Best Smartphones for Seniors

Contrary to popular belief, technology is not just for the youth. Many of today's gadgets and devices, like senior smartphones, are actually very beneficial for older adults. Recent studies have actually shown that 73% of adults aged 65 and above use the Internet.

As smartphones become more and more common, this allows seniors to stay in touch with their friends and family. Due to the pandemic, physical interaction may not be fully possible, increasing the risk for cognitive decline. Smartphones allow seniors to stay mentally sharp and emotionally well despite the distance.

Top Smartphone Options for Seniors in 2021

Here's a guide to the best smartphone for seniors today:

Best for Simplicity: Nokia 3310 TA-1036

  • Price: Starting from $67.99
  • Button Features: Classic bar phone
  • Memory Capacity: 32 GB memory capacity
  • Display Size: 2.4-inch curved screen

The Nokia 3310 TA-1036 is one of the simplest phones for senior citizens in the market today. This mobile phone has both GSM 2G and 3G networks, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 2.4-inch screen. Its battery life is particularly long, and its screen is big enough for senior citizens to read messages, emails, and even play games. It is easy to operate and navigate around, and it also comes in four different colors.

Best for Flip Phone Types: Lively Flip

  • Price: $99.99    
  • Button Features: Large buttons on a flip screen
  • Memory Capacity: 16 GB memory capacity
  • Display Size: 4.3 inches by 2.19 inches

The Lively Flip is a great phone for elderly users who prefer the flip phone type. With a user-friendly interface, loudspeakers, an 8MP camera, and list-like menus, this is one of the best phones for seniors. It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and has an SOS or Urgent Response button. This is also one of the flip phones known for its M4/T4 rating, making it hearing aid compatible.

Best for Landline-Like Models: Jethro SC318

  • Price: $40    
  • Button Features: Bar phone with regular buttons and a charging port
  • Memory Capacity: 16 GB memory capacity
  • Display Size: 1.77-inch LED screen

The Jethro SC318 is a landline-like phone with a charging port. It is powered by lithium-ion batteries, giving it longer battery life. One of its most notable features is its SOS button that can be used in the event of an emergency. This button can be used to contact emergency contacts, such as a family member, when needed. It also has a loudspeaker and can hold up to 200 contacts.

Best for Keeping Loved Ones Up-to-Date: Jitterbug Smart 2

  • Price: $104    
  • Button Features: Touchscreen display
  • Memory Capacity: 16 GB memory capacity, with the option to expand to 32 GB
  • Display Size: 5.5-inch display

The Jitterbug Smart2 No-Contract Easy-to-Use 5.5-inch is a good phone for senior citizens who want to keep their friends and family up-to-date through a GreatLink app. Like other smartphones for older individuals, it also has an SOS or panic button, in case you are in need of emergency services. The Jitterbug Smart 2 also uses a 4G LTE network, making it extremely fast and efficient.

Best for Health Monitoring Features: Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

  • Price: $158    
  • Button Features: Touchscreen display
  • Memory Capacity: 16 GB memory capacity, and 2 GB RAM storage
  • Display Size: 5.1-inch display

As one of the more advanced mobile phones on this list, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is great for tech-savvy users. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, which you can use together with its S Health app. The Samsung Galaxy exterior structure is also durable, water-resistant, and dust-proof, making it a safe choice for those who are prone to accidents.

Best for Tech Savvy Seniors: iPhone SE

  • Price: Starts at $399  
  • Button Features: Touchscreen display
  • Memory Capacity: 16 GB memory capacity, but it may increase up to 128 GB
  • Display Size: 4.7-inch display

The iPhone SE is the most affordable smartphone made by Apple. Anyone familiar with their state-of-the-art operating system will know how user-friendly it is. With smartphone features such as a fingerprint sensor, great battery life, and more, you or your loved one will definitely be able to make the most out of this model. Just make sure to get an iPhone case to make sure it is protected if senior citizens use it.

Best for Battery Life: Samsung A157

  • Price: $129    
  • Button Features: Flip phone
  • Memory Capacity: 256 MB memory capacity
  • Display Size: 1.8-inch display

The Samsung 157 is another one of the best Android phone options for seniors who prefer flip phones. This particular model has exceptional battery life, lasting up to 10 days in-between charges. Because its phone plans rely on AT&T, which is an efficient nationwide network for coverage, you can always trust that you will be able to talk to those you love when needed.

Best for Senior-Friendly Text and Visuals: Huawei P Smart

  • Price: $314    
  • Button Features: Touchscreen display
  • Memory Capacity: 32 or 64 GB memory capacity
  • Display Size: 5.65-inch display

The Huawei P Smart is a relatively older phone compared to the others on this list, but it is still one of the best models for older adults because of its senior-friendly text size and visuals. This 'Simple Mode' makes everything much easier to see and read. As an Android phone, it is also quite affordable, with straightforward features that do the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do seniors use smartphones? 

Smartphones for seniors can be incredibly useful. Some common uses include making emergency phone calls, video calling family members, checking the weather, and even controlling other smart devices in the home. 

Is an iPhone easier for older people?

Despite their lack of buttons, iPhones are known for their accessible operating systems, which make them a great phone for seniors who are in the market for a smartphone. Each phone also comes with accessibility options that you can tweak as needed. 

Are Jitterbug phones sold in stores? 

Jitterbug phones are extremely accessible options, and they’re available at major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Walgreens. 

How many seniors use smartphones?  

Statistics show that smartphone adoption amongst seniors is relatively high. 86% percent of senior Americans between the ages of 50 and 59 use smartphones, while the percentages of those 60 to 69 and 70 and above are 81% and 62% respectively.

What cell phone carriers have senior discounts? 

If you are a senior aged 55 and older, the good news is that most major mobile carriers have some sort of senior discount for you. This includes T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Plan, AT&T’s Senior Nation, and Verizon’s 55+ Unlimited Plan.

If you're looking for cordless phones, visit our article about the best cordless phones for seniors today.

With the number of other technological aids for seniors available today, there are many opportunities for older adults to stay active and well. Contact Senior Strong today to learn more!

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