Keeping up with ever-changing technology can be difficult for anyone, let alone those of us who weren’t raised on computers and smart phones. With cell phones that look like they’ve come straight from The Jetsons, what with their biometrics and complex screens, it’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out. If high-tech cell phones are making you or your loved ones miserable, perhaps it’s time to simplify! We’ve found a slew of the best cell phones for seniors that are simple and easy-to-use.
How to Choose a Cell Phone for Seniors
Mobile phones have gotten incredibly clever over the past few years (they aren’t called smartphones for nothing!), allowing you to make audio and video calls, send text messages, or surf the net — You can even replace your alarm clock with a built-in cell phone version. To make sure you’re getting all of the benefits of a modern cell phone without the headache, there are five main features you’ll want to be on the lookout out for.
Large screen with large fonts: If you have poor eyesight, it can be extremely useful to have a cell phone model with a large, easy-to-read screen. After all, there’s not always time to find your glasses to answer read a text or answer your phone before it stops ringing!
Loud ringtone: Many phones can’t be heard over the rumble of household appliances — particularly if you’re hard of hearing — so a loud ringtone is imperative. Some phones are even hearing-aid compatible.
Large, clearly labeled buttons: This feature is not only convenient for those with low visibility, it’s especially helpful for anyone with arthritis.
Emergency call feature: Some phones feature a prominent emergency services button that can be pushed if necessary, making your phone a truly life-saving device.
High durability: You don’t want to be worrying about breaking your phone in the case of any accidental stumbles or falls, so having a durable mobile device can help to put your mind at ease.
Voice activation: A voice-activated phone can make calls and send messages without ever needing to lift a finger, making it a dream for those with poor dexterity.
Long battery life: If you’re the type who forgets to charge your phone, you’ll definitely want to take battery life into account.
While it’s hard to get all of these characteristics in one cell phone, our list of the best cell phones for seniors is comprised of devices with three or more of these necessary features each, allowing you to make your decision based on which ones are most important to you.
If you want a basic, user-friendly phone for calls and messages, for instance, your best bet will be something simple and economical, like the Jitterbug flip phone ($74, Amazon).
On the other hand, if you’re remotely tech savvy, there’s the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ ($1,299.99, AT&T, available in installments), which is a great option for elderly users because it has all of the latest technology and comes with a handy pen for effortless operation.
Whatever your needs, preferences, or budget, you’re sure to find a cell phone that works for you here. Keep scrolling for FIRST’s picks for the best cell phones for seniors.
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Easiest Cell Phone for Seniors to Use
Jitterbug Flip Cell Phone for Seniors by GreatCall
Where to buy: From $69.95 (Originally $99.99), Amazon
GreatCall has created a phone which is specifically aimed at seniors, and it won’t break the bank, either. Its Jitterbug flip phone has large buttons with big, clear numbers that include a simple yes/no button, on/off buttons, a speakerphone button, and a large red button at the bottom for emergency services. The speaker is powerful and loud, with the highest hearing aid compatibility rating available of M4/T4, and the ringer volume goes up to 84 decibels.
You can take photographs with its built-in camera with flash, and it even comes with a charging dock, so you don’t have to fumble about with small charger holes.
Best High Tech Cell Phone for Seniors
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G
Where to buy: $1,299.99, AT&T
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ might not look so simple to use, but it has some great senior-friendly features, the main one being its included pen, which lets you operate it with the greatest of ease. AT&T will even send someone over to show you how to use it!
One satisfied customer reported, “I love my new phone! It's everything and more than I imagined with all the new features! The AT&T online ordering system was easy and fast. The team member that came to my home to deliver my phone and assist with setup was very knowledgeable.”
Best Cheap Cell Phone for Seniors
Ushining Flip Phone
Where to buy: $32.99, Amazon
For just over $30, you can get the Ushining flip phone: a basic, compact phone with large, readable buttons, low power consumption, and a long-lasting battery (160 hours standby time and 240 minutes talk time on a single charge). The volume is loud with exceptional sound quality, and there’s even a built-in FM radio. Included in the price are a set of headphones, and the menu can be changed to five different languages, including Spanish. Extras include games, an alarm clock, a calculator, and calendar.
Best Large Screen Cell Phone for Seniors
Consumer Cellular Postpaid GrandPad
Where to buy: $200, Target
Forgetting your eyeglasses in the other room won't be a problem if you’ve got the GrandPad from Consumer Cellular. With its massive 8-inch screen, this device is something between a tablet and a phone. The menu is extremely simple and clear, with large icons you can choose to make a call, write an email, take a photo, or go through your photo album. Its larger size means that you’ll never lose it, either!
One reviewer, who bought this for their 84-year-old mother with no technology experience, wrote, “[Mom] absolutely loves this! Extremely easy to use; touch the help button and you get a live person — NOT a long list of instructions. ... For emails/texts, tap onscreen keyboard or use voice. Pretty incredible; love that we can video call or call to this device if she leaves phone off the hook.”
Best Cell Phone for Seniors With Large Buttons
Mosthink Cell Phone for Seniors
Where to buy: $58.95 (Originally $89.99), Amazon
For anyone with arthritis or joint mobility, phones with small buttons that are too close together can be a major pain, and you’ll most certainly end up pressing two (or more!) buttons at once. This Mosthink cell phone has large, clearly-labeled buttons, so you’ll never have that issue. There's also a bright red SOS button on the back that you can program any number into in case of emergency.
One review titled "Perfect for the elderly," reads, “Bought this for my father who is 81 and has issues with the size of buttons due to slight tremor. He can work these buttons without any problems.”
Best Cell Phone for the Hearing Impaired
Easyfone Prime A1
Where to buy: $64.99, Amazon
A lot of cell phones can interfere with hearing aids, limiting audibility or even beeping when they're in too close of a vicinity to a hearing aid. The Easyfone Prime A1, by contrast, is equipped with M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility that has users raving about its ease of use.
One happy shopper wrote, “I bought this cell phone for my Dad because he wears hearing aids… The sound quality is incredible and no buzzing with his hearing aids. ... His fingers are not as nimble as they used to be, so he really appreciates the big buttons. Every function on this phone is a little bigger and a little easier to use, and it is really making a difference for him.”
Most Durable Cell Phone for Seniors
Kyocera DuraForce PRO 2
Where to buy: $444, Verizon Wireless
We’ve all done it — sent our phones accidentally flying 10 feet away due to klutzy fingers. Since no one wants to spend a good buck on a mobile phone just to have it crack with the first little drop (we’re looking at you, iPhone!), Kyocera's DuraForce PRO 2 is here to save the day. It's one of the most hard-wearing and durable phones you can find: It’s waterproof, dust-proof, military-grade shockproof, and can withstand extreme temperatures, so you’ll never have to worry about anything happening to it. No wonder it's preferred by people who work in construction sites! In addition, it has noise-cancelling technology and large dual speakers for your clearest conversation ever.
Best Basic Cell Phone for Seniors
Where to buy: $54.99 (Originally $59), Amazon
Nokia has built a name for itself as one of the first and longest-standing mobile phone companies around, thanks to its devices, which can last for years and years. Some owners note that their original Nokias from over a decade ago are still in working order!
The much-loved, best-selling, and iconic Nokia 3310 that first launched in the year 2000 has been named one of the most successful phones of all time, and many people were thrilled when it made a comeback a few years ago. Notoriously accessible, easy-to-manage, durable, and with exceptionally long battery life, the 3310 it's a great option for seniors who just want to be able to easily reach their loved ones.
Best Smartphone for Seniors
Jitterbug Smart 2
Where to buy: $112.49, GreatCall
Smartphones trump basic phones for a lot of reasons. For one, nothing beats a good old video call when you’re missing someone you love. For anyone who's not very tech-savvy, but would like to try their hand at a smartphone, rest assured, you don’t need a degree in computer science to work the Jitterbug Smart2. It has a large screen, a comprehensible menu list, voice-typing capability, and front-facing speakers for crystal clear conversations. There's a high-resolution camera for awesome family photos, and a long-lasting battery that just keeps on going. Did we mention it's also super economical?