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Gabb Wireless

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102 User Reviews

4.7

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: October 11th, 2021

Steven Dalby, the founder of Gabb Wireless, struggled to find a phone plan for his teenage son that didn’t include access to social media, internet, and other apps. He also discovered that most major phone retailers only sold high-tech, full featured devices that cost in the hundreds of dollars. That’s when he decided to create a phone that was safe for kids. 

Gabb phones are made to look like a regular smartphone but have no internet browser, and no social media. Gabb plans include coverage on a nationwide 4G LTE network. Under the Gabb plan, users receive unlimited talk and text service on a flexible monthly plan to fit the needs of your child.

Simply put, the company mission is three-fold:

  • Protect children
  • Connect families
  • Encourage life outside the screen

Gabb Wireless has two plans: the Gabb Plan, for just $19.99 per month (comes with unlimited talk and text) and the Gabb Plus Plan for $24.99 per month. The Gabb Plus Plan includes everything offered by the Gabb Plan with the additional feature of MMS (group and image texts).

The company sells its Gabb Z2 Phone for just $99. The phone looks like a regular smartphone and was developed to be completely safe for kids — no internet browser, app store, or social media access. The price of the phone is very attractive for parents who are looking to avoid costly replacements if their kids' phone takes a trip through the washing machine, is dropped in a lake, or simply lost. 

 

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The Good

  • Trade-In Program and Birthday Bonus
  • National Coverage Minus Alaska
  • Safety Features to Protect Kids
  • Affordable Phone and Plan
  • Customer Reviews

Trade-In Program and Birthday Bonus

Gabb Wireless offers parents a few ways to save on its phones and plans. Its birthday bonus program gives you a free month of service with a few easy steps. Give a Gabb phone to your child and take a birthday photo with them holding the new phone. Post on your Instagram with certain tags and hashtags and email Gabb customer service with a screenshot and link to your post. Easy! And you get a free month of service. 

If you purchased an earlier version of the phone, Gabb Wireless offers a trade-in program, which is a nice feature. Depending on the condition of your Z1 phone, you will receive a $20 or $30 credit towards your Z2 phone. 

National Coverage Minus Alaska

Kids, like everyone, need a phone with reliable service. Gabb phones are built on the back of the nation’s most reliable network and offer great cell phone service coverage. Coverage is offered throughout the United States and customers can enter their zip code on the Gabb Wireless website to view whether their area is covered. 

Hawaii is included in Gabb Wireless’ cell service coverage; however, the company does not currently offer any coverage in Alaska.

Safety Features to Protect Kids

The cell phone market for kids is growing, and there are many options now for parents and guardians to choose from. Gabb Wireless’ phone offers several safety features to keep kids safe — no internet browsing, no social media, and limited apps to encourage life off the screen.

One of the things that Gabb Wireless says it is preventing with its phone’s limited features is cyberbullying. One in three kids is a victim of cyberbullying and social media is one of the main platforms where it occurs. While cyberbullying is a complicated issue, Gabb Wireless can help with its lack of social media access on its phone. It also keeps kids safe by not offering internet browsing. 

Affordable Phone and Plan

Gabb Wireless’ phone is $99 and can only be used on its service plan for $19.99 a month. The plan includes unlimited talk and text. Other competing phones must be used on a major cell provider’s network which would definitely cost more. The phone is best suited for older kids who want to have a smartphone.

There are phones with limited features on the market; however, many do not have the features or appearance of a smartphone. Many look or function like walkie-talkies with a GPS tracker. This can work great for a younger child, but a child who wants to fit in with their peers will likely want a smartphone device.

The Gabb Z2 Bundle also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, an 8MP built-in camera, bluetooth connectivity, and 14 essential apps that include the following:

  • Music
  • Phone
  • Messaging
  • Contacts
  • Camera
  • Video
  • Gallery
  • Calendar
  • Calculator
  • Clock
  • Voice Recorder
  • FM Radio
  • File Manager
  • Settings

Customer Reviews

Gabb's mobile phones may look like a smart phone, but it is actually a dumb phone (which is a good thing).

Reviews left on BestCompany.com consist of parents thanking Gabb Wireless for creating a mobile device that allows them to easily communicate with their children but doesn't include all the headaches or safety concerns that come with modern smartphones.  

In fact, most Gabb customers were extremely satisfied with the included apps and features installed on the phone, stating that it was just enough to entertain their child but not cause them to ignore the world around them. Other customers were happy with the phone and its long battery life (due to the fact that kids can't drain the battery on internet browsing or social media).

There were also a number of reviews that mentioned the company's customer service. In particular, many customers felt that Gabb Wireless responded to their questions in a timely manner and often went above and beyond to help. 

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The Bad

  • Cheaper Options Like Relay 
  • GPS Capability Now
  • Does Not Offer Certain Parental Controls

Cheaper Options Available

If you are looking for an even more basic and affordable phone that lets you keep in touch with your child and track their location using GPS, there are lower-priced options with great reviews. While $99 is a great price, parents can find options for half that cost with even lower tech features. Think walkie-talkies on steroids with a large range.

GPS Capability Limitations

For many parents, being able to track their child’s location is one of the biggest safety benefits of giving their child a phone. The Z1 phone from Gabb Wireless does not have this capability. The new Z2 phone will have GPS capability starting in November 2020. Its GPS tracking capability will be limited. Other competitor phones allow kids to use GPS to check the weather or to navigate using a maps app. The Z2 does not have a maps app that could help your child find directions if needed.

Does Not Offer Certain Parental Controls

Gabb Wireless phones only offer one mode which gives full access to all 14 apps. You can’t turn off calls or texts during school for example. Or change the phone to only receive calls from emergency contact on the device during certain times of day or night. The only mode is full access. While the phone has a much more limited selection of apps and internet browsing capabilities than others, there is still the inconvenience of not being able to limit phone calls or texting during certain times of the day or at night. 

Competing phones often offer more parental control modes like a “school mode” or “family time mode” which gives parents the ability to change every app, or contact to match the rhythm of the child’s day-to-day life. Night mode can be especially nice because it essentially turns your child’s phone into a brick at night, preventing lost sleep.

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The Bottom Line

Gabb Wireless gives parents and children the option of an affordable and safe smartphone and cell service. It is designed to teach kids healthy screen habits and give them independence while allowing parents peace of mind. 

Cell phones can have a lot of benefits for children and families but they can come with issues as well, such as screen addiction. Many parents want their child to have independence and would like to be able to communicate with them while they are away from home but may not like the idea of giving their child full internet, app store, and social media access. Gabb Wireless helps alleviate these worries with its phone that does not have internet browsing or social media capability. However, Gabb offers unlimited talk and text. It also offers kids a limited selection of apps to allow them to learn healthy screen habits while having fun. 

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Gabb Wireless

Gabb Wireless provides a safe phone for kids on the first wireless network that's designed for kids. Parents don't have to worry and kids stay connected with the apps they need and a phone they love. Finally, a safe phone for kids!

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Star Rating

4.8

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102 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

88%

4 grade

6%

3 grade

2%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

4%

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Megan Meyer Marysville, IN

The phone is not good. My daughter said that the camera was terrible quality and I tried taking pictures with it and the were all blurry. And all of the videos that she sent were all blurry and i could barely make out what was in the video. SO PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE!!!!!!!!

1 week ago

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Lori Santo Redmond, WA

The good- customer service was very quick to respond to all inquiries and were very pleasant. The bad- we purchased our phone for full price ($99) and it went on sale before I even received it for 20% off. They would not do a price adjustment, and told me I could wait to receive the phone, return it and then buy a new one. I opted not to do this as it seemed like a waste of time and money for everyone involved. Once we received the phone, it would not connect to the network so we could not make or receive any calls or texts. Gabb Support first points you to a troubleshooting guide that tells you to take the sim card and the battery out, put them back in and restart the phone. That worked! But sometimes only for a few hours, sometimes as little as a few minutes. before the phone would no longer connect to the network. Once that got old for us (and was worrisome as this was not a reliable way for our daughter to get in touch with us), we asked for them to please replace the phone. They did so with no problem at all. The new phone arrived and we had the same exact problem. They pointed us to the same troublshooting issues again. We were getting very frustrated. They finally sent us a new sim card. This also did not correct the problem. I asked them to cancel our service and I would like to send back the faulty phone for a full refund. They stated it had been longer than 30 days and they could not do so. I escalated to a manager who told me the same thing. She then suggested that I try to sell the non-functioning phone online! I found that very unethical they would suggest that I sell a phone that didn't work to someone else. Not happy with my experience with them at all. Other cons- there is no way for a parent to monitor anything from your account online. If there is a person you do not want contacting your child, you must block them from the phone itself, your child can see who is blocked and can easily unblock them themselves. Aside from this being a "dumb phone" having no internet access, it still isn't a great option for a child's first phone. I ended up purchasing a regular smartphone through a mainstream carrier and using parental control software purchased separately and that is going much smoother and is way more relaible.

7 months ago

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Tommy Albany, OR

THIS IS A REVIEW FROM A KID. PLEASE do not get your kid this phone and phone plan. No maps, no school apps, nothing whatsoever. Missed texts, due to it not downloading, spam calls and more. Texts don't download, even on the 25$ plan, and overall just a really bad phone in my opinion. If there was another gabb phone coming out, I'd really appreciate video calls, more customization and school apps. If they could have their own app store, that'd be really nice. Having a speaker on the front instead of the back would really be nice too. Screen recording, is something that I really want, even if there's nothing to record, so I can actually record the problems and show them to people. This feels way to restricting, and hard to contact anyone. No external messaging apps, such as Messenger kids, Discord, and more. My friends almost NEVER use their phone to message, therefore I have been cut off from a LOT of them. No, I don't use messenger kids, but it seems like a big problem everyone else is having, of NO other apps on the phone. Outdated messaging app, keyboard, that makes me press B instead of the space bar, gestures don't work on the keyboard, like swipe typing, and limited customization compared to well, anything. Voice typing, is something that I'd also really like, as any time you press it, it does nothing. I'd REALLY like google keyboard. More customization, better dictionary, and more. The built in keyboard is just hot garbage. Prices seem a little high, compared to Visible's 25$ a month, unlimited text, calls, and 4G LTE data, with 5G coming soon. All of this was on the verizon network, just like gabb wireless. I understand that the point is having little, to no apps, but I feel like this is just WAY to much. I feel like they just lock it down so bad, and with garbage customization and just, overall bad pricing with everything. I like the idea of pinwheel, where you can approve specific apps, and connect your own carrier, for cheaper prices. The problem with them is that you have to pay an extra 15$ a month for that software. The screen is HORRIBLE (probably on both, because I'm on the newer Z2,) and is overall quite laggy. The camera is straight up garbage, and if your kid decides to put the sim card into their old phone to try and text from there? BOOM. Terminated. The only pros I see to the gabb phone, is Android 10, and the enabling of the new gestures. The finger print scanner, although quite standard, is nice too. The biggest pro, is the battery life. It's actually good, but with the new GPS update, (ONLY for parents to track you, NOT MAPS, NO NAVIGATION, Unlike pinwheel, or using google smart lock on a normal android phone, which you could still track with life360,) I expect the battery life to PLUMMET. Customer service is nice, and responsive, too. Overall, still my second day, just really wish more features and apps were there that could help me progress in things like school. Socratic would be nice, too.

10 months ago

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Scott Jeppson Malad City, ID

Terrible customer service! Service was shut down after a mix up in billing due to a recent move to a new home. We logged into our account, updated billing address and paid past month along with upcoming. Service has remained down. There was no notice of the issue and customer service is non-existent. Multiple attempts with a "blackout notice" in the midwest (we live in Idaho) for days, with only an option to leave a message. No return calls.

1 year ago

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