Finding the right cell phone can be frustrating. Do you look for a great camera? A certain screen size? And of course you have to consider cell and data packages, and the up-front price of the phone. In this series, we’re helping seniors find the perfect cell phone, whatever the needs.
Best Flip Phones for Seniors in 2020
A flip phone is a great choice for seniors who don’t need a bunch of extra features. Flip phones usually combine a decently sized screen and a good sized keypad. That makes them ideal for seniors who want easy-to-use buttons rather than the tap, slide and swipe functionality of a smartphone. Plus they’re usually small and easy to carry, meaning they fit easily into most purses and pockets.
For those who don’t love smartphone screens, a flip phone is a good option. Plus they have a little bit of retro cool to boot!
Let’s take a look at some popular flip phones and what they have to offer.
1. GreatCall Jitterbug Flip – Best Overall Flip Phone
GreatCall offers a highly rated medical alert system, so it’s no surprise that their specially-designed phones are senior-friendly too. The Jitterbug Flip was made exclusively for seniors and is designed to be easy to use. It even doubles as a medical alert device – all users need do is press the 5Star button on the handset to be connected to the urgent response center.
Handset: The Jitterbug Flip features a bright backlit display and large buttons for ease of use. It also has a clear speaker, a flashlight, and a magnifier. Seniors will also appreciate the simple to use yes/no menu. The Flip costs $99.99, plus shipping and activation fees.
Plans: Customers have two choices. They can sign up for a regular talk and text plan, or they can choose a health and safety plan that comes with tons of health-related features. This plan is the one for seniors who want to take advantage of the 5Star urgent response feature (which we recommend.) Check out our Jitterbug Flip review here for details on health and safety plans. Health and safety plans also include up to 50% savings on call and text prices.
Calls: Plans range from 200 minutes for $14.99 monthly with several tiers up to unlimited talk and text for $49.99 monthly for basic users. 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 can 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: The large buttons and intuitive menus are very popular with customers. We saw several comments about how easy this is to use.
Customers aren’t so keen on: Although the speaker is designed for loud, clear quality, some customers find it falls short of expectations.
Ideal for: Seniors who also want a medical alert they can rely on. We love the range of health features and the 5Star response.
Our verdict: The Jitterbug Flip is reasonably priced, very easy to use, and ideal for seniors who don’t need a smartphone but still want to keep in touch with friends and family.
2. Cingular Flip 2 – Best 4G Flip Phone
The Cingular Flip from AT&T includes web connectivity, making it a little bit more than a basic phone. It has 4G capabilities for a faster connection but is still reasonably priced.
Handset: The Cingular Flip’s handset has large, easy to see buttons, and a 2.8” display. It also features a 2-megapixel camera for capturing both images and video, and an external clock so you can see the time without opening the handset. The handset costs $59.99 plus $30.00 activation fee.
Plans: The best plan for this is Mobile Share Plus 3GB or 9GB, both of which are shared data plans.
Data: Choose from a 3GB data plan starting at $50 monthly, or a 9GB data plan starting at $60 monthly.
Anything else: Comes with 4GB of internal memory, plus an SD card slot so you can extend the memory capacity if you need to. Also comes with a built-in FM radio app so you can listen on the go. Calls and texts to Mexico are included in both plans.
Customers love: Customers find the Cingular Flip super easy to use, and love the on-screen menu as well. It’s very easy to text on, and we saw several comments about the excellent quality sound.
Customers aren’t so keen on: Some customers find the volume and camera controls rather fiddly to use, and the camera quality is ok for snapping quick pics, but nothing more.
Ideal for: Seniors who want a basic easy-to-use flip phone at a reasonable price, without compromising on quality.
Our verdict: A good basic phone that does exactly what you need it to do with no bells and whistles. Although it connects to the web it’s not like a smartphone – it really shines for calling and texting rather than web browsing.
3. LG Exalt LTE – Best Flip Phone Camera
The LG Exalt LTE from Verizon is a little pricier than some other flip phones. The sleek, modern looking body feels sturdy, and there are a couple of added features that will appeal to some seniors, namely a better camera, and speech-to-text.
Handset: The LG Exalt features a 3” screen and large, tactile buttons that are easy to find and press. There’s also a 5-megapixel camera, speech to text capability, and a high fidelity speaker with hearing assistance. Costs $144, plus $40 activation fee.
Plans: Verizon offers a wide range of plans to suit all needs. For this model, we think the basic single device plan, which costs $30 monthly, is a good fit. Details below – but if you’re looking for more data it’s worth contacting Verizon to find out which plan is best for you.
Anything else: Has 8GB of storage, plus a micro SD card slot so you can extend the storage even more.
Customers love: The large buttons and bigger screen are popular with customers, and we saw several reviews from customers praising the sound quality.
Customers aren’t so keen on: Some people find the handset a bit bulky, and we also noted that some people find the menus frustrating to navigate. The lack of external caller ID display is a sticking point for some customers, too.
Ideal for: Seniors who are looking for just a little bit more than a very basic flip phone, especially those who particularly want a camera. Also great for seniors who are looking for larger buttons and a nice big screen.
Our verdict: Sturdy and easy to hold and use, but quite pricey compared to other flip phones.
4. Coolpad SNAP – Best Buttons
Like the Jitterbug Flip, the Coolpad SNAP from Sprint was designed with seniors in mind. With large buttons and an easy-to-see screen, it offers basic phone functions for those who simply don’t need a smartphone.
Handset: The SNAP features large buttons and a bright screen, plus a 2-megapixel camera and dedicated camera buttons. It also has shortcut buttons for extra ease of use. External display shows the clock and other notifications. Retails at $96.
Plans: For this model, we think Sprint’s basic 2GB plan, at $40 monthly, is perfect (details below.)
Anything else: Comes with 4MB of memory, plus an SD card slot so you can add a little extra. Also includes roaming in Mexico and Canada.
Customers love: Customers looking for a basic flip phone appreciate that this one does exactly what it says, with no fuss or unnecessary extras. Many customers find it easy to use.
Customers aren’t so keen on: We noticed some customers weren’t impressed with the battery life or audio, and some found the menus clumsy to navigate.
Ideal for: Seniors who want a super easy-to-use flip phone, especially those who need big buttons or an extra large screen. The dedicated camera and shortcut buttons make it simple to navigate, too.
Our verdict: This one doesn’t get as high ratings from customers as other phones on this list, so it might work out to be a little pricey for the quality. That said, we did see reviews from satisfied customers too, so it might just be perfect if you want something straightforward.
Sometimes seniors don’t want phones with tons of apps and connectivity. For those who want a simpler experience, these flip phones for seniors are a great choice as they all feature clear screens and nice big buttons. Now seniors can keep in touch without getting bogged down in complicated functions and features.