This article is designed to provide a review and comparison between the two leading kids cell phones: the Firefly and the Migo from LG (the TicTalk will not be discussed). Designed to equip consumers with the latest reviews this article will provide a brief analysis about the pros and cons regarding these two cell phones. Let’s get started….
The Firefly has been out for a while, mid-2005 exposed the Firefly plans and towards Q3 of 2005 the Firefly was coming onto US markets namely on the Cingular network. The GSM enabled handset appealed to the kid audience through parents by offering basic features on a simple phone. The added ‘security’ appealed to parents hence the rush for other manufacturers to produce a similar device. Lo and behold, LG was next inline offering their version called the Migo. The LG VX 1000 Migo is a CDMA enabled handset and operates on the Verizon network.
This article doesn’t look at the practicality of the devices, but compares the two against each other; which device should you buy if you had the choice. Since both operate on different networks this means if you’re already with a carrier your choice may be restricted. As stated, the Firefly operates on the GSM network (T-Mobile, Cingular, Rogers), and the Migo operates on the CDMA network (Verizon, Sprint, Telus? or Bell?). The thing with GSM phones is you could potentially purchase it ‘unlocked’ and activate it on any GSM network provider of your choice. You cannot do the same with CDMA. If you’re purchasing for the first time and will choose between the two networks (Cingular and Verizon in the States) then the rest of this review will help your decision making.
Weighing in at a paltry 56 grams, designed to accommodate smaller hands, the Blue and Pink Firefly measures 1.75 x 3.46 x .79, weighs 2.12 ounces, offers up to 2.5 hours of talk time, and up to 100 hours of standby; a bare bones 850/1900 MHz GSM cell phone that permits parents to limit outgoing calls to certain numbers and also sports ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ buttons for quick dialling.
Conversely, the green Migo measures 1.77 x 3.42 x 1.07 weighs 2.4 ounces, offers 4 hours of talk time, but unfortunately no prepaid options are available with this phone. Network: CDMA; High-Speed Data: 1xRTT; remember, neither phones have Bluetooth, cameras, or any additional features common on regular phones. The phone also shows 5 buttons for quick dialling and emergency dialling.
Pro: Firefly. With the Firefly you can limit who calls your child based on a pre-programmed list. The Migo does not offer this security feature so essentially junior can give the number to friends and get them to call. The Migo only permits 5 programmable outgoing call numbers while the Firefly list enables 20.
Pro: Migo. The Migo works with hearing aids. Also, the second antenna is for eventual GPS support, where that goes we won’t know, but it is an additional feature on the Migo.
Con: Both phones are designed to give the bare phone essentials. However, they are candybar styles, which means the Firefly antenna is located within the phone unit and does not protrude out. This means cellular frequencies are closer to the brain. The question now revolves around how early is too early for exposing kids to cellular frequencies on a regular basis? On one hand you don’t want to risk your child’s health, on the other hand scientific research is still inconclusive when it comes to cell phone ‘radiation’. The juror is still out on this one, be your own judge regarding the health impacts. The Migo’s SAR rating is 0.915 w/kg when held up to the head, below the legal limit of 1.6 w/kg and also below the Firefly’s level of 1.322 w/kg. The Migo antennas are outside of the phone as well.
Conclusion: Both phones offer pretty much the same features and are built in the same way. If you’re on a network already and just want to add a kid phone then it’s Firefly for GSM and Migo for CDMA. Simple. If you’re getting a phone on a new network then it seems the Firefly wins by an edge.
This article did not investigate the durability of the phones because they are both so new (the Migo especially), nor does it look at the sound quality. Both phones are near equal in this respect, however, the Firefly seems to be built stronger and the Migo appears to have marginally better sound in preliminary tests. Remember, a teen will not enjoy these phones for their basic nature, but your young child may benefit from the added security. Firefly seems to offer more in this security detail. So for now, points to Firefly, barely.