Best Overall: Nokia 3310 3g
Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Connectivity options include Bluetooth and 3.5mm jack
Small, hard-to-read display
If you were to ask a child to draw a basic cell phone, it would look like the Nokia 3310 3G. The good news is the Nokia 3310 3G is better than that drawing. No offense, kiddo. The 3310 is a classic
Nokia phone updated to the 3G network . You can text, make calls, and even listen to the radio or some MP3s.
But to cut to the chase, if you need a basic cell phone for modest cell phone needs, the Nokia 3310 3G is what you are looking for.
Screen Size: 2.4 inches | Resolution: 320 x 240 | Processor: 460MHz | Camera: 2MP | Battery Life: 6.5 hours
Alcatel 392g Cell Phone For Seniors
Were sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock
Award:BEST SIMPLE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: Also known as the Big Easy Flip, this cell phone for seniors is well-known for its simple, durable design. Its also easy to use and offers a large, colorful display for easier operation.
- No SOS button
- Disappointing camera quality
The Alcatel 392G is called the Big Easy Flip for a reason, and one that is clearly laid out in the nickname. Indeed, this phone for seniors is incredibly easy to use and features big buttons with big numbers that are easy to read. The flip phone is designed with simplicity in mind, which really helps for its overall usability. Seniors wont have a single problem learning how to use this phone and continue using it without long-lasting problems. The flip design is also inherently more durable than other cell phones, which is a nice addition.
Price And Wireless Service
There are two versions of the phone. One version is priced at $309.00 and works on T-Mobile, as well as carriers that resell T-Mobile service, including Metro by T-Mobile, MINT Mobile, Simple Mobile and Ting. It does not work on Verizon, AT& T or wireless providers that resell Verizon or AT& T service. The phone comes with a free SIM card and three free months of service from MINT Mobile. After the free service is used, the service costs as low as $15/month for unlimited service.
The other version of the phone is priced at $349.00 and works with Verizon, AT& T and T-Mobile. In other words, the phone can be used with just about any wireless provider, including wireless resellers such as Straight Talk, Net10, Cricket Wireless, Consumer Cellular and Metro by T-Mobile. This phone also comes with a free SIM card and three free months of service from Affinity Cellular, which operates on the Verizon network. After the free service, the cost is $25 per month. For more information click here or call 1-800-729-0083.
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How Do I Know If A Phone Has A Good Camera
Without diving into a photography lesson, most smartphones with cameras have up to 13 MP to take clear pictures. Many flip phones out there have cameras with 2 to 8 MP, which may produce blurry or grainy images. Poor quality images from cameras like these arent as easy to share or print off without sacrificing quality.
Our Top Picks: Cell Phones For Seniors Reviews
According to a recent study, only 42% of consumers in the U.S. over 65 years of age own a smartphone. This number drops to 17% when only those over 80 years of age are considered. These numbers raise an interesting question: why are older consumers so reluctant to buy smartphones?
To answer this question, we reached out to dozens of anonymous consumers, being either a senior citizen or someone who purchased a cell phone for an elderly relative, for their experience and input. When asked what their major concerns were when using a cell phone, 76% of our respondents stated: not understanding how to use it.
Cell phones for seniors are available in different styles: flip phones, smartphones, bar phones, and tablet-phones. The selection for cell phones for seniors is just as varied as regular phones when it comes to features and styles and we looked at all of them for you to determine which are the best in the industry.
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Simple Cell Phones For Seniors In 2022
In this blog post RAZ Mobility identifies and reviews some of the popular cell phones for seniors. We examine the phones based on three criteria: ease of use, loudness of the audio, and clarity and contrast of the text for individuals with vision loss. All three of these characteristics are important for seniors.
With respect to ease of use, we are looking for a simple menu system with as few sub menus as possible, as well as easy-to-use apps, if apps are included.
The speakers should be loud, helping seniors hear as well as possible when calls are placed on speakerphone.
Many seniors are visually impaired. Accordingly, we are looking for the phone to have good contrast and large text.
The four cell phones reviewed in this article are the RAZ Memory Cell Phone, the Jitterbug Smart3, the Jitterbug Flip2, and the Consumer Cellular Link II. The Jitterbug Smart3 is intended to be an easy-to-use smartphone, the Jitterbug Flip2 and Consumer Cellular Link II are traditional basic cell phones: they have large buttons and easy-to-use menu systems. The RAZ Memory Cell Phone, on the other hand, is unique in that it is designed primarily for seniors with cognitive decline.
Each phone is reviewed in turn. We hope that you find the reviews instructive!
Our four cell phones are the following:
Benefits Of Cell Phones For Seniors
One Call Away
We spoke with Ava Griffiths, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist based in Georgia, who said she encourages cell phones for senior citizens, especially those without family assistance, enhanced medical alerts, in-home nursing, or home care service. Griffiths, who offers over-the-phone therapy for individuals with anxiety and depression, has provided services to over 200 elderly clients, those in whom, with cell phones, could contact her while away from home or on the go.
Youre More Social than You Think
Senior citizens that have limited mobility or health complications may not be able to leave their homes as often as the average person, limiting their social interactions. While house phones enable them to have conversations, theyre still confined at home and unable to see and engage with others.
Dr. Ariel Cruz, a geriatrician based in Puerto Rico, shared with us the necessity of maintaining some form of social interaction:
The human being is social. We enjoy and need to share with other people. That interaction is very important so that we dont feel alone, but instead feel important and needed within our families and communities. This helps us to manage stress, which is a factor of great importance to maintain our health.
Unlike house phones, cell phones enable us to see our family and loved ones through photos and video chats. We can also interact with and learn from other people through social media, text messages, games, and other apps.
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Just A Little Bit Smart
The 225 isn’t quite a digital disconnector’s phone. It has a web browser, Opera Mini a handful of simple games, including an updated Snake a music player that will play files from your memory card an FM radio, which will play over the speaker as well as through headphones and a voice recorder.
There’s a web browser, but it isn’t good .
There is a non-removable Facebook icon on the menu screen, but don’t stress it’s not an app. It’s a hardcoded link to the Facebook website, which opens in Opera Mini.
There’s no tethering and no Wi-Fi. Plug headphones into the standard 3.5mm headphone jack or connect them via Bluetooth, which can also be used for data transfer.
Plug in some headphones to listen to that FM radio privately.
The 225 has a single VGA camera. VGA! It’s like 2006 up in here! I’m not sure whether camera quality is a phrase it makes sense to use here. The camera app offers color filters, a 10-second selfie timer, and even a Night mode. Colors in the photos I took were hyped up and supersaturated. You get the photos off the phone by sending them over Bluetooth, texting them, or saving them to a microSD card.
That’s a VGA camera on the back.VGA!
Best For Texting: Zte Altair 2 Z432
Long battery life for texting
The ZTE Altair 2 Z432 works only with AT& T. With that out of the way, its a great phone for folks who primarily communicate via texting. Its got a physical keyboard for those who find that more comfortable than using a touchscreen.
The phone’s screen is large enough to read incoming texts, navigate the menu, and screen incoming calls via Caller ID. Keep in mind if you get this phone we mean it when we say its best for texting. The phones talk time is limited to just 4 hours.
Screen Size: 2.4 inches | Resolution: 320 x 240 | Processor: 460MHz | Camera: 2MP | Battery Life: 4.5 hours
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Talk And Text Phone Plans For Seniors
Talk and text phone plans are for people who use their phones only for talking and texting. Theyre good for seniors who dont have smartphones or dont use their phones to download apps, watch videos or browse the internet. Many cell phone service providers offer customizable or unlimited talk and text plans. They are often less expensive than those that include data
How Do I Choose Between A Prepaid Plan And A Postpaid Plan
Above, we laid out our best picks for prepaid cell phone plans for seniors, but those arent your only options. Did you know theres also such a thing as a postpaid phone plan? Well, there is! Well sort out the differences for you to make the choice between the two a cinch.
Whats a Postpaid Plan?
With postpaid plans, you pay for your service at the end of the month. The main networks all offer postpaid plans. Most postpaid plans include unlimited text and talk. How much you pay at the end of the month depends entirely on your data usage if you use a lot of data, youll have a larger phone bill.
Are Postpaid or Prepaid Phone Plans Better for Seniors?
The answer to this question really depends on the user. Most seniors, especially the 56 percent who have cell phones and landlines3, dont need unlimited talk and text. With prepaid plans, you only pay for what you use. What a great way to cut costs! However, many of the major carriers offer senior discounts for their postpaid plans, so its best to consider both options and pricing models before making a final decision.
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Weigh Price And Quality
Every senior has a different budget. If youre tech-savvy and love the latest technology, you may want to spend more for a smartphone with all the features. If you prefer to use the cell phone to call old friends and stay in touch with family, you may want to get a simple flip phone without all the bells and whistles. Consider how youll use the phone and then decide if fancy features are worth the extra price tag or if you prefer to keep things simple with an affordable budget.
Customizable Settings For Seniors
If you prefer not to buy a senior-specific phone, but opt for a general model instead, there are still many settings you can customize to meet your needs. This is a great option if you inherited a cell phone from someone else, for example, or just want more flexibility than the senior phones provide. Here are a few settings you can adjust to make the phone easier to use for older adults.
All apps that support this feature will then show closed captioning at the bottom.
Most phones include an option to turn on closed captioning for videos, whether youre streaming a show or watching a YouTube video. All apps that support this feature will then show closed captioning at the bottom. Seniors who are hard of hearing may find this trick especially helpful. You can find the closed captioning video feature by going in your phones settings app.
Most phone manufacturers space out icons to make the home screen appear more clean and organized, but this can be tough for older adults with vision issues. If youd like to switch to a zoom view, you can also do this in your settings app.
This feature allows your phone to read aloud text on the screen. If you receive a text, for example, youll hear the message rather than having to read it. This can also be a great help to seniors who are vision impaired.
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Youll Flip Over The Easiest Phone For Seniors
The Lively Flip phone is designed to be the easiest phone for seniors to use, while still being affordable and full of useful features and tools. These phones are meant to make life for seniors easier while being simple to use at the same time.
A great amount of time was spent developing the Lively Flip to be easy to see and hear, amazingly affordable, with innovative health and safety features. Lively phones are designed to cut out unnecessary and flashy features that typical people will never use on their phones. This makes Lively phones, not just the easiest to use, but also full of essential features to help with everyday life.
Whats The Best Simple Cell Phone For Seniors
Q: I would love to see an article on the best cell phone for senior citizens. Im currently shopping for my aunt and frustrated that we cant turn to Wirecutter for the right answer, which we just did to buy a blood pressure monitor!
Our must-have requirements are:
- Big, easy-to-use buttons
- SOS or 911 feature
- Maybe GPS or a Find Me feature for 911 or family to locate
- Zero complexity, for someone who doesnt even own a microwave or VCR/DVR
- A carrier plan thats affordable
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A Basic Starting Point
For a first phone, an extra phone, or a safety phone, the Nokia 225 is a simple choice. It’s inexpensive and relatively well built, and works with various service plans. The Nokia 6300 has better T-Mobile coverage, dual SIMs, and WhatsApp, so it’s a better choice if you want something more flexible.
The 225’s lack of Wi-Fi, when combined with a no-data service plan, prevents internet abuse on the phone. If you want something even more locked down , you’ll have to go to one of the more specialized models for digital disconnectors, such as the $195 Sunbeam F1 Dandelion or the $349 Punkt MP02. But if you don’t see why you should spend hundreds of dollars to not use the internet, the 225 will suit you just fine.
- Though technically unlocked, only works on T-Mobile’s network
- Lacks band 71 support
- Group texting is a mess
Consumer Cellular Doro 7050
Like GreatCall, Consumer Cellular is one of the leading companies when it comes to cell phones for seniors. The company offers a wide range of devices from high-tech ones like the GrandPad above to simple devices like the Doro 7050.
The Doro 7050 is a basic flip phone with large buttons that makes dialing phone numbers and sending text messages easier than ever. The simple design means less tech-savvy seniors wont get confused, and the displays feature high-contrast lighting to make it easier to read, even if there is a glare. It has a three megapixel camera with built-in flash, offering basic functionality for taking photos.
This flip phone features hearing aid compatibility and an emergency button if you need to reach out for help. The company also hosts instructional videos on its website so you can learn how to use the phone in just a few minutes.
The Doro 7050 is incredibly affordable. It costs $50, and the company offers a variety of calling and texting plans to suit different budgets.
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How We Chose The Best Cell Phones For Seniors
Each phone on our list was ranked using over 30 metrics, including price, senior-friendly features, battery life, durability, sound quality, appearance, ease of use, and provider perks. The three most influential metrics in our evaluation were:
- Senior-friendly features: All phones that made the cut have features that meet seniors specific needs and lifestyles. While these features vary by phone, they include things like big buttons or icons, bright screens, loud and adjustable speakers, hearing aid compatibility, and an easy-to-grip design
- No long-term contracts: Cell phone plans that lock you in for years are a thing of the past. All of the cell phone models and carriers on our list offer month-to-month options, so you can cancel your service at any time without hassle.
- Price vs. quality: We know that every budget is different. While some of the cell phones on our list are more expensive than others, weve only included phones where we believe the quality matches or exceeds the price. Weve made sure to include budget-friendly cell phones on our list, along with somewhat pricier high-tech devices, so you can find the phone thats right for both your wallet and your needs
Using the above criteria, along with our research, testing, and rankings, we created this years best cell phone list to help you choose the best senior-friendly cell phone.