Easiest Cell Phones for Seniors in 2021

With all the latest technology in cell phones, it can be a challenge to find one that is easy to use. Luckily for you, we’ve sifted through dozens of devices and have come up with our list of cell phones that are simple to use while sacrificing little in the way of functionality.

Whether you’re looking for a modern smartphone with a touch screen or a simpler device for talking and texting, a good cell phone keeps seniors connected with family, friends, and the world at large.

Seniors these days are tech-savvy. However, just because seniors are more comfortable with technology doesn’t mean they should settle for complicated devices that add stress to their lives. That’s why we think choosing an easy-to-use cellphone is important.

For this list, we kept a focus on easy navigation, handsets that are easy to see and use, making them ideal for older hands and eyes. A lack of long term contracts certainly earned bonus points, too! Let’s take a closer look.

Pro Tip: If simplicity is of no concern, then take a look at my list of the overall best senior cell phones. Additionally, check out my rundown of the best cellular plans for seniors.

Easiest Phones for Seniors in 2021

How We Chose the Easiest Phones for Seniors

When it comes to ease of use, there are several features we looked for. Each of the phones listed below is advanced in its own right, but they all share some traits that make them truly accessible.

The Simplest Cellular Carrier

Currently, T-Mobile offers a trio of plans specifically for those of us over 55. T-Mobile plans for seniors, starting at $27.50 per month, cut out much of the hassle with choosing a wireless provider. Not only do they provide you with unlimited talk, text, and data (perfect for avoiding pesky overage charges), but they also come with no annual service contracts. Additional lines can be added for just $10 apiece. These plans are a great, straightforward way to make the most of the phones detailed here.

The Easiest Cell Phones For Seniors

After hours of research and testing, we’ve narrowed the field down to five exceptionally simple phones. Here is our roundup of the easiest cell phones for seniors in 2021:

1. Alcatel GO FLIP 3 - Easiest Overall 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

Combining the features of a smartphone with the simplified design of a flip phone, Alcatel’s GO FLIP offers an advanced yet streamlined experience. Let’s start with the basics.

First off, the call quality is great on this handset, each of our conversations coming in loud and clear. Then there’s the battery, which lasted about eight hours of continuous talk time and over two weeks on standby. When it comes to size, this slim device fits easily into pockets or a purse, yet its 2.8-inch screen made it easy to read.

Alcatel Go Flip 3
Alcatel Go Flip 3

What separates the GO FLIP from the flip phones of yore are its smart capabilities. With its 4GB of internal memory, you can download a handful of apps including Facebook and Twitter, in addition to browsing the web. The feature we love most, however, is the inclusion of Google Assistant, which allowed us to accurately dictate messages as opposed to typing them out with the number pad.

Cost: $100 when purchased through T-Mobile

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

For the senior looking for a simple phone, one that stretches itself into the world of smartphone capabilities, the Alcatel GO FLIP is a great option.

FYI: Did you know that T-Mobile now offers home internet service? To learn more, read my T-Mobile internet review.

2. Jitterbug Smart3 - Easiest Smartphone

Lively
4.8 / 5
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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

With its bright screen, large text, and streamlined menus, the Jitterbug Smart3 makes its advanced features accessible and intuitive. Even for the most technologically averse person, I could see them using this phone with ease.

In addition to minutes and data, Lively also offers health and safety packages, turning your phone into a personal safety device. Their 5Star urgent response feature gives you 24/7 access to highly trained agents who can connect you to help in the event of an emergency.

Jitterbug Smart3
Jitterbug Smart3

With the Jitterbug Smart3’s five and a half-inch screen, I had no trouble accurately typing, and the same goes for dialing numbers. In my many test phone calls, I noticed no issues. Both the call quality and volume were superb, and all of my calls, both in and outside my home, went through without a hitch. The Jitterbug Smart3 also features voice dialing, so I was able to call various contacts using only my voice.

Cost: $149.99, plus the cost of activation

Plans

All three of Lively’s plans come with 5-Star Urgent Response, Check-in Call, Daily Health Tips, Brain Games, and the weekly Wellness Call. Preferred and Ultimate include additional features like Urgent Care, Lively Link, Personal Operator, and Product Replacement. Check out our Jitterbug Smart3 review for all the details on health plans.

  • Basic: $19.99/month
  • Preferred: $24.99/month
  • Ultimate: $34.99/month
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 builds a bridge between older adults and the modern smartphone. With its intuitive controls and added safety features, chances are this smartphone would be great for any of your loved ones.

3. Jitterbug Flip2 - Easiest Flip Phone

Lively
4.2 / 5
View Packages
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

The Jitterbug Flip2 from Lively was designed with seniors in mind, and it also doubles as a medical alert device. Each handset has a clear 5Star button seniors can press to connect with the call center and get help whenever they need it. Agents can pinpoint their location, and send emergency services or roadside assistance if needed. They’ll also contact listed friends or family.

Jitterbug Flip2
Jitterbug Flip2

When it comes to traditional phone functions, the Jitterbug Flip2 does not disappoint. Its loud speaker made for clear phone calls, and its battery lasted us through a whole week, even with frequent use.

Cost: $99.99, plus activation and monthly plan

Plans

Seniors can opt for two kinds of plans – Talk and text only for those who want to use it as a phone and nothing more, or a health and safety plan with extra features, including 5Star urgent response. Check out our Jitterbug Flip2 review for all the details on health plans. Seniors who sign up for a health plan save up to 50% on call and text prices.

Customers on a basic plan start at 200 minutes for $14.99 monthly with several tiers up to unlimited talk and text for $49.99 monthly. Health plan customers start at $5 for 50 minutes monthly with several tiers up to unlimited talk and text for $30 monthly. In terms of messages, customers start at $3 for 300 texts monthly with several tiers up to $15 for 2500 texts (or choose an unlimited talk and text plan.)

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

Combining traditional phone design with advanced medical alert features, the Jitterbug Flip2 is modern yet classic. If what you need is a simple phone that’s easy to use, then look no further than the Jitterbug Flip2.

4. Sonim XP3 - Best Hearing Aid Compatibility

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

The Sonim XP3 is one of the toughest phones we’ve come across! This military-grade powerhouse is made to withstand extreme outdoor conditions. But that doesn’t mean it’s only suitable for seniors who hike or go snowboarding. Its rugged, sturdy flip frame and large buttons make it ideal for older adults.

The handset is a beautifully rugged, chunky affair. It has large, tactile buttons, a push-to-talk feature, a 5MP camera, and a 100+ db speaker for clear, crisp communication anywhere and everywhere. It can even be submerged underwater and come out working like new, after it dries of course.

Sonim XP3 - AT&T
Sonim XP3 – AT&T

Cost: $189.99, plus activation and monthly plan

Plans: The best plan for this handset is AT&T Mobile Share Plus, a shared data plan that offers unlimited talk and text. This plan starts at $35 monthly. Unfortunately, this phone is currently not available on T-Mobile.

Compared to the Lively Flip, the Sonim XP3 is more expensive for a handset with less functionality. That said, the big tactile buttons and 100+db speaker are definite plus points. This would be a great phone for seniors who struggle with their eyesight, or their grip and manual dexterity. For these reasons, it’s one of the best flip phones overall.

5. Apple iPhone XR - Best Features

3.5 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Large, Brilliant Screen
  • Loud Speakerphone
  • Crystal Clear Photos
  • Intuitive Interface

Overview

iPhones are of course one of the most well-known smartphones on the planet – and often the most expensive! The XR (pronounced Ten R) is their flagship lower-cost offering. The price tag isn’t cheap – but compared to other iPhones it’s reasonable, and the display and camera are very impressive.

This phone is great for seniors who are looking for a great camera, or the range of features that come with an iPhone as compared to a simpler phone. The large, clear display makes it a good choice for seniors whose main concern is seeing their phone. It’s also a nice choice for seniors who are already Apple loyal. For those uninitiated to the world of Apple products, there is a slight learning curve; however, once this is passed, there is hardly a more intuitive phone on the market.

Apple iPhone XR
Apple iPhone XR

Cost: $599.99, plus monthly plan, when purchased through T-Mobile

Plans

This will vary, as the iPhone XR is available on most major networks. If used with one of T-Mobile’s 55+ plans, then you can get unlimited talk, text, and data for $27.50 per month.

Pros
  • High-definition screen
  • Great battery life
  • Facial identification
  • Splash and dust resistance
  • Great camera quality
  • Affordable pricing
Cons
  • Larger size
  • Not compatible with 5G
  • No rapid charging

As far as iPhones go, the XR is a bargain, and any losses you make by opting for the cheaper model are negligible. If it’s an iPhone you’re looking for, you can’t go far wrong with this model. That said, depending on their needs, it won’t be the best choice for some seniors. It has a lovely clear display, but no other senior-specific features, and although it’s lower cost than most iPhones, it still costs a large chunk of change.

Recap

Finding the right cell phone can be a challenge, especially when it comes to keeping things simple. Luckily, as these devices become more advanced, manufacturers are striving to make them even easier to use.

If you’ve still got questions, I’d recommend checking out my guide to senior cell phones. Additionally, if you’re looking to save some money, check out my list of senior discounts on cell phones.

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