Best Smartphone for Seniors – Stay in Touch With The Older Generation
Updated: September 13,2022
Computers have changed rapidly over the previous two decades, and cell phones were not excluded. Since the introduction of the original Apple iPhone in 2007, smartphones skyrocketed in popularity and became an integral part of our day-to-day lives by the mid-2010s.
Now, it can be difficult to keep up with the changing trends and technologies, even if you’re among the younger, more tech-savvy crowd. That said, you can imagine how challenging it can be for the older generations.
If you’re looking for the best smartphone for seniors, you’ll want an affordable phone that’s easy to use, with convenient accessibility features and none of the unnecessary bells and whistles you’d see in the latest smartphones. Here’s a narrowed-down selection of our top picks!
Jitterbug Smart 2
- Large screen
- Clean, list-based interface
- Access to IAED-certified agents
- Slow processing power
- Poor volume quality
If you’re looking for a good smartphone for seniors, your first stop should definitely be Lively (formerly known as GreatCall). This world-famous brand with over 15 years of experience offers a wide selection of high-quality devices created specifically for seniors. A customizable interface, decent performance, convenient accessibility features, and exceptional services truly sell the product. Here is a rundown of the main specifications.
The user interface is a key priority for those shopping for smartphones for old people. Luckily, Jitterbug’s home screen has a simple, list-based menu that’s inherently easy to scroll through and takes away any guesswork. While most modern smartphones rely on icons to represent various apps and services on the device, Jitterbug also puts the names of the mobile apps next to their respective icons.
Of course, the interface is fully customizable, so it can be adjusted to each individual’s specific needs. Moreover, the phone has a large, spacious keyboard, which is essential for easy navigation.
The voice-over-LTE technology guarantees high-quality calls, though the volume isn’t exactly something to brag about. However, you will get steady reception and wide coverage since Jitterbug is also the best Verizon smartphone for seniors.
Now, let’s check under the hood and see some classic Jitterbug Smart 2 specs. The phone comes with 16 GB of storage and a microSD slot that can hold another 32 GB. This is plenty of room for a casual user. For anything more than that, the user can turn to cloud storage options.
You might need the extra storage if you plan to use the 13 MP camera. The 1.5 GHz processor is good enough for basic tasks but is still on the slow side. The device is also compatible with hearing aids, as it possesses M4 and T4 ratings.
Finally, one of the main reasons Jitterbug is one of the best smartphones for seniors is the abundance of additional services.
For example, every device comes with a special 5Star Urgent Response Service button. It immediately contacts a trained professional in case of emergency. While this exclusive service is mainly used for medical emergencies, it can also help with minor problems, such as being locked outside your home or getting a flat tire in the middle of the road. Lively Link is another great service that lets you keep track of the device at all times using GPS technology.
Overall, the Jitterbug Smart 2 is far from being a premium smartphone, but it’s a good smartphone for seniors with some basic functionality at a reasonable price and its main selling point are the senior-friendly features and access to an urgent response unit staffed by IAED-certified agents.
- Solid battery life
- Great ringtone volume
- Remote customization
- Potential rebooting problems
- No message drafts
Doro is a reputable Swedish company that was founded in 1974. Although it dabbles in various aspects of telecommunication, the company’s main focus is on providing the best smartphones for seniors. Its devices are simple, easy to use, and they offer a good bang for your buck. The Doro 8040 might not have a catchy name or a special branding strategy, but it delivers on a number of fronts. Here’s what it looks like.
First of all, let’s look at the design. The Doro 8040 boasts a graceful exterior that doesn’t stand in the way of its functionality. The front of the phone has a 5” screen and a 1.9 MP front camera. While you won’t be taking any breathtaking selfies with it, it’s more than good enough for making video calls.
One of the key features of almost every smartphone for old people is the assistance button that notifies their family in case of an emergency. In the case of this Doro phone, it’s located on the back, right next to the other 8 MP camera. Up to five people can be on the emergency list, and those people will get alerted at the push of the emergency button.
The interface is fairly simple. It consists of various blocks that are easy to understand and navigate. There are three main icons that let the user make phone calls, send messages, or view something. Rather than offering too many icons and unnecessary settings, this smartphone for older adults tries to figure out what you need and narrow down the options. It’s a good system that makes Doro the easiest cell phone to use.
Before we get into the technical specifications, it’s worth mentioning that the entire interface is customizable. You can connect the phone to your computer and create a combination of elements that works best for you. Doro’s smartphone for elderly people can also be remotely configured through a Teamviewer. This is an extremely useful option that can save everyone precious time.
Doro 8040 has 16 GB of storage and the option to add a microSD for an additional 32 GB. The battery can support up to 24 hours of talk time and around 550 hours in standby mode. This translates to nearly 23 days, which makes for a rather long smartphone battery life.
The cell phone also comes with a handy docking station and a pair of simple headphones. Its T3 and M3 ratings mean that this could be the best smartphone for senior citizens who use hearing aids, and you won’t have to worry about interference or echoes. Exceptional ring volume options will ensure the user never misses a call.
The Doro 8040 is an overall excellent choice. It has a truly intuitive interface and some good senior-friendly features. Some users have reported rebooting bugs, but those are rare. Unfortunately, there also doesn’t seem to be an option to save message drafts, which is a shame. But everything else is on point, so it’s clear why this Doro product is on our list of great phones for seniors.
- Amplified volume
- Remote control
- Innovative touchscreen
- Modest battery life
Modern cell phones that offer increased volume for users with hearing impairment tend to be bulky and unattractive. However, that is not the case with the PowerTel M9500. If you’re browsing smartphones for seniors and are looking for an easy-to-use phone with a loud ringtone, this is a great option.
The handset volume can go up to 40 dB, and the levels can be manually adjusted to fit every user. The same goes for the ringtone that can reach an amazing 90 dB, making this one of the best cell phones for individuals with hearing impairment.
The user interface is all about simplicity. PowerTel M9500 checks this box along with unique patented interactive elements. Like many other phones out there, this one also features large icons and simple navigation.
The interesting part, though, is how you click on the specific buttons. If you want to select messages, for example, you need to keep your finger on the icon for a certain amount of time. This prevents misclicks and accidental calls. Of course, the duration of the clicks is fully configurable to best suit each user.
The interface is really what makes M9500 the simplest smartphone for seniors. All of the messages you receive, whether it’s SMS, WhatsApp, or email, go into a single easily accessible directory, which simplifies navigation.
The FAQ section at the top right of the screen helps out with some of the more common problems users encounter. If that’s not enough, the user can share screens with designated family members or give them full control over the device remotely to solve the issues. There are a couple of great safety features, such as the Call-In function or Find-My-Phone.
As for the technical specifications, Amplicomms’ best simple smartphone for seniors isn’t that exciting. The 5-inch bright screen gets its job done, the rear 8 MP camera offers the auto-focus option, while the front of the device has a modest 2 MP camera. There’s 8 GB of storage with a possibility of an upgrade via a microSD card. The battery only lasts for 210 hours on standby, which is decent but is lagging behind many competing devices.
While the amplified volume sells the PowerTel M9500 phone as one of the top senior-friendly smartphones, it has a lot more to offer. With the various safety features and a great interface, it’s no wonder this device found its place on our list. However, if you’re looking for a phone with good music reproduction quality, you should check out other models.
Emporia Smart 3
- Good pair of cameras
- Splash-proof design
- Charging station with an amplifier
- Modest battery life
- Lacks additional features
The Emporia Smart series of phones is known for its simplicity and functionality, so it’s no surprise that the third incarnation kept its original quality and reliability. Smart 3 is a great-looking smartphone for elders that still has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. The splash-proof design makes it quite resilient, while the emergency button ensures the safety of the user at all times.
Usually, when a company mentions its senior-friendly design of the interface, it comes down to a lack of clutter and clarity of the icons. Emporia’s Smart 3 is not much different in this regard. The only thing that might set it apart from the competition is the beginner-friendly Emporia keyboard. Accessing the settings menu is fairly easy and allows you to change many parameters, such as button responses, the autocorrect system, or automatic capitalization rules.
Yet another reason why this is Emporia’s best smartphone for the elderly is that it offers a generous 5.5” screen together with two high-end cameras - 8 MP on the front and 13 MP on the rear. Thanks to the great front camera, you’ll be able to make higher-quality video calls, while the rear one is capable of taking fairly high-quality photos.
The sleek, soft-touch design of the back ensures a firm grip of the device, ensuring the user doesn’t accidentally drop it. This special enclosure has a protection rating of IP54, which translates to full resistance to water splashes and reasonable protection from dust.
As you would expect from smartphones for older adults, Emporia’s Smart 3 also sports an emergency button on the back of the phone. Since the box comes with two types of covers, with and without the button, you can choose which design you prefer. This mode activates an alarm and notifies up to five people from your chosen list. When you get a call back, your phone automatically activates the speaker to give you a chance to reply.
This cell phone comes with its own sophisticated charging station that works as an amplifier. That way, you can use the phone to listen to some of your favorite songs or talk through a speaker. The battery can support around 550 minutes of talk time, which translates to just over nine hours. The standby battery life is somewhat disappointing, with a fairly modest 168 hours.
All in all, the Emporia Smart 3 smartphone does its job, and it does it well. There is a chance that you’ll be let down by the lack of advanced features, but at the end of the day, it’s the reliability that matters the most when it comes to the best smartphones for seniors. It might not be the most affordable smartphone, but it’s easy to use and is a great choice at a reasonable price, so you can’t go wrong with it.
Alcatel Go Flip 3
- Sturdy old-school design
- Crystal clear call quality
- Poor camera
- No fast charge option
Flip phones are slowly making a comeback in some markets, and for a good reason. They are simple, affordable, and handy. Of course, the Alcatel Go Flip 3 is not just a revamped version of the old cell phone design brought back from the dead for the sake of nostalgia. These flip phones for seniors actually offer a lot more than meets the eye.
Alcatel’s Go Flip 3 has a recognizable old-school flip phone design, which makes it a lot sturdier and more reliable than the average smartphone. While the buttons aren’t actually waterproof, the design makes it inherently more resistant to dust particles and water splashes.
The cell phone has two displays - the 1.44” external and the 2.8” internal display. The quality rubber keyboard offers a tactile experience you can’t get from a regular touchscreen, all the while the Google Assistant is there to help you by allowing you to use voice typing for your messages or to answer any queries you might have.
One of the many reasons this might be the very best basic smartphone for seniors is its call quality. The Flip 3 has great reception and delivers HD voice quality that will make all of your calls crystal clear. The built-in dual microphones use voice cancellation technology to remove any potential interference. Meanwhile, the M4 and T4 ratings mean that this phone is hearing aid-compatible.
The phone features a fairly long battery life and can support nearly eight hours of talking and 427 hours in standby mode. Unfortunately, there is no fast-charging option, and a full charge can take over three hours.
Modern flip phones can essentially be seen as simple smartphones for seniors with limited internet access, so don’t expect too many unique features and options. The Alcatel Go Flip 3 doesn’t have a dedicated urgent response button or remote configuration abilities. It does, however, offer the option of creating a mobile hotspot to share mobile data with up to eight different devices. This may come in handy but might be too important for an older user.
Taking pictures and recording videos isn’t exactly the strongest point of Alcatel’s flip phone either. It only has one rear camera with 2 MP, no flash, and fixed focus. It certainly isn’t the best cell phone for video calling or for seniors who like to take pictures or videos.
You won’t be able to make video calls or even take low-light pictures with this camera because of the low storage capacity; the 2 GB of internal storage isn’t much. However, there is an option to add a micro SD card of up to 32 GB of extra space, which makes for a nice expansion.
Overall, Alcatel’s Go Flip 3 is a simple, basic phone for elderly users that won’t give you much more than what you bargained for. High-quality voice calls, a low price, and a solid battery are a great combination for some users.
Top Smartphones for Seniors
- Jitterbug Smart 2
- Doro 8040
- PowerTel M9500
- Emporia Smart 3
- Alcatel Go Flip 3
How We Picked Our Favorite Smartphones for Seniors
With so many exceptional products on the market today, there are plenty of cell phones to choose from. There are compact phones for users with smaller hands, there are more affordable and robust phones aimed at children, and of course, smartphones for seniors.
But what goes into the best smartphones for seniors and what are the important factors to keep in mind? Here’s a breakdown of all the factors and key features we’ve taken into consideration.
While there are many differing opinions about what makes a good interface, for our purposes, there is only one true answer - simplicity. If you’re a senior and aren’t too familiar with modern technology, you need a phone that is simple and intuitive to use.
The best interface is usually self-explanatory or aims to figure out the user’s intent. Our list compiles some of the easiest-to-use smartphones for seniors that managed to do just that.
After the interface, we turn our attention to the phone’s functionality. Specifically, we check to see how these smartphones cope with some of the common challenges that the elderly usually face. The sound quality and volume are two major elements that need to meet some basic requirements.
Moreover, we keep some additional key features in mind. Is it possible to send a message using voice typing? Is the device hearing aid-compatible? Does it have medical alert capabilities? How much storage do you get, and can you upgrade it? Can you make quality voice and video calls? Does the phone have a bright screen? Does it have any extra security features? These are just some of the questions we aim to answer in our reviews.
The most intuitive interface and the greatest functionality mean absolutely nothing if these smart phones for the elderly don’t have decent battery life. That is precisely why this is one of the most important factors on our list.
Sometimes the phone has an astounding number of useful features, but the battery simply can’t handle prolonged use. This is a major flaw and something you need to be aware of before you decide on a device.
One of the key features that smartphones aimed at seniors have is the emergency button. Thanks to these smart cell phones for seniors, users can easily notify emergency services or their loved ones if they need help, no matter where they are.
Sometimes these buttons trigger an alarm, and sometimes they can provide the exact location of the user. It’s an essential feature for seniors who might have health issues, so we consider it highly important as well.
Once we’re done with the basics, we can turn to some special features that make the best smartphones stand out from the competition. Some of these devices offer remote control, while others come with a handy charging dock that amplifies the sound, which are the best phones for seniors with hearing aids.
These are all extra points that simply tell us the company went above and beyond to make life easier for its users. We always appreciate that and take it into consideration when we’re looking for the best mobile devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it can be argued that any smartphone is fit for the elderly, there are models specifically designed for older people. A phone aimed at seniors is usually the easiest phone to use because it offers large icons, clean navigation, and various other helpful features.
The majority of these devices also come with a special emergency call button that either automatically notifies emergency services or the user’s designated family members. That way, they can quickly respond in case of an emergency.
These phones come in a range of different prices, depending on the type of device and the manufacturer. If it’s an older model or a simpler design such as a flip phone, you can get one for as low as $30, while some of the high-end phones might cost you a few hundred dollars.
If you find a good enough phone, you won’t have to teach them much. There are special types of smartphones created specifically with seniors in mind. One of the best examples of these easy-to-use smartphones for seniors is certainly the Jitterbug Smart 2 created by Lively. This phone has a large screen, a simple interface, and a number of useful extra features.
Our recommendation would be the Jitterbug Smart 2 because it utilizes a list-based interface that’s easy to master. Everything is written down using a large, bold font that’s easy to read. You can type your messages on a big, spacious keyboard or use voice recognition technology.
Besides all that, the interface is fully customizable, so you can set it up any way you want. In addition, Lively’s easy-to-use phones for seniors come with exclusive emergency services that look after the safety of the user 24/7.
The first and the most important element is the interface. Since you’re buying a smartphone for the elderly, you need to make sure that the interface is clear, simple, and easy to navigate. After that, you need to take into consideration the functionality of the device. Namely, the volume of the handset, the ringtone, voice clarity, the HAC rating, and battery life.
Additionally, one of the key features a would-be best smartphone for seniors must have is a special emergency button that notifies their family or emergency services if the user needs help. After all that, you can look out for other unique features that make the device stand out from the crowd.
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