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Best Overall: Jitterbug Flip at Amazon
"Featuring 5Star, which turns the Flip into a personal safety device that's customized specifically for an older audience."
Best Value: Nokia 4.2 at Amazon
"Perfect for anyone who wants a phone they won’t have to replace anytime soon."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Motorola G6 Play at Amazon
"The large display and long battery life make it a smart buy."
Best Basic: LG Exalt VN220 at Best Buy
"A solid combination of performance and battery life."
Best Display: Jitterbug Smart2 at Amazon
"Providing the benefits of up-to-date technology on a device that’s also easy to use."
Best Battery: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro at Amazon
"Packs a high-capacity 5000mAh battery that will deliver incredible battery life."
Best Android: Samsung Galaxy S8 at Amazon
"With an Easy Mode that gives you access to the powerful features of the Galaxy S8 in a more user-friendly capacity."
Jitterbug’s large presence on this list shows their dedication to the senior community and the Jitterbug Flip is no exception. The 4.7-ounce device offers an exterior 1.44-inch 128 x 128 display that has basic information such as incoming call notifications and date and time. Inside the device, you’ll find a 3.2-inch 480 x 320 display that’s bright, but still offers exceptional outdoor visibility. The text is large and easy to read and there's a simple, organized menu that’s navigated through the directional arrows alongside “yes” and “no” selection buttons.
The addition of 5Star turns the Flip into a personal safety device that’s customized specifically for an older audience. With one-button touch for emergencies and agents standing by 24/7, there’s plenty of peace of mind for the phone owner, as well as their families and friends. Additionally, the LED flashlight on the exterior of the device doubles as a reading magnifier for assisting with small print reading in dimly lit areas. The included GreatCall Link app assists family with staying up-to-update with your health and safety while not intruding on your independence.
Just because you’re looking for a phone that doesn’t cost a fortune doesn’t mean you should have to settle for mediocrity. The Nokia 4.2 is perfect for anyone who wants a phone they won’t have to replace anytime soon, and it’s full of handy features to make your life easier.
Google Assistant will remind you of important events or help you respond to texts without lifting a finger, and thanks to Android One, you won’t have to worry about bloatware filling up your phone. Plus, with its Adaptive Battery mode, you’ll be able to really get the best out of your phone, making it a great value choice for seniors wanting a phone that fits their needs.
With a price tag that won’t scare anyone away, the Moto G6 Play is an excellent option for most seniors. Geared toward the more tech-savvy, the phone’s combination of a large display and long battery life make it a smart buy.
Right away, the 5.7-inch display grabs your attention. Its 720p resolution ensures that fonts are easy to read, and underneath the display is a quad-core processor which allows multiple apps to run concurrently with no slowdown. That’s great for seniors who want to do some mobile shopping or check in on Facebook. The rear of the device is adorned with a 13-megapixel camera that takes sharp, accurate photos. It’s perfect for vacations or for pictures of the grandkids.
The biggest highlight of the Motorola is the 4000mAh battery. Even for power users, that battery size is more than enough to get through a day. For someone who might use the phone considerably less, charging every other day is a real possibility. This phone also has Amazon Alexa capabilities, meaning you can ask about traffic or weather using voice commands.
The Verizon-powered LG Exalt flip phone has a solid combination of performance and battery life. The 1470mAh battery keeps it running for more than 10 days of standby time and up to six hours of talk time, so you rarely need to recharge. It's also capable of HD voice calls, which gives you crystal-clear audio so you don't miss a word. (This can be especially helpful for users who are hearing-impaired.) Another plus: the Exalt can be used as a mobile hotspot and share its network connection with your other devices if you need internet access away from home. While there’s no display on the outside, the internal three-inch LCD screen is easy to see, with large fonts and numbers. The buttons are also comfortably large and easy to type on.
The Jitterbug Smart2 is an easy-to-use phone with some updated features that make it a great choice for more than just texting and calling. The phone’s 5.5-inch screen makes everything easy to read, and the simple home screen menu has large buttons for basic functions like making phone calls, accessing the phone’s camera, and sending emails. You can also download additional apps, such as Skype or Google Hangouts, in the Google Play store. The phone comes with 16GB of built-in storage with the ability to expand to 32GB using an SD card.
The Smart2 also has a voice typing feature that makes texting simpler. All users have to do is press a button and speak their text message instead of having to type it out. Additionally, this phone offers 5Star service as a safety precaution — with a press of a button on the phone’s home screen, users can access immediate emergency assistance. The phone is also hearing-aid compatible and comes with the GreatCall Link app that updates family members about your health and safety.
The bottom line is that the Jitterbug Smart2 is specifically engineered with seniors’ needs in mind. And with a large screen, access to apps, and voice typing, they can enjoy the benefits of up-to-date technology on a device that’s also easy to use.
While senior citizens might not drain their phone batteries using Snapchat as fast as the rest of us, but keeping them powered is more a matter of safety. The ZenFone Max Pro has a high-capacity 5000mAh battery that delivers incredible battery life.
The phone has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 FHD resolution and runs Android 8.1 Oreo. It has three great cameras: two 12-megapixel cameras on the rear and a 13-megapixel camera on the front. At its core, you’ll find a speedy Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM and desktop-grade Adreno 512 graphics processor. It's a great, reliable, powerful phone, future proofed enough that only the most demanding users will need to upgrade anytime in the near future.
Part of what makes the Galaxy S8 a great choice for seniors is the inclusion of "Easy Mode." An optional setting on Samsung smartphones, this mode reconfigures the home screen with a simpler layout and larger fonts. There’s still access to the powerful features of the Galaxy S8, just in a more user-friendly capacity. Bixby’s voice commands are also a bonus, allowing menu navigation with voice control.
The Galaxy S8 display is gorgeous both in Easy Mode and Samsung’s more traditional interface. Colors are bright and vibrant and easy to see even in direct sunlight. At 5.8 inches in total size, there’s plenty of room for larger fonts. The body of the phone is IP68 rated as well for five feet of water resistance for up to 30 minutes.
The 12-megapixel camera takes gorgeous photos and with 64GB of memory available, storage is unlikely to be an issue. A 3000mAh battery adds up to 30 hours of life before requiring a recharge.
We bought two top-rated cell phones for seniors that our reviewers tested by using daily for weeks on end. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these cell phones, from their display to their camera. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Display - For seniors who have an app for everything, a large screen is a must. Around 5 inches, measured diagonally, should do the trick. A good resolution, around 1280 x 720 or higher, will make viewing media a pleasure. But if apps and media streaming take a back seat to texting and calling, a smaller display with a lower resolution will be just fine. This will also save you some money and earn you a better battery life.
Keyboard - If texting is a top priority, spring for a cell phone that has a convenient keyboard. That might be a subjective quality, but for most it means a digital QWERTY keyboard with no physical buttons. Basic phones generally have a keypad that doubles as a keyboard, but that might slow you down.
Camera - No need to pull school photos of grandkids out of your wallet anymore; a cell phone with a great camera can act as a whole photo album. The best phones have rear-facing cameras around 13 megapixels and some even feature a front-facing camera for selfies. Say cheese!