Seniors know the right cell phone is incredibly useful. Whether they’re looking to bank, shop, make dinner reservations, get directions and a million other things, or whether they’re after a simpler text and talk set up, a good cell phone keeps seniors connected with family, friends and the world around them.
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.
The easier a cellphone is to use, the more likely a senior is to get their money’s worth from it. Let’s take a look at some easy to use cellphones that seniors will love. For this list we kept a focus on easy navigation, and easy to see and use handsets that are ideal for older hands and eyes. A lack of long term contracts certainly earned bonus points, too!
We also looked at customer reviews to find out what people like and dislike about each phone.
Easiest Phones for Seniors in 2020
1. Jitterbug Flip – Easiest Overall Phone
The Jitterbug Flip from GreatCall was designed with seniors in mind, and 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.
Handset: The Jitterbug Flip is packed with great features for seniors. These include large buttons, a bright backlit display, an easy to use yes/no menu, a loud clear speaker, and a magnifier and flashlight. The handset costs $99.99, plus shipping and activation fees.
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 Flip 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.
Calls: 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.
Texts: All 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.)
Data: Not applicable – this isn’t a smartphone.
Anything else: Customers get a free car and wall charger, plus you can keep your own phone number. There are no annual contracts and no cancelation fees.
Customers love: It’s so easy to use! The buttons and the menus are both popular.
Customers aren’t so keen on: Some customers don’t find the speaker as crisp sounding as they would like.
Ideal for: Seniors who want the extra backup of knowing they can get help. It’s also a great choice for seniors with arthritis or eyesight issues, as it’s very easy to hold and see.
Our Verdict: The Jitterbug Flip is ideal for seniors who would benefit from a mobile medical alert. As it’s not a smartphone, it’s also a great choice for those who want to call and text, but not browse.
2. Jitterbug Smart2 – Easiest Flip Phone
The Jitterbug Smart2 has all the health features and easy-to-use design of the Jitterbug Flip, packed into a sleek smartphone. Now seniors can talk text, browse, take pictures, and stay connected, all while having help at hand when they need it.
Handset: With Jitterbug Smart2, the handset is where it’s at! With a 5.5” screen, a 13MP camera, a front-facing speaker, voice typing and clear audio, the Smart2 is easy to use at any age. The menus are straightforward, too.
Plans: Customers can use this as a straight up smartphone, or they can sign up for a health and care package that includes 5Star urgent response. Check out our Jitterbug Smart review for all the details on health plans. Those who sign up save up to 50% on calls, text and data.
Calls: Customers on a basic plan start at $14.99 monthly for 200 minutes, with several tiers up to $49.99 for unlimited calls and texts plus 100MB data. Health plan customers start at $5 monthly for 50 minutes, with several tiers up to $40 monthly for unlimited calls, texts and data.
Texts: All customers start at $3 monthly for 300 texts, with several tiers up to $15 monthly for 2500 texts (or they can choose an unlimited talk and text package.)
Data: All customers start at $2.49 monthly for 40MB of data, with several tiers up to $30 monthly for 2.5GB.
Anything else: All customers get long distance, roaming, call waiting and caller ID with their package. Customers also get a free wall and car charger, plus there are no long term contracts and no cancelation fees.
Customers love: The straightforward menus and lovely big, bright screen are very popular.
Customers aren’t so keen on: While some customers love the sound quality, just as with the Jitterbug Flip, not everyone finds it as clear as they would like.
Ideal for: Seniors who want a smartphone but also want something intuitive and easy to use, especially in terms of finding their way around the device. It’s also easy to see. Especially good for those who would benefit from a mobile medical alert.
Our Verdict: Perfect for seniors who want added peace of mind, and offers a fantastic range of monthly packages so everyone can find something that suits them.
3. Sonim XP3 – Best Hearing Aid Compatibility
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.
Handset: 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. Retails at $189.99 plus $30 activation fee.
Plans: The best plan for this handset is AT&T Mobile Share Plus, a shared data plan that offers unlimited talk and text. Starts at $35 monthly.
Data: Not applicable
Anything else: Plans include unlimited talk and text to Mexico, unlimited texts to over 120 countries, and rollover data from month to month so you can save unused data for the next month.
Customers love: How sturdy the handset is, and how easy to use the buttons are.
Customers aren’t so keen on: Some found it a little pricey for a basic talk and text only handset.
Ideal for: Seniors who want something functional and no-frills that’s easy to use.
Our Verdict: Compared to the Jitterbug 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.
4. Apple iPhone XR – Best Features
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.
Handset: The XR offers a 6.1-inch edge to edge liquid retina display. Apple bills it as the most advanced LCD display in the industry. Available in red, white, coral, blue, and black, at a cost of $749.99.
Plans: Verizon offers a range of plans that would work for this handset, starting at shared plans for those who surf and use social media a little, all the way up to unlimited plans for those who stream a lot of content and are always online. Their medium-sized 4GB monthly data plan is $50 monthly, while their unlimited data plans start at $60 monthly.
Data: Anywhere from a tiny 2GB monthly all the way up to unlimited.
Anything else: The XR also features a 12MP camera with depth adjustment for crystal clear pictures, plus face recognition security.
Customers love: The camera, overall look of the phone, and of course the price tag, were very popular.
Customers aren’t so keen on: Some customers felt the display, though good, wasn’t as impressive as on the more expensive models.
Ideal 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.
Our Verdict: 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.
Finding the right cell phone can be a challenge. These four offer some great advantages for seniors – especially the Jitterbug models. Be clear about your phone needs before you choose a model, and we highly recommend checking out plenty of online reviews, too.