Your kids are growing up, and so is their taste in phones. They text, download apps, surf the real web, and play games. What they want is a smart phone that does all that and more, and we’ve selected the best models for every carrier. While you—or they—will pay more for that data plan versus a “dumb phone” (about $30 per month on top of the smallest bucket of voice minutes), the investment will be worth it if you don’t have to pay for a landline. In fact, with the built-in mobile hotspot feature on some of these devices, you may be able to skip that pricey monthly Internet service, too.
Talk about the big man on campus. The Evo 4G boasts a larger-than-life 4.3-inch display that’s great for hitting up their favorite sites and watching YouTube videos in high quality. And if your student lives in a city with Sprint’s 4G coverage (80 markets by the end of the year covering 120 million peeps), they’ll get blazing download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps. A sweet mobile hotspot feature will even let them tap into that high-speed connection from a notebook, netbook, iPad, or any other Wi-Fi device. Add in an 8-MP camera with 720p video recording, and this may be the only gadget they’ll need to pack.