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Best Cell Phones for Seniors in 2020

Claire Samuels
By Claire SamuelsApril 12, 2020

There’s no one-size-fits-all cell phone for seniors. Whether you’re looking for all the bells and whistles or a classic, accessible option, A Place for Mom has selected some of the best cell phones for the elderly. Connect with loved ones, capture memories, and stay safe with these top flip phones and smartphones.

Top overall cell phones for seniors

GreatCall Jitterbug Flip

GreatCall Jitterbug Flip

Features: The Jitterbug Flip has a long-lasting battery that can handle 10 hours of call time or weeks in standby. With 1GB of storage, there’s room in the camera app for more than 1,000 memories. The speakers offer noise-cancelling technology to filter background sounds and maintain clarity.

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Why it’s good for seniors: The Jitterbug Flip phone is compatible with GreatCall’s senior-specific services. It features an emergency button for elderly loved ones to use if they’re in trouble, and is connected to the 5Star emergency network, which uses GPS to locate the user. Jitterbug devices also offer voice dialing, voice-to-text, and an operator service to help connect seniors with any services they may need. Big buttons and a magnifying screen round out this excellent option. Some plans offer additional amenities, like Urgent Care, which tele-connects seniors with certified nursing professionals.

Cost: For seniors interested in a basic, trustworthy device with tailored features, this phone is an affordable option at $99.99.

GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2

GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2

Features: This smartphone brings the Jitterbug Flip’s features to the modern age. Its bright display is clear and easy to read, with large fonts and simple icons. Seniors can easily access the internet, stream videos, and use face-to-face chat.

Why it’s good for seniors: In addition to the standard 5Star emergency network offered through the Jitterbug Flip, the Smart2 offers visual features like GreatCall Link, which allows caregivers to stay informed about the health and location of their loved ones. Brain Games, a standard feature on all GreatCall devices, is enhanced by the large touchscreen.

Cost: This option is low-cost for a smartphone at $149. The unlimited calls, data, and texting plan [AG2] is $49.99 per month with add-on potential.

Motorola Moto G7

Motorola Moto G7

Features: The Moto G7 has a 13MP camera, great for capturing family photos and videos. It’s also water resistant and includes features like facial recognition, fingerprint unlock, and great audio when streaming. This phone also comes “unlocked,” which means you can use it with any service provider, or pay in advance for minutes and texts.

Why it’s good for seniors: This is one of the loudest phones on our list, with sound quality that peaks around 88 decibels. The screen is 5.7” tall, allowing significant text enlargement.

Cost: The starting price of $199 is fairly affordable for a smartphone, but what makes the Moto G7 ideal is the option to choose a pay-as-you-go plan, perfect for seniors who want the wifi capacities of a smartphone without the commitment of unlimited talk and text.

Consumer Cellular GrandPad

Consumer Cellular GrandPad

Features: Technically a small tablet, this video and audio calling device also streams music, plays videos, and has a wide selection of games. It’s durable, with a soft case and stylus, and comes with a charging dock station to eliminate the need for wires and cords.

Why it’s good for seniors:The GrandPad is a way for seniors to connect without a traditional cell phone. It lets your loved one enjoy all the benefits of technology with none of the effort. It’s designed to be accessible to tech-averse seniors, and even comes loaded with training videos and tutorials. The 8-inch screen is larger than a standard phone. Clear, bright icons add to ease of use.

Cost: The GrandPad is a great stand-in for a smartphone at $200. It’s available through Consumer Cellular on a monthly payment plan. Unlimited service and support come to $40 per month, which includes music streaming and curated articles.

Verizon LG Exalt

Verizon LG Exalt

Features: It’s a sleek, modern flip phone with big, tactile buttons and a 3-inch screen for ease of use. The LG Exalt is a great option for seniors who want an updated look and feel without the added feature of a touchscreen. It also offers web browser access and email.

Why it’s good for seniors: The phone offers HD voice and hearing assistance, as well as text-to-speech capabilities, so it can read messages out loud to loved ones whose vision may not be strong enough for the smaller screen.

Cost: This phone is built to last at $169 from Verizon. It can be used with unlimited or prepaid service plans for a customizable monthly cost.

Consumer Cellular Doro 7050

Consumer Cellular Doro 7050

Features: The Doro 7050 is a simple, classic way to stay connected. It’s a traditional flip phone with limited features, but offers large buttons and high-contrast displays, as well as Consumer Cellular’s signature senior features and a basic camera.

Why it’s good for seniors: An emergency assistance button, hearing aid compatibility, and thorough instructional videos make this an ideal choice for seniors who want to stay connected without breaking the bank.

Cost: This phone makes the list due to its affordability. It’s a great option for seniors with a fixed income, or those who don’t want to invest too much in technology. The newest model is only $50, and offers customizable plans.

Best flip cell phones for seniors

Flip phones are often the best option for first-time cell phone buyers. Their basic design features traditional buttons similar to those on a handset, and many offer longer battery life and more durability than their smartphone counterparts. Choose a flip phone with high-quality speakers, large buttons, and a camera for capturing memories.

  • GreatCall Jitterbug Flip
    The Flip’s affordability and senior-oriented design make it a top choice. The 5Star emergency button, noise-canceling speakers, and lengthy battery life are great features in addition to the phone’s large keypad and camera.
  • Verizon LG Exalt
    High-fidelity speakers and HD voice calling make this phone ideal for seniors with hearing loss. It also offers a basic web browser, camera, and text-to-speech function.
  • Alcatel Go-Flip 3
    Word dictation, durability, and basic smart features accompany this phone’s easy texting and long battery life.

Best smartphones for seniors

Smartphones offer more amenities than basic flip phones. Food delivery and transportation request apps like Instacart and Lyft can help seniors living at home maintain autonomy, while video chat keeps families and friends connected.

If you do choose a smartphone, check for accessibility settings geared toward seniors. As the number of older Americans with smartphones has grown, companies have started catering toward their specific needs with larger screens, higher volume settings, and increased brightness.

  • Jitterbug Smart2
    Like the Jitterbug flip, this phone is a great choice because it’s designed with seniors in mind. GPS locating, medical assistance, and operator services accompany great battery life, a large touchscreen, and voice dictation.
  • Google Pixel 3
    A large screen with increased icon size helps seniors easily adapt to a touch-screen option.
  • Motorola Moto G7
    For an affordable price, this phone offers excellent voice quality for seniors with hearing loss, and a screen that measures nearly 6” diagonally.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    Though it’s pricier, this option offers outstanding image and video quality, and has a stylus addition for those who prefer to write with a traditional “pen.” All Samsung phones also have an Easy Mode, which is great for seniors who want to ease into a smartphone with fewer icons and larger text.

Best multi-use phones for seniors

  • Apple iPad Mini
    Consumer Affairs highlighted the iPad Mini as a great option for seniors with hearing loss, since the audio connects directly to compatible hearing aids. Like a smartphone, you can text on the iPad as well as video chat, play games, and write.
  • Consumer Cellular GrandPad
    Affordable and designed with seniors in mind, the GrandPad is a small tablet that offers music streaming, video chat, and cellular calling.

Cheapest phones for seniors

Seniors with a fixed income may prefer a less expensive or pay-as-you go phone without significant startup costs. While we still recommend the Jitterbug Flip at under $100, these phones are made for seniors who are looking for an option without commitment.

  • Consumer Cellular Doro 7050
    Consumer Cellular offers inexpensive service plans designed specifically for seniors. The Doro 7050 rings in at only $50, and is light and durable with great HD voice quality.
  • Consumer Cellular Link
    While the Link doesn’t offer many flashy features, it is convenient and affordable at only $30 with large buttons and effective speakers. AARP [AG3] even offers a member discount on services!
  • Tracfone ZTE
    This phone isn’t made for seniors, but it is the most affordable option at only $9.99 with no subscription or commitment required. If you’re looking for a bare-bones “emergencies only” cell, the ZTE will do the trick.

How to choose a phone for seniors

Use this list as a starting point, read reviews for phones your loved one might enjoy, and follow these tips:

  • See if companies offer a trial period or have in-store models to test.
  • Think about special features, like HD voice for those who are hard of hearing, or text-to-voice and large displays for seniors whose vision is fading.
  • If your parent or relative has dementia, consider a phone with tracking or emergency alert.
Claire Samuels
Author
Claire Samuels

Claire Samuels is a content writer at A Place for Mom. She worked with senior living communities throughout the Midwest before pivoting to writing. She’s passionate about sharing ways of living well at any age.

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