Cell Phone for Seniors Buying Guide
Do I want a basic phone or a smartphone?
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 touch screen, you’ll want a smartphone.
If you’re still having trouble deciding, compare our list of the best smartphones for seniors and the best flip phones for seniors.
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 or more 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 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 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 cell phones 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 a touch screen? 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.