Best Buy Phones For Seniors
I'm that 5G guy. I've actually been here for every "G." I've reviewed well over a thousand products during 18 years working full-time at PCMag.com, including every generation of the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S. I also write a weekly newsletter, Fully Mobilized, where I obsess about phones and networks.
best buy phones for seniors
Everyone needs to be connected. Seniors, who might be isolated from their families or have specific health needs, shouldn't be left out. The smartphone industry, by and large, isn't thinking about the particular needs of the senior market, but, if you pay attention, you can find carriers and phones that offer a streamlined and accommodating phone experience.
Being in what phone manufacturers think of as the "senior market" isn't about chronological age so much as faculties, preferences, and lifestyle. Many of these phones accommodate reduced eyesight and hearing, plus are affordable. Others have high-end features that streamline aspects of your life.
Our list includes some voice phones and some general-purpose smartphones. Most of the phones on this list are available unlocked, which means you can pair them with any compatible carrier; the others are typically available only in carrier-specific versions.
We regularly get emails from readers who are frustrated because they don't feel like there are enough simple, high-quality voice phones. They look at the current lineup of voice phones and see them as a step back, not a step up.
They're right. The hardware demands of 4G LTE voice calling mean inexpensive voice phones are slower and less reliable than in the past. We tested several, and the one we most recommend, the Sunbeam F1, costs $195. Other high-quality voice phones from Sonim and Kyocera tend to be in the $200 to $300 range. The Nokia 2780 Flip, a cheaper option, is small, reliable, and costs only $89.99.
There are a bunch of flip phones kicking around the cell phone aisle at Walgreens and Walmart from carrier brands like Tracfone and Net10. We don't review them, but some appear to be older, decent-quality LG models. If your budget is tight, try one of those. Avoid phones where the carrier appears to be the phone maker; those are typically rebadged phones from low-rent manufacturers.
Finally, if you depend on a tech-savvy person for smartphone tech support, you might want to get the same type of phone they have (either one that runs Android or iOS). The two main phone operating systems are very different, and someone who is used to one might not be able to answer questions about the other. There are a lot of iPhones out there; here's how to choose the best iPhone. We also have a roundup of the top Android phones.
On the other hand, we recommend Consumer Cellular highly. Consumer Cellular has a marketing arrangement with AARP and doesn't offer specialized services, but it received high marks from our readers in the past for customer service. It sells several phones from our list.
Many seniors are more comfortable with older phones, but some might no longer work. You must ensure your phone supports 4G LTE networks, which will remain active until at least 2030. All three major carriers have turned off their 3G already. That means you need to go with a voice phone that supports voice over 4G LTE, also known as VoLTE.
There are other benefits to 4G as well. 4G LTE basic phones support HD Voice; that means you can conduct high-quality voice calls with anyone else that has an HD Voice-capable mobile phone. Those higher-quality calls can be easier on old ears. As for 5G, you won't need to worry about it for years.
With all the options out there, it can be a bit confusing to figure out which cellular provider gives the best bang for your buck. In terms of major providers, our current favorite is T-Mobile, whose trio of 55+ Unlimited Plans start at $27.50 per line per month and give you unlimited talk, text, and data.
For just $59, Consumer Cellular Link II is a great option for seniors who are looking for a durable and budget-friendly phone. With hearing aid compatibility, a 2.8-inch display screen, and a large, classic 12-key keypad, this phone is great for basic tasks.
When I tested the call quality, I was surprised to go through an entire conversation without background noise or distractions, thanks to the clear VoLTE calls with 4G connectivity. For a one-time charge of $96 plus tax, you can choose from a variety of affordable monthly plans, with discounts for seniors ages 55 and up.
Cell phones are increasingly useful tools for seniors, a fact reflected in the growing percentage of older Americans who own one. They not only provide an easy way to talk and text with friends, take photos of family and keep track of contacts, but many also include medical alert capabilities, can set reminders for appointments and medications, and are compatible with assistive technology and devices.
Bluetooth compatibility on a flip phone is important if you plan on using hands-free services or have a pair of wireless headphones or wireless-enabled hearing aids. Voice-to-text services may also rely on a Bluetooth connection.
If you wear hearing aids, you likely know the struggles of trying to use a non-compatible phone: Feedback and interference can ruin a conversation. Hearing aid-compatible flip phones come with an M and T rating, based on standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). M measures compatibility with acoustic hearing aids and T measures compatibility with induction hearing aids. Look for an M or T rating of 3 or 4 for the best user experience.
If you want the basic emergency services, look for phones with a dedicated emergency assistance button, commonly located on the keypad or on the outside of the phone. Most cell phones made for senior consumers include this feature.
Only a select number of flip phones come with more complex, built-in medical alert capabilities, so pay attention when purchasing. These phones can include features like fall detection, enhanced GPS and a certified urgent response system to make sure a senior user can quickly and easily receive help anywhere, any time. You also save money by not having to purchase a separate medical alert device, though be aware of battery life differences between products.
Flip phones are quite affordable relative to most smartphones. Most cost around $100 or less and can be found for as low as $30. The final price of a phone depends on the model, features and retailer.
Research shows that seniors who use smartphone apps have increased feelings of connectedness with friends and family.2 With internet access, smartphones can help older adults connect to resources that promote physical and mental well-being. The Jitterbug Smart3 allows users to stay connected through mobile apps, video chatting, texts, calls, and more. Plus, its simple design makes it ideal for first-time smartphone users.
Priced at $49, the Consumer Cellular Link II is the least expensive phone on our list. Not only is Consumer Cellular inexpensive, their Link II also has many features useful to seniors, such as a large keypad with a bright, colorful screen for optimal visibility.
Snapfon ez4G is an excellent option for on-the-go seniors. The 4G LTE internet access provides connectivity away from home, and the SOS emergency features offer monitoring for added safety. The ez4G can double as a hotspot, so older adults who enjoy working outside of the home can do so anywhere their network is available. The highest data plan is 3 GB, so this phone is best for seniors with low to moderate internet usage.
After hours of research and hands-on testing, we narrowed down the list to five cell phones with features designed specifically for seniors that are also some of the least expensive on the market. Our list contains both flip phones and smartphones for beginners to advanced cell phone users. Every phone on our list had to meet the following criteria:
Thankfully, despite the overwhelming number on the market, there are actually quite a few mobile phones that have been designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Our roundup of the best simple mobile phones for older people is designed to help you make an informed decision based on your own specific requirements or the needs of someone you know.
Whether your concerns are ease of use, vision, mobility impairment or generally just a bit of technophobia, our comprehensive list of the best simple mobile phones includes something for everyone. There's also a very handy buying guide at the bottom of this list, to help make your buying decision even easier.
Simple mobile phones are a great way to get to grips with new tech without being bombarded with potentially unnecessary features and functions. They can also alleviate some of the issues that may come with using a mobile device in old age, such as poor vision and arthritis.
Before deciding on a simple mobile phone, you should consider whether to opt for a smartphone or a feature phone. Understanding the differences between the two will help you make the best choice based on your specific needs.
Jitterbug is a phone service geared toward seniors. The Jitterbug brand is part of GreatCall, a California-based business with approximately 15 years of industry experience. Best Buy acquired GreatCall in 2018 but has not made any changes to the Jitterbug brand as of yet.
A backlit keyboard lets users easily text or call loved ones at any hour of the day, and a flash-enabled camera helps seniors capture memories. Press the dedicated 5Star button for emergency assistance 24 hours a day.
Elderly adults generally spend $14.99 to $39.99 per month for Jitterbug Flip services, but costs vary widely based on the number of calls and texts that seniors receive. A basic plan starts at $14.99 per month before including the price of voice or text services. You can add a plan with unlimited calls and texts to your subscription for $20 per month. 041b061a72