Everybody has different cell phone needs, but we looked for the following features when choosing our favorites:
The Jitterbug Flip2 is the easiest phone to use on this list. A simple list-based menu makes it easy to navigate the phone’s features, including phone calls, messages, the camera, and Alexa. Each of my calls also came through with high-quality audio.
One of my favorite Flip2 features is its Alexa functionality. Simply by using my voice, I could call contacts, send messages, and even ask questions. For example, I asked my Flip2: “How many teaspoons are in a cup?” My phone responded: “There are 48 teaspoons in a cup.” For any queries related to weather, news, or current events, this feature was highly useful.
There are two Lively service plan options with the Jitterbug Flip2. For $14.99 per month, you’ll get 300 minutes and 10 cents per text. For $19.99 a month, you can get unlimited talk and text. The Flip2 also offers the option to purchase a Health and Safety package, which turns your phone into a full-fledged medical alert system. To learn more about these plans, check out our Jitterbug phones review.
To learn more about this phone, read my full Jitterbug Flip2 review.
Cost: $429 from Consumer Cellular
It’s not designed specifically for seniors, but the iPhone SE is the ideal option for someone looking to upgrade from a traditional flip phone. If you’re looking for a phone with internet access and stellar camera quality — and you don’t mind a slight learning curve — then the iPhone SE is a great place to start.
The iPhone SE excels in basic phone features. All our test calls worked exceptionally well, even when using hearing aids. The iPhone SE excels thanks to its built-in voice assistant, Siri. With this feature, you can make calls, send messages, and even browse the web simply by using your voice. The phone’s plethora of features may intimidate the uninitiated, but its voice commands make it easy to navigate.
The iPhone SE has the best camera of the phones on this list. All our test photos came through with a high level of definition, and they were easy to message to friends or post on social media. Newer iterations of the iPhone have higher-quality cameras, but the SE certainly does the job — and it costs less than half the iPhone 13.
The iPhone SE works with most major carriers, so it’s best to shop around to see which provider has the best deal. Consumer Cellular currently offers the iPhone SE for $429. Their unlimited talk and text plans also cost as low as $20 per month.
If you’re looking for an iPhone, then check out our guide to the best iPhone for seniors.
Cost: $149.99 from Lively
A roundup of senior-friendly smartphones wouldn’t be complete without the popular Jitterbug Smart3 from Lively. The Smart3 features a bright, clear 5.5-inch display with a simplified menu that lets you quickly find frequently used features. The Smart3 is an easy-to-use, feature-packed phone, but where it really shines is with its emergency features.
Users of Jitterbug phones never have to worry about missed medications, thanks to MedCoach, which sends prescription and pill reminders. Lively also comes with Urgent Care (Preferred and Ultimate plans), which connects users to registered nurses and doctors who can answer medical questions. All plans come with 5Star, a medical alert service that connects to live help agents no matter what time of day or night.
Lively offers unlimited talk and text for $19.99 per month, but you’ll also want to add a data plan. Since the phone has Wi-Fi capabilities, you can likely get by with 500 MB of data for $5 per month. You can also get unlimited data for an additional $30 per month.
To learn more about this phone, read my full Jitterbug Smart3 review.
FYI: If you’re looking for a full-fledged medical alert device, then check out our pick for this year’s best medical alert system.
Cost: $96 when purchased through T-Mobile
The first thing you’ll notice about the Alcatel Go Flip 4 is its simple clamshell design. Like past Alcatel phones, it features a small outer screen displaying the date and time and a larger internal display that enables you to navigate the phone’s features. What separates the Go Flip 4, however, are its long battery life, call clarity, and app store compatibility.
In our tests, calls came through incredibly clear on the Go Flip 4, and its loud speakerphone made it easy to communicate hands-free. The Go Flip 4 lasted about two weeks on a single charge, making it a great option for people who sometimes forget to charge their devices. Another feature that impressed us was the phone’s app store. Normally confined to smartphones, the app store enabled us to download many free apps for seniors, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and a variety of games.
The Go Flip 4’s only downside is its camera. At only 2 megapixels, most of the images we captured came out fuzzy compared to pictures from other phones on this list.
The Alcatel Go Flip 4 can be purchased through T-Mobile for a one-time charge of $96 or monthly $4 payments. You can also purchase the phone from big-box retailers and pair it with a network of your choosing.
FYI: If you’re looking for a flip phone, then check out our list of this year’s best flip phones.
Cost: $309 from RAZ Mobility
For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or an intellectual disability, the RAZ Memory Phone is a great option with simplified functionality. Through its picture-based contact list, users can easily make and receive calls from loved ones with minimal confusion.
Despite the RAZ Memory Phone’s large touch screen, it has only one menu. It displays the contact info and photos for up to six contacts, in addition to a dedicated 911 button. The simplified menu may not work for everyone, but it can drastically cut down on confusion caused by endless menus and notifications.
With the Memory Phone, loved ones can keep track of a device through the RAZ online portal. They can create contacts, check the phone’s battery life, and even see its location. This information can be vital for people caring for a loved one with a degenerative condition.
The Memory Phone is certainly not for everyone, but it can provide a much-needed means of contact for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. To learn more about these types of devices, check out our guide to phones for people with dementia.
I always recommend T-Mobile plans for seniors. T-Mobile’s trio of discounted unlimited plans for people 55 and up provide access to one of the largest cellular networks in the nation and do not require annual service contracts.
Did You Know: A good cell phone is nothing without a good network. To find out which are our favorites, check out our list of the best senior cell phone plans.
If you’re looking for a cell phone for yourself or a loved one, then check out our helpful cellular guides:
The Alcatel Go Flip 4, Jitterbug Flip2, and iPhone SE are all great options for seniors since they’re easy to use and compatible with hearing aids.
No two users are the same, but most seniors will likely appreciate simplified design, hearing aid compatibility, loud speakers, voice commands, and large displays. Jitterbug phones have all of these features.
Both T-Mobile and Lively are great options. T-Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and data plans for as low as $27.50 per month per line. Lively offers the popular Jitterbug phones with talk and text plans for as low as $14.99 per month.
The Jitterbug Smart3 is a simple smartphone designed specifically for seniors. The iPhone SE is also a great option for seniors who want more advanced features.
Lively’s popular Jitterbug phones are simplified devices made particularly for older adults.