Best Cell Phones for Seniors

These fuss-free cell phones keep you in touch with loved ones without missing out on fun features.
Best overall
Jitterbug Smart2 cellphone for seniors
Jitterbug Smart3
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Audio and display features designed for seniors
  • Icon Pros  Light
    One-touch SOS button
Best smartphone
iPhone 8
Apple iPhone 8
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Adjustable accessibility features
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in health monitoring
Best for budgets
Alcatel Go Flip 3
Alcatel Go Flip 3
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Large physical buttons
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in Google Assistant
Tech pick
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Large screen and stylus
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in health monitoring
Best for basics
Palm Phone
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Small screen
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Waterproof and durable

Lively's Jitterbug Smart3 is the best cell phone for seniors because it was designed with them in mind. 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 senior-friendly 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. Plus, each Lively cell phone plan is contract-free, so you can cancel service at any time.



Compare the best senior cell phones

Product
List price
Screen size
Memory
Camera quality
Contract required
Learn more
Read review
Best overall
Jitterbug Smart2 cellphone for seniorsJitterbug Smart3
6.2 in.32–256 GB13 MP rear
5 MP front
Icon No  LightNo
Best smartphone
iPhone 8Apple iPhone 8
4.7 in.64–256 GB12 MP rear
7 MP front
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for budgets
Alcatel Go Flip 3Alcatel Go Flip 3
2.8 in.32 GB2 MP
Icon Yes  LightYes
Tech pick
Samsung Galaxy Note 8Samsung Galaxy Note 8
6.3 in.64 GB12 MP rear
8 MP front
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for basics
Palm Phone
3.3 in.32 GB12 MP rear
8 MP front
Icon No  LightNo

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

Best senior cell phone reviews

1. Jitterbug Smart3: Best overall

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

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 Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Simple menu
Pro Bullet Loud audio
Pro Bullet Customizable service plan
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No app store
Con Bullet 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 responseIcon Tooltip  Dark
Urgent careIcon Tooltip  Dark
Lively LinkIcon Tooltip  Dark
Personal operatorIcon Tooltip  Dark
Lively RidesIcon 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. Apple iPhone 8: Best smartphone

Best smartphone
iPhone 8
Apple iPhone 8
$208.98
+ 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 Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Built-in health monitoring app
Pro Bullet
Pro Bullet Quick connection to smart devices
Pro Bullet Accessibility features
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet 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 you have loved ones who 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.

3. Alcatel Go Flip 3: Best for budgets

Best phone for budgets
Alcatel Go Flip 3
Alcatel Go Flip 3
$99.99
+ monthly plan

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

The Alcatel Go Flip 3 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 Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Simple texting and calling
Pro Bullet Long battery life
Pro Bullet RTT and TTY for hearing impairments
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Poor camera quality
Con Bullet 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 $60 from T-Mobile or just $4 monthly for 24 months. 

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. Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Tech pick

Tech pick
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
$394.10
+ monthly plan

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

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with a huge 6.3-inch display and a stylus. You can do a lot with all that real estate. Like the iPhone 8, it has adjustable accessibility settings, allowing you to zoom in and make text larger or read the text aloud.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Large display
Pro Bullet Easy control with stylus
Pro Bullet Built-in health monitoring
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Prices vary by carrier
Con Bullet May be too busy for some older adults

It has all the key features you may want in a smartphone like apps, internet browsing, a voice assistant, and social media. We also like Google Fit, Android’s built-in health monitoring app. And because it’s a newer phone, it can sync with other health and safety wearables like a Galaxy smartwatch or FitBit

You can find an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 8 online, but you’ll need to take it to your cellular carrier to get it working. So prices may vary depending on where you buy. The good news is most major carriers like Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T support this smartphone.

The Galaxy Note 8 is great for seniors who like tinkering with home automation, new devices, and surfing the web. It can connect to smart home devices and control your home security system.

The Android operating system on your Galaxy Note works with smart devices too. Here are just a few goodies you can control from your phone:

But if you’re looking for something simple, the Galaxy Note 8 may be a little too feature packed.

5. Palm Phone: Best for basics

Best for basics
Palm Phone
$247.00
+ monthly plan

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

The tiny Palm Phone is a bite-sized smartphone for older adults who don't want to spend an arm and a leg on monthly data plans. It’s super tough and water resistant with Gorilla Glass and a IP68 rating (outdoor cameras are usually rated IP65).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Compatible independently or via carriers
Pro Bullet Waterproof
Pro Bullet Tough glass screen
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Small screen

The Palm Phone is aptly named because it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Its 3.3-inch screen keeps everything simple but may be tough to see for some older adults.

But it does have a dual speaker for better audio. And its face-unlock feature means you won’t have to remember any codes to use your phone.

Palm Phone service plan

The Palm Phone works independently or with major carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and US Mobile. If you don’t go with a carrier, you can use a SIM card of your own or the one Palm includes with the phone.

If you go with Palm’s plan, it’s $5 per month for data and you get the first month free. And the phone itself costs around $280. We like that you get the option of going with one of the big guys or keeping it simple. 

Learn more in our full Palm Phone review.

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

What is the easiest cell phone for seniors to use?

With a large screen and uncluttered list-style menu, the Jitterbug Smart3 is the easiest cell phone for seniors to use. 

Does Verizon have Jitterbug?

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.

What is the best cell phone for seniors?

Our top senior cell phone picks include the Jitterbug Smart3, Apple iPhone 8, Alcatel Go Flip 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and the Palm 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 seniors 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 12, 2021. Accessed December 29, 2021.

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.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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