- Easy setup
- Tamper-proof parental controls
- Inability to delete texts
- Access to the app store
- Social media and text monitoring
- No charging brick
- Limited to Bark’s network
- No warranty policy
Bark Phone is a kid’s phone with Bark’s robust parental controls built into it. Designed for children who are beginning to use the internet independently (typically from age ten onwards), this Samsung device looks just like a regular smartphone.
With a Bark Phone, children have a stylish and highly functional phone instead of a limited emergency phone for kids, and parents get the reassurance that they’re protecting their kids from online dangers. Children are safeguarded with app, social media, and text monitoring, alongside contact approval and tamper-proof parental control settings.
Prices for the handset start at $199 with no strings attached, or $0 with a 2-year commitment (plus monthly subscriptions for both options). Furthermore, every plan has a 30-day money-back guarantee policy. More details about the pricing, as well as the phone’s specs and features, are covered in this expert review.
Bark Phone Specs
Bark Phone is a black Samsung Galaxy A14 that operates with the Android 13 system and an Octa core (2.2Ghz + 2.0Ghz) processor. It has an internal memory of 64GB and a RAM of 4GB.
Other Bark Phone specs:
- LCD display and screen resolution of 2408×1080.
- Battery capacity of 5000 milliampere hours.
- Accelerometer, barometer, fingerprint sensor, geomagnetic sensor, proximity sensor, gyro sensor, and RBG light sensor.
- 5G wireless technology.
Regarding camera quality, Bark Phone stands out from other kid’s phones available on the market. Its 50 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP rear-facing and 13 MP front-facing cameras are good enough for kids to capture their favorite moments or develop a photography hobby.
What’s more, the 6.6-inch screen size fits perfectly in the hands of kids from age ten onwards. Plus, this screen size allows users to have a pleasant experience while navigating through learning apps and games, which is advantageous for those looking for a phone that can help complement children’s education.
Bark Phone Parental Control Features
Bark Phone comes with the Bark app built right into its system, giving the phone more robust parental control than just a regular phone with Bark installed.
For instance, with a Bark Phone, kids can’t delete texts or add contacts without parents’ approval. A regular phone with Bark Premium installed doesn’t have this protective measure. Additionally, the parental controls are tamper-proof, so kids can’t install workaround VPNs or change the parental control settings.
However, the real advantage of having a Bark Phone instead of a regular phone with Bark parental control software is that the latter can be factory reset, preventing the Bark app from working. With a Bark Phone, if kids factory reset it, they won’t be able to use it until their parents set it up again.
Additionally, unlike most kids’ phones, Bark Phone allows children to access the app store. Still, they can only download the apps you enable them to. It’s possible to pre-approve the apps kids can install, and whenever they try to install another app, an approval request pops up on the parent’s phone. This feature gives kids the feeling of owning a regular phone instead of one designed for kids.
App and Social Media Monitoring
Social media plays a dominating role in today’s society, so trying to keep kids completely away from it is a lost battle. Fortunately, Bark Phone is an excellent tool to help parents protect their kids from the dangers these platforms may present.
The phone scans texts and several social media platforms for digital dangers and sends alerts if any potentially dangerous messages are found. It usually takes some time for the system to scan the content and identify whether it’s just a normal conversation or a red-flagged message, so the alerts may not be instant.
Even so, the feature is still valuable, as it allows parents to respect their kids’ privacy while protecting them should any danger arise. The feature shows the whole context of the dangerous message and can catch common abbreviations.
Moreover, the phone allows parents to remotely set app time limits or lock the phone, giving them total control of how and when their kids can use it.
GPS Tracking and Geo Fences
Bark Phone’s GPS tracking is accurate and easy to use. The feature shows a real-time map, so parents can track their kids’ current live location or choose to receive location-based alerts when the kid enters or leaves specific pre-set areas.
Additionally, saving the frequently visited locations, such as home and school, allows the app to automatically alert parents once the kid arrives or leaves.
These GPS-tracking features are the perfect way for kids to perform their daily activities independently while being trackable if necessary. Plus, field trips and summer camps – crucial for children’s educational and social development – can make parents feel uneasy about their kid’s safety. Being able to track their kids’ location is a relief during these important developmental activities.
Bark Phone Setup
Setting up Bark Phone is a breeze. The phone comes with a USB-C charging cable and, for an extra $5, a protective case. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a charging brick, so users have to buy one separately.
Once the phone is turned on and charged, a QR code appears on the welcome screen for parents to scan and log in with the Bark account used to order the phone. Then, it’s necessary to set up the Wi-Fi, open the Bark Kids App on the Bark phone, and enable Bark VPN.
Finally, it’s time to set up permissions like app store access and contact approval, alongside text and web browser blocking. Once everything is set, the phone number appears on the next page.
Bark phone operates on its own network, with a built-in cell phone service. Although it isn’t possible to add it to a plan you already have with another network, if your kid already has a phone number, it’s possible to transfer it to Bark.
Regarding coverage, Bark Phone works in most areas of the U.S., but the website easily allows you to check whether your location is covered before moving on to the purchase page.
After checking whether Bark Phone works in your area, you must decide between paying $199 up-front for the phone or committing to a 2-year plan. Both options include a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is valuable for users to test the phone and decide whether it meets their expectations.
Regardless of the option chosen, parents still have to pay for a monthly plan to use the phone. There are four plans, which all include a Bark Premium subscription, wireless service, and unlimited texts and calls.
The only difference between the plans is the amount of data available per month. The cheapest costs $49 per month and doesn’t come with data, so a Wi-Fi connection is needed for online apps and web browsing to work. Still, a small amount of throttled data is provided so that monitoring, track-location, and other essential features work even when the phone isn’t connected to Wi-Fi.
Bark Phone (Samsung Galaxy A14)
It’s also important to mention that the unlimited data plan isn’t, in fact, unlimited as such. Data speeds are reduced after exceeding 35GB and may even be turned off after exceeding 50GB per month for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle.
Although monthly prices for Bark Phone aren’t the most attractive, all plans come with a Bark Premium subscription to use on unlimited devices. Plus, those who already pay for Bark Premium are only charged for the remaining amount for the chosen Bark Phone plan.
Unfortunately, Bark doesn’t have a warranty policy for the phone. Still, the company encourages users to contact customer support should any problems with the device arise. Then, Bark assesses the situation to find the appropriate solution.
Bark’s support center is worthy of praise. The dedicated space contains helpful and well-written articles, how-to guides, videos, and FAQ relating to Bark’s products and services. There are over 250 articles about Bark phone, so most of the questions parents may have about the phone are already answered.
However, if users can’t find the answer they’re looking for on the company’s website, there’s also a submit-a-request page for them to contact the company. The support team is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for billing issues and daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. for technical support.
Finally, the company maintains a highly active presence on social media, sharing useful articles and tips via X, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook to help parents stay tuned about protecting their kids' digital interactions.
All in all, Bark Phone is the go-to device for parents who care about respecting kids’ privacy while seeking to monitor their usage for digital dangers.
Its tamper-proof parental controls are outstanding and easy to set up. Plus, Bark Phone provides superior security than a regular phone with the Bark app installed does, as features like contact approval, the inability to delete texts, and remote locking are only available in a Bark Phone.
What’s more, Bark Phone allows children to access the app store and interact through social media, which isn’t available on most kids’ phones. Even so, apps can only be downloaded with your approval. The added bonus is that social media interactions, texting, and web browsing is constantly monitored, so parents receive alerts when red flags show themselves.
In fact, there are only a few areas that require improvement. These include the absence of a charging brick, the inability to use a pre-existing network plan, and the lack of a warranty policy.
Still, at the end of the day, Bark Phone is perfect for kids from age ten onwards, as they can use the internet independently with a sleek and adult-like phone, while being protected from unsafe interactions.
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