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Did you know over 12 million Americans aged 40 years and over experience vision impairment, and that number is expected to double by 2050 as our population ages?1 Vision loss doesn’t have to put a damper on cell phone use. Many cell phones now include accessibility tools, and older adults with low vision are tapping into this assistive tech. In this article, we’ll cover the best cell phones for visually impaired seniors and the key features to consider. Since choosing the right service provider is also a high priority, we reviewed plan pricing, perks, and availability for multiple carriers.
Our Top 5 Cell Phones for Blind or Visually Impaired Seniors
With a retail price of $799 (or an installment plan with payments of under $25 a month), the iPhone 14 delivers cutting-edge technology and exceptional accessibility features. Since smartphones can go hand in hand with a learning curve (especially when using accessibility features), we were thoroughly impressed with Apple’s all-inclusive support for its visually impaired users.
Inside Tip: Do you have low vision and hearing loss? Apple works with top hearing aid manufacturers to create what it calls “Made for iPhone,” or MFi, hearing aids that make pairing your hearing aids with your iPhone oh-so-simple!
AT&T is a one-stop shop for your new iPhone and phone plan. We found that AT&T has competitive plan pricing and perks, a wide variety of cell phone models, and a smooth buying experience. Residents of Florida aged 55 and over may benefit from AT&T’s Unlimited 55+ plan. For more details, head to our review of AT&T’s senior-friendly phone plans.
The GrandPad offers exciting features that cater to the needs of visually impaired seniors. Whether you’re looking for a user-friendly product, have vision loss, or want a safer, more convenient way to stay connected with your loved ones, the GrandPad has you covered. To learn more about the GrandPad and other cell phone plans, check out our 2023 Consumer Cellular review.
Motorola understands the needs of individuals with vision, hearing, dexterity, or speech loss. In addition to offering cell phones with built-in accessibility tech, they also work with assistive device companies on Motorola-compatible products.
FYI: Want to avoid the hassle of complicated cell phone contracts? Mint Mobile offers cheap prepaid phone plans that pair perfectly with your unlocked Moto G phone. Head to our Mint Mobile review for more details.
Priced at $149.99, the Moto G Power 2021 packs quite a punch for the price. Keep in mind, though, there may be a bit of a learning curve for users new to Android products. Motorola has its customers covered with call center employees and a special task force to help with accessibility questions and needs.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is jampacked with enhanced accessibility features and earns high praise for its voice control. Priced at $699, it’s comparable in cost and features to other high-end smartphones.
Quick Tip: Make the most of your phone by pairing it with a solid phone plan! After hours of in-depth research, our experts uncovered the best cell phone plans for seniors.
Buying a cell phone optimized for vision impairment is just part of the process! You’ll also need a carrier that provides outstanding customer support and competitive plan pricing. So why not snag your phone and phone plan through T-Mobile? T-Mobile’s plans and pricing are competitive, with customer discounts and perks. If you’re 55 or older, check out our review of T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plans.
The Google Pixel 6 comes in at $799, in line with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G. The emergency features, including emergency auto call and car crash detection, aren’t a substitute for a comprehensive medical alert system, but the Pixel offers safety features beyond the other phones on our list.
Shopping Tip: Cell phone quality, features, pricing, and perks are important factors to consider. Check out our best cell phones for seniors guide for the inside scoop on the top-ranked senior-friendly phones.
Verizon is a standout cell phone provider for the Google Pixel 6. Snag unlimited talk, text, and data, as well as solid bundling discounts, with a Verizon 55+ Unlimited plan. Verizon is one of the largest wireless carriers, and it offers reliable network coverage. Learn more about Verizon’s service in our Verizon senior cell phone plan review.
FYI: If you are struggling to save money to buy a new cell phone, check out these nine hacks to save money on a fixed income.
Cell phones have become an integral part of our everyday lives. According to Pew Research Center, 92 percent of adults aged 65 and over own a cell phone.4 Our team researched the accessibility needs of people with vision impairment and the phones that are most useful to them.
From the Pros: Our cell phone buyer’s guide has everything you need to know before purchasing a new phone, including how to get the best deal with top cell phone providers.
To determine the best cell phones for visually impaired seniors, we examined the number of accessibility features (such as virtual assistants and text magnification), price, ease of use, screen size, and battery life. Your cell phone is only as good as the network it’s on, so we paired our best cell phones for blind or visually impaired seniors with a top-notch carrier.
Now that we’ve covered the best cell phone models (and carriers) for visually impaired older adults, let’s dive into accessibility features. Since everyone’s vision limitations and needs are unique, we’ve compiled the top accessibility options to consider to optimize your cell phone experience.
Quick Tip: Think about the type of phone you’ll be most comfortable using. Even the best smartphones for seniors will fall short if you’d prefer a no-frills, easy-to-use cell phone.
There is a wealth of resources and apps for the visually impaired or blind. Our in-depth smartphone accessibility guide includes details on real-time apps for scene description, objects, and faces.
Android and Apple smartphones include an on-screen Braille keyboard so you can type Braille directly onto your phone. Both offer Grade One (six dot) and Grade Two (contracted) Braille keyboards.
Individuals with low vision or blindness are at risk for injury in the home, especially from dangerous falls. Help is just a button push away with health and safety plans providing 24/7 protection.
If you or your loved one is a low-income individual with significant vision and hearing loss, the Federal Communications Commission’s National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), also known as iCanConnect, may be an option. iCanConnect provides equipment including mobile devices and accessories to make telecommunications
Maureen joined SeniorLiving.org with more than 10 years of experience writing in health, lifestyle, and nutrition for premium brands like General Mills, Westinghouse, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Her passion for empowering older adults is evident in coverage of topics like retirement, health… Learn More About Maureen Stanley
Centers for Disease Control. (2021). Vision Impairment and Older Adult Falls.
Samsung. (2021). Galaxy Mobile Accessibility.
Google. (2021). Pixel 6.
Pew Research Center. (2021). Mobile Fact Sheet.