11 Best Cell Phones for Seniors: Your Easy Buying Guide

cell phones for seniors

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Seniors who didn’t grow up with cell phones generally aren’t interested in adapting to the latest trends in mobile technology. However, modern conveniences like texting and email are a huge reason for us to share this list of cell phones for seniors. There is a wide range of phones specially designed for seniors, which have boosted audio and simplified functions. Some even have basic smart features like cameras and email access. Read on to find the right phone for yourself, or your favorite senior citizen.

What Are the Best Cell Phones for Seniors in 2019?

snapfon eztwo Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Speaking keypad
  • Large buttons
  • SOS button
Price: $89.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large buttons
  • Loud speaker
  • Emergency button
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
alcatel big easy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy setup
  • Large buttons
  • Wi-Fi enabled
Price: $169.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
easyfone a3 prime Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Long battery life
  • SOS button
  • Large buttons
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kyocera duraxee4710 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 4G service
  • Loud speaker
  • Ultra-rugged design
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
logic cell phone for seniors Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large buttons
  • Low price tag
  • SOS button
Price: $33.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jotterbug smart 2 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SOS button
  • Long battery life
  • Wi-Fi enabled
Price: $149.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cell phones for seniors, best cell phones for seniors, cell phones for elderly, cell phones for old people, senior-friendly smartphones, best smartphones for seniors, smartphones for seniors Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Long battery life
  • Large buttons
  • Low price tag
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
yuntab c333 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Long battery life
  • Loud speaker
  • Large buttons and display
Price: $26.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
moto e5 for seniors Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Numerous easy mode loader options
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Large 5.2-inch touchscreen
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
iphone xr Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Touch ID instead of password
  • Apple Store offers easy support
Price: $749.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Overall Phone for Seniors: Snapfon ezTWO

    Pros:
    • Speaking keypad
    • Large buttons
    • SOS button
    Cons:
    • No camera
    • So-so battery life
    • Volume buttons are easy to accidentally press
    The Snapfon ezTWO is a simple and sturdy bar-style cell phone that seniors can actually rely on for everyday tasks. Its design revolves around ease of use as you can probably tell by its massive keyboard. The keyboard has a feature that can speak out the numbers pressed, which can be helpful if its display is difficult to read.
     
    The phone offers a number of other features that are helpful to seniors like a prominent SOS button on the back. The button can be programmed to contact the top five people in the phone’s contacts, or it can be connected to SnapMobile’s 24/7 sosPlus service for as little a low monthly fee.
     
    The phone has both a flashlight and FM radio built-in but it does not have a camera. Its speaker is extra loud and compatible with hearing aids. Its battery offers about three hours of talk time and about five days of idle time. This is a fairly average figure. The feature that sets the ezTWO apart from other options is that it actually offers 3G service, which ensures a better cellular signal in most parts of the US.
     
    The phone is overall fairly well-built, but one flaw in its design is the volume keys. They stick out too far, making it easy for someone to unknowingly mute the ringer. The large lock button on the reverse can help prevent this, though, so you just have to be sure to educate the recipient of this phone on its features.
  2. 2. Best Flip Phone for Seniors: Jitterbug Flip

    Pros:
    • Large buttons
    • Loud speaker
    • SOS button
    Cons:
    • No smart features
    • So-so battery life
    • Voicemail costs extra

    The Jitterbug Flip is a simple and reliable flip phone that comes at a value price. It supports flexible cellular plans that are available at super low rates (but with the cost of fancier features like mobile data and voicemail).

    The Jitterbug Flip is designed from the ground up for seniors. It has large buttons that are easy to read and has an extra-loud speaker to cater to the hard-of-hearing.

    The UI is also very senior-friendly, with simple “Yes?” or “No?” prompts used to navigate the phone menus. It also has an emergency button that is connected to the 5Star medical alert service whose operators can call an ambulance if needed. You can learn more about this service here.

    There is a reason that Jitterbug is the first service that comes to mind when you think of simple cell phones for seniors. They offer the ideal cell phone experience for someone who wants to keep things as simple as possible.

  3. 3. Best Large Phone for Seniors: Alcatel Big Easy Plus

    Pros:
    • Easy setup
    • Large buttons
    • Wi-Fi enabled
    Cons:
    • No SOS button
    • Small screen font
    • Reloading minutes can be difficult for seniors

    The Alcatel Big Easy Plus is quick to make known its key qualities. True to its name, this phone is indeed big and easy to use. This phone comes already activated with the Tracfone service. Instead of charging a monthly fee, Tracfones require you to buy minutes. Those who use their phones rarely will appreciate this but “pay as you go” plans carry the downside of having to learn how to add more minutes.

    The phone’s color screen and large buttons make this process fairly easy but it can intimidate neophytes. This phone has internet access over 3G mobile so it does require some technical knowledge to make the most of its features. After all, if you aren’t going to use the internet or email, you can certainly save some money with a less expensive device.

    Being a semi-smart phone has its perks, though. The device has a 2MP camera, Bluetooth, and a built-in flashlight, while other phones we reviewed only had one or the other. The speaker is loud and compatible with hearing aids but this phone does not have an SOS button like other models do.

    If you are shopping for a senior who really needs the simplest option out there, then you should look onward. But if they are looking for an inexpensive introduction into smartphones, then the Alcatel Big Easy Plus is quite useful.

  4. 4. Best Battery in a Phone for Seniors: Easyfone Prime A3

    Pros:
    • Long battery life
    • SOS button
    • Large buttons
    • Easy charging cradle
    Cons:
    • Phone is somewhat small
    • No camera
    • Setup can be tricky

    The Easyfone Prime A3 sets the bar for value when it comes to cell phones for seniors. It offers just about every feature you’d need in a lightweight mobile phone at a reasonable price. This phone offers 3G service that is unlocked, meaning you can use it with any carrier that uses AT&T networks. This includes AT&T, Tracfone, MetroPCS, Cricket, and T-Mobile 2G.

    3G service provides a clear and stable connection, which is great for seniors who get easily frustrated when things don’t work. This soap bar phone has large buttons and an extra loud speaker for confusion-free calling. It also has an SOS button which can automatically ping up to five contacts in an emergency.

    It has an FM radio and a flashlight built-in, both of which can be activated at the click of a button. Possibly the Easyfone Prime A3’s best feature is its battery, which can last up to 12 hours of talk time or up to 20 days in standby. It comes with a handy charging dock which is much easier to use than a micro USB port. It also makes for an obvious place to find your phone if you misplace it.

    Other than the phone being a little small and lacking a camera, there is nothing much to dislike about this phone. Consider this the cure for your aging loved one’s technophobia.

  5. 5. Most Rugged Phone for Seniors: Kyocera DuraXE E4710

    Pros:
    • 4G service ensures best coverage
    • Loud speaker
    • Ultra-rugged design
    • Wi-Fi enabled
    • Long battery life
    Cons:
    • Normal-sized buttons can be hard to hit
    • Extra features can be confusing for senior users
    • No SOS button

    With a normal-sized keyboard, Wi-FI capabilities, 4G network access, and a price tag to match, the Kyocera DuraXE E4710 clearly doesn’t fit in with your average cell phones for seniors. However, DuraXE E4710 is reliable like none other. It is waterproof, dustproof, and resistant to impact, making it useful for an older user who is technologically capable but perhaps a bit clumsy.

    Even though the keys could be larger, this phone has a loud speaker and a simplified interface, both of which make it friendly to senior users. They might not get much utility out of its 5MP camera, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, but these are great features for an adventurous user to test the waters. A pair of Bluetooth headphones is an easy way to introduce some of this new technology into a senior’s life.

    The 4G data is a nice feature. Cell phone plans will cost a bit more but will have better signal and be all-around more pleasurable to use. Its battery offers about 9.4 hours of 4G LTE streaming or about 16 days of standby time.

    Even though the Kyocera DuraXE E4710 isn’t the most accommodating to those with limited dexterity, it makes for a perfect buy-it-once product to last for ages.

  6. 6. Best Lightweight Phone for Seniors: Logic SR3

    Pros:
    • Large buttons
    • Low price tag
    • SOS button
    Cons:
    • Poor build quality
    • Battery life could be better
    • Setup can be tricky

    The Logic SR3 is an inexpensive soap bar style phone that keeps the features to the necessities and the price on the low end.

    The SR3 is a serviceable way to answer and make calls, store contacts, and perform other basic phone functions. This device doesn’t have mobile data and only uses 2G networks but it is unlocked to work with any GSM band providers. It does not work with CDMA providers like Tracfone, Virgin, or Sprint.

    It has large buttons to dial calls and its speaker gets extra loud to help those hard of hearing. It has added safety features like an SOS button and a built-in flashlight but not much else. The SOS button on the back of the phone can be programmed to alert several family members when it is pushed. The phone has basic apps like a camera, a calculator, a calendar, an FM radio, and an alarm but none of them are particularly robust.

    The battery life is decent, lasting at least a few days before it needs to charge. It could certainly be better but it’s hard to complain at this price. One plus to charging is that this phone comes with a standing cradle, which is great for easily docking the phone and remembering where you put it.

    If you need a thoughtfully designed phone that offers ease of use on a budget, then you certainly can’t go wrong with this pick.

     

  7. 7. Best Smart Phone for Seniors: Jitterbug Smart2

    Pros:
    • SOS button
    • Long battery life
    • Wi-Fi enabled
    Cons:
    • Extra features can be confusing for senior users
    • Email app cannot send files
    • GreatCall customer service is so-so

    Though the Jitterbug Flip is by far the most popular cell phone for seniors, the touchscreen-based Jitterbug Smart2 offers many features over their basic flip phone model. This is a practical choice for someone who still has the desire to learn smartphones yet still needs a user-friendly interface with large fonts.

    The Smart2 has plenty of useful features like a 13MP camera, a basic web browser, an email client, and even a GPS app. These features plus calling are all on one screen, making them easy to find for new users. Don’t expect these features to work as smoothly as they do on Samsung phones, though. The email client can’t even handle sending photos.

    The Smart2 has an SOS button right next to the is connected to the 5Star medical alert service whose operators can call an ambulance if needed. 

    Its speaker gets extra loud and works fine with hearing aids. When you combine this with the large default font, this phone is still just as easy to use as its alternatives. However, some people will still prefer physical buttons over touchscreens, which is totally understandable.

    The battery life on the Smart2 is better than your average smartphone. It lasts through about 12 hours of talk time or 17 days of standby time. So no worries if you don’t remember to recharge it regularly.

    All in all, the Jitterbug Smart2 is a great way for a tech-savvy senior to bridge the gap between pricier modern phones and something a little more simplified.

  8. 8. Best Phone For Seniors Overseas: Nokia 105

    Pros:
    • Long battery life
    • Large buttons
    • Low price tag
    Cons:
    • Only has 2G service
    • No camera
    • Not designed to work in the US

    Many of us have elderly family members that reside overseas or have recently retired outside of the US. For these far-flung seniors, we recommend the Nokia 105.

    The Nokia 105 is a stripped-down, bare-bones cell phone. This makes it ideal for senior citizens who feel confused or overwhelmed by touch screen interfaces, as well as seniors who are on a tight budget and can’t afford a phone with a data plan. This phone was singled out by Wired as one of the best phones for a senior to own. It is ideal for those living in rural parts of the world with limited 2G service.

    The Nokia 105 is also ideal for seniors because of its respectable battery life. This feature-light phone can hold its charge for about a month if left on standby. For grandparents who frequently forget to charge their phone, this Nokia model makes good sense. The keypad is also dust-proof and splash-proof, which is ideal for seniors with unsteady hands or grandparents who like to lounge by the pool.

    The Nokia 105 is not available in the US but is available in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. If you want the American market’s equivalent to this phone, the latest option is the Nokia 3310, which has stronger 3G cell service at a higher price tag.

  9. 9. Most Stylish Phone for Seniors: Yuntab C333

    Pros:
    • Long battery life
    • Loud speaker
    • Large buttons and display
    Cons:
    • So-so build quality
    • No SOS button
    • Poor documentation

    The Yuntab C333 follows the normal design conventions of most cell phones for seniors but with a unique visual retro flair. The backplate of this lightweight phone has a built-in rear speaker which has the look of a piece of solid analog equipment. It also has a built-in camera. 

    The front of the C333 houses a large keypad and a 2.4-inch LCD display, both of which make for fairly easy use. The rear speaker boosts the audio to aid those who are hard of hearing. It does not have an SOS button but it does have a flashlight, which counts for something. It has decently long battery life, only needing a charge once every couple of days.

    This phone has even less features than your average cell phone for seniors but it comes at a bargain price and doesn’t look half bad either.

  10. 10. Best Android Phone for Seniors: Motorola Moto E5

    Pros:
    • Numerous easy mode loader options
    • Wi-Fi enabled
    • Large 5.2-inch touchscreen
    Cons:
    • Speaker volume could be louder
    • No physical SOS button
    • Requires some setup to be made senior-friendly
    The Motorola Moto E5 is a budget Android phone that offers solid value and a suite of features that can be both useful and entertaining for seniors. Yet the question stands: why go with an Android device when there are so many cell phones specifically designed for the needs of seniors?
     
    There is a certain feeling of belonging that comes with using the most popular mobile OS in the world. Plus, it has a built-in easy mode that streamlines the OS to be more beginner friendly. It’s perfect for the elderly.
     
    Because Android phones can access a web-based app marketplace, you can find numerous home screen launcher apps to simplify the Android OS. One of the best ones I’ve found is Necta Launcher, which brings the most important features to the forefront of the phone’s display and even adds an SOS button.
     
    But sadly, the phone does not have a physical SOS button built in, nor does it have boosted speakers for those who are hard of hearing. Instead, you get a basic selection of peripherals like Bluetooth wireless, an 8MP rear-facing camera, and a 5MP front-facing camera.
  11. 11. Best iOS Phone for Seniors: Apple iPhone XR

    Pros:
    • 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display
    • Touch ID means not having to remember a password
    • Apple Store offers easy support
    Cons:
    • High price tag
    • Requires some setup to be made senior-friendly
    • No physical SOS button
    Although they are fairly expensive, setting up an aging relative with an iPhone XR isn’t a terrible idea. They are mostly user-friendly and come with a massive support network. There are hundreds of brick and mortar Apple Stores in the US.
     
    The only downside to this proposition is that older iPhones are basically not an option, as Apple has confirmed the rumor that it uses updates to limit the performance of older phones. That means you should pretty much only get the newest iPhone generation.
     
    Thankfully, the current generation of iPhones includes a so-called “budget” phone, the iPhone XR. Grandma will not care at all that it is a tier below their flagship version.
     
    To even begin to list the possibilities of use with this phone is going to overwhelm an elderly user. It is fairly easy to increase the font size and volume even though there isn’t a discrete “easy mode” setting.
     
    The Touch ID feature can help elderly users protect their data without having to remember one more password. There are also medical ID and SOS button modes that can be set up.
     
    Ultimately, going with an Apple device means that there’s a lot to learn and no easy way around it. However, if Grandma wants to be hip with the times then this is the easiest way to do it.
     
    Note that this version on Amazon comes locked to Simple Mobile Prepaid, which is decent if you are looking for a budget carrier but it is always better to buy unlocked phones whenever possible.

More Info

If you think that most senior citizens aren't interested in keeping up with mobile phone technology, you may be surprised by what geriatrician Michael Wasserman said in a recent article on the topic. Wasserman's quotations suggest that older adults are generally far more receptive to new technology than we give them credit.

That means that special cell phones for seniors isn't such a crazy idea. Showing your aging loved ones how a device is specially designed with their needs in mind makes it easy for them to see the many applications of having a mobile phone.

There are a variety of phones designed for senior users, which range from basic tools for making and receiving calls to lightweight smartphones with the most important apps pre-installed. Whichever option seems more appealing, it certainly beats buying Grandma a full price iPhone for almost $1,000.

No matter how complex its other features are, any decent cell phone for seniors will have basic accommodations like large print dial pads and loud speakers. Most mobile phones for the elderly also have extra long battery life and an SOS button to call for help in an emergency.

Another common factor of cell phones for seniors is that they are usually inexpensive and qualify for equally inexpensive cell plans. Companies like Consumer Cellular and Ting offer flexible, stripped-down plans that deliver the necessities within the means of a fixed budget.

If you do plan on buying a cell phone for an elderly family member or friend, the most important thing you can do for them is to be there to pick up their calls when they need you and to show them just how useful their new toy can be for keeping in touch.

See Also

91 Best Gifts for Seniors: Your Ultimate List

101 Best Christmas Gifts for Grandparents: The Ultimate List

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.