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Best Cell Phones for Seniors in 2021

Our experts tested and researched 15 senior cell phones and narrowed the list to their Top 10 recommendations.

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How We Chose the Best Cell Phones for Seniors

Did you know 92 percent of adults ages 65 and older own a cell phone in the U.S.?1 If you’re in the market for a new or upgraded phone, we can help! If you’ve ever shopped for a phone, you know just how many options there are on the market; it can feel endless. To make it easier for you, our team started by narrowing down the search to 25 phones by cutting out the options that didn’t meet our standard criteria. After over 300 hours of research, online shopping, conversations with customer service, and hands-on testing of more than 25 phones, we arrived at nine finalists that we’re calling the best cell phones for seniors. Each phone was ranked using over 30 metrics, including price, senior-friendly features, battery life, durability, sound quality, appearance, ease of use, and provider perks. The three most influential metrics in our evaluation were:

  • Senior-Friendly Features: All of the phones that made the cut have features that meet the specific needs and lifestyle of seniors. While these features vary by phone, they include things like big buttons or icons, bright screens, loud, adjustable speakers, hearing aid compatibility, and an easy-to-grip design
  • No Long-Term Contracts: Long gone are the days of cell phone plans that trap you for years to come. All of the cell phone models and carriers on our list offer month-to-month options so you can cancel your service at any time without hassle.
  • Price vs. Quality: We know that every budget is different. While some of the cell phones on our list are more expensive than others, we’ve only included phones where we believe the quality either matches or surpasses the price. We’ve made sure to include budget-friendly cell phones on our list, along with somewhat pricier high-tech devices so you can find the phone that’s right for both your wallet and your needs

Using the above criteria, along with our research, testing, and rankings, we created this year’s best cell phone list to help you choose the best senior-friendly cell phone.

Why Do Seniors Need a Cell Phone?

A reliable cell phone provides numerous benefits to older adults. They allow seniors to stay connected with friends and family, receive help during an emergency, get some entertainment, capture special moments through photos, and so much more.

Cell phones can also positively impact a person’s health and wellbeing. Older adults may find themselves spending more time alone, which can lead to cognitive decline along with feelings of isolation or depression.2 Cell phones are a fantastic way for seniors to stay social, no matter where they’re located. Today, older adults are embracing technology more than ever, with the vast majority of older adults owning a cell phone and more than 60 percent owning a smartphone.3

From the Pros: Our cell phone for seniors buyer’s guide shares important factors to consider before your big purchase.

When you think about a cell phone or smartphone, your first thought might be that they’re too complicated or expensive. However, more and more cell phone providers are stepping up to the plate to build affordable, senior-friendly phones that allow older adults to enjoy all the perks of a phone without any confusion or frustration. Now, let’s get into all the details for this year’s best senior-friendly cell phones.

  • 1. Samsung Galaxy A11 from T-Mobile - Best Battery Life

    Why We Love It

    The Galaxy A11 from T-Mobile has an ultra long-lasting battery life. Seniors already have enough on their plate to remember, whether it’s taking medications every day, doctor’s appointments, book club meetings, or planning visits with the family. The last thing you need to add to that list is remembering to constantly charge your phone. With the Galaxy A11, you’ll have a full 30 hours of talk time, or 17 hours of standby time when you’re not actively using your phone. Depending on how much you use your phone and the types of activities you use it for, that means your battery will last at least a full day, if not more. You won’t have to worry about a dead battery while you’re out and about and you need to make an important call. It also has fast charging capabilities, so you won’t have to sit around waiting for hours for the device to fully charge.

    Aside from the battery life, there are several other things to love about this phone. The Galaxy A11 has a 13MP triple camera, so all of those vacation and family photos will come out crystal clear. It comes with a fingerprint sensor, so you can unlock your phone using your unique fingerprint. You’ll never have to worry about remembering your password, and this feature also ups the security on your phone so no one else can access it.

    Did You Know: T-Mobile offers three 55+ senior plans. Find out why we awarded T-Mobile 4.5 out of 5 stars in our T-Mobile plan review.

    T-Mobile’s prices make it easy to shop for a senior-friendly phone at a budget-friendly price point. At just $180, the Samsung Galaxy A11 is one of the most affordable high-tech smartphones on the market. Plus, some new T-Mobile customers can even qualify for perks like a free smartphone, including the Galaxy A11, when they sign up!

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    There are a few Galaxy models that offer slightly longer battery life than the Galaxy A11; however, this model offers the most bang for your buck. At only $180 for the device, it’s around $300-$400 cheaper than other Galaxy models. If your main concern is battery life, the few extra hours of talk time you’ll get with a more expensive model really aren’t worth several hundred dollars. Plus, if you are looking for a phone just for emergencies or to make a few quick calls every day, the Galaxy A11 has one of the longest standby battery lives of other models, so you can leave it on when you’re not using it, and you won’t have to worry about it dying.

    Galaxy A11 Pricing and Features

    • 30 hours talk time; 17-day standby battery life
    • Fast charging option
    • Fingerprint sensor
    • 6.39” HD display
    • Up to 512 GB in memory
    • 13MP triple camera
    • Built-in mobile apps
    Device cost $180
    Price range for talk, text, & data plans $27.50 to $45 per line*
    Contracts No
    Money-back guarantee Within 14 days of purchase or lease

    * Starting prices per line for Unlimited 55+ plans

  • 2. Lively Smart - Best Smartphone for Seniors

    Why We Love It

    The Lively Smart offers the right balance between the latest smartphone features and ease of use, which is why it’s our top smartphone pick for seniors. While some smartphones overcomplicate things for older adults, making it feel like solving a puzzle just to find what you need, the Lively Smart keeps it simple. With a basic list-style menu, large touchscreen, and long battery life, you’ll be able to find what you need with just a few taps. Plus, the Lively Smart still offers all of the features you look for in a smartphone, like GPS navigation, video chatting, a built-in camera, and mobile apps. In our Lively phone review, we tested the ease of phone set up, use, and call performance. The results were impressive!

    Did You Know: The Lively Smart made the cut in our selection of the best cell phones for hearing impaired seniors.

    This Lively phone is also hearing aid compatible and comes with built-in medical alert capabilities for those who want the extra layer of protection that comes with a medical alert device. These features can be added on for a monthly fee if desired, and they range from 24/7 monitoring to urgent care consultations and health updates for caregivers and family members.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Large 6.2” screen
    • Voice typing
    • Video chat capabilities
    • 13 MP camera for clearer photos
    • 5Start Urgent Response
    • Internet access
    • Simple list-style menu
    Cons
    • Urgent Response and safety packages cost extra
    • $35 additional activation fee

    Things to Keep in Mind

    While Lively’s senior plan pricing begins at $14.99, if you’re on a tight budget, it’s important to note that Lively does charge both a product and activation fee upfront. Their text, talk, and data plans tend to be on the pricier end as well. However, compared to other smartphones on the market, the Smart is very affordable, and new customers typically receive big discounts on upfront fees. If you sign up for one of Lively’s add-on Health and Safety packages you’ll also get a discount on talk, text, and data plans. Lively offers a 30-day trial period to return your device for a full refund, minus a $10 restocking fee.

    Lively Smart Pricing and Features

    • List-style menu
    • 6.2 inch touchscreen
    • Built-in mobile apps
    • 13MP built-in camera
    • Mobile internet access
    • GPS navigation
    • Video chatting
    • Medical alert capabilities
    • Voice typing
    • Runs on Verizon network
    Device cost $149.99 before discounts
    Price range for talk, text, & data plans $14.99 to $54.99 per month
    Add-on health & safety packages (optional) $19.99 to $34.99 per month
    Contracts No contracts
    Money-back guarantee 30 days (requires a $10 restocking fee for returns)
  • 3. iPhone SE from T-Mobile - Best Advanced Smartphone for Seniors

    Why We Love It

    For seniors who want a smartphone with all the latest and greatest features, the iPhone SE from T-Mobile offers that extra “umph.” With everything from a large retina HD touchscreen to high-quality 12MP and 7MP cameras, the iPhone SE has all those advanced features you’re looking for. You can watch videos in 4K quality, FaceTime with friends and family, and store up to 256 GB of data, photos, and more. If you’re worried about security, all of the iPhone’s data is encrypted and the homescreen features Touch ID, which uses your unique fingerprint to unlock the phone. The iPhone SE is also hearing aid compatible, features a bright screen, and is wide and easy to grip, all of which are great features for older eyes, ears, and hands.

    From the Pros: Experiencing vision loss? Our research team put multiple text and facial recognition apps on the iPhone to the test.

    While the iPhone SE is available from several cell phone carriers, we’d recommend going with T-Mobile. They’re always offering discounts and extra perks for new customers who purchase an iPhone, so you can get the best deal possible. Plus, T-Mobile offers three different senior plans that provide steep discounts on talk, text, and data. These plans are available for anyone aged 55 years or older, while many senior plans from other providers are only available to those 65 and up.

    If you’re interested in the iPhone but T-Mobile doesn’t have great service in your area, don’t stress it. iPhone’s can be purchased from Apple as unlocked phones, so you can use them with a different cellular provider that offers strong coverage in your area.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Excellent Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Built-in voice assistant
    • Water-resistant design
    • Wireless charging
    • Facetime video calling
    • Access to thousands of mobile apps
    • High-quality cameras
    • Fingerprint passcode for security
    • Retina HD display for older eyes
    Cons
    • No traditional headphone jack
    • Steep learning curve for iOS system

    Things to Keep in Mind

    The iPhone SE starts at $399, making it the most expensive phone on our list. However, it’s one of the most affordable iPhone models, so if you’ve had your eye on an Apple phone, it’s a good option. Plus, the iPhone offers several advanced features that other phones don’t, so if you’re more concerned about tech than price, you’ll be set. Also, remember that this is our pick for the best advanced smartphone, which means it won’t be great for technology-averse seniors or those who are easily overwhelmed by extra bells and whistles. With a little persistence and patience (or possibly help from a grandchild), we believe most older adults can get the hang of an iPhone, but we know this high-tech phone won’t be for everyone.

    iPhone SE Pricing and Features

    • 4.7 inch Retina HD touchscreen
    • 12MP wide camera and 7MP front camera
    • Touch ID
    • Hearing aid compatible
    • Up to 256 GB of storage
    • Access to Apple Store and thousands of mobile apps
    • FaceTime video calling
    • iMessage between iPhones
    • 4K video quality
    • Water and dust resistant
    Device cost $399.99 to $549.99 (depends on storage size)
    T-Mobile price range for talk, text, & data plans $40 to $85 per month*
    T-Mobile contracts No contracts
    T-Mobile money-back guarantee 30 days after service begins

    *All prices are for one line. Customers can receive large discounts per line when more lines are added. Discounts may also be available for 55+ customers.

  • 4. Sonim XP3 from AT&T - Most Durable Phone for Seniors

    Why We Love It

    For older adults with unsteady hands or health conditions that make them more prone to falls and accidents, the Sonim XP3 offers industry-leading durability, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking due to a drop on the ground or in water. This flip phone is MIL-STD-810G and IP68 certified; all those letters and numbers just mean that this military-tested phone won’t be damaged by dust, extreme temperatures or weather, being dropped (within reason), or being submerged in water for a short period of time. If you struggle with grip or find yourself dropping or damaging your phone often for whatever reason, the Sonim XP3 is a great solution. In addition to its durability, the Sonim XP3 also comes with all the basics, like talk, text, internet access, and a camera. While this phone is not exclusive to AT&T, we’d recommend going with AT&T, as they offer the best price. Our AT&T senior plan review details pairing your Sonim XP3 with one of AT&T’s Senior Nation plans for more savings.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Rugged design with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 display
    • IP68 rating
    • Noise suppression for clearer calls
    • Long battery life
    • GPS navigation
    • Hearing aid compatible
    Cons
    • Browser isn’t the best
    • On the pricey side

    Things to Keep in Mind

    We wouldn’t be surprised if you experience sticker shock when you see the price for this phone. At $189.99, the Sonim XP3 is one of the more expensive flip phones on the market, but it’s also one of the most durable. If you’re a bit hard on your devices and you want a reliable phone that will last and won’t break easily, it might be worth the cost. Plus, the phone comes with a three-year warranty, so you’ll be covered in the unlikely event that it gets damaged.

    Pro Tip: Save more by bundling! AT&T offers a wireless and internet plan combo. Find out what we liked (and didn’t like) about AT&T’s internet plan pricing, perks, and features.

    Sonim XP3 Pricing and Features

    • MIL-STD-810G and IP68 certifications for durability
    • Flip phone design
    • 5MP camera
    • Hearing aid compatible
    • Three-year warranty
    • GPS technology
    • Built-in noise cancellation
    • Powerful speaker
    Device cost $189.99
    AT&T price range for talk, text, and data plans $29.99 to $85 per month for one line*
    AT&T contracts No contract
    AT&T money-back guarantee 30 days after device is shipped

    *All prices listed are for one line. Customers can receive large discounts per line when more lines are added.

  • 5. Verizon Kyocera DuraXV Extreme - Best Cell Phone for Seniors with Hearing Loss

    Why We Love It

    Verizon’s Kyocera DuraXV Extreme features M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility, which is the highest rating a phone can receive and makes it our top pick for older adults with hearing loss.4 One-in-three seniors over the age of 65 have hearing loss, and those numbers continue to increase with age. If you have hearing loss, it’s important to find a cell phone that’s compatible with hearing aids and that offers loud, high-quality sound. The Kyocera’s M4/T4 rating is the best on the market, and it means that users with hearing aids will experience as little background noise and feedback as possible. It’s even suitable for those with severe hearing loss thanks to the T4 telecoil rating. The phone also features Bluetooth technology for those with Bluetooth hearing aids or Bluetooth medical alert devices. If you have minimal hearing loss and don’t yet need hearing aids, the phone’s 100dB+ dual speakers with noise cancellation will provide loud and clear sound.

    Pro Tip: For an in-depth look at Verizon’s cell phone plans for adults aged 55 and over, head to our Verizon senior plan review.

    In addition to its top-of-the-line features for those with hearing loss, Verizon’s Kyocera DuraXV Extreme offers all the essential flip phone features like texting, calls, internet access, and a 5MP camera. It’s highly durable and resistant to water, dust, extreme temperatures, and drops, so it’s also great for those who struggle with grip or are hard on their devices. Connecting your new phone to Verizon’s network is simple. Our researchers found that Verizon offers reliable network coverage at a competitive price.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Average Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    At $240, the Kyocera DuraXV Extreme is a fairly expensive flip phone. However, if you have hearing loss, its powerful speaker and M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility may be totally worth the price. Plus, you can pay off your phone in monthly installments if you don’t want to pay the full amount up front. Also, keep in mind that this is a basic cell phone, so its capabilities will be more limited than smartphone options. You’ll still be able to send texts, make calls to friends and family, and take pictures, so if you’re just concerned with the basics, it’s a solid choice.

    Kyocera DuraXV Extreme Pricing and Features

    • M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility
    • 100dB+ dual speakers
    • Noise cancellation
    • Bluetooth compatible
    • Converts to a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices
    • Dust- and water-resistant
    • Durable design
    • 5MP camera
    • Flip phone design
    • Text-to-speech feature
    Device cost $240
    Verizon price range for talk, text, and data plans $30 to $90*
    Verizon contracts No contracts
    Verizon money-back guarantee Within 30 days of purchase (may require a $50 restocking fee in some cases)

    *All prices listed are for one line. Customers may be eligible for large discounts per line when more lines are added. Seniors in some states may also be eligible for a discount.

  • 6. Lively Flip - Best Medical Alert Capabilities

    Why We Love It

    The Lively Flip is built with all of Lively’s top-of-the-line health and safety features, so you can turn your phone into a medical alert device. There are three packages to choose from at different price points, so you won’t overpay for things you don’t need. Around 80 percent of American seniors have at least one chronic health condition,5 so these medical alert features offer peace of mind for those who are more at risk of a health emergency. These features range from an Emergency Response button to brain games to caregiver monitoring.

    From the Pros: A phone/medical alert combination is ideal for active older adults. Our medical alert system guide walks you through how to find the system for your needs and budget.

    Along with these medical alert capabilities, the Lively Flip also comes with easy-to-use flip phone features like large buttons for texting and making calls, a powerful speaker, and simplified menu and navigation. For older adults who struggle with small screens or typing with phone buttons, the Lively Flip offers voice-activated assistance from Amazon Alexa. You can navigate your phone, draft text messages, make calls, and set timers with just the sound of your voice. If you’re looking for a simple phone without too many bells and whistles, the Lively Flip is for you. Because the health and safety features are optional, you can use your Flip as a normal cell phone if that better suits your needs. Visit our hands-on Lively Flip review to learn more.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Simple and easy to use
    • Amazon Alexa capable
    • Powerful speaker
    • Hearing aid compatibility
    • Urgent Response and Lyft connections
    • Variety of Health and Safety packages
    Cons
    • No Internet connectivity
    • Extra fee for Health and Safety packages

    Things to Keep in Mind

    Just remember that this is a basic cell phone. If you’re looking for more advanced features like video chatting, a high-quality camera, or internet access, you may want to consider the Lively Smart or another smartphone. However, if you want a simple, straightforward cell phone with all of the essential features to keep you connected, the Lively Flip is a great choice. Also, keep in mind that Lively charges upfront equipment and activation costs, but again, you can typically get a discount on these fees as a new customer.

    Lively Flip Pricing and Features

    • Large buttons
    • Powerful speaker
    • Built-in 8MP camera
    • Bright screen with a simplified menu
    • Dial with your voice
    • Built-in magnifier and flashlight
    • Medical alert capabilities
    • Front display screen
    • Runs on Verizon’s cellular network
    • Built-in Amazon Alexa
    Device cost $14.99 to $19.99 per month
    Price range for talk, text, & data plans $19.99 to $34.99 per month
    Contracts No contracts
    Money-back guarantee 30 days (requires a $10 restocking fee for returns)
  • 7. Consumer Cellular GrandPad - Best Tablet for Seniors

    Why We Love It

    Consumer Cellular’s GrandPad is a senior-friendly tablet with all the right features to keep older adults connected and entertained, which is why it made this year’s list. While it’s not a traditional cell phone, the GrandPad can be used to make calls, send texts, video chat, take pictures, play games, and access mobile apps. It’s a great option for seniors who spend a lot of time at home, want a very large screen, or are technology-averse. The tablet runs on Consumer Cellular’s 4G LTE connection, so you won’t have to worry about connecting to WiFi.

    Did You Know: AARP members receive a discounted monthly subscription for Consumer Cellular’s GrandPad. Check out our AARP membership guide for more information.

    In our list of the easiest cell phones for seniors to use, the GrandPad ranked in the top five. The GrandPad’s large screen is easy to grip and the buttons are large and easy to see. It also has a companion mobile app that allows family members to add, personalize, or restrict features and contacts to keep their loved ones safe and make the user experience as simple as possible. Family members can also upload photos to the GrandPad, send messages, and video chat through the mobile app. Overall, the GrandPad provides a unique way to stay connected for those who don’t want a traditional cell phone.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Above Average Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    With a wide range of options, unique features, and flexible plans, we found Consumer Cellular’s phones and packages to be a top-choice for seniors. The GrandPad is much larger than a cell phone, so it’s not as portable as the other phones on our list. If you spend a lot of time on the go or you just don’t want a large device, the GrandPad won’t be a great fit for you. However, if you spend a lot of time at home and want a larger screen that’s easy to grip and use for things like reading, video chatting, and playing games, it’s a solid option. Also keep in mind that the GrandPad tablet is more expensive than many of the cell phones on our list. On the plus side, you can pay off your device in affordable monthly installments if that works better for your budget.

    GrandPad Pricing and Features

    • Touchscreen tablet with HD display
    • 5MP front and back cameras
    • 4G LTE connection; no WiFi required
    • Make calls, send texts, and video chat
    • Companion mobile app for family and caregivers
    • Stylus included
    • Battery lasts 1-3 days with wireless charging
    • Built-in mobile apps
    • Large font and buttons
    Device cost $250
    Unlimited data $40 per month
    Contracts No contracts
    Money-back guarantee 30 days
  • 9. Snapfon ez4G - Easiest to Use Senior-Friendly Cell Phone

    Why We Love It

    The Snapfon ez4G is built for the ultimate simplicity and usability, which is why it made our list as the easiest to use cell phone for seniors. With large keys for sending texts and making calls, simplified menus, and no extra buttons or unnecessary frills, this phone is about as straightforward as it gets. The Snapfon ez4G also features an emergency button with 24/7 monitoring that can be added to any plan for an extra monthly fee. During an emergency, just press the button to be connected to a live operator who will get you the help that you need. If you’re looking for a cell phone with basic medical alert capabilities, this is a great feature. At just $33.95 for the device and monthly plans starting at $10, the ez4G is an affordable cell phone for seniors who just want to stay connected.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Average Above Average Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Fall detection available
    • SOS button
    • Hearing aid compatible
    • Simple design and navigation
    • Speech-to-text capabilities
    • Internet access
    Cons
    • Small internal memory
    • Not available in all areas, check availability first

    Things to Keep in Mind

    Because the Snapfon ez4G keeps things as simple as possible, it only has basic cell phone capabilities. For instance, the camera won’t be winning any awards for quality, and you won’t be able to video chat or watch videos in HD. But, if your main concern is ease of use, none of this will really matter to you. The Snapfon ez4G is a good fit for those who don’t want any extra frills.

    Snapfon ez4G Pricing and Features

    • Adjustable, powerful speaker
    • Raised, tactile buttons
    • Simple menus
    • Hearing aid compatible
    • Emergency button with 120dB siren
    • Built-in LED flashlight
    • Built-in camera
    • Speed dial keys
    Device cost $33.95
    Price range for talk, text, & data plans $10 to $40 per month
    sosPlus 24/7 Monitoring $19.99 per month
    Contracts No contracts
    Money-back guarantee 30 days

Cell Phone Carriers for Seniors

While most popular carriers offer phones that may be suitable for older adults, there are two main providers that focus solely on designing the best cellular plans and phones for seniors: Lively and Consumer Cellular. Check out the chart below for more details on these providers’ plans, phones, and pricing.

Phone Carrier Cell phones starting at Talk, text, and data plans starting at Built-in medical alert features? Add-on medical alert packages Best for
Consumer Cellular $35 $20 per month Yes, for some models Not available Those who want affordable, senior-friendly phones and plans
Lively $99.99 $14.99 per month Yes, with all models Yes, starting at $19.99 per month Those who need extra, customizable medical alert features

Lively’s lineup consists of a flip phone, smartphone, and two medical alert devices, all of which have built-in medical alert capabilities. These features can be activated by adding on one of their Health and Safety Packages.

Buyer's Tip: If you’re interested in a prepaid plan, visit our list of the best prepaid phone plans for older adults.

Consumer Cellular offers their own flip phones and a tablet with varying features and medical alert capabilities. This provider also sells popular phones from other brands, like iPhones and Android phones, so if you’re looking for a smartphone from another provider with a senior-friendly talk, text, and data plan this is a good option as well.

Cell Phone for Seniors Buying Guide

  • Do I want a basic phone or a smartphone?

    The answer to this question will depend on the level of technology and advanced features that you’re comfortable with. If you’re worried that a cell phone will be too confusing or have lots of complicated bells and whistles, a basic phone will be your best bet. Basic options like flip phones and slide phones allow you to send texts, make calls, and take pictures, and you can add a few extra features if you like. There’s no pressure to get a smartphone just because it’s what your grandkids or friends have, especially if you’re on a tight budget. On the other hand, if you want a phone with all the latest features like mobile apps, video chatting, internet access, GPS tracking, and a touchscreen, you’ll want a smartphone.

    Quick Tip: If you’re looking for a flip phone, check out our best flip phones for seniors review.

  • What is my budget?

    When choosing a cell phone, you’ll need to account for any upfront device costs in your budget, as well as the monthly price for a talk, text, and/or data plan. Also check if the provider charges extra fees for things like activation or shipping. If you want a smartphone with all of the latest features but your budget is only $50 for a device, you’ll need to reconsider. Basic flip phones start at about $30 and range up to around $100 depending on the provider and features. Basic smartphones begin at around $150 and may cost up to $1,000 for advanced options like the latest iPhone. Many providers will allow you to pay off your phone in monthly installments, so if that’s better for your budget it’s an option.

  • Do I need medical alert capabilities?

    You’ll need to decide if you just want a senior-friendly phone that comes with your standard calling, texting, and internet access, or one that’s designed with medical alert features. These features can include fall detection, an emergency help button, 24/7 monitoring, location tracking, and other health and safety add ons. If you just want a phone that’s easy to use and you’re not concerned about medical alert capabilities, there’s no need to purchase a phone with these features or monthly monitoring charges. However, if you’re looking for the added protection that a medical alert device offers, you may want a phone with these features.

  • Do I want a phone with data?

    The more basic cell phones only offer texting and calling, while more advanced options allow you to add a data plan and internet access for a monthly fee. If you want to surf the web, use social media and other mobile apps, or watch shows on your phone, you’ll need to look for a phone that offers data. On the other hand, if you just want to stick to the basics like texting and calling, there’s no need to pay for a data plan that you won’t use.

    Did You Know: There are plenty of senior discounts for phone and internet service. Our senior discount page has over 100 discounts to explore.

  • What features are most important to me?

    The features that cell phones for seniors offer are endless, so it’s important to establish what exactly you’re looking for upfront. Do you want a phone that features a high-quality camera, medical alert capabilities, and touchscreen? Or maybe you’re looking for a flip phone with internet access and hearing aid compatibility. Whatever it is you want, make a list before starting your search to narrow down your options.

Written By

Taylor Shuman

Senior Tech Expert & Editor

For over five years, Taylor has been writing, editing, and researching products and services covering topics such as senior care and technology, Internet and the digital divide, TV, and entertainment, and education. Her research on media consumption and consumer behavior has been… Learn More About Taylor Shuman

Citations
  1. Pew Research Center. (2021). Mobile Fact Sheet.

  2. National Institute on Aging. (2021). Loneliness and Social Isolation — Tips for Staying Connected.

  3. Pew Research Center. (2021). Mobile Fact Sheet.

  4. NIDCD. (2018). Hearing Loss and Older Adults.

  5. National Council on Aging. (2021). Get the Facts on Healthy Aging.