Best Cell Phones for Seniors

These fuss-free cell phones keep you in touch with loved ones without missing out on fun features.
Best safety features
Jitterbug Smart2 cellphone for seniors
Jitterbug Smart3
  • pro
    Easy navigation
  • pro
    One-touch SOS button
Best scam prevention
GrandPad
  • pro
    Easy navigation
  • pro
    Restricted call network
Best for budgets
Alcatel Go Flip 3
Alcatel Go Flip 4044
  • con
    Basic navigation
  • pro
    Built-in Google Assistant
Best regular smartphone
iPhone 8
Apple iPhone 8
  • con
    Busy navigation
  • pro
    Tons of apps
Best for dementia
RAZ Memory Cell Phone
  • pro
    Easiest navigation
  • pro
    One-touch SOS button

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

Lively's Jitterbug Smart3 is the best cell phone for seniors because it combines accessibility, functionality, and safety. This simple smartphone has a large menu with only the essentials like maps and directions, a camera, email, and an internet browser. 

Even the phone’s service plans have features like on-call conferencing with a doctor or nurse and an SOS button that turns your cell phone into a simple medical alert system

But it's not the only senior-friendly cell phone on the market. Check out our other top picks below.



Compare the best senior cell phones

Product
Best for
List price
Screen size
Memory
Camera quality
Learn more
Read review
Best safety features 6.2 in.32–256 GB13 MP rear
5 MP front
Best scam protection 8.0 in.32 GB5 MP rear
5 MP front
Best for budgets 2.8 in.32 GB2 MP
Best regular smartphone 4.7 in.64–256 GB12 MP rear
7 MP front
Best for dementia 6.5 in.32 GB5 MP front

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer. ​

Notepad
Some senior phones have their own cellular plans
  • The Jitterbug Smart3 phone requires using Lively's cellular network.
  • The GrandPad requires using Consumer Cellular's network. 
  • Alcatel, Apple and Raz phones are compatible with the cellular carriers listed below.

Compare top cell phone plans

Carrier
Plan
Monthly price
Best for
Learn more
Modern Family PlanFamilies
UnlimitedBundling with internet
Welcome UnlimitedBroad network coverage
Visible $30 planBudget

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
*With autopay.
**With Xfinity internet plan

Best senior cell phone reviews

1. Jitterbug Smart3: Best safety features

Best safety features
Jitterbug Smart2 cellphone for seniors
Jitterbug Smart3
$149.99
+ monthly plan

Amazon.com list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Jitterbug has been a leading brand for senior cell phones for decades. After taking a closer look at the Jitterbug Smart3, we can see why. 

From the payment plans and features to the design of the phone itself, the Smart3 is tailor-made for older adults. This smartphone has all the must-haves like an internet browser, email, and maps without the distractions of social media and apps.

pro
Pros
pro Simple menu
pro Loud audio
pro Customizable service plan
con
Cons
con No app store
con Monthly services can get expensive

Jitterbug Smart3 best features

When you turn the phone on, you’ll be greeted by a bright, simple menu. You can make a phone call, check your voicemail, or send a text in just a few clicks. And the call quality is loud and clear too, thanks to the front-facing speaker. 

The Smart3 improves on the Jitterbug Smart2 with an even larger screen for easy viewing. You also don't have to pay extra for brain games like with the Smart2—the games come standard on the Smart3.

Jitterbug Smart3 cell phone plans

Lively gives you lots of options when it comes to customizing your cell phone plan. Talk, text, and data come à la carte .

Plan
Price per month
Talk
Text
Data
Value Talk and Text300 minutes$0.10 per textPurchased separately
Unlimited Talk and TextUnlimited minutesUnlimited textsPurchased separately

The talk and text plan's monthly prices are slightly misleading since they don't include a cellular data plan. You have five data options to choose from, and it costs $0.10 per MB used above your plan limit.

Monthly data limit
Price per month
100 MB
500 MB
3 GB
5 GB
Unlimited

There are a few more optional services to add to your plan: Lively's Health and Safety packages get you cool features like Urgent Care, Urgent Response, and even a personal operator. 

Package
Monthly price
Urgent response Icon Tooltip  Dark
Nurse on-call Icon Tooltip  Dark
Lively Link Icon Tooltip  Dark
Personal operator Icon Tooltip  Dark
Lively Rides Icon Tooltip  Dark
Basic
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Preferred
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Ultimate
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Thumbs Up
Also check out the Lively Flip

The Lively Flip is the flip phone from Lively that acts like a smartphone. It’s a classic flip phone with large buttons, bright screen, and powerful speaker. It also comes with the Alexa smart assistant built in. Alexa can answer questions, provide weather forecasts, or help you control home automation—all you have to do is ask. 

Check out the Lively Flip in our Jitterbug Phone review.

2. GrandPad: Best scam prevention

Best scam prevention
GrandPad Tablet
$399.99
+ monthly plan

Amazon.com list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The GrandPad Tablet by Consumer Cellular is a giant smartphone designed for seniors who just need the basics. Its 8-inch screen and high-contrast buttons are easy to see and press, and it comes with a stand so your loved one doesn't have to hold it all the time. It even comes with a nifty stylus for improved navigation.

But we really love GrandPad's built-in scam prevention. The tablet only makes and receives calls to pre-approved numbers, which means absolutely no robocalls will reach your loved one. 

pro
Pros
pro Large screen
pro Spam call protection
pro Classic games
pro Stylus and stand
pro Video calling
pro Internet and email
pro Wi-Fi and 4G
con
Cons
con No way to add other apps
con Awkward to carry on-the-go

The GrandPad has a camera and supports video calls. It features a web browser, email app, and music and radio apps. 

And while there's no app store access for your loved one to download Angry Birds or Candy Crush, the GrandPad boasts an impressive roster of classic games, including:

  • Solitaire
  • Freecell
  • Spider Solitaire
  • Hearts
  • Bridge
  • Bingo
  • Word search
  • Crossword
  • Bingo
  • Memory
  • Blackjack
  • Texas Hold'em

A $59/mo. Consumer Cellular subscription is required to access all features. 

3. Alcatel Go Flip 4044: Best for budgets

Best phone for budgets
Alcatel Go Flip 3
Alcatel Go Flip 4044
$89.00
+ monthly plan

Amazon.com list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Alcatel Go Flip 4044 is a workhorse of a flip phone that handles all the basics and more. Along with calling, texting, and email, it has Google Assistant built in to answer questions and provide directions. 

It also has some basic accessibility features like Real Time Text (RTT) for live captioning and Text Telephone (TTY) for hearing impaired users. And its 7.9 hour battery may make other phones jealous. 

pro
Pros
pro Simple texting and calling
pro Long battery life
pro RTT and TTY for hearing impairments
con
Cons
con Poor camera quality
con Tricky navigation

One of the biggest complaints we saw about the Go Flip 3 was its camera. If you aren’t planning on snapping a lot of pictures, it’s not a problem. But the photos a 2 MP camera produces will look grainy and unclear compared to those from phones with 13 MP cameras.

Alcatel Go Flip 3 cell phone plans

This flip phone for seniors is available through T-Mobile or Metro by T-Mobile, so prices may vary. But when we checked, the phone is about $89 from T-Mobile.

If you’re looking for a simple mobile phone, the Alcatel Go Flip 3 is a cheap option for just calling and texting. Reviewers on T-Mobile said navigation takes practice and the camera was a big drawback for them. That said, it’s great for the ultra-minimalist in your life who prefers short phone calls and a way to check emails on the go.

4. Apple iPhone 8: Best regular smartphone

Best smartphone
iPhone 8
Apple iPhone 8
$135.00
+ monthly plan

Amazon.com list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

While it’s not the latest iPhone, the Apple iPhone 8 is one of the best in recent years for seniors and older adults. We like its straightforward home button that exits out of apps and brings you to the home screen. 

What we like most about the iPhone 8 for seniors are its built-in health monitoring app, connectivity to smart devices, and accessibility features.

pro
Pros
pro Built-in health monitoring app
pro
pro Quick connection to smart devices
pro Accessibility features
con
Cons
con Varied prices based on carrier

Health monitoring app

The Apple Health app is like having a tiny doctor in your pocket. It can record nutrition, activity, and vitals information from daily steps to blood glucose. If you need to track it, it’s probably there.

If you use a wearable device for seniors like the Apple Watch or a FitBit, your device will automatically sync with Apple Health. 

Connectivity to smart devices

There are advantages to going with one of the most popular smartphones around. The iPhone 8 is a great choice for older adults who love to tinker with tech. For example, if the older adults in your life also use an iPhone, you can video chat with them directly through FaceTime.

Apple iPhones connect to a huge range of smart home and health devices. The iPhone is compatible with popular smart home devices like these: 

Accessibility features

As you get older, tasks like typing, reading, and remembering become more of a challenge. The iPhone 8 has the power to tweak almost every aspect of the phone’s functions to make it more accessible to those with hearing, vision, or motor impairments.

Toggle the VoiceOver feature on to have the phone read text aloud to you or hook it up to your hearing aid to hear conversations more clearly. You can also adjust the color settings to make the screen easier on your eyes.

Or for a simpler solution, adjust the font size on the phone to make the text bigger.

5. RAZ Memory Cell Phone: Best for seniors with dementia

Best cell phone for dementia

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone was built for people struggling with memory problems like dementia or Alzheimer's. There's only one screen, and it shows pictures of up to six contacts and an emergency button for easy one-touch dialing. 

The real magic happens in the caregiver app, where loved ones can send reminders to the RAZ Memory Cell Phone, track its location and battery power, block robocalls, turn on the auto-answer feature, and lock volume controls. 

pro
Pros
pro Simple display
pro One-touch dialing
pro Reminders
pro Auto-answer
pro Auto-speaker phone
pro Restricted call list
pro 911 or professional monitoring
pro Wireless charging option
pro Receives video calls
con
Cons
con Doesn't initiate video calls—only receives them

If you're worried your loved one may dial 911 during non-emergency events, you can sign up for RAZ professional monitoring for $99/yr. Instead of dialing 911, the emergency button dials RAZ's monitoring center. The monitors will talk to your loved one and dispatch first responders if needed.

Take care to purchase the RAZ Memory Cell Phone model that works with your preferred carrier. The one we've linked to works with every major carrier so you can find the best cell phone plan for you. There's a slightly cheaper version that only works with Mint Mobile, T-Mobile, and Metro by T-Mobile. 

Final word

For us, the Jitterbug Smart 3 hits the sweet spot. It caters to older users without watering its function down. You’ll get all the important features from your smartphone without the distractions and noise that comes with standard phones.

Whether you thrive on the latest tech or prefer a simple phone in your pocket, it’s important to be honest about your needs in a cell phone. After all, you’ll probably use it every day.

Senior cell phone FAQ

With a large screen, high-contrast buttons, and simplified navigation menus, the GrandPad is the easiest cell phone for seniors to use. That said, seniors with dementia will have an even easier time using the RAZ Memory Cell Phone. 

Check with your state's assistive technology program. If your loved one meets eligibility requirements—which may include disability status or income level—they could qualify for a free cell phone.

The Jitterbug phone can't be purchased or serviced through Verizon Wireless. You have to go through Lively (formerly GreatCall) to activate and use the Jitterbug phone.

Our top senior cell phone picks include the Jitterbug Smart3, Apple iPhone 8, Alcatel Go Flip 3, GrandPad, and RAZ Memory Cell Phone. The best cell phone for you will match your budget, provide all of the features you enjoy, and be easy to use.

If it’s a smartphone, yes. The FCC requires all wireless and wireline phones to be compatible with hearing aids.1  But smartphones like the iPhone or Galaxy Note 8 come with features that let you adjust your hearing aid settings from your phone.

Without diving into a photography lesson, most smartphones with cameras have up to 13 MP to take clear pictures. Many flip phones out there have cameras with 2 to 8 MP, which may produce blurry or grainy images. Poor quality images from cameras like these aren’t as easy to share or print off without sacrificing quality.

Data allows you to use apps and surf the web without using Wi-Fi. Carriers often charge by the amount of data you use and prices vary from plan to plan. If you plan to stream music, watch videos, or play games, we recommend getting a data plan with your phone with at least 2 GB.

You can find a deal on a phone online with a quick Google search. You’ll just need to be sure your carrier supports it before you click that “buy” button. Most phone manufacturer pages will list carriers they work with. When in doubt, call your carrier to make sure the phone is compatible.

How we reviewed the best cell phones for seniors

Older adults have different needs than younger folks. Devices with large displays, simple controls, and loud audio got pushed to the front of the line for our senior cell phone review. 

We also looked for phones with fewer distractions. The best cell phones for seniors put communication front and center, rather than apps, games, and social media. 

And finally, we looked at the price. Newer phones are expensive, so we wanted to help senior citizens save some cash for what matters to them, like spoiling the grandkids or enjoying a vacation.

Check out our methodology page to see our best practices for reviews like this one. 

Related articles on SafeWise

Sources

  1. Federal Communications Commission, “Hearing Aid Compatibility and Volume Control,” October 2021. Accessed March 14, 2023.

Disclaimers

*Amazon.com list price as of post date. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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