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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.

Top 5 Flip Phones for Seniors for 2021

What makes the best flip phones for seniors? There are a number of factors worth considering when shopping for a flip phone. We have evaluated several criteria and narrowed down to our top picks:

Here are the Best Flip Phones for Seniors for 2021

Flip phone Alcatel GO FLIP 3 Lively Flip Snapfon ezFlip 4G Consumer Cellular Link Sonim XP3
Cost $100 $99.99 $33.95 $35 $189.99
Financing available Yes No No No Yes
Carrier T-Mobile Lively Snapfon Consumer Cellular AT&T
Contracts No No No No No
Camera quality 2MP Rear: 8MP
Front: 5 MP
Rear: 5MP
Front: 2MP
2MP 5MP
Internet access Yes No Yes No Yes
Battery life 7.9 hours talk time 12 hours talk time 5.5 hours talk time 14 hours talk time 21 hours talk time
Hear aid compatibility M4/T4 M4/T4 T3/M3 M3/T3 M3/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- and water-resistant with IP68 rating
  • Real-Time-Text (RTT)
  • Text Telephone (TTY)
  • 1. T-Mobile Alcatel GO FLIP 3

    The GO FLIP 3 from T-Mobile tops our list of best flip phones for seniors because it checked all of our boxes: simple design, easy to navigate, and affordable. It even has a built-in Google Assistant. Call your family, send a text, set an alarm, or search online using just your voice. And, if you don’t feel like talking, just use the phone’s large tactile keypad.

    Alcatel Go Flip 3

    Alcatel Go Flip 3 from T-Mobile

    We also love that the Alcatel GO Flip 3 is hearing-loss friendly. In fact, we named it on our list of best cell phones for seniors with hearing loss. This phone works great no matter what hearing aids you use. It has Bluetooth compatibility and an M4/T4 rating, which is as good as it gets for hearing aid compatible phones.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Affordable flip phone
    • Internal and external display
    • Built-in Google Assistant
    • Large keypad
    • M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility
    • Bluetooth compatibility
    • Mobile hotspot
    Cons
    • Low-end 2MP camera
    • Battery life of only 7.9 hours
    • No built-in flashlight

    What to Know Before You Buy

    If you want quality vacation photos or print-worthy pics of your fur babies, then the Alcatel GO FLIP 3 probably isn’t right for you. It only offers a 2MP camera. However, if you’re more concerned about how much your new phone will cost, you’ll love this flip phone. It’s just $100 outright or $4 per month for 24 months when you finance it through T-Mobile.

    Speaking of T-Mobile, did you know they have 55+ unlimited phone plans? Two lines start at just $27.50 per line; no contract required. T-Mobile’s reasonable pricing earned high marks from our research team.

    Plus, all plans include five layers of scam-blocking protection to keep pesky robocalls, scammers, and telemarketers at bay. That’s a must-have, seeing as seniors lose more money to phone scams than any other age

    If you’re looking for a provider that offers plan perks and discounts, visit our latest T-Mobile review for more details.

  • 2. Lively Flip

    With the Lively Flip, you’re getting so much more than just a flip phone. You also gain access to valuable add-ons through Lively’s Health & Safety packages. Features like Urgent Response transform that flip phone into a personal safety device. Simply press the Urgent Response button to connect with a Lively Urgent Response team member. They’ll be able to help you through any emergency. Talk about a way to stay safe and save money!

    Lively Flip

    Lively Flip

    Health & Safety Packages range from $19.99 to $34.99 per month. For seniors struggling with any health problems, we recommend the higher-tier plans. You get 24/7 access to a live nurse or board-certified doctor, and you can even order common prescriptions over the phone. Check out our full review of Lively for more info.

    Even without the add-ons, the Lively Flip still has plenty to offer. It’s simple, practical, and compatible with hearing aids. Plus, sending texts to the grandkids has never been easier! Voice text using the built-in Amazon Alexa or take advantage of the phone’s large keypad and screen to text manually. It’s up to you.

    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 and Safety packages
    Cons
    • No Internet connectivity
    • Extra fee for Health and Safety packages

    What to Know Before You Buy

    The Lively Flip relies on Lively’s phone plans. Luckily, it’s an affordable phone service you can count on. We know; we tried it out, naming it on our list of the best no contract and prepaid phone plans for older adults. Just know that it relies on Verizon cell towers, so make sure you have good Verizon coverage in your area.

    Quick Tip: Our in-depth cell phone buyer’s guide includes side-by-side comparison of the top senior-friendly cell phones.

    With Lively, you can choose a limited number of minutes and texts per month, or you can go with an unlimited option. With that in mind, make sure you explore all of the Lively plans and pricing.

  • 3. Sonim XP3 from AT&T

    If you tend to be clumsy, hard on technology, or a bit forgetful, the Sonim XP3 flip phone is just the phone you want by your side. Its battery lasts incredibly long, with 21 hours of talk time. And it’s the most rugged flip phone we could find.

    Just how rugged? Well, this durable phone has a MIL-STD-810G rating. That means it meets U.S. Military specifications for temperature, humidity, shock, and vibration. Plus, it has an IP68 rating for dust- and water-resistance. The dust stays out completely, and it can even handle a drop in the tub.

    Sonim_XP3

    Sonim XP3

    You won’t have any trouble using the Sonim XP3 either. It’s large in size with a bright main screen and large buttons. That means you can read texts and dial numbers with ease. You’ll hear calls better too. Equipped with noise suppression, it’s compatible with most hearing aids. Getting lost while driving won’t be an issue anymore, either. This phone has GPS capabilities with step-by-step directions.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Rugged design with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 display
    • IP68 rating
    • Noise suppression for clearer calls
    • Long battery life
    • GPS navigation
    • Hearing aid compatible
    Cons
    • Browser isn’t the best
    • On the pricey side

    What to Know Before You Buy

    The Sonim XP3 costs a whopping $189.99, which is fairly expensive compared to other flip phones on our list. Of course, it is super durable, so you won’t need to replace it any time soon. Plus, you can pair your phone with a reliable and affordable AT&T plan. AT&T’s Senior Nation plan pricing starts at just $29.99 per month for users aged 65+. Make sure you have good AT&T coverage in your area before purchasing, though.4

    From the Pros: Wondering how AT&T stood up against the competition? Our AT&T senior plan review has you covered with the details!

  • 4. Snapfon ezFlip 4G

    We know what it’s like to be concerned about a loved one’s safety. That’s why we’re big fans of the Snapfon ezFlip 4G. Not only is it easy for older adults to use, but it has some of the best medical alert capabilities we’ve seen on a cell phone. An accessible SOS button calls and texts an emergency message. If you want, it can set off a siren too, which is an excellent feature if you live near neighbors who could help during an emergency.

    Snapfon ezFlip

    Snapfon ezFlip

    The Snapfon ezFlip 4G also does its part to protect older adults after a fall, which one in four Americans age 65+ experience each year.3 It has built-in fall detection capabilities, so you’ll want to keep it on you at all times. Of course, you will need to give it a break to charge. And thanks to a low battery warning system, you’ll know right when a charge is needed—a great feature if your memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Average Above Average Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.

    What to Know Before You Buy

    You’ll need a Snapfon mobile plan to go with your ezFlip 4G. Monthly costs start at $10 for calling, $1 for texting, and $2 for data. Plan to use your phone a lot? Unlimited talk and text cost just $25 per month. Add in a gig of data to surf the web, check Facebook, and send emails for only $5 more.

    Inside Tip: Our experts recently tested and researched 15 senior cell phones. Find out why Snapfon made it on our best cell phones for seniors list!

    You’ll also need to decide if you want Snapfon’s sosPlus mobile monitoring service. It connects you to a 24/7 response agent who can contact your emergency contacts or other help. It’s only $19.99 per month and comes with 500 texts. We recommend it, especially for seniors who live alone.

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
  • Don’t want to pay for a data plan

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 $33.95 to $189.99. 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.