Best Flip Phones for Seniors

When it comes to technology, it’s sometimes best to get back to basics. While there are a number of high-tech smartphones with seemingly endless features, many of us want a simpler phone experience, and that’s where a flip phone comes in handy.
Jitterbug Flip2 Voice Assistant
The Jitterbug Flip2 features a built-in voice assistant.

Finding the right cell phone for seniors can be frustrating. Do you look for a great camera? A certain screen size? And of course, you have to consider the price of both your plan and the phone itself. In this rundown, we’ll be taking a look at some of our favorite flip phones that are perfect for anyone who wants a simpler phone experience.

Best Flip Phones for Seniors 2021

A flip phone is a great choice for seniors who don’t need a bunch of extra features. This type of device combines sizable screens with physical keypads, and they are rarely bogged down by the many features of modern smartphones. This makes them ideal for seniors who want easy-to-use buttons rather than the tap, slide, and swipe functionality of a touch screen. 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.

Let’s take a look at some popular flip phones and what they have to offer.

FYI: If a flip phone seems a bit too simple, then check out our rundown of the best smartphones for seniors.

1. Alcatel GO FLIP 3 - Best Overall Flip 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

The Alcatel GO FLIP 3 is our choice for the best overall flip phone because it combines the best of both worlds: the advanced features of a smartphone with the simplicity of a flip phone. What’s more, when paired with one of T-Mobile’s senior plans, you can get all of this at an affordable price.

Handset: The GO FLIP 3 has the classic clamshell design that we’ve all come to know and love. On the inside, its 2.8-inch screen displays text and numbers brightly and clearly. We also appreciated this phone’s long-lasting battery that, in our tests, lasted over two weeks on standby. This handset costs $100, which can be paid upfront or through installments.

Alcatel Go Flip 3
Alcatel Go Flip 3

Plans: While there are a number of plans compatible with the GO FLIP 3, T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plans will give you unlimited talk, text, and data, and they start at just $27.50 per month.

Calls: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Data: Unlimited

Extras: Depending on which T-Mobile plan you choose, you’ll have access to features such as international calling, in-flight Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot usage, and protection from telephone scams.

What We Love: We really appreciated the inclusion of data features in a simple package. Our favorite feature, however, had to be voice texting, which made messaging (normally a cumbersome process on flip phones) as easy as pie.

What We Didn’t: We didn’t exactly love the GO FLIP 3’s 2MP camera. The photos we took weren’t exactly photo album-worthy, though they’ll get the job done if all you need to do is capture the basics (recipes, locations, etc.).

Ideal For: This phone is perfect for any senior who wants a simple phone with internet access. The other virtue of the GO FLIP 3 is its size, small enough to be operated with only one hand.

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

Our Verdict: Affordably priced, solidly designed, and unexpectedly equipped with the features of a modern smartphone, the GO FLIP 3 is the best flip phone out there for seniors or, really, for anyone jaded or intimidated by the complexity of advanced cell phones.

2. Jitterbug Flip2 - Best Senior Features

Lively
4.2 / 5
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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

Lively offers an impressive medical alert system, the Lively Mobile Plus, so it’s no surprise that their phones are senior-friendly too. The Jitterbug Flip2 was made exclusively for seniors and is designed to be easy to use. It even doubles as a medical alert device – all users need to do is press the 5Star button on the handset to be connected to the urgent response center.

Handset: The Jitterbug Flip2 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 menu. The Jitterbug Flip2 costs $99.99, plus shipping and activation fees.

Jitterbug Flip2
Jitterbug Flip2

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 Flip2 review 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.

Extras: 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.

What We Love: The large buttons and intuitive menus make this phone incredibly simple to use.

What We Didn’t: Although the speaker is designed for loud, clear quality, we found that the audio quality often suffered at higher volumes.

Ideal For: Seniors who also want a medical alert they can rely on. We love the range of health features and the 5Star response.

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

Our verdict: The Jitterbug Flip2 is reasonably priced, easy to use, and ideal for seniors who don’t need a smartphone but still want to keep in touch with friends and family. To learn more about this company, read our rundown of Lively phones for seniors.

FYI: The Jitterbug Flip2 offers some impressive medical alert features; however, if you’re looking for a standalone device, read my rundown to find the best medical alert system.

3. Cingular Flip IV - Best 4G Flip Phone

4.1 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Supports Wi-Fi calling
  • Phone retails for $62.99
  • Rear-facing camera
  • Large keypad

Overview

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 while still being 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 $62.99 plus a $30.00 activation fee.

Cingular Flip IV
Cingular Flip IV

Plans: The best plan for this is Mobile Share Plus 3GB or 9GB, both of which are shared data plans.

Calls: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Data: Choose from a 3GB data plan starting at $50 monthly, or a 9GB data plan starting at $60 monthly.

Extras: 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.

Ideal For: Seniors who want a basic easy-to-use flip phone at a reasonable price, without compromising on quality.

Pros
  • Great on-screen menu
  • Easy to text on
  • Excellent sound quality
Cons
  • Cumbersome volume and camera controls
  • Low camera 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.

4. LG Exalt LTE - Best Flip Phone Camera

Verizon
4.0 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • 3" screen
  • Speech to text
  • 8 GB of storage
  • Micro SD card slot

Overview

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.

Verizon LG Exalt LTE
Verizon LG Exalt LTE

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. If you’re looking for more data it’s worth contacting Verizon to find out which plan is best for you.

Calls: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Data: 500MB per Month

Extras: This phone has 8GB of storage, plus a micro SD card slot so you can further extend its memory.

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.

Pros
  • Large buttons & screen
  • Sound quality scored highly in our tests
Cons
  • A bit on the bulky side compared to other phones
  • Lack of external caller ID display

Our Verdict: This phone is solidly built and easily held in the hand, but it’s quite pricey when compared to other flip phones.

5. Coolpad SNAP - Best Buttons

Coolpad SNAP
3.7 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • 2-megapixel camera
  • As low as $54.98
  • Big buttons
  • Bright screen

Overview

Like the Jitterbug Flip2, 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. Its external display shows the clock and other notifications. And sold as low as $54.98 from select retailers, this phone is on the affordable side.

Coolpad SNAP
Coolpad SNAP

Plans: For this model, we think one of T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plans is the best option. Starting at $27.50 per line, this plan gives you unlimited talk, text, and data.

Calls: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Data: Unlimited

Anything else: This phone comes with 4MB of memory, plus an SD card slot so you can add a little extra. T-Mobile’s 55+ plans also include varying increments of international calling, messaging, and data.

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.

Pros
  • Very easy to use
  • Great for talking and texting
Cons
  • Low battery life — will likely need daily charging

Our Verdict: If a simple phone is what you’re after, then this one has got you covered. Sure, the menus are a bit clunky and the audio output isn’t fit for listening to music, but if a phone is what you’re after (as opposed to a computer/music player/television), then this one might be just what you’re looking for.

Sometimes we don’t want phones with tons of apps and connectivity. For those who want a simpler experience, these flip phones are a great choice, as they all feature clear screens and large physical buttons. Now seniors can keep in touch without getting bogged down in complicated functions and features.

If you’re looking to learn about other great cellular options for seniors, then be sure to check out our most recent list of the best cell phones for seniors.

Additionally, consider taking a look at our other cell phone guides:

Written By
Ryan Molloy

Ryan has years of experience researching and testing products that help people successfully age in place. After years of working for various publications such as Boston Magazine and The Believer, he has found his home at The Senior List, writing about all things related to caregiving and senior healthcare.