Best Flip Phones for Seniors

Our experts tested and researched 10 best flip phones for seniors and narrowed the list to their Top 5 recommendations.

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What Criteria Did We Use to Pick the Best Flip Phones?

In America, 91 percent of older adults age 65+ own cell phones.1 That’s a lot of seniors! If you’re in the market for a new phone, we’re here to help. We know how challenging finding the right cell phone for seniors can be. Looking for information on multiple websites, reading through customer reviews, and deciding whether you can trust the information that you find takes time.

That’s why we did the hard work for you. After over a hundred hours of research and hands-on testing, we put together a list of our favorite flip phones for seniors. We know everyone is looking for different phone features, so each of our picks brings a little something different to the table. But each one had to meet three critical metrics to qualify for consideration:

  • Senior-Friendly: Every phone on our list has features that make seniors’ lives easier and safer. The features aren’t the same for each phone, but some that you’ll find are loud, adjustable speakers, hearing aid compatibility, Bluetooth compatibility, large keypads, bright screens, easy-to-grip design, medical alert capabilities, and simple functionality.
  • Good Value: We prioritized phones that offer the best value, so we’d have an option for every senior regardless of their income. You’ll find affordable phones with essential features and more expensive phones with higher-tech features that justify the price tag.
  • No Long-Term Contracts: Contracts aren’t consumer-friendly or senior-friendly. Especially if this is your first time with a cell phone, and you’re not sure if it’s for you yet. With our top picks, you aren’t locked into a contract. You can choose month-to-month options and stop service at any time.
Flip phone Alcatel GO FLIP 4 Jitterbug Flip 2 Snapfon ezFlip 4G Consumer Cellular Link Kyocera DuraXE Epic
Cost $100 $99.99 $79.95 $59 $269.99
Financing available Yes No No No Yes
Carrier T-Mobile Lively Snapfon Consumer Cellular AT&T
Contracts No No Yes Yes No
Camera quality 2MP Rear: 8MP
Front: 5 MP
Rear: 5MP
Front: 2MP
2MP 5MP
Internet access Yes No Yes No Yes
Battery life 12.7 hours talk time 12 hours talk time 5.5 hours talk time 14 hours talk time 10 hours talk time
Hear aid compatibility M4/T4 M4/T4 T3/M3 M3/T3 M4/T4
Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Special features
  • Google Assistant
  • Large keys
  • Real-Time-Text (RTT)
  • Text Telephone (TTY)
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Large buttons
  • Urgent Response button
  • Optional Health & Safety packages
  • SOS button with optional siren
  • Fall detection capabilities
  • Low battery warning system
  • Speaking keypad
  • Available in red or black
  • Large 12-key keypad
  • FM radio
  • Optional roadside assistance plan
  • Dust-resistant and waterproof with IP68 rating
  • Real-Time-Text (RTT)
  • Dual speakers and noise canceling microphone

Is a Flip Phone or Smartphone Right for Me?

If you’re looking for a cell phone, you’re probably trying to decide what type of phone you want. Do you join the 61 percent of seniors with smartphones or the 29 percent of seniors with more traditional cell phones?5 Let us help you decide!

Overview of Smartphones

First, let’s talk about what a smartphone is. Your kids and grandkids likely have them. They’re mobile touchscreen devices that easily access the internet. You can download movies, social media apps like Facebook, and games. Since their screens are larger, it’s easier to do tasks like surfing the web, sending emails, and following GPS directions. Plus, smartphones take excellent pictures and let you video chat with your loved ones.

Quick Tip: Feel like a smartphone is more your style? Visit our list of the best smartphones for older adults.

However, since smartphones have lots of bells and whistles, they can feel overwhelming. Especially if you’re new to cell phones. Now, there are great smartphones for seniors, but they’re still more complicated than a simple flip phone.

How a Flip Phone Can Meet Your Needs

In a lot of ways, flip phones are the opposite of smartphones. They don’t typically have a touch screen. Instead, you get easy-to-use tactile buttons. Many older adults prefer this over the swiping and clicking of a touchscreen smartphone.

Flip phones also keep things simple. You get a few essential features, so you only need to master a few things. You won’t have to worry about downloading and switching between phone apps. Plus, flip phones are usually smaller in size. They’ll fit in your purse or pocket more comfortably. In other words, you might be more likely to keep it on you.

Our Recommendations for Flip Phones

If you’re not sure whether a flip phone or smartphone is right for you, below is our list of the types of older adults we recommend flip phones for. Flip phones are best for those who:

  • Want a simple, bare-bones device
  • Prefer tactile buttons over a touchscreen
  • Are buying their first cell phone
  • Don’t feel comfortable with the internet or new technology

Buyer’s Guide for Choosing a Flip Phone

Here are some questions to ask yourself and some features to consider as you decide what flip phone to purchase.

Battery Life

If remembering to charge your phone is a challenge, look for phones with long battery life. You won’t need to charge it as often. Some flip phones give you up to 21 hours of talk time, so you’ll make it through a whole lot of phone calls before it’s time to charge.

Do I Need Data?

Not all flip phones let you use data. If you think you want data, make sure you pick one that does. You can find flip phones that let you browse Facebook, send emails, use GPS, surf the web, download simple games, and more.

What’s My Budget?

You can find a flip phone at any price point. On our list above, prices range from $59 to $269.99. When deciding on a phone, don’t forget to also factor in the cost of service. Even the cheapest cell phones for seniors can bust your budget if the service plan is expensive.

What Features Do I Want?

Everyone’s looking for different things in a phone. Think about what you want and need. Do you need a bright screen because of low vision? Do you wear hearing aids? If so, make sure the phone is compatible. What about medical alert capabilities? Some flip phones offer built-in fall detection, alerts, and assistance buttons.

Other features you might want include large tactile buttons, a low-battery warning system, a high-quality camera, internet access, GPS, mobile hotspot, or durability.

Medical Alert Capabilities

Some flip phones double as personal safety devices. Others are just cell phones. If you’re interested in medical alert capabilities, Lively and Snapfon should be at the top of your list. Both providers sell devices with built-in medical alert functions and separate monthly services that help you during emergencies.

Seniors who live alone, are at high fall risk, or have chronic medical conditions should really consider a phone with medical alert features. It’s often cheaper than purchasing a separate medical alert device.

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.

  2. Federal Trade Commision. (2019). Protecting Older Consumers.

  3. National Council on Aging. (2020). Falls Prevention Facts.

  4. AT&T. (2020). Coverage Map.

  5. Pew Research Center. (2020). Mobile Fact Sheet.