The Best Cell Phones for Seniors of 2023

Make sure your loved ones are always in touch

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The best phones for seniors consider all the accessibility needs of those who have reached their golden years. Most modern smartphones have "easy modes" or accessibility features that can be turned on. Generally, the best phones for seniors will have large buttons, a large bright display for easy viewing, wireless charging—meaning no fumbling with cables—and long battery life.

The Jitterbug Flip is our go-to pick. The large buttons and easy interface make using the phone simple, keeping their lives simple. The large screen and simple Yes/No navigation are among the best ways to use the phone, and Jitterbugs have been specifically designed for this generation.

Best Overall

Jitterbug Flip

Jitterbug Flip
Courtesy of Amazon.com.com
What We Like
  • Simple Yes/No navigation

  • Large buttons

  • Bright screen

  • Loud speaker

What We Don't Like
  • Low resolution camera

  • Locked to Greatcall carrier

Jitterbug is one of the big names in cell phones for seniors. That's because Jitterbug and its carrier, Lively, built their phones specifically for that audience. As its name suggests, the Jitterbug Flip is a flip phone with a small outside screen for incoming calls and notifications and a large inside screen with a custom operating system designed around simple yes/no navigation. The large buttons and bright screens are perfect for seniors because they're so easy to use. The loudspeaker makes phone calls a snap, even for those whose hearing could be better.

The camera on the phone isn't the best, which is not surprising considering the flip-phone form factor. The Jitterbug Flip is also exclusive to Lively, so if you're a customer on another carrier, this phone won't work. But the carrier has no long-term contracts and uses Verizon's nationwide network, which is very extensive.

Screen Size: 1.44 and 3.2 inches | Resolution: N/A | Processor: 1.1 GHz | Camera: 2MP rear | Battery: Around 1 day

Best 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

4.5
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • 5G

  • Best value in Android

  • Great camera setup

  • Samsung's Easy mode

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Samsung's best 5G smartphone is easily the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Released in late 2020, this phone cuts many corners to meet a low price tag compared to its older S20 siblings. But Samsung perfectly cut every corner to come up with the best combination of price and features you can find in a flagship phone.

It's expensive for a fixed budget, but there's no reason seniors should be relegated to flip phones and low-end smartphones. This phone is powerful and still comes at a lower price tag that punches way above its class.

All Samsung Galaxy phones come with an Easy Mode that turns the phone's interface into large, easy-to-use, and easy-to-read buttons. This phone has a great camera setup, perfect for shooting photos of friends and family. 5G connectivity and the Snapdragon 865 processor mean seniors won't worry about sluggish performance. This is the best value you can find in Android today.

Screen Size: 6.5 inches | Resolution: 2400 x 1080 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 | Camera: 12MP/8MP/12MP rear and 32MP front | Battery: Around 1.5 days

S20 FE apps

 Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Best Apple

Apple iPhone SE

4.2
Apple iPhone SE

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great performance

  • Good camera

  • Great price

  • Wireless charging

What We Don't Like
  • Weak battery

  • Small screen

In early 2020, Apple reintroduced the iPhone SE, a smaller, more affordable version of the iPhone. This phone is powered by many of the same internals as the iPhone 11 but in a smaller package with a TouchID fingerprint sensor rather than Apple's more popular FaceID. You get the same A13 bionic chip with its excellent performance, 12MP camera sensor, and wireless charging, and you get it for less than $500, which is fantastic.

This phone is smaller than your average smartphone, and with that comes a smaller battery. The wireless charging is great for setting your phone down and not worrying about cables, so that helps. The phone screen is also relatively small, so if you have trouble seeing small things, you might want to try a different phone. But if you're looking for a lot of power and performance with an easy-to-use operating system on a budget, this is one of the best deals in town.

Screen Size: 4.7 inches | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | Processor: Apple A13 Bionic | Camera: 12MP rear and 7MP front | Battery: Around 1 day

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

About Our Trusted Experts

Adam Doud has been writing in the technology space for almost a decade. When he's not hosting the Benefit of the Doud podcast, he's playing with the latest phones, tablets, and laptops. When not working, he's a cyclist, geocacher, and spends as much time outside as he can.

Andrew Hayward has been reviewing tech and games since 2006. He's previously been published by TechRadar, Stuff, Polygon, Macworld, and was an editor for Mac|Life. He reviewed a big chunk of the phones on this roundup due to his specialty in smartphones and other mobile devices.

FAQ
  • What is Greatcall?

    Greatcall is a mobile network virtual operator (MVNO) that uses Verizon's network to deliver its own mobile service. Beyond that, Greatcall adds on services that are great for seniors including doctors, nurses, and associates who are there to assist seniors whenever they are needed.

  • How do you activate Samsung's Easy Mode?

    Go to Settings, and search for "Easy Mode." It's typically located under the display settings. Easy Mode organizes your apps into three columns of buttons that are large and easy to see.

  • Can you still get a phone on a contract?

    That usually depends on the carrier. Most phone carriers won't have "contracts," but they will have multi-year payment plans, which is similar to the contracts we used to have with cellular service. Check your carrier to see if contracts are in place, or avoid the contract and buy an unlocked phone that can work with any carrier.

Galaxy S20 FE Back

 Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

What to Look For in a Cell Phone For a Senior Citizen

Price

Living on a fixed income in your later years can put a burden on your pocketbook when it comes time to buy a smartphone. In many cases, a lower price doesn't necessarily mean a bad experience. It's important to find the right balance of features and price when smartphone shopping.

Screen Size

Screen size is very important when it comes to phones for seniors. If eyesight has started to go, or if glasses are required, larger screens can accommodate larger icons and text, which will make the phone easier to use.

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Cameras

A smartphone is a multi-use tool, and most seniors love capturing photos. A smartphone with a good camera can capture a lot of great memories, and it's important to have as good a camera as your budget allows. Higher megapixel counts are generally better, but software processing has a lot to say about it too. Check reviews of phones and look for photo samples.

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