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Cheapest Cell Phones for Seniors in 2021

Cheapest Cell Phones for Seniors in 2021

What Should You Look For in a Budget Cell Phone

Naturally, if you’re looking for a phone on the cheaper side, then you’ll have to give up some of the more advanced features of the most modern handsets. Unfortunately, the phones on this list won’t support facial recognition, nor will they produce professional-quality photos.

With that said, you’d be surprised by the quality of these affordable phones, all of which cost under $200. Some of them have touchscreens. Some of them are waterproof, and several of these phones even have some smart features like video calling and voice commands.

Here’s what we looked for when it came to budget phones for seniors.

The Cheapest Cellular Provider For Seniors

With all the options out there, it can be a bit confusing to figure out which cellular provider gives the best bang for your buck. Our current favorite is T-Mobile, whose trio of 55+ Unlimited Plans start at $27.50 per month and give you unlimited talk, text, and data in terms of the major providers.

Still, for the user just looking to make calls and send text messages, Lively and Consumer Cellular offer custom plans. With these providers, you can select the number of minutes, messages, and data you anticipate using in a month-long period. Especially for those of us who don’t use our phones too heavily, these providers can offer significant savings.

The Cheapest Cell Phones For Seniors

After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed your options down to five phones. While some of them are significantly more affordable than others, we’ve concluded that each of the following phones gives you a tremendous bang for your buck.

Without further ado, here is the list of the best budget phones for seniors.

1. Alcatel GO FLIP 3 - Best Overall Budget Phone

Alcatel Logo
4.9 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Smartphone features
  • Large tactile buttons
  • Up to 17 days of battery life
  • $100 device cost

Overview

Available through T-Mobile, the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 combines the advanced features of a smartphone with the accessibility of a traditional clamshell device. Capable of making calls through either Wi-FI or 4G LTE, this phone delivers exceptional call quality that can keep you connected just about anywhere.

We also loved that this phone comes with Google Assistant. With this feature, we wrote messages, made calls, and even browsed the web purely through voice commands. This functionality would come in handy for any user that struggles with arthritis or other manual dexterity issues.

Device Cost: $100 through T-Mobile

Plans:

The GO FLIP 3 can be paired with several different plans; however, we’d recommend one of T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55 plans, which give you unlimited talk, text, and data. These plans start at $27.50 per month.

Pros
  • Classic Design
  • Intuitive Menus
  • 4GB Internal Memory
  • Large Screen
  • Voice Commands
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • 4G Network Compatibility
Cons
  • Low-Definition Camera

With its high-tech features and easy learning curve, the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 can suit just about anyone. It makes calls with aplomb and streamlines smart features with the help of Google Assistant, all of which lead us to choose it as the best budget phone for seniors.

2. Jitterbug Flip2 - Best Senior-Specific Features

Lively
4.2 / 5
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Call for best price:
833-695-0501
What We Like Most:
  • Plans from $14.99/Month
  • Built-in magnifier and flashlight
  • Flexible talk and text packages
  • Medical alert features

Overview

Designed specifically with seniors in mind, the Jitterbug Flip2 is both easy to use and affordable. Its buttons are large, and its screen is bright, making it a breeze to navigate through messages and calls. While the Jitterbug Flip2 can’t browse the Internet, as can other phones on this list, it is a great way to make calls, take photos, and send messages.

What’s more, the Jitterbug Flip2 can even function as a medical alert device. When used with one of Lively’s health and safety packages, this phone can contact a monitoring center 24/7, with the help of its urgent response button.

Cost: $74.99 through Lively, not including activation fees

Plans

Talk-only plans start at just $14.99 per month, and for $39.99 per month, you can have unlimited minutes and messages. Additionally, health and safety packages start at $19.99 per month.

Pros
  • Built-in SOS button
  • Keep your existing number
  • U.S.-based customer service
  • Built-in magnifier and flashlight
  • No contracts, no cancellation fees
  • Simple, easy-to-use cell phone designed for seniors
Cons
  • Low MP camera
  • No data, text and call only
  • Must use Lively text and talk plans

If you’re looking for a simple phone, one with the added protection of a medical alert device, then the Jitterbug Flip2 is right up your alley.

3. Snapfon ezTWO3G - Best No-Contract Phone

Snapfon provides senior-friendly cell phones.
4.2 / 5
View on Amazon
What We Like Most:
  • Large, Tactile Buttons
  • SOS button
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Affordable Service Plans

Overview

The Snapfon ezTWO features a simple design with large buttons, a powerful speaker, and a straightforward design, all of which make it simple to operate. It’s also rated M3/T3 in terms of hearing aid compatibility. Starting at $29.99, it’s also the cheapest phone on this list.

This phone also offers an emergency SOS button that will sound a 120 dB alarm and send text messages to preset contacts. You can also add on sosPlus Mobile Monitoring (starting at $15 per month) for access to first responders who are familiar with your medications, health needs, allergies, physician and emergency contact information.

Cost: $29.99 through Snapfon, not including activation fees

Plans
Snapfon plans start at just $10 per month for 100 talk minutes. They also offer an unlimited talk and text plan for $25 per month, the most affordable unlimited plan on this list.

Pros
  • Affordable Plans
  • Carrier Flexibility
  • SOS Button
  • Mobile Monitoring
  • Powerful Speaker
  • Simple Design
Cons
  • Low-Quality Camera

While the Snapfon ezTWO is the most affordable option on this list, it doesn’t skimp on the features. Combining a full-featured phone with medical alert functionality, this device would help any senior stay safe and connected.

4. Jitterbug Smart3 - Best Budget Smartphone

Lively
4.8 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
833-695-0501
What We Like Most:
  • No annual contracts
  • No cancellation fees
  • Keep your existing phone number
  • U.S.-based customer service

Overview

The Jitterbug Smart3 takes all of the features of a modern smartphone and presents them in a simple package accessible to users of all skill levels. Each of its features is laid out in an intuitive menu, and the Smart2’s 5.5in touchscreen makes it easy to swipe through each of them. In addition to a rear 13MP camera, this phone also has a front-facing camera, perfect for making video calls to friends and family.

Much like the Jitterbug Flip2, the Jitterbug Smart3 also can be paired with a Lively health and safety package, turning your smartphone into a fully functional medical alert device. Using the dedicated 5Star button, users can access the Lively monitoring center 24/7. Additionally, with the Preferred and Ultimate Plans, you can get around-the-clock access to registered nurses and doctors who can provide medical advice.

Cost: $74.99 through Lively, plus activation fees

Plans

Plans for the Jitterbug Smart3 start at $17.48 per month; however, this only includes 250 talk minutes, 100MB of data, and no texts. For $59.99 per month, you’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data. Additionally, you’ll receive a discount on your cellular plans when you also sign up for a health and safety package.

Pros
  • Simplified screen
  • Large, clear font
  • 30-day return policy
  • No long term contracts
  • 13MP camera with LED flash
  • Medical alert feature included in all plans
Cons
  • Needs to be charged nightly
  • Some complaints about initial set-up difficulty
  • Must use Lively phone, text and data plans

The Jitterbug Smart3 is like the Swiss army knife of phones. It’s a phone, a camera, a web browser, and even a medical alert device. For the senior not bothered by the lack of physical buttons, the Jitterbug Smart3 is an excellent and reliable choice.

5. Sonim XP3 - Best Durable Budget Phone

3.7 / 5
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Call for best price:
3.7
What We Like Most:
  • 100+db Speaker
  • Rugged Design
  • Great Call Quality
  • Three Year Warranty

Overview

At $189.99, the Sonim XP3 is the most expensive phone on this list; however, its value is in its durability. Waterproof, shockproof, and virtually indestructible from everyday use, the XP3 won’t need a replacement for a long time. As if this weren’t enough, Sonim also covers this phone under a three-year warranty.

This phone features noise cancellation, hearing aid compatibility, and large, tactile buttons. Its 100 dB speaker also ensures that you’ll be able to hear your calls clearly, even in noisy environments.

Cost: $189.99 through AT&T

Plans
With an AT&T, plans for the Sonim XP3 start at $29.99 per month for 200 anytime minutes and 500 night and weekend minutes. Unlimited plans start at $30 per month.

While not as cheap, per se, as the other devices on this list. The Sonim XP3 delivers a reliable cellular performance with longevity that gives you a great bang for your buck.

Written By
Amie Clark

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