The Best Cell Phones for Senior Citizens [July 2019]
No matter how we cut it, cell phones are associated with youth. Although Generation Z may not remember a time when smartphones didn’t relentlessly roam the Earth, virtually everyone else does—and that means that anyone with a cell phone is likely to be a relatively hip and with-it kind of guy or gal who doesn’t have any issue embracing new technology.
Whether you use your smartphone strictly for the occasional text and selfie or you’re a full-fledged social media professional who earns a six-figure income by regularly updating your Instagram feed, smartphones have become incredibly important items in our life, for better or for worse.
And while more and more kids of increasingly young ages are beginning to embrace smartphone and tablet technology, there’s still a segment of the population that’s overlooked when it comes to cell phone manufacturing and marketing.
Senior citizens—oftentimes viewed as a generation that’s simply averse to any type of emerging technology—don’t tend to get much love from smartphone manufacturers and marketers, simply because they seem to show little or no enthusiasm for these relatively new-age products.
But that’s simply not the case. Older people need cell phones just as much as anyone else—whether it’s for emergencies or to keep in touch with loved ones.
Still, it would be foolish to purchase most senior citizens a standard-issue, bells and whistles smartphone, since these tend to have way more features than the average senior citizen will need. Instead, it would be wise to pick Grandpa up a cell phone that’s made specifically for seniors—one that has a large type pad and a simplified interface that can be navigated with ease.
So before you go out and waste money on the latest and greatest iPhone for your parent or grandparent this year, check out our list of the best senior citizen cell phones around.
We’d like to make one thing abundantly clear: We do not think that all senior citizens need the type of simplified cell phone that would send most millennials screaming and running for their lives. There are doubtlessly plenty of older citizens who would give folks in younger generations a run for their money when it comes to navigating the latest technology.
Still, these seniors are likely few and far between, and it can’t hurt to make a few cell phones that cater exclusively to people who simply want the essentials when it comes to a portable phone.
With that in mind, we give you this best-selling Snapfon phone, which delivers a surprising amount of power and functionality in an incredibly streamlined and simplified package.
Featuring easy-to-navigate menus and a large keypad that’s easy to use, this cell phone is ideal for anyone who simply wants to make and take calls on the go.
Each button is approximately the width of a dime so you won’t have to worry about hitting two at once, the menu options are clearly identified in large text so you won’t have to navigate through a sea of obnoxious commands to get to where you need to go, and there’s a speaking keypad that clearly announces your selection out loud—meaning you’ll be able to tell right away if you’ve made a mistake.
There’s also a specialized keypad lock that ensures you won’t hit any buttons accidentally, and a LED flashlight function makes it easy to use the phone as a light if you need to navigate in the dark.
The speakers on this phone are also especially robust—a major plus for seniors who may be hard of hearing—and Bluetooth 3.0 technology means that you’ll be able to connect easily to everything ranging from earpieces to hearing aids.
And to top things off, there’s an SOS button on the back of the phone that can be used to sound an alarm or send an SMS text message automatically to up to five contacts. You also have the option to enrolling in a special monitoring system that will let first responders know everything from your medication lists to your medical conditions and doctor notes.
Similar in style to our number-one pick, our runner-up phone offers many similar features but a few differences that may or may not appeal to certain potential buyers.
First of all, this phone is completely unlocked—meaning you won’t have to deal with annual contracts or overages depending on how you want to set up your individual calling plan. It accepts most AT&T and T-Mobile prepaid SIM cards, and you’ll be able to replace them at will.
This phone’s buttons are slightly bigger than the dime-sized buttons on the Snapfon above and the separation distance between them is also a bit greater, so there’s virtually no chance of hitting two buttons simultaneously or dialing the wrong number inadvertently.
At its max setting, the speaker volume on this phone seemed to be just a bit quieter than that on the Snapfon, although it’s still plenty loud even for those who may be suffering from hearing loss.
The battery life on this phone is quite impressive, thanks to a whopping 1400mAh battery that can keep your phone charged up and functional for up to almost ten days on standby (which translates into roughly six hours of constant talk time).
There’s also a convenient SOS speed dial button on the back of the phone that can be used to immediately contact either family or 911, and you’ll be able to store valuable information in the phone such as medication lists and allergy information.
Another potential plus regarding this phone’s design is its bright blue color, which may make it easier to track down for those whose sight may be dwindling.
Featuring a streamlined front screen that resembles some of the newer smartphones on the market, this cell phone may be appealing to seniors who don’t want to be seen with what seems to be an antiquated piece of technology in their hands.
Indeed, this phone imitates some of the more recent smartphone models in terms of style and function, but it remains easy to navigate for those of us who may not have a lot of experience with smartphone technology.
It comes loaded with a brilliantly bright and large touchscreen that’s easy to read (thanks to its large text and basic menu options), and you’ll be able to activate a series of options—including volume boost and text reading—that make it incredibly easy to communicate on the go.
Since this phone is unlocked you won’t have to deal with annoying contracts or fees, and you have the option of locking in a data plan that starts at just $17.48 per month if you decide to go through the Jitterbug service.
Another incredibly useful feature of this phone is Voice Typing, which can come in handy if the senior in your life has difficulty moving his or her fingers. With this setting enabled, you’ll be able to speak into the phone and dictate messages with surprising accuracy.
There are also a series of brain games preinstalled that will keep people of all ages entertained.
As another senior-oriented cell phone that mimics the design of a more traditional, modern phone, this cell may be the way to go if you’re worried about aesthetics when you’re on the go.
It features a classic flip design that makes it easy to answer calls quickly, and there’s a single big button that can be used for easy dialing along with menu navigation.
Once the phone has been flipped open, there’s an easy-to-view 2.4” HD main display that features vibrant colors along with a simple navigation menu, and a 2MP camera means that even seniors will be able to snap those selfies and take shots of their surroundings on the fly.
Comatible with go-to carriers like AT&T, Tracfone, H20, Consumer Cellular, and Cricket, this cell also allows you store store a variety of speed-dial numbers—meaning your loved ones won’t have to remember your numbers or keep them written down.
This senior-friendly phone takes simplicity to the next level. Featuring a small screen, oversized trackpad, and four simple navigation buttons, this cell is ideal for seniors who simply want the most streamlined calling solution around.
You get a built-in SOS button that can be used to gain immediate access to police, fire, or medical personnel, and a 2.4” display is large enough to show you both the time and who you’re dialing.
You also get a built-in flashlight along with an FM radio and VGA camera, and you’ll be able to use it with all major carriers since it comes unlocked out of the box.
Rounding out our list is this ultra-retro-yet-somehow-modern flip phone, which features a throw-back analogue-style digital clock on its front screen.
With full support on all 3G networks, this cell allows you to quickly answer calls without even having to unfold the phone, and you’ll be able to use predictive text in order to form text messages without typing.
Once flipped open, the screen is large enough to read incoming texts and messages clearly (even if your eyesight is failing), and you’ll be able to input no less than twelve speed dial numbers for fast and easy dialing.
This phone also boasts a flashlight function, radio, camera, and Bluetooth functionality—meaning you’ll be able to pair it with most modern hearing aid systems that don’t require any wires.