We understand that searching for an affordable cell phone can be intimidating and downright overwhelming. That’s where we come in! Here at SeniorLiving.org, we’ve researched dozens of cell phones to find the best ones for seniors that offer the most bang for your buck. If you’re budget conscious like us, we believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for value. On our list of the cheapest cell phones for seniors, we found devices that bring the best of both.
After hours of research and hands-on testing, we narrowed down the list to five cell phones with features designed specifically for seniors that are also budget-friendly and some of the least expensive on the market. Our list contains both flip phones and smartphones for beginner to advanced senior cell phone users. Every phone on our list had to meet the following criteria:
The Cheapest Cell Phones for Seniors
The Jitterbug Smart2 is priced at $149, with an additional $35 activation fee. This smartphone runs on Greatcall’s network, which provides coverage throughout the nation. Flexibility is essential to us, so we appreciate that there are no long-term contracts or cancellation fees with these plans. There are also various plan options available so you can find the one that’s right for both your lifestyle and budget. Seniors choose how many minutes, texts, and how much data they need starting at just $14.99. You can also choose unlimited talk and text for $39.99 per month with an additional data plan purchase. For those who want it all, a completely unlimited talk, text, and data plan is $59.99 per month. If you opt for one of GreatCall’s Health and Safety packages, you’ll receive a discount on your talk, text, and data plan.
We know that in trying times, it is even more important to stay connected. Research shows that seniors who use smartphone apps have increased feelings of connectedness with friends and family.2 With Internet access, smartphones can help older adults connect to resources that promote physical and mental well-being. We included the Jitterbug Smart2 on our list for seniors who use the Internet to supplement their quality of life. The Jitterbug Smart2 is excellent for seniors who are beginners or advanced Internet users. The phone’s large screen also makes it easy to view and navigate even for those with vision difficulties. It’s a solid choice for seniors who enjoy video chatting with friends and family.
Want to take a closer look at pricing for the Jitterbug Smart2? Our Jitterbug pricing page covers everything you need to know about the phone and its talk, text, and data plans.
The Alcatel GO Flip 3 costs $100; however, T-Mobile also has a payment plan with no interest financing for $4 per month for 24 months. If you plan on having the phone for a while and don’t want to pay the full cost upfront, this is an affordable option. You can save extra money with one of T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plans. Unlimited talk, text, and data start at just $27.50 per line for two lines or $40 per month for one line. Given that many unlimited plans on major networks start at $50+, that’s a deal! You’ll also get extra perks with T-Mobile’s unlimited plans like mobile hotspot data, weekly freebie giveaways, and in-flight WiFi.
The Alcatel GO Flip 3 is a perfect companion for seniors who want smartphone essentials but are loyal to the flip phone style. It’s also a great option for seniors who venture out often, as the Internet capabilities can assist with location, navigation, and looking things up on the go. Seniors who work on their laptops or other devices outside of the home can benefit from the mobile hotspot data included with T-Mobile’s unlimited plans. It’s also a great entry-level phone for older adults who want to start incorporating the Internet into their lives but want a lower cost and more easily accessible device to begin their journey.
The Lively Flip is priced at $99.99. In addition to the phone price, there is a one-time activation fee of $35, which we aren’t huge fans of. However, we like the flexibility that their talk and text plans offer. You have the option to mix and match your monthly minutes and texts, which start at $14.99 for 250 minutes and $3 for 500 texts. If you want to upgrade to unlimited talk and text, you’ll be paying $39.99 per month. Health and Safety Packages with Urgent Response are also available, starting at $19.99 per month and come with discounted talk and text rates.
If you or your loved one are looking for a simple, affordable cell phone that does the job and does it well, the Lively Flip may be for you. It’s a great option for seniors who are not necessarily interested in the bells and whistles of smartphones or who don’t frequently use the Internet. However, if you love to connect with your family and friends through phone calls and texts, then the Lively Flip paired with GreatCall’s Unlimited Talk and Text plan provides the best deal. Lively Flip is also great for seniors who live alone and could benefit from the added protection of the Urgent Response features, ensuring they’re protected in and outside of their home.
For a more hands-on look at the Lively Flip, check out our latest detailed Jitterbug review.
Seniors can purchase the Snapfon ez4G for $119.99. Like GreatCall, Snapfon offers various mix-and-match minutes, text, and data options at different price points. Unlimited talk and text starts at $25 per month, and with additional data of 1-3 GB, it can range from $30-$40 total per month. If you want to access Snapfon’s medical alert capabilities, you’ll need to pay for a sosPlus monthly package, starting at $19.99 for all of their safety features plus 500 texts per month. Overall, Snapfon’s talk, text, and data plans are flexible and affordable.
The e4G is an excellent option for on-the-go seniors. The Internet capabilities provide connectivity away from home, and the SOS emergency features offer monitoring for added safety and security. The e4G can double as a hotspot, so seniors who enjoy working outside of the home can do so anywhere their network is available. The highest data plan is 3 GB, so this phone is best for seniors with low to moderate Internet usage.
For more information on Snapfon and the other providers on our list, take a look at our top picks for senior cell phones this year.
If you’re on the hunt for a senior-friendly cell phone, pricing is one of the most important things to consider. Cell phone prices vary depending on the style and features of the phone. We broke down the average prices you can expect, including styles, fees, contracts, and various plans.
|Style||Price Range||One-time Activation Fees||Contracts||Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data|
|Flip||$30-$150||$30-$35||Depends on plan and provider||$27.50 to $50 per month|
|Smartphone||$100-$300||$30-$35||Depends on plan and provider||$27.50 $70 per month|
|Bar/Brick||$18-$90||$10-$35||Depends on plan and provider||$27.50 to $50 per month|
Seniors can use any cell phone they’d like; however, senior-specific cell phones have user-friendly features such as larger buttons, clearer screens, and more powerful speakers to address older adults’ needs.
This depends on your estimated monthly Internet use. If you or your loved one connects to the Internet daily or weekly, it may be worth it to have a phone and plan that offers Internet capabilities. However, data does cost extra on some plans you may be paying for it unnecessarily if it’s not used.
The majority of cell phones made for seniors have hearing aid compatibility through Bluetooth, but it may depend on your hearing aids’ connectivity. Many standard cell phones for seniors have M4/T4 ratings, which offer the best hearing aid connectivity and sound quality.
Most people can transfer their existing cell phone number to their new phone line. It depends on where you live and your old service provider.
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
Pew Research Center. (2020). Mobile Fact Sheet.
AARP. (2020). Older Adults Keep Pace on Tech Usage.