Seniors have their own needs when picking up a smartphone in 2022. Several of the most popular brands are creating mobile phones that cater to an older crowd regarding technology and accessibility features.
Accessibility is becoming a significant selling point across the tech world. Display size, intuitiveness, and audio assistance features are becoming more commonplace in today’s phones.
For seniors, accessibility features may be even more central. Some accessibility features that are especially pertinent include:
- Large buttons, touchscreens, bright screens, voice command features, and styluses can help less tech-savvy people navigate the complex operating systems of modern devices.
- Large screens, magnifier features, Bluetooth hearing aid compatibility, and loud speakerphones can be crucial in helping seniors use video calls to connect with relatives and caregivers.
- Big buttons (such as urgent response buttons, SOS buttons, and emergency buttons) can also expedite medical alerts and assist seniors in calling for emergency services, making a crucial difference in time-sensitive emergencies.
Here are some of the best and most accessible phones for seniors on the market today:
What Are the Three Best Cell Phones for Seniors in 2022?
- Galaxy A12
- iPhone SE
With a retail price of $179.99, the Samsung Galaxy A12 is the definition of a budget phone. Very few phones out there can match that price while also providing the core features expected of a modern smartphone and none with the Samsung Galaxy name other than the A12. This price is reflected in the phone, which utilizes relatively cheap materials and minimal processing power.
The phone sports a large, 6.5-inch display which is excellent for people who prefer to set up larger icons. The screen resolution is HD+, lower than what you will find in premium hardware but more than enough for your average phone user.
As is typical with cheaper phones, users can go a relatively long time without charging. You can make it up to two days without charging your A12, which can’t be said for more expensive Samsung Galaxy phones.
The camera system is also robust, with a 48MP primary camera that can accurately depict just about anything you are trying to snap a shot of. That, combined with Samsung’s commitment to long-term software support, makes the A12 a solid option for its audience.
The A12 is a cheap phone, making it a great starter option. The phone has a large display and an intuitive design, which is great from an accessibility perspective. The user also does not have to worry about charging the phone twice daily due to the extended battery life.
Users must understand that the phone is a budget phone, which means it lacks many features you would see in something that costs upwards of $600. The RAM, storage, and processing power are weak, which is frustrating for people who anticipate high device usage. It is also not made of sturdy materials, so you must purchase a case.
If your primary motivators are price and design, the A12 is a solid option. Anyone who has not used a smartphone before will find this a great entry point into the technology.
The GrandPad is unique because it is explicitly built for seniors. It is marketed as a tablet to help older users connect with their families more efficiently. The annual subscription price of $780 is meant to encompass various quality-of-life features that assist seniors with using modern technology.
The device is seven inches, making it around the size of a mini tablet. The design is built around being intuitive. Instead of a power button, you put it to sleep by simply placing the cover over the screen.
The mandatory subscription service comes with unlimited 4G internet, unlimited storage, and 24/7 customer support in multiple languages. The idea is that the user has someone to call when they need help.
The default display has large icons and a few buttons to keep in mind. Calling and messaging are the most identifiable buttons, making it easy to get in contact with a GrandPad user. Everything revolves around simplicity and ease of use.
The fact that GrandPad comes with a mandatory subscription service is strange and will likely throw some people off. Most hardware devices can be purchased in isolation, whereas there are no such options for the GrandPad.
It does not help that this subscription is not cheap. You need to dish out over $700 to keep the phone running, which is an annual fee. However, it does simplify the process of having both a phone and a phone plan.
The GrandPad is a tough sell for most of the population due to its price and limited features. However, this is the most in-depth option if your primary goal is to provide a senior with a smartphone experience that sets them up for success.
Standing in contrast to the usual Apple product, the iPhone SE only costs $429. This is significantly cheaper than any other iPhone on the market. It is a more straightforward phone for a more generalized audience than the rest of the Apple lineup.
The Apple iPhone SE has most of the perks a typical iPhone offers. These include access to Apple-specific applications, the A15 Bionic Chip, and Apple support access. The performance is as good as you will find in a phone of this price, and it is a fully-fledged smartphone overall.
It has a system that operates as a simplified version of the iPhone 13 camera system, along with 64GB of storage on the base model. It does not have the industry-shaking technological advancements of the iPhone 13 series, but it stands on its own as a relatively cheap premium phone.
As a premium smartphone, the iPhone SE does not necessarily check the boxes of an excellent phone for seniors. It is small, and Apple is notorious for having many features to shuffle through when using your device.
Looking at the price alone, this is undoubtedly a better option for less technologically inclined folks than the iPhone 13. That said, you will need to ensure the person in question has a good idea of how smartphones work if you want them to thrive with an iPhone SE.
What Else Should You Consider for Senior Cell Phones?
There is plenty aside from hardware concerns when we use cell phones; however, the most crucial consideration is often the cell phone plan. While traditional providers (such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) offer great plans for seniors, prepaid plans with Consumer Cellular or GreatCall are geared toward the senior market.
Regardless of the type of plan, you’ll want to ensure that it includes all the bells and whistles for which modern phone plans are known. While social media functionality may not be the primary concern, phone features like unlimited talk and text messages, internet access, and good 5G or 4G LTE data plans are all critical.
Seniors may not be on Snapchat, but connecting through video chat apps and text plans is vital to ensure their mobile devices can be for more than merely phone calls and storing phone numbers.
There are a wide variety of phones out there, but only a few are tailored to seniors' needs. Accessibility features and simple design philosophies are rising, but you need to work to find them.
Devices like the GrandPad were explicitly created to address this issue. They open the user to plenty of options that make using them more accessible. That said, finding services like this for a reasonable price is tough. Devices like the iPhone SE are cheaper but don’t have as many features, and the Galaxy A12 sits in between.
Of course, we couldn’t list every single option out there. For those looking for other basic phones for senior family members or loved ones, other high-quality options include:
- The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (an Android flip phone)
- The Jitterbug Flip2
- The Jitterbug Smart3
- The Nokia 225 4G
- The Motorola Moto G Power
Use Navi to choose the best senior cell phone for you. Navi analyzes your needs to determine the best phone for you. It has a deep knowledge of the phone industry that you can use to ensure you never pay too much. Check out Navi today to learn more about your next senior phone.
The Samsung Galaxy A12 | Samsung
Keep Families Closer | GrandPad