|COVID-19 Update: Many caregivers and seniors are searching for ways to support and connect with their loved ones while maintaining isolation and social distancing guidelines. We’ve compiled a list of 10 essential products to help older adults stay happy, healthy and connected, whether they are aging in place at home or in an assisted living community.|
Cellphones are more than just a way to reach out when you aren’t home, and most modern phones have a multitude of features aside from calling and texting. Typically, smartphones have high-speed web access, top-of-the-line digital cameras, games, and a variety of fun social media applications, with new apps hitting the market every day for Android and Apple iOS operating systems. Through our research, we’ve learned which phones have the coolest new features to help you fall in love with your new smartphone.
It is hard to overstate the importance of verifying that any phone you consider purchasing will work in your area. There are a variety of services providers across the country and the number of small cell phone companies grow every day. The most important aspect of cell phone service to remember is what type of network you have access to- in most parts of the US, the newest cell phone technology is 5G, and older technologies like 2G began being phased out at the end of 2019, with the 3G and 4G sunset is on the horizon.
Globally, the 2G network may stay in place in many countries, so if you’re traveling, check to see if a 2G GSM phone will be your best option by researching coverage in the country you will be visiting. Currently, 2G technology is only appropriate for traveling to countries that use a GMA network still. 3G is being phased out but in 2019 was still offered by AT&T.
Check your local coverage for whatever company will work with your phone of choice- check coverage maps online, by viewing the websites of networks such as Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon. In the event that you can’t determine if the phone will work with a certain carrier, you can always try calling your local cell store and ask if the phone you want will work on their network.
Keep reading to see our picks for the smartest phones for seniors in 2020. Listed prices are for the phones themselves, not including service plans, and are subject to change.
Budget Smartphones for Seniors
Model #: Z170L
This inexpensive phone is the perfect option for someone on a budget looking for a no-frills phone that will work for texting, calling, and even listening to FM radio. The convenient see-through window makes it easy to check the time and missed calls without needing to open this flip-phone. The decent-sized 1.8” screen and large buttons make it easy to use, even for those with vision impairment.
- 3G GSM network
- 1.8” display
- FM radio
- Memory slot expandable up to 32GB
- Large buttons
Model #: TA-1036-C
One of Nokia’s simpler bar phones, the 3310 provides an easy-to-navigate interface and reliable communication on both global GSM 2G networks and statewide 3G. The classic bar phone style includes everyone’s favorite cell phone game, Snake, re-designed with new graphics and cool levels. The 2.4” curved polarized glass screen makes it easy to see texts, play games, and read emails while inside or on the go.
- GSM 2G and 3G capable
- 4 cool colors
- Bluetooth 2.1
- 2.4” curved polaroid screen for clear graphics
- Long battery life
- Classic Snake game included
Model #: B07NVF4QVN
This pocket-friendly flip phone is great for those who have a hard time seeing the tiny letters on regular phones- this one’s keyboard is backlit and has large, easy to read print. In addition to its 2.4” main screen, the phone features a 1.77” front screen that lets you know what’s going on in your phone as well as the time before you flip it open.
- Big buttons with backlight for easiest typing
- AT&T and T-Mobile network capable
- Easy to read display and answer buttons on front of flip-phone
- Hearing aid compatible
- Predictive text, bluetooth, and ringtone customization
- 12 speed dial tones
- 1.77” front screen and 2.4” main screen
- SOS button
Model #: A130Q
This smartphone is not only packed full of features, it is offered at a low price- one of the most affordable on our list. With plenty of processing power and 8GB of internal storage, playing your favorite games and downloading your friends’ pictures will be no problem. Sending your own selfies is a breeze with this phones 2MP front facing selfie cam that has flash for bright and lovely pics.
- Simple setup
- Clear case included to protect phone when dropped
- 8GB internal storage with expandable slot that fits up to 64GB memory cards
- Lightweight and feels nice in your hand according to reviews
- 5MP main camera with flash and 2MP front camera with flash
- 4” display
Model #: B07FM65V6Z
Featuring a convenient charging cradle, loud volume, big buttons, and an emergency panic button, this simple bar phone is a great option for the budget-minded. Elders are secure knowing that once the SOS button is pressed, it will sound an alarm and send a pre-set message to 5 contacts, as well as call the contacts in order until someone picks up, perfect for the elder worried about experiencing a crisis while home alone.
- Easy to use charging port
- Big buttons on the keypad are embossed for those with vision issues
- 3G service works on AT&T GSM network
- SOS button on the back of the phone
- Long-lasting battery goes for 6 hours talking and up to 10 days on standby
- 0.3MP camera
- Uses lithium ion batteries for long-life between charges
- Loud speaker
Model #: B07MMSFQN4
For those who enjoy bright colors and no frills simplicity, meet the Uniwa bar phone, available in bright robin’s egg blue. This phone includes a handy charging port, so you can simply set your phone into its dock when you return home, to help make sure it never runs out of power. The loud ringer, big buttons, and SOS button on the back make it a great choice for older people looking for these features to add convenience and the security of access to their network at the push of a button to their lives.
- Cool bright blue color helps keep this phone from getting lost in plain sight
- Convenient charging port
- Works with AT&T, Consumer Cellular, and Straight Talk
- Loud ringer
- Sturdy construction is hard to break
- SOS button on back
- Large buttons on keypad
- Multiple language settings
Model #: SR3G
A simple bar phone that will work with many low cost prepaid monthly phone plans, the Logic SR3 is a great option for someone who wants minimal but reliable features. This phone is simple to set up, and once ready to go is easy to use with large buttons, a loud speaker, and a charging port that resembles that of a landline.
- Easy-to-use charging port
- Simple set up
- Loud speaker
- Big buttons
- Low price
- SOS emergency button on the back of the phone
- GSM service works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM carriers
- 1.8MP Camera
8. Jethro SC318
Model #: FBA_SC318
This simple yet stylish bar phone is perfect for those who like a cell phone that is also their home phone. Its convenient charging port makes it easy to remember to recharge, and the lithium-ion batteries ensure long battery life, talk, and standby time. This phone is great for elders because of the SOS button on the back that can be pressed in an emergency that will then reach out to a pre-set list of six contacts until help is reached.
- SOS button will cycle through a list of six contacts by texting and calling the pre-set contacts until someone picks up when the user presses * and pushes the panic button
- Up to 200 contacts
- Charging base
- Bluetooth 2.1
- 1.77” bright LED screen
- Loud speaker
- Large buttons
Model #: B00Q1U31VI
This low-price high-functionality option is a great choice for those who love to use their phones to text and email their friends, loved ones, and business partners. With a classic Blackberry feel, users enjoy the full QWERTY keyboard and handy navigation button to use their phones for more than just calling people. The built-in stereo and Bluetooth 2.1 functionality means you can write work emails, listen to your favorite news and music, and stay in touch with loved ones, all for a low monthly service fee through the nationwide AT&T network.
- Ultra-slim design
- Full qwerty keyboard for quick typing
- Long-lasting lithium-ion battery provides 4.5 hours of talk time per charge
- Bluetooth 2.1
- 256MB internal memory
- MMS and SMS texting capability over AT&T 3G network
Model #: TFALA405DCP
For those that want to spend very little money on their phone and monthly service, TracFone has the Alcatel MyFlip for a low cost and features a variety of 4G service plans that go as low as $7 a month when you pay for a year of service. This phone is easy to use as well- with large buttons, a loud external speaker, and a clear 2.8” screen, those with hearing or vision problems will enjoy using this handy little phone.
- 4G LTE on one of the largest nationwide networks
- 2.8” inner screen and 1.4” outer display
- 2MP camera and video recorder
- Bluetooth 3.0
- 1.1 GHz Quad-core processor with 4GB of internal memory, expands up to 32GB
- Up to 8 hours of talk time on one charge
- Reviewers love how easy this lightweight phone is to hold, as well as set up
Mid-Range Smartphones for Seniors $61-106
11. KidsConnect KC2
Model #: KC2
This kid and dementia-friendly device is designed to help those that just need to reach one of their trusted friends or family members in case of an emergency. This little phone fits easily into a pocket or hangs on an included lanyard, and when you push one of the contact buttons it rings and texts pre-programmed contacts- pressing the SOS button will call all 3 contacts in order until someone answers. The user of this device can easily be tracked with GPS through the KidsConnect app, making this phone ideal for those who worry about their older loved ones wandering. The convenient touch screen makes this device easy to set up, and in case someone accidentally might turn it off, the power switch is concealed.
- GPS tracking works on the 4G network
- SOS emergency button and three pre-programmed contact buttons
- Simple system makes it easy for people of all ages to use this device
- Included lanyard makes this easy to keep on your person as a pendant
- Loud speaker on device makes 2-way communication clear in an emergency
- Off button is hidden so curious users don’t accidentally push it
- Touch screen
Model #: Z222
This basic flip phone is great for the casual user who might enjoy simple games and texting, and mainly uses the phone for communicating. Large buttons and a 2” screen makes it easy to text quickly and accurately, and reduces eye strain when reading replies. The dependable AT&T network offers low monthly no-contract pricing starting at $30 a month. See the website for more detailed pricing and to check coverage in your area.
Update: This product is no longer available. See a similar item here:
- Large buttons
- Walkie-talkie push-to-talk function
- 2” display
- 50MB internal storage good for casual users who don’t need many extra functions
- Personalize your ringtones, background, and games
13. BLU Advance 5.2
Model #: A230Q
The BLU Advance 5.2 is built for those that love to watch videos and take selfies, with state-of-the-art technology built in to give users the best experience possible. The 5.2” full HD curved screen gives a perfect picture with lifelike depth thanks to the specialized design of the glass, created specifically to provide a more realistic experience. The Android 7.0 operation system and 1GB RAM ensure the phone works with speed, and it has 8GB of ROM, or internal storage, to give you plenty of space to store your favorite apps, photos, and videos.
- 5.2” full HD curved glass screen
- Android 7.0 Nougat operating system
- 8GB internal memory with 64GB expandable memory slot
- 13MP main rear-facing camera and selfie-specialized 16MP front-facing camera
- GSM 3G Quad-band network
14. Oukitel C12
Model #: B07QFTSXN5
For the technophile on a budget, this phone is highly rated and easy to use, making it a great smartphone for seniors. The large 6.18” screen has a polished, state-of-the-art 2.5D finish, making movies and pictures pop. With 2GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM, or memory, this phone has plenty of speed and power to keep you entertained on the go, without the luxury phone price tag. Reviewers love this phone’s beefed up security features like the handy fingerprint scanner, located on the back of the phone for maximum ease of use.
- Android 8.1 operating system
- 6.18” screen
- 8MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing camera
- Facial ID and fingerprint unlock can be used for maximum security
- 2GB ROM and 16GB RAM
- Expandable memory up to 64GB
Model #: Prime A1
Loaded with features like a 2.0 MP rear-facing camera, 2.4” HD display, and big font and icons, the Easyfone is a great option for a low cost, high-quality cellphone. This phone is compatible with many different popular AT&T network phone carriers, such as TracFone, H2O, Consumer Cellular, Cricket, and prepaid AT&T.
- Big buttons
- Hearing aid compatible
- Charging dock
- Flip-phone with easy to read LED screen outside
- Simple operating system
- Two colors available, red or black
- SOS button reaches out to a pre-set contact when pressed
- Bright flashlight is easy to access
Model #: B00O15EDHQ
With Bluetooth 3.0, a music player, and access to the web and high-speed 3G internet services, the OneTouch Fling is a great low-budget high-functionality option. This phone also has a 2.4” inch display and large buttons, perfect for those who don’t want the strain and frustration when trying to send texts and emails on a tiny screen and keyboard.
- 2.4” display
- Large buttons
- Service for this phone is provided by the affordable Boost Mobile pay-as-you-go plans
- Bluetooth 3.0
- External caller ID
- 2MP camera with video recording capability
- Music player
High-End Smartphones for Seniors
Model #: 2
This easy-to-use smartphone offers users access to the GreatLink app, to help keep your loved ones up to date on your health status, as well as an SOS feature with an easy to use panic button on the home screen. With all the modern features of a top-of-the-line smartphone, this is a great choice for those who want to use new technology like the 4G LTE network without worrying about learning a complicated system, or signing into an annual contract- this easy to use phone runs using a simple pay-as-you-go system.
- 16GB memory with 32GB expansion available
- 4G LTE
- Hearing aid compatible
- 13 MP camera
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 12 hour battery life while being used can also go for 17 days on standby
- Simple to use menu with large font
18. Ulefone Power 6
Model #: B07TC6W4FW
For those looking for a premium smartphone at a moderately affordable price, check out the Ulefone Power 6. Designed with media lovers in mind, the Power 6 features a large high-resolution curved glass screen perfect for streaming movies in high-def quality. This phone’s extensive memory bank of 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, and up to 256GB of expandable storage means all the apps, pictures and videos you could take will fit without any space issues.
- Bluetooth capable
- 16MP+2MP dual rear camera and 16MP selfie camera means every pic will be perfect
- 4GB processor, 64GB internal memory, and up to 256GB of expandable SD space
- Waterproof up to one meter
- 6.3” FHD+ waterdrop 2.5D curved glass screen with 1080 x 2340 resolution
- Android 9.0 Pie operating system
- Three cool colors to choose from
- Solid construction with easy-grip cover to help prevent the phone from being dropped
Model #: A622LJBS1
This smartphone is designed for those who want a simple but modern experience with their cell phone. The extra large 5.5” touchscreen is 35 percent bigger than industry standards and perfect for typing as well as using the high-speed internet, provided by the Verizon network. The company offers low monthly no-contract services, and US-based tech support and customer service. This phone made our list of the most senior friendly for its easy to navigate menu, hearing aid compatibility, and US based support.
- Operates on Verizon network
- Large 5.5” touchscreen display
- Menu is organized into a simple list with large print letters for ease of use
- Hearing aid compatible
- Voice to text feature makes emails and texting quick and painless
- No-contract plans are great for those on a budget
- US-based customer service and tech support
- GreatLink app helps loving family members check on your status and health updates
Model #: BV5500
For those worried that the high price point of a new smartphone is not realistic, given how easy they are to break- meet the Blackview. This military-grade phone is waterproof, drop proof up to 6 feet,dust proof, and features a thick Gorilla Glass screen, designed to withstand impacts for an ultra clumsy-proof device. The facial recognition feature responds in 0.1 seconds, making the phone secure as well as easy to use for its owner, and has access to 3G as well as global GSM networks, providing all the deluxe smartphone features for a modern user, at an affordable price.
- Works with AT&T and T-Mobile networks
- 5.5” screen with extra-durable Gorilla Glass
- 2.4 mp front-facing camera and 8mp+0.3mp dual rear camera
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, and GSM capable
- FM radio and compass features
- Long-lasting battery can go for over 30 hours without a charge
- Android 8.1 operating system features newest apps and technology
- Rugged exterior is easy to grip
Model #: u660
The sturdy Samsung Convoy is designed for easy use, reliable communication, and durability at military grade levels. The extra strong case is dust and sand proof, resistant to breaking when dropped, and can withstand extreme temperatures. With access to a nationwide 3G network and MMS texting, you can take pictures with this phones 3MP camera and send them to your loved ones with ease.
- Dual microphones with background noise cancellation tech for super clear calls
- Stereo Bluetooth
- Adheres to military standards for resistance to damage from shock, dust, heat, and cold
- 3G and GPS access
- 2” screen
- 3MP digital camera
- MMS and SMS texting means you can send pictures via text over the 3G network
- Reviewers love this phone’s long battery life
22. Samsung Convoy 4
Model #: B690
A more sleek version of the original Samsung Convoy, this phone comes with many of the same great features as well as an improved design, weighing less and with a slightly larger 2.4” screen. With features such as an MP3 player and GPS navigation, this durable yet stylish phone is a great choice for the person on the go.
- 5MP camera
- 2.4” screen
- Water, dust, and shock resistant
- Long-lasting lithium ion battery
- Loud, clear speaker
- Up to 64 GB expandable storage with the SD card slot
- GPS navigation
- MP3 player
23. Moto G6
Model #: PAAE0008US
This high-end smartphone provides a luxurious feel and experience for a low cost compared to similar phones. With the newest technology, this phone is able to remain lightweight while boasting a 5.7” full HD+ MAx Vision display, 3GB of RAM for ultra-fast speed, and integrated Dolby audio, this phone has everything a modern cell phone user would expect and more.
- 5.7″ Full HD+ Max Vision display
- Integrated Dolby audio makes this phone a media powerhouse
- 12MP rear camera and 5MP front facing camera
- Fingerprint sensor
- 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage
- Alexa voice command helper guides you to what you need on your phone
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.8 GHz octa-core processor
24. Samsung A157
Model #: SGH-A157
This durable and lightweight flip phone is a great option for a phone user that just wants to be able to text and make calls with ease. With AT&T’s reliable nationwide network, this phone has the highest levels of dependability when reaching out to friends and loved ones. The strong battery in this phone is also a great feature for the moderate user who would like being able to go up to 10 days between charging their phone.
- 6 hours of talk time and 10 days of standby between charges
- 1.8” screen
- 3G and GSM network capable
- SMS and MMS picture text messaging
- Loud speakerphone
- Flip-phone design is great for those who worry about breaking their phones screen
Model #: SM-G870A
This top-of-the-line device from the Samsung Galaxy line is a great option for the senior on a budget who wants all the great features of a new Galaxy phone. Its high-tech design features one of the world’s first built-in heart rate monitors, which works in conjunction with the S Health app. Combine this with the phone’s design built for durability and you have a truly “smart” phone for seniors.
- Rugged exterior designed to be dropped without taking damage
- 16 MP rear facing camera with full picture and video editing suite
- Android 4.4 Kitkat operating system is packed with cool features and apps
- Internal Memory: 16GB, 2GB RAM – microSD Up to 256GB
- Dustproof and water resistant
- Intelligent screen adjusts its brightness automatically to lighting conditions
- S Health app helps users monitor things like BP, diet, and exercise
- Built in heart rate monitor