep kids from being distracted from social media, games, and the internet. But if you have an older child mature enough to handle those things, you're out of luck. The same goes for how you'll need to trust your kid enough to be OK with not seeing their contacts or what is being said in messages. But as with anything in a parent/child relationship, the trust in using an internet-connected device will require regular two-way communication.

Gabb Phone Plus offers a simple and easy-to-use phone and companion app. The peace of mind for parents that comes in knowing you can check the battery level and location of their child's phone is worth a lot. Creating safe zones that let you know when your child has arrived or left a specific area is wonderful. So, while it isn't perfect, the Gabb Phone Plus can be a wonderful first phone for many kids.

Gabb Phone Plus
Gabb Phone Plus

The Gabb Phone Plus from Gabb Wireless is a great option for older kids because it offers more apps and configurations compared to the standard Gabb Phone. While the Gabb devices will change over time, the Gabb Phone Plus is a platform running on a custom Android build to make it more secure and versatile for families.