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:
The Cheapest Cell Phones for Seniors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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|
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, so 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. (2021). Mobile Fact Sheet.