Everybody has different cell phone needs, but we looked for the following features when choosing our favorites:
Affordability: Modern cell phones can cost upwards of $1,000, but we looked for devices that cost $400 or less. Most of the phones on this list cost under $200.
Visibility and hearing: All the phones on this list have adjustable font sizes, making them ideal for people with vision impairment. Every phone on this list is also compatible with hearing aids.
Simplified menus: In our tests, we looked for cell phones with easy-to-navigate menus. Even the smartphones included here feature highly intuitive interfaces that anyone can quickly learn to use.
Safety features: Many cell phones designed for seniors feature SOS buttons, GPS, and other medical alert features that keep users safe both in and out of their homes.
No long-term contracts: Gone are the days of locking into a lengthy service contract to get a low-priced phone. All the phones on this list can be purchased for a low, one-time cost and require no long-term agreements.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Alcatel Go Flip 4 is its simple clamshell design. Like past Alcatel phones, it features a small outer screen displaying the date and time and a larger internal display that enables you to navigate the phone’s features. What separates the Go Flip 4, however, are its long battery life, call clarity, and app store compatibility.
In our tests, calls came through incredibly clear on the Go Flip 4, and its loud speakerphone made it easy to communicate hands-free. The Go Flip 4 lasted about two weeks on a single charge, making it a great option for people who sometimes forget to charge their devices. Another feature that impressed us was the phone’s app store. Normally confined to smartphones, the app store enabled us to download many free apps for seniors, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and a variety of games.
The Go Flip 4’s only downside is its camera. At only 2 megapixels, most of the images we captured came out fuzzy compared to pictures from other phones on this list.
The Alcatel Go Flip 4 can be purchased through T-Mobile for a one-time charge of $96 or monthly $4 payments. You can also purchase the phone from big-box retailers and pair it with a network of your choosing.
Lively’s Jitterbug Flip2 isn’t quite a smartphone, but with its Alexa compatibility, dual camera design, and safety features, it redefines how modern flip phones can work. Its simple navigation menu, large backlit keypad, and built-in SOS emergency button make it stand out from conventional flip phones.
The Jitterbug Flip2 is the easiest phone to use on this list. A simple list-based menu makes it easy to navigate the phone’s features, including phone calls, messages, the camera, and Alexa. Each of my calls also came through with high-quality audio.
One of my favorite Flip2 features is its Alexa functionality. Simply by using my voice, I could call contacts, send messages, and even ask questions. For example, I asked my Flip2: “How many teaspoons are in a cup?” My phone responded: “There are 48 teaspoons in a cup.” For any queries related to weather, news, or current events, this feature was highly useful.
There are two Lively service plan options with the Jitterbug Flip2. For $14.99 per month, you’ll get 300 minutes and 10 cents per text. For $19.99 a month, you can get unlimited talk and text. The Flip2 also offers the option to purchase a Health and Safety package, which turns your phone into a full-fledged medical alert system. To learn more about these plans, check out our Jitterbug phones review.
It’s not designed specifically for seniors, but the iPhone SE is the ideal option for someone looking to upgrade from a traditional flip phone. If you’re looking for a phone with internet access and stellar camera quality — and you don’t mind a slight learning curve — then the iPhone SE is a great place to start.
The iPhone SE excels in basic phone features. All our test calls worked exceptionally well, even when using hearing aids. The iPhone SE excels thanks to its built-in voice assistant, Siri. With this feature, you can make calls, send messages, and even browse the web simply by using your voice. The phone’s plethora of features may intimidate the uninitiated, but its voice commands make it easy to navigate.
The iPhone SE has the best camera of the phones on this list. All our test photos came through with a high level of definition, and they were easy to message to friends or post on social media. Newer iterations of the iPhone have higher-quality cameras, but the SE certainly does the job — and it costs less than half the iPhone 13.
The iPhone SE works with most major carriers, so it’s best to shop around to see which provider has the best deal. Mint Mobile currently offers 12 months of free service when you purchase an iPhone SE through them for $399. Alternatively, T-Mobile sells this phone for $429.99 when paired with one of their unlimited plans.
A roundup of senior-friendly smartphones wouldn’t be complete without the popular Jitterbug Smart3 from Lively. The Smart3 features a bright, clear 5.5-inch display with a simplified menu that lets you quickly find frequently used features. The Smart3 is an easy-to-use, feature-packed phone, but where it really shines is with its emergency features.
Users of Jitterbug phones never have to worry about missed medications, thanks to MedCoach, which sends prescription and pill reminders. Lively also comes with Urgent Care (Preferred and Ultimate plans), which connects users to registered nurses and doctors who can answer medical questions. All plans come with 5Star, a medical alert service that connects to live help agents no matter what time of day or night.
Lively offers unlimited talk and text for $19.99 per month, but you’ll also want to add a data plan. Since the phone has Wi-Fi capabilities, you can likely get by with 500 MB of data for $5 per month. You can also get unlimited data for an additional $30 per month.
For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or an intellectual disability, the RAZ Memory Phone is a great option with simplified functionality. Through its picture-based contact list, users can easily make and receive calls from loved ones with minimal confusion.
Despite the RAZ Memory Phone’s large touch screen, it has only one menu. It displays the contact info and photos for up to six contacts, in addition to a dedicated 911 button. The simplified menu may not work for everyone, but it can drastically cut down on confusion caused by endless menus and notifications.
With the Memory Phone, loved ones can keep track of a device through the RAZ online portal. They can create contacts, check the phone’s battery life, and even see its location. This information can be vital for people caring for a loved one with a degenerative condition.
The Memory Phone is certainly not for everyone, but it can provide a much-needed means of contact for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. To learn more about these types of devices, check out our guide to phones for people with dementia.
Simple, easy-to-understand menu
Dedicated 911 button
Picture contact list
GPS location information
No messages, apps, or internet access
The Best Cellular Providers for Seniors
Selecting a cellular provider that has the features you need is as important as choosing a phone. When checking out plans, try to find one with ample allowances for talk, text, and data.
I always recommend T-Mobile plans for seniors. T-Mobile’s trio of discounted unlimited plans for people 55 and up provide access to one of the largest cellular networks in the nation and do not require annual service contracts.
Did You Know: A good cell phone is nothing without a good network. To find out which are our favorites, check out our list of the best senior cell phone plans.
If you’re looking for a cell phone for yourself or a loved one, then check out our helpful cellular guides:
No two users are the same, but most seniors will likely appreciate simplified design, hearing aid compatibility, loud speakers, voice commands, and large displays. Jitterbug phones have all of these features.
Both T-Mobile and Lively are great options. T-Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and data plans for as low as $27.50 per month per line. Lively offers the popular Jitterbug phones with talk and text plans for as low as $14.99 per month.
Lively’s popular Jitterbug phones are simplified devices made particularly for older adults.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here