It seems like the older you get, the harder it is to follow technological trends and the more alien these technologies seem. Smartphones are a great example of this.
The average senior doesn’t keep track of the latest offerings from Samsung or Apple and can’t tell the difference between iOS and Android. If your eyesight is failing, your hearing isn’t what it used to be, and you have no need for 512 GB of data, these high-priced technological marvels will be wasted on you.
That said, the smartphone market isn’t limited to super high-tech devices that cost the same as a small car. If you’re looking for something a little cheaper and more practical, keep the following cell phones in mind.
Verizon LG Exalt
The LG Exalt from Verizon is a flip phone, so there’s no touchscreen capability and you can’t use it to watch the latest YouTube videos or chat with friends and family over Facetime. At the same time, if none of that stuff interests you and you’re just looking for a phone, it serves its purpose.
For around $150, you’ll get a sturdy, compact flip phone with large buttons and a 3-inch screen. It’s ideal if you struggle to see and hit the buttons but, because of its built-in email messaging and web browsing capabilities, trying to search the web on such a small screen is often more trouble than it’s worth.
Users who struggle to read text on the small screen can simply activate the text-to-speech function, which will read those messages aloud.
GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2
The Jitterbug Smart2 blends modern features with streamlined accessibility and ease of use, making it one of the best options for seniors.
The Jitterbug Smart2 is a smartphone and utilizes touchscreen capabilities, but It simplifies everything and doesn’t bombard you with confusing features and mechanisms. You can use it to voice chat and video chat, as well as play games and browse the web. There is also built-in GPS navigation and optional support for medical alert devices.
The screen on the Jitterbug Smart2 is a modest 5.5 inches and the camera is 13 MP. All menus use a simple list format, making it easy to find the right feature, and it supports voice-to-text, so you can dictate your messages and emails.
Motorola Moto G7
The Moto G7 costs just a couple hundred dollars and is relatively high-tech for its price. It’s a smartphone and it includes an impressive 12 MP camera, fingerprint and face unlock, and a large 6.2 inch screen.
You can change the settings to make the text bigger and the generous screen size will make it easy to read this text and use the phone. More importantly, the Moto G7 has some of the best audio of any budget smartphone. At full volume, even the most hard-of-hearing will understand every single word.
The Moto G7 is water-repellant and scratch-resistant, and it also packs a sizeable charge. It’ll last all day on a single charge and you’ll get a boost of over 9 hours after just 15 minutes of charging.
Consumer Cellular Link
A steal for just $30, the Consumer Cellular Link is a barebones, back-to-basics flip phone designed with seniors in mind. It has large buttons, a bright screen, and a volume adjuster. It is also compatible with hearing aids and has a 2 MP camera, which is not bad for something that costs over 30x less than the latest iPhone!
Of course, you will need to pay for texts and calls on top of that $30, but plans are available for as little as $15. You don’t need to sign an extended contract and there is a 30-day money back guarantee if you discover the phone is not for you.
The iPad Mini
Although it’s the most expensive option on this list, the iPad Mini is also the best, with a number of advanced features that you won’t get with the aforementioned phones.
If you opt for the cellular option, you can use the iPad just like a phone and have the added benefit of a much larger screen and a powerful processor. It’s fast, it’s user-friendly, and, while it will take some getting used to if you’ve never owned an iPad before, it’s all very intuitive and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Use your iPad Mini to play games, chat with friends on social media, read books, and write or draw. It has text-to-speech options and it can even connect directly to some hearing aids.
The iPad Mini costs $399 for the basic model and around $499 for the cellular option. It’s still a lot of money but looks like a bargain when compared to the $1,000+ charged for many newer smartphones.
Verizon Kyocera DuraXV Extreme
This is one of the toughest budget phones on the market and it also has the highest rating for hearing aid compatibility, making it a great choice for seniors who suffer from hearing problems.
The Kyocera DuraXV Extreme is a flip phone priced at between $200 and $250. It is dust and water resistant and can also withstand drops, bangs, and extreme temperatures. It has an easy-grip design, a set of incredibly powerful speakers, and a 5 MP camera. The Kyocera DuraXV Extreme also has a text-to-speech feature and talk/text plans that cost upwards of $30 from Verizon.
Do I Need a Senior Friendly Phone?
If you’re relatively tech savvy, spend a lot of time online, and have the budget for it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in a brand new smartphone. The latest models from the likes of Apple tend to be much sleeker than the ones outlined above, and they are not designed with limited mobility in mind. Regardless, that doesn’t mean they are completely useless.
They still have text-to-speech capability, powerful audio, and big screens. You can change the size of the text and use a host of accessibility options to make your life easier. You can also purchase a rugged and durable case, to make sure your phone stays in one piece.
The phones outlined above are not made with tech-savvy seniors in mind. They are designed to be used by seniors who get frustrated with technology, don’t like touchscreens, don’t need the latest features and apps, and require larger and more tactile buttons.
All that being said, everyone is different and just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the latest high-tech devices.