XD is an amped up
so I don't see any respect issues here.
OP, to reiterate an answer, add some phone radios to an iPod touch and you have an iPhone, so yeah, an inactive Android is in the same class. If you want to stretch your budget or steer them towards Android for any reason you like, an inactive phone is a great choice.
Plus if they take good care of it, when the day comes to add them to your account, you'll be ahead on that score. Make sure that the phone would work on your present carrier if that's part of your decision.