Cell phones keep seniors connected and safe, but only if they know how to use them. If you’re looking to join the 91 percent of seniors age 65+ who own cell phones1 or just want an upgrade, let us help! We’ve compiled a list of the easiest to use cell phones for seniors.
After hours of research and testing, our team created a list of the top six easiest to use cell phones for older adults. We evaluated each phone’s usability, size, quality, plan options, and other senior-friendly features to create our ranked results. Our final list includes several different phone styles, but all five are simple for seniors to use.
Some of the most important metrics we considered were:
Top Six Easiest Cell Phones for Seniors to Use
We have to say, the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 doesn’t have the best camera. You’ll still be able to take photos of your sweet grandkids or furry friends, but just know they won’t be super high quality. For seniors planning to use their mobile device for texting and phone calls primarily, the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 will be sufficient.
Inside Tip: Our cell phones for seniors buyer’s guide has everything you need to know about the top cell phone carriers, best senior phone features, and how to choose a phone plan that meets your needs.
To get the most bang for your buck with any T-Mobile phone, we recommend adding an extra line to your plan. T-Mobile gives a significant discount when you add a second line. We love a good discount! One line is $40 per month, while two lines cost $55 per month ($27.50 per line). T-Mobile does charge some extra taxes and fees, so factor that in when you’re considering monthly charges.
Lively uses the Verizon network, so don’t go with this option if you don’t have reliable Verizon service in your area. Make sure you explore all of the Lively plans and pricing so you don’t pay for more than you need. The Lively Flip offers several packages with the most expensive—Unlimited Talk & Text + Ultimate Health & Safety—costing $54.99 per month. However, there are plenty of more affordable plans to choose from, starting at $14.99 per month for 300 minutes. Take some time to consider how much you plan to use the phone and what you will use it for. Keep in mind, the Health & Safety Packages available with the Lively Flip and Lively Smart are optional. If you’re uninterested in these features, you can use your Lively phone to simply text, call, and have monthly data.
Before you choose the Lively Smart, check Verizon coverage in your area, as Lively uses Verizon’s cell towers. Also, make sure a touchscreen smartphone is really what you want. The smartphone costs more than the Lively Flip and could be a big jump for seniors who’ve never used a touch screen device before. Plus, if using your mobile phone exclusively for texting and calling is more your style, there’s no need to spend the extra money on a smartphone with features you won’t find useful.
The Snapfon ez4G gives older adults extra features like GPS and mobile apps while still keeping things simple. In addition to the phone’s preloaded apps, the ez4G makes it easy to download apps like the best cell phone apps for older adults. Don’t expect to take any award-winning photographs with its 5MP camera or video chat with your loved ones on this device. However, that shouldn’t matter if you’re just looking for something with a few advanced features that’s still easy to use.
Inside Tip: Trying to decide between Snapfon and Lively? We have you covered! Check out our Lively vs. Snapfon review for details.
The GrandPad isn’t a cell phone; it’s a tablet. You can’t use it to make calls to phone numbers that aren’t in your approved contact list or send SMS messages. With the GrandPad, you just get unlimited data use, ad-free music streaming, video calling, secure internet browsing, and mobile access with the smartphone app. If you just want to communicate with close friends and family, this won’t be an issue, but it’s still important to note.
Shopping for a cell phone can feel overwhelming, especially with all of the different options and features on the market. But not to worry! We’ve compiled all of our favorite senior-friendly cell phone features so that you can narrow down your options. While evaluating different cell phones, consider the following:
Money-Saving Tip: Snag some extra savings on senior cell phones and plans by becoming an AARP member! Learn more by reading our guide to AARP membership.
Seniors need cell phones for medical emergencies, staying connected with friends and family, and staying safe in and outside of the home. For older adults who live alone and plan to age in place, a cell phone can be a means of socialization and safety.
Companies make flip phones, smartphones, bar or brick phones, and tablets for seniors. Seniors can also choose between a phone-only mobile device or one that doubles as a personal safety device.
Yes, phones with big buttons make it easier for seniors to navigate their phone. This is especially true if the senior has limited dexterity.
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.