Land-line phones are mostly a thing of the past. Nowadays, basically, the whole world uses cellular phones – children, adults, and seniors. Why? Because cell phones are incomparably more practical than land-line phones. Not only can they be used outside the house, in the store, in the park, or even on vacation, which is very convenient especially in case of emergency, but if you opt for a smartphone you also get a whole lot of other benefits and features other than calling and texting.
As seniors use cell phones just as much as younger people. Many manufacturers have started producing cellular phones particularly with elderly people and their needs in mind. Consumer cellular phones for seniors tend to have larger dial pads, SOS buttons, preinstalled health apps, and many other features that senior citizens may find useful.
Why Do You Need Consumer Cellular Phones For Seniors?
There are countless benefits of senior citizens having cell phones. First and foremost, having a cell phone by their side at all times allows them to call the doctor, an emergency number or a loved one in case something happens. It allows seniors to stay in touch with their loved ones. They can call their family members and friends, text them, or with a smartphone they can even Facetime them. This is very important as it makes them feel socially connected and less lonely.
Having a (preferably smart) cellular phone also enables seniors to monitor their health and set up medication reminders. Moreover, cell phones can also be a wonderful source of entertainment for the elderly. They can play games that boost their memory and cognitive function. Listen to their favorite tunes, watch videos, take photos. Socialize with their old schoolmates, coworkers, and friends on social media apps. And browse the internet for some recipes, directions, news, or random facts.
In this day and age, there are thousands of high-quality cell phones on the market. However, not all models are equally convenient for seniors. There are some models by a number of reliable manufacturers that are particularly senior-oriented and senior-friendly. We will look at the list of the top 10 consumer cellular phones for seniors in chapter 4.
Consumer cellular is a postpaid mobile virtual network operator that offers cell phones, no-contract cellphone plans, and cellular accessories with a focus on users above 50 years old seniors. There you will definitely be able to find a perfect senior-friendly cell phone for yourself or your loved one.
Important Features For Consumer Cellular Phones For Seniors
Now that we have established why seniors need cell phones. Let’s take a look at the basic features the best cell phones for seniors must-have.
1. Senior relevant features
Before choosing a senior-friendly cell phone, make sure it fits your needs. Will you or the elderly person in question use it just for calling and texting or are you planning to use more advanced functions and apps, such as medication reminders, and health apps that can monitor health information, blood pressure readings, and count your steps?
Is the user likely to play games, watch videos, Facetime with their loved ones, or take photos? Is the user visually impaired and in need of a large dial pad? or Is the user fairly tech-savvy or very limited in knowledge about cell phones and other electronic devices? Make sure to answer these questions and really figure out what kind of features would be relevant and useful for the user. The usual features that tend to be most popular among the elderly are health apps, large dial pads, and photo address books.
2. Hearing aid compatibility
Since many senior citizens are hearing-impaired and use a hearing aid, make sure to check if the cell phone you are planning to buy is compatible with the particular hearing aid you or your loved one use. If the devices aren’t compatible it may significantly reduce the quality of a simple phone call or even make it impossible for the person to hear the co-speaker at all.
3. Health-related applications
It is of great value, especially for elderly people to have some kind of health-related apps installed on their mobile devices. For this reason, smartphones may be a better choice than simple flip phones which only enable you to call and text. Health apps enable you to organize your medication schedule, set medication reminders, monitor and record health information, and even count your steps and measure your daily activity and well-being. Some cell phones have preinstalled health apps and others allow you to install the ones you would like to use yourself.
4. Dedicated emergency help button
A one-touch SOS/emergency help button is a wonderful feature for seniors that many senior-friendly cell phones have. It enables the person in need to call for help by pressing a single button, instead of having to type in the number or search through their saved contacts and thus gives the elderly and their loved ones a sense of safety, which is definitely appreciated.
Important Considerations To Keep In Mind Before Buying Consumer Cellular Phones For Seniors
1. Prepaid or contract
Some users prefer contracts and they definitely have their place. However, prepaid phones give you the freedom to do what you want with your phone. In addition, prepaid plans are often cheaper, and they enable you not to worry about contracts and cancellation fees. Decide what kind of plan would work best for you and choose the device accordingly.
2. Durability and performance
You should definitely make sure to buy a compact, durable, high-quality device from a reliable manufacturer, as it is very inconvenient if the device breaks down or experiences any kind of issues, especially if the user is an elderly person, who may need the cell phone to work perfectly at all times. In addition, if the user is a gamer or plans to install any kind of other advanced apps, make sure to review the device’s performance.
3. Large, bright display
As elderly people tend to be visually impaired, it’s best to choose a cell phone with a large, bright display. The display should be big and bright enough that the user can see the icons and text on the screen perfectly even on the sunlight.
4. Camera quality
Smartphones tend to have higher-quality cameras than flip phones and other basic mobile devices. If you or the elderly person in question is planning to take a lot of photos and videos, you should definitely opt for a smartphone.
5. Good speakers
Good speakers are also quite important, especially for those who are planning to talk with their loved ones a lot, Facetime them, and have them on speakers, as well as for the people who are likely to watch videos or listen to music on their mobile device.
6. Voice command capability
Elderly people sometimes find it hard and confusing to type. Therefore, buying a cell phone with voice command capability may be a great idea. This practical feature allows the user to call, text, or even use some apps and browsers completely hands-free.
7. Long-lasting battery
Senior citizens won’t like it if their cell phone has to be charged every few hours and truth be told – it is highly impractical to have the device plugged in too often. For this reason, it is best to pick a mobile phone with long battery life.
If you or your loved one is planning to store a lot of photos, videos, music, and apps, you should opt for a phone with a large storage capacity.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you may also want to take into consideration the price. Just make sure not to compromise the quality – you want a device that gets the job done. Nowadays, there are lots of affordable quality devices, therefore this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Top 10 Best Consumer Cellular Phones For Seniors
As there are all kinds of cellular phones on the market and many of them are senior-friendly, you can choose either a smartphone, which will enable you to use countless different apps and other exciting features or you can pick a simple flip phone if calling and texting is everything you need. Opt for the kind of device you are most comfortable using.
Here is our pick of the top 5 flip phones and top 5 smartphones for seniors.
Top 5 Consumer Cellular Flip Phones For Seniors:
1. Alcatel Big Easy Flip
Our first flip phone is a simple yet effective device with a clamshell design. It has a big enough display on the front side, which enables you to see the time without opening the device. It has a large enough storage to save your favorite songs on it and as such it doubles as an MP3 player. Also more features an alarm clock, a caller ID, a 2 MP camera and it is Bluetooth capable. One of its best characteristics is that the battery can last up to 11 whole days. Moreover, it is very affordable.
2. BLU JOY Cell Phone
This is an unlocked dual SIM phone for seniors. You can use it with any carrier that accepts 2G sim cards. It features a built-in SOS button that is totally programmable, which means that you can set it up to contact the police, ambulance, or a family member with the use of one single button. The simple device also features a 2.4-inch display and a numerical keypad with large buttons that are easy to read. In addition, it offers a built-in flashlight, MP3/MP4, FM radio, and a VGA camera.
3. Easyfone Prime A1
Easyfone Prime A1 is another great flip phone option for seniors. Its large buttons make dialing and texting convenient even for the seniors who are visually impaired and the powerful loudspeakers enable the users with hearing problems to hear properly. Moreover, it’s also hearing aid compatible. It has a large 2.4-inch display and big font, which enables the user to read the number or text with or without glasses. It features a 2.0MP camera, MMS, tasks, FM, a flashlight, and a special SOS button with ICE manual.
4. Jitterbug Flip Easy-to-Use Cell Phone
Some consider Jitterbug to be the best senior-friendly phone company, therefore many of their models are a safe bet if we are looking for a cell phone suitable for seniors. The device’s large buttons and crystal-clear text make dialing and texting very easy. The menu allows simple navigation, using basic yes and no responses. It features powerful speakers, a large bright screen, a long-lasting battery, a 2.0-megapixel camera, and an SOS button. It doesn’t use complicated, long-term contracts either, so you can skip the paperwork.
5. Jethro Flip Phone
This is another senior-friendly flip phone from Jethro. Jethro is a popular and reliable manufacturer, especially when it comes to senior-friendly phones. The phone has a sturdy splash-resistant design and it can resist damage from other sources as well. It has a large 2.4-inch LCD display, which provides great visibility. It is Bluetooth compatible and extremely easy to use. The device is hearing aid compatible and it features an enhanced rear camera, an SOS emergency button, and a free quick charging dock.
Top 5 Consumer Cellular Smart Phones For Seniors:
1. Alcatel Ideal
This is a very user-friendly and senior-friendly unlocked smartphone. It is easy to set up and even though it is a smartphone, it’s very easy to use. It features a 5 megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, which enables you to take decent photos, and 1 GB of RAM, plus 8 GB of storage, which allows you to store the photos and videos you have taken without having to worry if you will run out of storage space. The device also has a 5-inch crystal-clear and bright display suitable for the visually impaired and a removable long-lasting battery (20 days on standby and 14 hours of talk time).
2. Alcatel Raven
This is another extremely senior-friendly smartphone by Alcatel. It is one of the best budget cellular phones for seniors (the price starts at $30). It comes with a large, crystal-clear touchscreen and it’s prepaid, which means you won’t have to deal with signing a lengthy contract. This budget phone offers all of the features any senior would need – you can use it for talking, texting, or using a large variety of apps for seniors. It comes with a one-year warranty that covers most types of damage. On the flip side, it’s hard to find a phone case for the device.
3. Apple iPhone 6 16 GB
Apple devices are always among the more expensive ones but many would agree that they are definitely worth it. This is not the newest Apple smartphone, but the newest is way too complicated for seniors anyway. It is, however, a very user-friendly device and by now the price is much more affordable than the price of the newest iPhone. It has a simple to use, attractive, yet durable design, a great 8-megapixel camera, and excellent battery life. Also it comes with a built-in emergency system and a huge selection of senior-friendly apps.
4. GreatCall Jitterbug Smartphone
This user-friendly smartphone by Jitterbug is one of the best cell phones for seniors and many elderly people’s top choice. It offers a sleek, modern design, a large comfortable touchscreen, senior-friendly apps, an intuitive easy to use menu with large icons and font, plus an emergency button, many health services, and other exclusive GreatCall features. Purchasing this device doesn’t require you to sign any contracts. In addition, the manufacturer also provides reliable award-winning customer service.
5. Doro 824
Doro 824 is a senior-friendly Android phone with an easy-to-use interface. It features a 5-inch HD screen, a powerful processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, as well as 8 GB of internal storage to comfortably store all your HD photos and videos as well as your favorite music. As the device is unlocked, you can use it with any GSM carrier. In addition, it offers a number of other senior-friendly features, such as big icons, a large dial pad, and a photo address book.
Consumer Cellular Plans For Seniors
Cellular plans depend on the providers and whether you choose a prepaid plan or contract. There are lots of cellular plan providers with very different plans. For example,
AT&T Prepaid costs $35 for 2GB of data and $65 for unlimited data a month.
T-Mobile prepaid costs $50 for unlimited data a month.
Verizon prepaid costs $35 for 2GB of data (only for talk and text), $40 for 5GB, $50 for 15GB, and $65 for unlimited data a month.
Then there are Consumer Cellular cell phone plans. They offer to Talk Only plans ($15 for 250 minutes, or $20 for unlimited minutes), 250-Minute Talk plans, which add a data package and unlimited text messages ($20 for 500MB, $25 for 3GB, $35 for 10GB, $45 for 15GB, or $55 for unlimited data), and Unlimited Talk plans, which add a data package plus unlimited talk and text ($25 for 500MB, $30 for 3GB, $40 for 10GB, $50 for 15GB, and $60 for unlimited data).
In case you exceed the minutes or monthly data, they automatically bump your plan up (and charge the new bumped price), however, they don’t automatically bump you back down at the end of your billing cycle, therefore you have to remember to do it yourself. Consumer Cellular offers flexible, no-frills plans designed especially for seniors and those who don’t use their phone often. Among elderly people, their plans are even more popular than the ones from the ‘big four’ cell phone carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. However, their unlimited plans may be a bit pricey.
Where to buy consumer cellular phones?
You can buy cellular phones for seniors in any store for smartphones and consumer electronics, may it be an online shop or a regular one. You can also buy mobile devices with your carrier. Some of the most popular stores that sell cellular phones (both smartphones and flip phones) include Consumer Cellular, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc. The prices may vary from one retailer to the next, as well as their warranties and return policies. Make sure to check all the differences before choosing a retailer.
Is Consumer Cellular good for seniors?
Yes. In fact, when it comes to cellular phones for senior citizens and the cellular plans for seniors and those who don’t use their phones very often, Consumer Cellular is even more popular than the ‘big four’ cell phone carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. They offer very senior-friendly devices as well as convenient cellular plans.
Can you use a Jitterbug phone on Consumer Cellular?
Consumer Cellular has paired with AT&T and T-Mobile for their cellular service while Jitterbug is primarily available through GreatCall. Nonetheless, Jitterbug phones can be used with other carriers if the user is willing to pay the higher fees for their packages.
What cell phone does AARP recommend for seniors?
AARP recommends Jitterbug phones and Jitterbug smartphones because of healthcare and safety applications and packages and other senior-friendly apps and features. Consumer Cellular is the most famous cell phone company that offers AARP phone discounts for its customers who are AARP members.
What is the easiest smartphone for seniors to use?
It’s impossible to choose one as it depends on the user’s preferences and needs. All of the smartphones on our list above are very senior-friendly. Make sure to check them out in chapter 4 and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Is iPhone or Android better for seniors?
The answer to this question again depends on the user. If the user has previously owned an iPhone, he or she will be more comfortable using an iPhone in the future. If they have previously owned an Android phone, they may be better off with another Android phone. Generally speaking, an Android phone is a better choice for middle-of-road users, as it still offers a wide selection of apps to choose from.
The Easy Mode will help seniors use the phone more easily than an iPhone. It also reduces the chance of the user accidentally messing something up. An iPhone, on the other hand, is cooler and as many of the user’s relatives may have an iPhone they will be able to help out if the user has some questions or experiences some difficulties.