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To help you find the best cell phones for seniors, we spent 10 hours researching and analyzing over 25 different products. As we researched all of the options available on the market, we also put together a list of the top features you need to look for in your new cell phone. We rated the phones in this buying guide based on three main factors: user-friendliness, safety features, and longevity. The best phones for elderly family members are incredibly simple and easy to learn. They also include safety features that allow seniors to easily make contact with family and health services during an emergency situation. You should also look for phones with long battery life and durable designs so you’ll get a long-lasting product.
With these key features and considerations in mind, we selected the GreatCall Lively Flip as the best cell phones for seniors on the market today. Continue reading below to learn more about our top pick and how it stacks up against the best smartphone.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This cell phone for seniors is simple, incredibly easy to use, and long-lasting, easily making it our top pick for this category. It also features a bright display that’s easy to read and an extra-durable design.
The GreatCall Lively Flip embodies everything the best mobile phone for elderly people should offer. It’s a flip phone with an ultra-simple design that’s incredibly easy to use. It features large numbers on the buttons that are easy to see, and the buttons themselves are physically separated from one another so you don’t accidentally press the wrong one. The keypad is backlit for easier visibility and the display is extra bright. We were also really impressed by the simple menus, which are list-based and easier to navigate overall. If you want something a bit more upscale, check out the best 5G phones.
The Lively flip phone also features a ton of extra functionality in the form of a dedicated Urgent Response button. If you ever find yourself in an emergency, you can press these buttons and it will connect you directly to IAED-certified agents that can help. GreatCall charges per minute during these interactions, but it is incredibly helpful to have in a pinch. You can also use the GreatCall Link smartphone app as a caregiver option so selected friends and family can always check up on your status. However, the Lively Flip cannot connect to the internet or email services on its own. You’ll also get incredible battery life with this cell phone. It will last you days at a time before needing to be charged up. No need for the best portable chargers with this phone!
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This cell phone is a blast from the past, renewed for modern days. The phone is extra tough, reliable, and easy to use, on top of its simple design and long-lasting battery life.
The Nokia 3310 was first released in the year 2000 and discontinued in 2005. However, Nokia recently brought this phone back from the dead with this updated re-release. The new Nokia 3310 mimics a lot from the old design, with its classic large display on top and keypad on the bottom. It’s quite a bit slimmer these days, and the display is much brighter with added color. The phone is still incredibly easy to use, and the buttons are separated so you don’t accidentally press two at the same time. If you prefer something different, the best Chinese smartphones might be more suitable.
The new 3310 is also extra durable, much like its original version. You can drop and bump this phone extensively without experiencing too much damage. Contrary to popular belief, though, it’s not completely indestructible so you’re not going to want to dip it in water or drop it off a skyscraper. You’ll need the best rugged smartphones for that. The Nokia also has a super long battery life, which should last you for days on end with normal use. The camera is a little disappointing, especially when compared to the strides cell phones are making in this area today. However, it works in a pinch, if that’s something you like on your cell phone.
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Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This option offers a ton of high-quality features and functionalities that are hard to pass up. With a seamless user interface, excellent display, and tons of accessibility features, this cell phone is an excellent option for tech-minded seniors.
If you’re a tech-savvy senior or you’re buying for one, the Apple iPhone SE is a great choice. iPhones are perfect phones for seniors since they offer an incredibly simple and user-friendly operating system that allows you to transition between phone and iPad, which offers a larger screen. While the iPhone SE doesn’t include all of the cutting-edge features and functionalities as the iPhone 12 series, it still performs very well. This was a phone made specifically for people who don’t want all of the newest and flashiest features.
The iPhone SE’s display is one of its best features. It’s bright and colorful, and you have the option of making all the app icons and text larger for seniors who have limited eyesight. The iPhone also features plenty of accessibility features that make overall operation easier. Things like VoiceOver, Voice Control, and Reading Support enhance the iPhone’s usability. The iPhone SE even supports Made for iPhone hearing aids to provide much better sound quality and easier management straight from the phone. Like all smartphones, the iPhone SE won’t give you as much battery life as a simple flip phone, but it still lasts all day with average use. It’s great if you’re looking for the best selfie camera phones that are good for seniors.
Award: BEST OVERALL FUNCTIONALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This smartphone for seniors is packed full of cutting-edge functionality, including a stellar camera and support for the newest and fastest 5G networks. This phone also includes an incredibly helpful Easy Mode for easier overall operation.
The Samsung Galaxy S20+ is the best smartphone for seniors, mostly due to the sheer expanse of its features and functionality. Furthermore, the S20+ is one of the best smartphones in general on the market today. This is perfect for seniors who want more forward-facing technology in their hands. It features a snappy processor that makes for extra-smooth operation and a next-gen camera that can even record in 8K video resolution.
One of the best attributes of the Samsung Galaxy S20+ is the included Easy Mode. Once activated, this mode creates a simple home screen layout and increases the size of app icons. It also prevents accident actions by creating a touch-and-hold delay (the time of which can be adjusted). You’ll also get a high-contrast keyboard in this mode. You can even use this Samsung senior citizen phone in emergency situations, in case you fall or get hurt. This allows you to more easily reach emergency contacts and make emergency calls directly from the lock screen. If you’re looking for the best 5Gphones for seniors, add this to your list.
Award: BEST FOR LISTENING DEVICES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This flip cell phone for seniors works seamlessly for seniors with hearing aids or other listening devices. It’s also compact and easy to use, with a handy charging dock and buttons with large numbers.
The Easyfone Prime A1 cell phone features a classic flip phone design that’s hard to beat, especially when it comes to phones for seniors. The flip phone fits easily in pockets and includes an extra-helpful docking station that acts both as a charger and stand. You’ll also get compatibility with most hearing aids so you can pair the phone with your listening devices for enhanced audio performance.
The Easyfone’s overall design is geared specifically to seniors. It features buttons with large numbers that are easy to read. The buttons are also separated from one another so there’s less of a chance to mispress a button while you’re dialing. We were also impressed by the Easyfone’s high-definition display. It also features a large font and icons for easier reading. Plus, it’s also bright and colorful, which increases readability even further. The Easyfone Prime A1 also features a helpful SOS button for emergency situations, but it’s placed on the back of the phone, which can be a little awkward at times when you need it most. You might also be interested in the best earbuds to help with hearing.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This cell phone for seniors is an extra-affordable option that works well for most applications. With a large keypad and slim profile, you’ll get a streamlined product that’s easy to use for most seniors.
The Blu Joy is the best budget cell phone for seniors while still offering a ton of helpful functionality. For starters, the phone’s design is streamlined, slim, and lightweight. This makes it easier to pack around with you, either in your pocket or in a bag. Unfortunately, this does make for some durability issues, but nothing that should overly concern you. This isn’t a flip phone, so the display is also exposed to the outside elements. However, this means you won’t have to flip it open and closed every time you want to use it.
The Blu Joy cell phone is also very easy to use. It features an extra-large keypad with big numbers that are easy to read. It even features separate arrow buttons for easier overall navigation through the phone’s menus. The Blu Joy also gives you an SOS button on the back of the phone for emergency situations. We were also impressed to find an integrated flashlight that is controlled by a single button on the side of the phone. You might also be interested in our best tablets for seniors buying guide.
Award: BEST FOR EMERGENCIES
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re worried about getting into an emergency situation and not being able to fully operate your phone, then this is the best option for you. With an SOS button, dedicated speed dial buttons, and a very user-friendly interface, this cell phone helps you respond quickly in dangerous situations.
The Uleway Flip is the best cell phone for seniors with dementia and for use in emergency health situations because of its overly simple and user-friendly design. It features a large and easy-to-press SOS button on the back of the phone that will contact up to five different phone numbers through both text messages and phone calls. Plus, the phone features three dedicated speed dial buttons that can be programmed with emergency contact information. This is incredibly helpful for seniors that struggle to remember complicated phone operations.
The Uleway Flip is also designed well. It’s a durable flip phone configuration, with both external and internal displays. We were impressed that the external display is as large as it is, which is uncommon on flip phones today. However, this large size makes it easier to see alerts and missed calls. The internal display is also large and bright, creating the same user-friendliness. The Uleway could improve on loudspeaker volume if there was one area we can criticize. It’s not as loud as other cell phones for seniors. However, you’ll also get long-lasting battery life here, and the phone should go for days before needing a recharge. If size is an issue you can also check out our best small phones buying guide, which has additional options.
Award: BEST USER FRIENDLY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This option is a smartphone made specifically for seniors and features an incredibly simple and easy-to-navigate user interface, which features completely list-based menus. It’s also designed incredibly well, with a high-quality camera and bright HD display.
The Jitterbug Smart2 is another excellent addition to the lineup of smartphones for seniors, but it’s different in the fact that it is designed specifically with older adults in mind. As such, you get a lot of the same functionality as flagship smartphones but designed in a way to make it more accessible to the older generation. Modern-day smartphones can get confusing, so this Jitterbug phone took it upon itself to simplify everything. With list-based menus, you can easily navigate to every app and setting on this phone.
The Jitterbug Smart2’s overall design is also geared toward simplicity and usability. It’s of average size – not too large or too small – with a 5.5-inch touchscreen. It’s lightweight and durable, as well, making it easy to carry around with you. The Jitterbug also offers a lot of additional services that increase the phone’s overall utility. Most of these are geared around health and emergency services. This is nice to have, but be aware that you’ll need to pay extra to get those services. If you’re a traveler, you might also want to check out our best dual SIM phones buying guide.
Award: BEST SIMPLE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: Also known as the Big Easy Flip, this cell phone for seniors is well-known for its simple, durable design. It’s also easy to use and offers a large, colorful display for easier operation.
The Alcatel 392G is called the Big Easy Flip for a reason, and one that is clearly laid out in the nickname. Indeed, this phone for seniors is incredibly easy to use and features big buttons with big numbers that are easy to read. The flip phone is designed with simplicity in mind, which really helps for its overall usability. Seniors won’t have a single problem learning how to use this phone and continue using it without long-lasting problems. The flip design is also inherently more durable than other cell phones, which is a nice addition.
The 392G cell phone also includes a bunch of additional features. It’s Bluetooth capable, so you can use it with a headset and can actually double as an MP3 player with 32GB of internal storage. It also features a long-lasting battery that can run for up to 11 days on standby power. Of course, in the real world, this time may be shorter if you use the phone a lot for talking and texting. The Alcatel features a dual-display setup, with one on the outside and one on the inside. Both are large, colorful, and easy to see. Unfortunately, this flip phone for seniors doesn’t feature things like emergency buttons, but you can set some speed dials for easier calling. You can easily use this phone with the best wireless speakers as well.
Award: BEST PORTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need a cell phone that is slim, lightweight, and extra portable, then this is the option for you. It even features a unique shell design with a visibility window in the external cover so you can quickly check your notifications without opening the phone.
The Blu Zoey Flex offers one of the most unique and portable designs in this category. At first glance, it appears to be a flip phone, but it doesn’t separate the display and keyboard into the upper and bottom portions, like most flip phones. Instead, this features more of a shell design that protects the display and keypad. The earpiece still resides on the shell portion though. However, our favorite feature here was the notification window, which allows you to check for missed text messages and calls without needing to open the phone.
We were impressed with the overall portability here. The Blu Zoey Flex cell phone for seniors is lightweight and offers a slim profile that fits better into pockets. However, it doesn’t sacrifice usability and readability to do so. The buttons are still large and the numbers on those buttons are still easy to see. We do wish the phone included some additional features geared specifically toward the elderly – like an SOS button – but the overall value is still high here. Be sure to pair with the best phone cases for added security.
As we started scoring the variety of different cell phones for seniors, we first considered overall user-friendliness. While there are some elderly people who are tech-savvy, most of the others want simplicity when it comes to their mobile devices. However, they still want the reliable functionality of modern-day technology. As such, we only included phones above if they were reliable, easy to use, and easy to learn. We rated phones higher if they were designed specifically for the elderly and awarded more points for phones with simplified menus. We also preferred phones with buttons that featured large, easy-to-read numbers.
Next, we looked at the overall durability and battery life. A senior’s cell phone should last them a long time, in two senses of the word. First, the phone should be durable enough to last for years at a time, even with occasional bumps and drops. Second, the phone should stay powered for at least a full day, but we gave bonus points to options that can last days at a time.
Finally, we looked at included safety features. Not all cell phones for seniors include these safety features, but we preferred options that did. These features include things like SOS buttons and programmable speed dial buttons so you can quickly and easily get in touch with emergency services and family members in emergency situations.
One of the most important considerations to make when purchasing a cell phone for seniors is how easy the phone is to use. Many of the latest smartphones are packed to the brim with cutting-edge technology, but much of this is unimportant to senior citizens, who really just want something functional to make calls and send text messages. User-friendliness for cell phones comes in many shapes and sizes, but the most common ones include large buttons with easy-to-read numbers, larger text sizes on screen, and louder speakers for those who are hard of hearing.
Many of today’s cell phones for seniors include additional safety features, which are incredibly useful for users who have dementia or other health problems. These features include things like a one-touch SOS button and automatic emergency contact communication.
Your cell phone for seniors should provide a long-lasting battery that requires minimal charging time and frequency. Since most of these phones are basic flip phones, this usually shouldn’t be a problem. At a minimum, your cell phone should last you all day, but the best options can last for days at a time with minimal use. You may also want to consider phones that include charging docks, which is another common feature you can find in cell phones for seniors. This way, they’ll stay in a single place and not get lost as easily.
You’ll want your cell phone for seniors to last for a long time, which is why it’s important to purchase one that offers a high level of durability. Most flip phones for seniors are already durable in the fact that they don’t have large 6-inch touch screens to worry about. However, if you do opt to purchase a smartphone for seniors, then you’ll need to consider that large screen in your purchasing decision. Many phones are also starting to include water resistance, which only adds to their overall longevity.