The best cell phones for seniors will vary depending on the individual’s vision, hearing abilities, and comfort with technology.
Luckily, there are a wide range of phones that cater to seniors’ unique needs that can make a perfect fit for the most tech-savvy grandparent or even the senior that just wants a cell phone to quickly connect with family members in case of an emergency. Perhaps there are seniors who simply get a cell phone to feel included when everyone is discussing “that thing that happened on Facebook” or “that photo that Auntie Joan texted to everyone”.
Large and simple displays are a smart pick for any senior, as almost no one has eyes that grow sharper over time. However, the needs can vary from here.
Where health is the primary interest, some of the best cell phones for seniors will feature one-touch emergency response features. Where dropping the phone may be an issue, durability or a variety of available phone cases is of critical importance. No phone comes with everything, but here are our top cell phone options for seniors.
Cell Phones That Are Senior Friendly
Jitterbug Phone: Jitterbug Flip
The Jitterbug Flip is a basic flip phone with features made to suit seniors well. It doesn’t have any of the smartphone functionality a more tech-savvy senior might want, but it has large, easy to read interface, simple navigation, and a loudspeaker. The result is a phone that’s simple for anyone to use, so there’s no steep learning curve for seniors who aren’t used to cellphones.
A few extra features are made specifically with seniors in mind. The Jitterbug Flip features an M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility. It also has a 5Star button so seniors can quickly get help in an emergency.
Jitterbug Phone: Jitterbug Smart
If some aspects of the Jitterbug Flip sounded good, but more smartphone features are appealing, the Jitterbug Smart combines senior-focused design with smartphone functionality. Best of all, it offers all of this at a reasonable price.
The Jitterbug Smart has all the typical phone features, plus texting, email and internet access, as well as rear- and front-facing cameras. The 5.5-inch touchscreen display allows for typical smartphone navigation, but Jitterbug has used simple menus for easy navigation. Like the Jitterbug Flip, this model is compatible with hearing aids, earning an M4/T4 rating. And, it supports 5Star emergency response through a pre-installed app.
Simple Cell Phones for Seniors
Nokia 3310 3G
Some seniors might not want all the fancy tech of a smartphone and senior-branded phones like the JitterBug may go too far toward being easy to use.
If this is the case, Nokia 3310 is a great option. It’s a simple, easy to use feature phone with all the basics needed to keep in contact with family and friends and has a long-lasting battery to keep the connection going.
The Nokia 3310 supports calling, texting, and even a bit of social media. A basic camera can help seniors share with their family and friends as well. Plus, it’s a durable little phone, so the occasional drop shouldn’t be much of a worry. On top of all that, it’s affordable.
For an extra-affordable but still competitive pick, the Moto G6 is a great option.
Competent internals, a fingerprint reader, and special gesture controls round out the experience with the Moto G6. It has all the capabilities one could need to stay in touch, and a water-repellent coating helps ensure the occasional mishap (i.e: spilt water) doesn’t ruin that functionality.
Cell Phones for Tech-Savvy Seniors
iPhone 8 Plus
For the tech-savvy senior, there’s no simpler option than the iPhone 8 Plus.
It offers premium features and performance on a 5.5-inch display with high-definition. The iPhone 8 Plus isn’t cheap, but its’ efficiency allows its’ user to feel relief when it comes to needing fast internet connection and getting in touch with family members quickly.
Seniors with an iPhone can also benefit from the nearly seamless transition between an iPhone and iPad whenever they might want an even larger screen. For the seniors buying this smartphone, an iPhone 8 Plus case is advisable, as it features an all-glass design that won’t hold up well if dropped frequently.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a great smartphone pick for seniors thanks to its’ massive 6.2-inch display.
With its’ large display, users can turn up the text size that still fits on the screen. A fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, and facial recognition also mean unlocking the phone is easy.
With the latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset, the Galaxy S9 Plus is also highly responsive. Its impressive cameras will also make it easy to stay in touch and share with family members.
It may be pricey, but it’s a fully-featured phone, and an IP68 rating means you won’t need to buy a replacement just because a little water splashed on it (though we still recommend using a phone case if dropping it is a concern). Factor in Bixby’s ability to help users navigate menus and change phone settings, and you’ve got a wonderful smartphone for tech-savvy seniors.