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Best Cell Phones for Seniors in 2019

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

Last Updated On: August 6, 2019
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Top 10 Highest Ranked Senior Cell Phones for 2019

Safety, security, peace of mind…these are just a few reasons that seniors need to have a reliable cell phone with them when they venture outside of the home. Of course, staying connected with friends, family, doctors and the outside world is reason enough to carry one of these portable lifelines, especially for seniors on the go. There are literally hundreds of models of cellular phones to choose from ranging from easy-to-use flip phones and more involved smartphones with greater capabilities. Which is right for you or an aging loved one in your life? This guide offers up information on the best ranked cell phones for seniors today.

Here are the Best Senior Cell Phones for 2019

  • GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2 - Easy to use and loaded with perks such as medical alert services, health and safety tips, this straightforward phone is designed for convenience.
  • GreatCall Jitterbug Flip - GreatCall’s most simple to use and senior friendly phone is a basic phone that simply needs charging, add your contacts, and it’s ready to use right away.
  • Snapfon ezTWO - This is the perfect phone for those who simply desire to receive and make calls, as the Snapfon ezTWO is a no-frills, inexpensive option for seniors.
  • AT&T Cingular Flip 2 - Those looking for a flip phone with smart phone capabilities with a prepaid service might like the AT&T Cingular Flip 2.
  • Sprint Coolpad SNAP - As an affordable flip phone with 4G LTE network abilities, this device is somewhat basic but it does have some convenient smartphone features.
  • Consumer Cellular Doro - A nice, affordable phone for talking, messaging, photos and videos, and the device also features an emergency alert button that instantly connects with a pre-set number.
  • Consumer Cellular Alcatel Go Flip - This device offers a few nice features in addition to talk and messaging capabilities, but operates on a 2G network.
  • Verizon Kyocera Cadence LTE - As a basic phone with WiFi capabilities and much more, the Cadence LTE operates on the reliable Verizon 4G network.
  • Verizon LG Exalt LTE - A solid phone that supports calling, text, WiFi, and offers a hotspot mode, the Exalt LTE is a great choice for senior seeking to do more with their phone.
  • Apple iPhone SE - Those who value a small smartphone will like the affordability and features of the Apple iPhone SE.

How We Chose The Top 10 Best Senior Cell Phones

We identified the top 15 senior cell phone brands and narrowed it down to 10 of our favorites based on a number of criteria. We looked at affordability, service, ease of use, response times, and other factors to rank the best senior cell phone on the market. Take a look at the cell phones we have deemed the best of the best.

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1. GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2

Overview

The Jitterbug Smart2 is ideal for those who want to do more than just talk and text with their cell phone. While it’s easy to use and very accessible in the realm of smartphones, those who have a bit of experience in the cellular world will find this phone to be an outstanding choice. Seniors and their families will appreciate the Jitterbug Smart2’s ability to be transitioned into a medical alert device anytime, and there are included apps to help monitor overall health and safety on the device.

Pros
  • Large icons and text
  • Voice typing
  • Urgent Response Button
  • Health and safety features
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
Cons
  • Device’s camera performs poorly compared to other phones

Pricing

You can find the Jitterbug Smart2 at incredibly reasonable prices for a smartphone with so many features. On average, one can expect to pay anywhere between $75-$100 for the device brand new, and there are often specials that can reduce the price as much as 50%.

The Bottom Line

Seniors looking for a smartphone that doesn’t have a huge learning curve will find this phone ideal. There is a simplified menu on a bright 5.5-inch touchscreen. Settings allow for large icons and lettering to ease in functionality. Customer service is 100% US based, there are no cancellation fees or contracts, and the Jitterbug Smart2 also boasts GPS tracking to support their medical alert system.

2. GreatCall Jitterbug Flip

Overview

Seniors who prefer to stick with a traditional flip phone might appreciate GreatCall’s Jitterbug Flip. Having been on the market for many years, this phone was designed with seniors in mind. Features such as big numbers, a backlit keypad and a strong speaker system have had this phone listed in the top rankings with seniors for many years now. Unlike many basic phones, this model has a nice built-in camera replete with flash and a handy reading magnifier and LED flashlight. An additional benefit is that this model—like it’s smartphone companion—can transition into a personal safety device with a touch of a button.

Pros
  • Doubles as a medical alert device
  • Competitive pricing for service plans
  • Designed for senior’s convenience in mind
  • Operates on Verizon’s reliable network
Cons
  • Limited online and video capabilities
  • Phone damages easily when dropped

Pricing

The GreatCall Jitterbug Flip phone is widely available in most grocers and even discount stores along with activation cards. It is not uncommon to be able find these phones for around $30-$40 brand new. Activation is easy, and the plans are far more affordable than competitors.

The Bottom Line

This means that seniors can get started right away with using their new device. Using the GreatCall link app, one can activate a number of health and safety features including the urgent response button. There are no contracts required for service plans, and the Verizon network offers extremely reliable service in many parts of the nation.

3. Snapfon ezTWO

Overview

The Snapfon ezTWO is a 3G phone that was clearly designed with seniors in mind. This model is a large candy-bar design that features large buttons, a speaking keypad, and a nice display. The device also features an emergency siren and button on the back that automatically alerts five pre-set contact when activated. However, the Snapfon ezTWO is a no-nonsense phone that only makes phone calls, so those looking for features such as texting and instant messenger will want to look elsewhere.

Pros
  • Emergency SOS alert button
  • Loud siren feature
  • 24/7 monitoring available
  • Simple to use
  • Features a bright flashlight
Cons
  • Only makes phone calls
  • No LTE low band coverage

Pricing

The average price of a new Snapfon ezTWO is between $60-$80, and the device works with several prepaid carriers known for low monthly rates.

The Bottom Line

The fact that this phone is so easy to use and it affordable makes it desirable for seniors seeking a talk-only device. Features such as a loud earpiece, oversized buttons and the emergency SOS capabilities with monitoring are unique. The company also offers a 30-day guarantee without risk.

4. AT&T Cingular Flip 2

Overview

AT&T’s Cingular Flip 2 is an easy to use flip phone that is LTE-ready, and it offers a bit better specifications and speed than comparable clamshell phones. This affordable model has a two megapixel camera that also can record HD videos, albeit not with the best quality. Those seeking low-cost talk and texting plans will appreciate this phone’s generous battery life and long standby times.

Pros
  • 16 hour standby battery time
  • 2-megapixel camera
  • Records HD video
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up features
Cons
  • Camera quality is average
  • No front facing camera option

Pricing

By far this model is one of the most affordable flip phones of its kind. These phones can often be found ranging from about $35-$50. There are often discounts for seniors for monthly service plans and accessories.

The Bottom Line

The AT&T Cingular Flip 2 is ideal for those seeking a lightweight, portable phone that is easy to use. Seniors seeking a flip phone with smartphone abilities will find this to be a great option. While its features aren’t specifically geared to seniors, it does have simple to use smartphone service at a great price.

5. Sprint Coolpad SNAP

Overview

The Sprint Coolpad Snap is an innovative flip phone that is being offered through the Sprint and T-Mobile networks. Seniors will love the low price, the simple clamshell case with external display, but they’ll really appreciate features inside the phone. In addition to a large display and oversized buttons, the phone boasts a 2 megapixel camera and plays music, too. The Sprint Coolpad Snap can double as a WiFi hotspot, features a web browser and even supports memory cards.

Pros
  • 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of ROM
  • 2.8-inch QVGA display,
  • 4G LTE capabilities
Cons
  • Camera quality is low
  • Limited browsing abilities

Pricing

The Sprint Coolpad Snap can be bought through T-Mobile and Sprint storefronts or online. The phone costs around $75 outright, but qualified buyers may qualify for a financing plan.

The Bottom Line

With such an affordable price for a web-capable cell phone in a flip model, this might be the perfect choice for seniors seeking a solid but lightweight phone. While it has senior friendly features like large buttons and displays, the Sprint Coolpad Snap still lets users stay connected in a variety of ways versus comparable talk-only phones.

6. Consumer Cellular Doro

Overview

Consumer Cellular’s Doro is a new flip phone that is highly affordable but has the ability to tap into AT&T’s vast LTE network. Therefore, it gets much more reliable coverage than it’s 3G counterparts and competitors. Seniors will also appreciate that even though the device is a simple talk only phone that there is an emergency button on the back that connects to a contact such as 911 or a family member when activated.

Pros
  • Emergency response button
  • 4G coverage
  • HD voice calling
  • Bold fonts
  • Large keypad
Cons
  • Cannot sync contacts or calendar
  • Camera quality is lacking
  • No front facing camera

Pricing

The Consumer Cellular Doro device can be found online and conveniently is available in many local retailers for around $49.99. Prepaid plans will vary depending on how much talking users want to do, and there is no contract or cancellation fees with Consumer Cellular.

The Bottom Line

Seniors will also like that the Consumer Cellular Doro offers 10 hours of talk time and three days of standby power. At under $50, this is a rare, future-proof 4G LTE phone that will last through the next cellular connectivity transition. Those looking for a talk only phone with an emergency button that is easy to use and will stay connected in the years to come should give the Doro a hard look.

7. Consumer Cellular Alcatel Go Flip

Overview

Those looking for a basic flip phone for talking and messaging might like the Consumer Cellular Alcatel Go Flip. While it has an ambitious operating system, the Go Flip still lacks some features that many users might enjoy. That being said, the device tends to get better coverage under T-Mobile than most 2G phones. Seniors interested in the Alcatel Go Flip should do some price comparing, as the range is vast between retailers.

Pros
  • Great battery life
  • Decent messaging functions
  • E-mail options
  • Calculator apps
Cons
  • KaiOS interface is somewhat slow
  • Poor camera
  • No flashlight
  • No magnifying glass
  • No games

Pricing

As mentioned earlier, you will want to shop around if you are interested in buying the Consumer Cellular Alcatel Go Flip. Pricing ranges from around $75 through T-Mobile while their partner store Sprint sells it for a whopping $145. On the bright side, the pre-paid plans through these carriers are highly affordable, so no contract will be required.

The Bottom Line

Seniors seeking a modern flip phone with modest capabilities that are easy to use might want to consider the Consumer Cellular Alcatel Go Flip. This device offers coverage with the 2G network, but still offers decent service for talking and messaging. However, it should be noted that the 2G and even 3G networks are somewhat outdated as 4G and 5G are becoming more commonplace. Essentially, if solid data abilities are important to you, you might want to look into a 4G or 5G phone that will stay current for many years.

8. Verizon Kyocera Cadence LTE

Overview

The Verizon Kyocera Cadence LTE is another flip phone option that is connected to Verizon’s 4G network. The device gets very good reception, boasts a fairly fast interface and even has HD Voice and WiFi calling capabilities. Seniors might like features on the Verizon Kyocera Cadence LTE such as the back ported speakerphone and noise cancellation settings for the microphone. Voice dialing can be activated with a Bluetooth headset. This phone might have too many features for some seniors, but those with a willingness can learn could catch on to operations fairly quickly.

Pros
  • Great voice quality
  • WiFi and hot spot mode
  • Long battery life
  • Bright external display
  • Voice dialing option
Cons
  • Low quality camera
  • No video recording
  • No global roaming

Pricing

Verizon Wireless retails the Kyocera Cadence LTE at $120. However, there are often sales that can allow you to get the phone at steep discounts or even free when you sign up for a plan with Verizon. This company may also offer a seniors discount for the phone and plans.

The Bottom Line

Seniors looking for a no-frills phone connected to Verizon’s 4G network should give the Kyocera Cadence LTE serious consideration. It has a reasonable price tag and extra abilities beyond talking and texting, yet the phone is still not overwhelming to navigate and use, making a good choice for seniors looking to stay connected.

9. Verizon LG Exalt LTE

Overview

The Verizon LG Exalt LTE is popular with seniors who want a relatively big screen, as this device has a bright 3-inch LCD that is customizable. The keypad buttons are oversized, flat and separated, so those with larger fingertips can type and text with greater ease. While lightweight, this flip phone extends to 8-inches, so it’s ideal for those with longer faces who struggle with smaller phones. The LG Exalt LTE is great for seniors who want WiFi connectivity, a hotspot mode and the ability to play music and make and play videos.

Pros
  • Excellent coverage
  • Supports WiFi calling
  • Personal Hotspot
  • Video and music playback
Cons
  • No external display for caller identification
  • Camera quality could be better

Pricing

Pricing for the Verizon LG Exalt LTE averages between $140-$170 at Verizon outlets. However, they do offer senior and veteran discounts in addition to financing and payment plans. Do take time to shop around, as this device can be obtained through a number of retailers, often for less.

The Bottom Line

Seniors looking for an easy to use flip phone with tons of modern features will find the LG Exalt LTE for Verizon to be a solid choice. While it’s a bit on the costly side for a flip phone, it’s ability to become a hotspot and get WiFi connectivity is a cool feature for seniors on the go. The main drawback to the Exalt LTE is that is has no external screen that lets you see who’s calling, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

10. Apple iPhone SE

Overview

The original Apple iPhone SE is a couple of years dated, but there are updated models available that seniors might enjoy. This prepaid phone has an ideal point and shoot camera and even 4K video recording. These features are pretty astonishing considering the device’s price today. Those who prefer a pocket friendly, smaller phone will appreciate the lightweight portability of the Apple iPhone SE. There are several models of this device available with various speeds and storage capacities, which will affect overall pricing.

Pros
  • Good online speed
  • Front and rear cameras are great quality
  • Up to 128 GB built-in storage
  • No contract necessary w/ certain providers
Cons
  • Pricier than other phone
  • Small on-screen keyboard

Pricing

The Apple iPhone SE comes in several models, with the most popular choice being the 32 GB LTE prepaid model that runs between $300-$400 new. However, there are some unlocked models available online for much less. Essentially, if you are considering this device, determine how many GB you want to determine which model will best suit your needs and budget.

The Bottom Line

While the iPhone SE is not a new model, the updated storage options and fast speeds make it a nice choice for seniors seeking more than just a phone to talk and text on. This speed demon will let you take high-quality photos and videos, and its pocket-friendly size makes it great for vacations and road trips. This device also has great batter life, likely due to its small size. For those who don’t mind a smaller screen and keyboard, the Apple iPhone SE is a great choice.

Why Should Seniors Have a Cell Phone?

There are many important reasons that a senior would not only want a cell phone but also need one in their daily lives. Having a cell phone today is no longer considered a ‘luxury’ item, as they have become much more affordable and offer greater coverage areas than ever before. Here are some of the top reasons that a senior needs a cell phone.

Socialization—Keeping in touch with friends, family and colleagues is vital to a senior’s wellbeing. Whether it is through making a phone call, texting, or using a live connection service like Skype or FaceTime, cellular phones can make all of this possible any time.

Emergency Situations—As the body ages, we tend to have more accidents such as falling or slipping. Furthermore, seniors are more prone to medical emergencies like strokes and heart attacks that require immediate lifesaving assistance. A cell phone nearby can provide instant access to that help, and there are models that even feature emergency call buttons that will alert pre-set contacts or call 911 right away.

Monitoring Health—Those who opt for a smartphone can use various apps that will keep track of current medical health. Information that can be recorded include weight, blood pressure, pulse and medication reminders can often be set.

Entertainment—Seniors with time on their hands or who enjoy keeping their brains active and sharp tend to enjoy games. Many of today’s cell phones come with pre-installed games, and there is often the ability to purchase games—even on some of the more basic flip phones. A cell phone that features games can help keep boredom at bay.

Greater Sense of Security—Seniors never have to feel alone when they have a cell phone by their side. Caring children and friends in addition to the carrier will certainly have greater peace of mind knowing that an independent senior in their lives has the ability to reach out for help or just to say hello.

What Features Should Seniors Look for in a Cell Phone?

Understandably, choosing a new cellular phone can be daunting regardless of your age. There are hundreds of device options, multiple plan carriers and a wide range of costs to consider. Furthermore, the phone you choose must be compatible with the plan you want, making the choice even more complex. With this in mind, here are some things to consider when choosing a phone with the features you need and want.

Smartphone or Basic Phone—This is the primary deciding factor in where you can go with features: choosing between a basic style of phone or a smartphone that allows you do to more. If you just want a flip phone that talks and texts with a few perks, don’t feel pressured to get a smartphone. However, if apps, video, gaming, GPS and other features are desired, a smartphone is just about the only way to get it all.

Determine Must-Have Features—Make a list of the most important features that will meet your needs. Is an emergency SOS button or a medical alert type of response button with monitoring essential? Consider looking for features like big screens, voice command options, adjustable icons, and easy navigation through menus. You’ll want to keep in mind any extras like camera and video abilities, games, and music for entertainment that might come in handy on more advanced phones.

Once must-have features have been determined, start shopping for a phone. If one stands out, go ahead and take it for a test drive. Most carriers offer a 14-30 day trial period, where the phone can be returned without questions or hassles. Take advantage of this opportunity to test the phone out. Is the screen big enough and bright enough? Can you hear clearly when talking or when the phone rings? Are they keys big enough and spaced to fit your fingers well? If not, return it and shop some more.

How Much Does a Senior Cell Phone Cost?

As we have covered, there are bare bones flip phones that only allow for talking that can be had for around $30 with prepaid service starting at $15 per month with low cost providers. There are plenty of mid range phones that cost anywhere from $50-$175 on average. As you progress into the smartphone realm—especially iPhone territory—phones can go into hundreds of dollars. There is a phone available to fit any budget, but one should also consider protective screens, cases and other accessories that can protect high dollar phones. Because these are expensive in local carrier stores, it may be wise to check out accessory prices online that are often much lower.

On top of buying the phone, you will have to consider the cost of a cellular phone plan. Depending on the type of phone, the carrier, and how much talk and text and data is needed the cost of a cellular plan can vary. The biggest deciding factor today is how much data you plan to use. If you want to listen to music on occasion, a modest 3G should suffice. Those planning to stream videos frequently will want to consider a 10G or unlimited data plan.

Many carriers offer prepaid plans with certain phones, so you would not have to be tied into a long-term contract. However, if financing the phone through the carrier is planned, they will almost always require you to sign a contract. If broken, there are steep fees in addition to the need to pay off any remaining balance on the phone immediately.

Fortunately, many seniors will qualify for discounts with the major carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. Most offer a 55+ plan at a discounted rate for those in the golden years, and veterans discounts are also widely available. Furthermore, if you are a member of AARP or any other senior geared organization, be sure to ask about discounts. Low income seniors may qualify for assistance with their cell phone bill through the government’s Federal Lifeline Program.