Consumer Cellular IRIS Flip Phone Review and Pricing

IRIS Flip is an affordable flip phone with useful features like internet access, GPS navigation, and 4G nationwide coverage.

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SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.5 of 5
$69 Flip Phone
AARP Discount
Smartphone Capabillities
$20/mo. Starting Plan Price

SeniorLiving.org is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.5 of 5
taylor shuman Ana Durrani
Taylor Shuman, Senior Tech Expert & Editor Ana Durrani, Journalist and Contributor

The IRIS Flip from Consumer Cellular is an affordable senior-friendly cell phone that functions almost like a smartphone. It costs $69, and if you’re an AARP member, you’ll get a five percent discount on service. We rated the IRIS Flip as one of the best flip phones on the market for its affordability and useful features. This phone packs a lot of punch in a small device, with two screens, a large keypad, internet access, and voice commands. Plus, their customer service team members are pros at serving the older adult population.

To test out the IRIS Flip phone, I enlisted the help of my mother, who is a senior. Not surprisingly, she instantly liked the design, color, and feel of the IRIS Flip phone. She’s never used a flip phone before and was excited to test it out. Read on to learn more about our experience.

My mom making a call on the IRIS Flip

My mom making a call on the IRIS Flip

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Large, 3.2” internal screen and 2” external screen
  • Voice commands
  • Up to 36 hours of talk time
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible
  • Internet access
  • Large keypad with raised and separated buttons
  • A vibrating ringer
  • USB-C charging port
  • eSIM card
  • Discount on plans for AARP members
  • Choice of two colors: black and red
  • M3/T3 hearing aid compatibility

Cons

  • No safety or emergency response features
  • 5 MP camera gives grainy, hazy photos and video
  • Has no 5G connection
  • Requires Consumer Cellular service
  • Only certain mobile apps are available

The Buying Experience

For customers who like the in-store buying experience, you can purchase the IRIS Flip at locations like Target and Walmart. Or, you can purchase it directly from Consumer Cellular’s website. The IRIS Flip comes in two colors: red and black.

Once you select the phone and add it to your cart, you have the option to buy a protection plan for $3 per month or roadside assistance, which is also $3 per month. You can add accessories like a headset or leather pouch/holster to your cart as well. Then, you can decide if you want to keep your current phone number or get a new one. Lastly, you’ll need to choose a Consumer Cellular phone plan before checking out.

FYI:

FYI: An AARP membership can get you great additional savings on various phones and plans, such as at Consumer Cellular. Learn more from our guide to AARP memberships.

Consumer Cellular has free activation and no hidden fees, which I appreciate. If you need any help along the way, you can use Consumer Cellular’s live chat feature on their website. The customer service rep responded quickly to my questions and was very helpful when I asked about their return policy. They have a 30-day, money-back guarantee for returns, which is extended to 45 days for AARP members. Score!

Contracts and Warranty

When shopping for the best cell phones for seniors, contracts and warranties are important to consider. The IRIS Flip doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract, similar to other senior-friendly phones like Lively’s Jitterbug Flip2.

Fun Fact:

Fun Fact: Have you ever been a little envious of Captain Kirk’s communicator device on “Star Trek”? The TV show’s design of the communicator phone inspired inventor Martin Cooper to create the first mobile phone in 1973. Today, around 97 percent of Americans own some type of cell phone.

Consumer Cellular offers flexible month-to-month plans, so customers can change their plan to fit their needs as often as they like. New phones have a one-year manufacturer warranty. You can also add a protection plan for $3 per month, which covers repairs for damage or malfunctions. If you’re clumsy or hard on your devices, this plan might be worth the monthly cost!

Pricing and Value

If you are looking for the cheapest cell phones for seniors, the $69 IRIS Flip is an excellent choice. You’ll have to buy the phone and a plan from Consumer Cellular, either at one of their retail locations or online.

So how does it compare to other flip phones? The Jitterbug Flip2 from Lively, another senior-friendly flip phone, costs $99. The Jitterbug Flip2 has a shorter battery life than the IRIS Flip and doesn’t offer internet access. On the other hand, it does have safety features, which the IRIS doesn’t have. Lively charges an activation fee of $25 to $35, while the IRIS Flip doesn’t have an activation fee. Overall, the IRIS Flip offers solid value.

Consumer Cellular Phone Plans at a Glance

You’ll have to pair the IRIS Flip with a Consumer Cellular plan, as the phone is locked to the carrier. I wish there was some flexibility to pair the IRIS Flip with other carriers; however, Consumer Cellular does offer some of the best senior cell phone plans, starting at just $20 per month.

Plan Price Talk and text
Unlimited Talk and Text + 1 GB of data $20 Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text + 5GB of data $25 Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text + 10 GB of data $35 Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text + unlimited data $50 Unlimited

*Price includes a $5 discount for opting in to AutoPay and paperless billing.

Setting Up the IRIS Flip

Activation and Setup

Setting up the IRIS Flip only takes a few minutes, as the phone comes with a pre-installed SIM card. To activate the phone, you can either call Consumer Cellular’s customer service team to walk you through the process or scan the QR code on the IRIS Flip user manual.

Pro Tip:

Pro Tip: Read our Consumer Cellular review to learn more about our experience with this senior-friendly carrier.

When I turned on the phone by holding down the power button on the side, I saw a Consumer Cellular start-up screen before it fully powered on. My mom liked the phone’s big buttons, the brightness of the screen, and how easy it was to read and use the phone. Almost all text is already in large font, perfect for older eyes.

To adjust settings, I clicked OK on the home screen and scrolled through the icons until I reached the one that said Settings. Then, I clicked OK. In the Settings, I could do things like change the brightness, volume, text size, or ringtone.

Testing Out the IRIS Flip

My mother and I tested the IRIS Flip and liked many of its features. My mom liked the red color and the flip style. She also liked the keypad and found it easy to navigate.

Charging and Battery Life

When I charged the phone, it made a vibrating sound and a lightning bolt symbol appeared on the outside screen. To check how much the phone was charged, I pressed the phone’s side button. When the phone was flipped closed, I could see how much battery it had on the outside screen by pressing the left side button (also the volume button). We noticed that the side button wasn’t very obvious and kind of blended in since the buttons are the same color as the red phone. My mom liked the outside screen, as well as how it showed the battery life, time, and signal strength.

Testing out Consumer Cellular's IRIS Flip

Testing out Consumer Cellular’s IRIS Flip

During our testing, the IRIS Flip’s battery lasted about 18 hours. For comparison, the Jitterbug Flip2 lasts for about 12 hours with heavy use. This means the IRIS Flip’s battery is pretty solid for a flip phone!

Navigating the IRIS Flip

My mom thought the IRIS Flip took some time getting used to, especially since she is an iPhone user. However, it has a very simple design, especially for those who have never used a smartphone.

When the phone is flipped open, the most important buttons are the left and right selection keys at the very top and the “OK” button in the center.  It isn’t obvious that the left and right selection keys correspond to the two functions on the bottom of the screen, so that took a little trial and error. The scroll keys surround the “OK” button, which also took a while for my mother to figure out.

Using the IRIS Connect keypad

Using the IRIS Connect keypad

Accessing the Internet

The IRIS Flip offers internet access through your data plan or WiFi. Some flip phones, like the Jitterbug Flip2, don’t offer internet access, so I appreciate this feature. There are three steps to connect to the internet from the main menu. First, press “OK.” Then, click down until you see an internet symbol and press “OK” again. Lastly, scroll down and select your WiFi network and input the password. The phone will automatically connect, and you are ready to go! I could surf the web, use GPS navigation, or use mobile apps. I watched a YouTube video online, which was a breeze, but the audio quality was a bit muffled.

Using the internet on Consumer Cellular's IRIS Flip

Using the internet on Consumer Cellular’s IRIS Flip

Using the Camera

There are two ways to access the 5 MP main camera. From the home screen, you can press the top right selection key on the phone. Or, you can press “OK,” select the camera icon app, and then press “OK” again. The IRIS Flip doesn’t have a selfie camera, which is something my mom noticed immediately. This is a drawback, as most phones now have a front-facing camera.

While using the camera, everything you need is located around the “OK” button (the scroll keys). That means you can push up to zoom in, down to zoom out, right to switch to video, and press “OK” to snap a photo. Compared to an iPhone, my mom thought the camera quality was grainy, the colors were washed out, and a lot of detail was lost. If you’re not concerned about image quality and just want a way to capture memories, this won’t be a major concern.

A photo taken on Consumer Cellular's IRIS Flip

A photo taken on Consumer Cellular’s IRIS Flip

Voice Assistant

To use a voice assistant, I held down the “OK” button, which brings up the speech-to-text function. This feature is very useful for those who don’t want to type out everything on the keypad and just want to open up the internet or an app with their voice. It’s also great for those with arthritis, as typing can be painful.

Using the Kai Virtual Assistant on Consumer Cellular's IRIS Flip

Using the Kai Virtual Assistant on Consumer Cellular’s IRIS Flip

Apps and Other Features

The IRIS Flip gives you access to mobile apps via the built-in KaiOS store. This is a nice feature since apps are normally only found on a smartphone. However, I noticed many popular apps like Facebook are not available through this store. Plus, navigating these apps with the physical keypad was kind of difficult when compared to using a smartphone’s touch screen. The IRIS Flip also has built-in calendar, notes, news, and clock apps.

Testing out Consumer Cellular's IRIS Flip

Testing out Consumer Cellular’s IRIS Flip

This IRIS Flip is Bluetooth-enabled, so you can connect it to your wireless headphones, earbuds, and speakers. I tested this out with my wireless headphones and the sound quality was great. It was very easy to pair using the settings.

We liked the big “CALL” button that makes it convenient to call your family and friends. There is also a dedicated “SPKR” (speaker) button, which makes it easy to activate the speakerphone while on a call. Another great feature for seniors is the symbol at the bottom of the keypad of a person and a heart. When I clicked this button, it immediately brought up my favorite/emergency contacts.

Comparing the IRIS Flip to the Competition

IRIS Flip vs. Jitterbug Flip2

The IRIS Flip and the Jitterbug Flip2 are both flip phones designed for seniors. The IRIS Flip has an app store and access to the internet, unlike the Jitterbug Flip2. But the Jitterbug Flip2 has a voice assistant that goes above and beyond the IRIS Flip. The Jitterbug Flip2 uses Amazon Alexa, one of the most advanced voice assistants we’ve tested.

The Jitterbug Flip2 costs $99.99, so it’s around $30 more than the IRIS Flip. One area where the Jitterbug Flip2 has a leg up on the IRIS Flip is its health and safety features. You can access features like 24/7 urgent response and on-call nurses with select Lively packages. These medical alert features may be worth the extra cost for some older adults.

IRIS Flip vs. TCL FLIP Go

Another competitor, the TCL FLIP Go, is $96. This flip phone runs on T-Mobile’s nationwide network and can be paired with T-Mobile’s 55+ plans. Like the IRIS Flip, it has smartphone essentials in a flip phone design. The FLIP Go is a great option for on-the-go seniors who want to use the internet, watch videos, download apps, make calls, and send texts. But a major downside of the FLIP Go is that it has a much smaller screen than the IRIS Flip, which can be difficult to read for some seniors.

The Bottom Line on the IRIS Flip

The IRIS Flip is a phone designed with seniors in mind. From its large, raised keypad to its flip design, it’s a comfortable and simple phone at an affordable price. If you like the features of a smartphone but prefer the look, feel, and simplicity of a flip phone, the IRIS Flip is a good bet.

But if you’re not a fan of the T9 keyboard and prefer to swipe, you may want to check out our list of the best smartphones for seniors. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a simple, affordable phone to stay connected, the IRIS Flip is a solid choice at just $69.

Frequently Asked Questions About the IRIS Flip

  • Does the IRIS Flip phone have a SIM card?

    The IRIS Flip comes installed with an eSIM, so you don’t need a physical SIM to activate service.

  • Does IRIS Flip have voice to text?

    Yes, it does have voice-to-text capabilities. When you speak into your phone, the IRIS can transcribe your speech into text.

  • Does the IRIS Flip have internet?

    Yes, the IRIS Flip comes with an internet browser and data access.

  • What is Consumer Cellular’s return policy?

    Consumer Cellular has a 100 percent risk-free guarantee, which means customers can cancel their service and return their phone within 30 days of activation (data use is limited to 500 MB) free of charge. AARP members get an extended 45-day guarantee. Customers who go past the 30-day activation period or exceed 500 MB of data will get a prorated refund.

Written By:
Ana Durrani
Journalist and Contributor
Ana has covered a wide range of topics in her 20-plus-year career as a journalist, contributing to numerous international and domestic publications. For several years she served as a regular contributor to Realtor.com. Some of the publications she’s written for… Learn More About Ana Durrani
Reviewed By:
Taylor Shuman
Senior Tech Expert & Editor
As SeniorLiving.org’s tech expert and editor, Taylor has years of experience reviewing products and services for seniors. She is passionate about breaking down stigmas related to seniors and technology. She loves finding innovative ways to teach seniors about products and… Learn More About Taylor Shuman