Easiest Cell Phones for Seniors to Use

Our team researched and tested the simplest cell phones on the market to find our top five picks for the easiest to use cell phones for seniors

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Cell phones keep seniors connected and safe, but only if they’re easy to use and accessible to all. 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.

How We Chose the Easiest to Use 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:

  • Senior-friendly features: Every phone on our list is designed to meet the needs of older adults. They have bigger buttons and icons, larger and brighter screens, adjustable speakers, optional safety features, and easy-to-grip designs.
  • Usability: We only included phones with simple interfaces that are easy to navigate. In our book, the more straightforward a phone is, the better!
  • No long-term contracts: All of the phones listed give month-to-month options for flexibility. Seniors who become more comfortable with technology can switch to a more advanced phone without costly cancellation fees. Talk about no strings attached.

Senior-Friendly Features To Look For in a Cell Phone

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:

  • Hearing aid compatibility: If you are in the process of choosing hearing aids or already have hearing aids, look for a phone that’s hearing aid compatible with a high rating. This will make it much easier to make calls and stream music and other entertainment directly to your hearing aids.
  • Simple navigation: The simpler the navigation menu, the better. If the phone is easy to navigate, you or your loved one will be more likely to use it. We love phones with list-style menus, large and clear icons, and intuitive layouts.
  • Large screen and font: Larger screens and font options are easier on seniors’ aging eyes.
  • Large buttons: As you age, dexterity declines, so look for phones with large buttons or large touch screen icons that are easy to press.
  • Powerful speaker: A loud, adjustable speaker is a must, especially if you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss.
  • Easy-to-grip design: For those with arthritis or other dexterity issues, it’s essential that the phone is easy to grip and won’t be easily dropped, which could damage the device. Plus, if you drop your phone, you’ll need to bend down to pick it up. This can put you at risk of falling. Prioritize phones with an easy-to-grip design or add a grippy case.
  • Safety features: Whether it is an urgent response button, fall detection, or GPS capability, these safety features can be extremely beneficial if you find yourself in an unsafe situation. Plus, the extra layer of protection provides you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

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.

FAQs About Cell Phones for Seniors

  • Why should seniors have a cell phone?

    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.

  • What are the different types of cell phones for seniors?

    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.

  • Are big button phones good for seniors?

    Yes, phones with big buttons make it easier for seniors to navigate their phone. This is especially true if the senior has limited dexterity.

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

Citations
  1. Pew Research Center. (2020). Mobile Fact Sheet.