5 of the Best Smartphones for Seniors

It’s unfortunate but true: Technology tends to leave seniors behind. Older folks find it more difficult to adopt new technologies, and with the cell phone industry on the forefront of emerging tech, some seniors find them simply too difficult to use.

Do grandma and grandpa seem flabbergasted by the latest iPhone? Do they think an Android is the metal trashcan from Lost In Space? If so, it might be a good idea to look for alternatives.

Sadly there aren’t many companies making smartphones aimed specifically for senior citizens. However, amidst a sea of “dumb” phones using tech from fifteen years ago, there are a few diamonds in the rough.

jitterbug-home

The Jitterbug Smart features an interface that is easy to see and navigate with a simple list interface. The phone also boasts a large 5.5-inch display, which may be a turnoff for older users who might find the form factor awkward.

However, with a larger screen, everything on the screen is much easier to see. The device even has a number of urgent care apps pre-installed. Say goodbye to “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” scenarios! The Jitterbug Smart is also hearing-aid compatible and comes with 4G LTE connectivity.

Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch display with HD resolution
  • 8 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 32 GB
  • 5 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,500 mAh battery
  • 4G LTE
  • Hearing aid compatible – M4/T4 rating

powertel-m9500

This 5″ smartphone is made by a company called Amplicomms whose motto is “Loud and Clear.” As you may have guessed, the PowerTel M9500 is super loud. The phone’s ringtone can go as high as 90 dB, which is similar to a train whistle or an oncoming subway train.

The phone also features a volume boost key that can enhance the speaker volume by an additional 40 dB. It’s safe to say that with that level of amplification, you won’t have to ask “Can you hear me now?” when talking to Nana ever again. In addition to being really loud, the PowerTel M9500 has a retooled user interface with clearly-labelled large buttons.

Specifications:

  • 5-inch display
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1
  • 4G LTE
  • Hearing-aid compatible – M4/T4 rating

emporia-smart

The Emporia Smart features a unique marriage of old and new. The Android smartphone has a touchscreen that can be overlaid with a keypad cover. This cover allows those who prefer a more tactile experience to dial and text while using a physical keypad. If at a later date the user warms up to the touchscreen, the keypad cover can be completely removed.

The Emporia Smart’s user interface has large buttons and a simple menu for easy navigation. Finally, the phone comes with a stylus for those uncomfortable with touch-based navigation. Despite some interesting features that we don’t normally associate with modern smartphones, the Emporia Smart doesn’t have the best specs. That being said, ease-of-use is the major draw with this one.

Specifications:

  • 4.5-inch display with a 960 x 540 resolution
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 64 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 1 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,600 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
  • Hearing aid compatible – M4/T4 rating

doro-liberto-825

The main selling point of the Doro Liberto 825 is its ease of use, so naturally it features an easy-to-use UI with large icons and clear text. When users first fire it up, a comprehensive tutorial walks you through the basics of smartphone operation. It can be skipped, but the tutorial is ideal for anyone who hasn’t used a smartphone before.

In addition to the tutorial, there are also interactive tips that guide users through the process of sending text messages, emails, etc. If Pop Pop is still struggling, there is an online help center featuring videos that walk him through step by step.

One of the more interesting features of the Liberto 825 is remote access. Users can nominate trusted contacts who can remotely control the Liberto 825. So instead of pulling your hair out trying to explain how to install apps or set up a contact list, you can do it for them. Be aware that the Liberto 825 isn’t available in the US, so double-check what bands your cell provider operates on before importing.

Specifications:

  • 5-inch display with a HD resolution
  • 1.1 GHz quad-core processor
  • 8 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • Hearing-aid compatible

samsung-galaxy

All modern Samsung phones from flagships down to budget offerings have an “Easy Mode.” This enlarges the icons and puts all the important stuff within easy reach. If you already own a Samsung or simply want to have a more well-known phone, Easy Mode is ideal. Easy Mode isn’t enabled out of the box for obvious reasons, but turning it on is a snap.

1. Head to “Settings.”

2. Scroll down until you see “Easy Mode” and tap on it.

3. A screen will pop up telling you you’re in “Standard” mode.

4. Tap on “Easy Mode” once more, and you’re all done.

Do you know of any other “senior-friendly” smartphones? Do you have any strategies for helping an older person embrace smartphone technology? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.