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Cheapest Cell Phones for Seniors

We've put together our top picks for the least expensive cell phones for seniors, so you can find the right phone for your budget

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How We Chose the Cheapest Cell Phones for Seniors

We understand that searching for an affordable cell phone can be intimidating and downright overwhelming. 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 some of the least expensive on the market. Our list contains both flip phones and smartphones for beginner to advanced cell phone users. Every phone on our list had to meet the following criteria:

  • Price: This one’s a no brainer; every cell phone in our top five is affordable for seniors. We’ve included options for those on the tightest of budgets, along with some that have slightly higher price tags but still offer great value and won’t break the bank. There’s something for everyone!
  • Value: While we’re all about getting the best deals and discounts, we also make value and quality a top priority. What’s the point of purchasing a cheap phone if it’s just going to fall apart or provide unreliable service? All of the affordable phones on our list offer value that’s much greater than the price tag.
  • Senior-friendly design: You’ll find that our top five cheapest cell phones come with senior-friendly features, like high visibility screens and buttons, medical alert capabilities, and hearing aid compatibility.
  • 2. Lively Smart

    Why It Made Our List

    The rate of older adults using cell phones has increased to over 90 percent, and, of those cell phone users, 61 percent use a smartphone.1 That’s why the Lively Smart made our list. It’s the least expensive smartphone on the market made specifically for older adults with a host of useful features. In addition to talk, text, and internet, the phone can double as a medical alert device when you add one of Lively’s Health & Safety Packages.

    Lively Smart

    Lively Smart

    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
    • 13MP camera for clearer photos
    • Urgent Response
    • Internet access
    • Simple list-style menu
    Cons
    • Health & Safety Packages cost extra
    • $35 additional activation fee

    How Much Does the Lively Smart Cost?

    The Lively Smart is priced at $149.99, with an additional $35 activation fee. This smartphone runs on Lively’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. Talk and text plans start at just $14.99 per month. You can also choose unlimited talk and text for $19.99 per month with an additional data plan purchase. For those who want it all, a completely unlimited talk, text, and data plan is $54.99 per month.

    Did You Know: Lively is featured on our list of the best cell phones for seniors twice! Their senior-friendly smartphone and flip phone both made the cut.

    Is the Lively Smart Right for Me?

    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 wellbeing. The Lively Smart allows users to stay connected through mobile apps, video chatting, texts, calls, and more. Plus, its simple design makes it ideal for first-time smartphone users.

    FYI: Our in-depth cell phones for seniors buyer’s guide breaks down how to choose the best phone for your needs and budget.

    Want to take a closer look at pricing for the Lively Smart? Our Lively pricing page covers everything you need to know about the phone and its talk, text, and data plans.

  • 3. T-Mobile Alcatel GO FLIP 3

    Why It Made Our List

    We chose the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 because it offers the right balance between Consumer Cellular’s Link II and the Lively Smart. It combines the durability of a flip phone and the technological capabilities of a smartphone, all at one great price. Additionally, it works on T-Mobile’s nationwide network, one of the country’s largest providers. Older adults who purchase this phone can choose any of T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plans to go with it; we call that a win-win! T-Mobile’s three 55+ plans offer discounted rates, great perks, and unlimited talk, text, and data. Overall, they offer some of the best value for seniors on the market. For the latest details, head over to our full review of T-Mobile’s 55+ plans.

    Alcatel Go Flip 3

    Alcatel Go Flip 3 from T-Mobile

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • 4G internet access
    • Mobile hotspot data
    • App shortcuts
    • Can be combined with T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plans
    • Voice navigation with Google Assistant
    • Large, tactile keys
    Cons
    • 2MP camera, limited photo and video quality
    • Only 4 GB of internal memory
    • Small screen for internet browsing

    How Much Does the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 Cost?

    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. T-Mobile’s pricing is certainly competitive; 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.

    Is the Alcatel GO Flip 3 Right for Me?

    The Alcatel GO FLIP 3 is a perfect companion for older adults who want smartphone essentials but are loyal to the flip phone style. It’s also a great option for those who venture out often, as the internet capabilities can assist with location, navigation, and looking things up on the go. Older adults 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.

  • 4. Lively Flip

    Why It Made Our List

    Lively’s products offer features that cater to the needs of older adults, including medical alert capabilities, which is why the Lively Flip made the cut. This phone offers medical alert features and a simple flip phone design at an affordable price point, so you can stay safe and connected without putting a dent in your wallet. With the Lively Flip, seniors have options to connect to Urgent Response staff in an emergency and even speak with a registered nurse or doctor and order prescriptions over the phone. Talk about customer service!

    The phone is designed with big buttons and a large screen, perfect for older hands and eyes. It has an 8MP camera, which provides clearer photos than other flip phones with 2MP cameras. Lively has also teamed up with Lyft to make it convenient to get a ride to any location, such as the grocery store, doctor’s office, or to visit friends and family.

    Lively Flip

    Lively Flip

    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 & Safety Packages
    Cons
    • No internet connectivity
    • Extra fee for Health & Safety Packages

    How Much Does the Lively Flip Cost?

    The Lively Flip is $99.99, with a $35 activation fee. You’ll also choose from a few different packages for talk, text, and data, with rates starting at $14.99 for 300 minutes. If you want to upgrade to unlimited talk and text, you’ll be paying $19.99 per month. Health & Safety Packages with Urgent Response are also available, starting at $19.99 per month.

    Is the Lively Flip Right for Me?

    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 older adults 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 Lively’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 detailed Lively review and learn why we gave Lively five out of five stars!

  • 5. Snapfon ez4G

    Why It Made Our List

    Don’t let the simplicity fool you. The Snapfon ez4G has many of the smartphone capabilities in an easy-to-use senior-friendly package. Older adults will know where they are at all times with GPS, navigation, and a reliable 5G LTE network. They can also stay connected online with internet access and popular mobile apps like Facebook and email. Safety is always a priority for us, and we’ve found that it’s a priority for Snapfon as well. This phone has a variety of easily accessible SOS emergency features to keep you or your loved one protected at all times.

    Snapfon ez4G

    Snapfon ez4G

    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

    How Much Does the Snapfon ez4G Cost?

    You can purchase the Snapfon ez4G for $33.95. Snapfon offers various mix-and-match minutes, text, and data options at different price points. Unlimited talk and text starts at $25 per month. If you want data, plans range from $30-$40 total per month. Users can also add Snapfon’s sosPlus package for $19.99 per month, which gives you access to Snapfon’s medical alert capabilities, plus 500 texts per month. Overall, Snapfon’s talk, text, and data plans are flexible and affordable.

    Is the Snapfon ez4G Right for Me?

    The ez4G is an excellent option for on-the-go seniors. The internet access provides connectivity away from home, and the SOS emergency features offer monitoring for added safety. The ez4G can double as a hotspot, so older adults 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.

How Much Do Cell Phones for Seniors Cost?

Cell phone prices vary depending on the style and features of the phone. We broke down the average prices you can expect below.

Style Price range One-time activation fees Unlimited talk, text, and data
Flip phone $30-$150 $30-$35 $27.50 to $50 per month
Smartphone $100-$300 $30-$35 $27.50 $70 per month
Bar/brick $18-$90 $10-$35 $27.50 to $50 per month

Frequently Asked Questions About Cell Phones for Seniors

  • What makes a cell phone for seniors different from other cell phones?

    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.

  • Should I get a cell phone that connects to the internet?

    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, so you may be paying for it unnecessarily if it’s not used.

  • Are all cell phones for seniors hearing aid compatible?

    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.

  • Can I keep my existing phone number?

    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.

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