Best Smartphones For Seniors: Top 7 Models Most Recommended By Experts

Smartphones have become indispensable tools, connecting us with loved ones, providing access to vital information, and offering endless entertainment. While today’s seniors are more tech-savvy than in years past, there are still certain things to consider when selecting the right smartphone. Ease of use tops the list, followed by visibility and hearing accommodations. Choosing the correct device can positively impact an older person’s daily life, serving not just as a tool for communication but as a vital lifeline to the outside world. Our list will help you or your loved one when it comes to selecting the best smartphones for seniors.

You may notice grandma and grandma texting more and more these days. A study finds one in three Americans over 65 now prefer texting to phone calls to connect with their grandkids. This shift helps foster more regular interactions with family members, who may not have time to talk but can easily send messages. Seniors are even embracing emojis in their texts. Favorites include the heart and the happy face.

A phone conversation can also help older adults stave off a mental decline. Another study determined elderly adults between 70 and 90 who have more frequent social interactions, even on a cell phone, display better cognitive functioning over the next few days. Therefore, it’s evident that owning a smartphone does more than keep seniors connected with family and friends; it also plays a crucial role in enhancing their mental sharpness.

Looking for a new mobile phone for you or your loved one to stay connected? We’ve conducted thorough research to identify the best smartphones for seniors and yes, the often-mocked Jitterbug did make our list. Did we overlook a favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

older man on smartphone in front of laptop
Older man on a smartphone (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

The List: Best Smartphones for Seniors, Per Tech Experts

 

1. Galaxy S23+

PC says, “The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is arguably the best Android handset for seniors. It has a huge screen, terrific cameras, and top-notch build quality. And, if you like to jot down notes by hand, the bundled S Pen stylus slots right into the phone. Samsung’s Easy Mode also helps less tech-savvy people use the phone to its fullest.”

Galaxy S23+ Smartphone
Galaxy S23+ Smartphone

“Among all of the Android phones we tested, this phone’s 6.6-inch screen was the sharpest, and it was slightly clearer than that of the iPhone 14 Plus,” according to The New York Times. “This is especially useful for people who have trouble reading smaller type sizes. It has excellent call quality and volume. The Galaxy S23+ comes with a preinstalled safety app that allows other people to keep track of the user’s location. Scheduled safety checks prompt an alert for the user, who then sends an acknowledgment that they are okay; otherwise, it will contact emergency services and a designated contact within a specified time period.”

OZ Mobiles writes, “One of Samsung’s best benefits for seniors is Easy Mode, which replaces your smartphone’s existing screen with a simplified one with larger apps, buttons, and fonts. It also adds an Apps button to the home screen to make it easier to quickly access all of your apps in one place. Apart from Easy Mode, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is a great smartphone for people of all ages, with a long battery life and a pro-grade camera.”

2. Lively’s Jitterbug Smart4

The New York Times says “The popular Lively Jitterbug uses text menus to make navigating a phone easier for someone who prefers a simplified smartphone. We think it would also work well for some people with memory or vision issues. Text-based navigation makes setup very simple. Selecting features is as easy as tapping on a list of functions. Menus are clearly labeled, with large, easy-to-read type; this eliminates having to remember what various icons mean or any difficulty reading an icon’s name.”

Lively's Jitterbug Smart4
Lively’s Jitterbug Smart4

“Lively’s Jitterbug phones have always been designed with older adults in mind, but during my testing, I found that the Jitterbug Smart4 greatly improves upon its predecessors,” writes the editor of SeniorLiving.org. “More specifically, the Jitterbug Smart4 is equipped with a longer battery life (up to 37 hours of talk time), larger screen, and dual speakers that deliver loud, crystal-clear audio.”

According to The Senior List, “If an iPhone is a bit too complicated for you or your loved one, then the Jitterbug Smart4 is likely the best option. Technically speaking, the Jitterbug Smart4 is an Android phone (running on Android 13, to be specific). This means that it can perform any task that you can imagine from a smartphone, from placing video calls to utilizing any number of apps from the Google Play Store. The Smart4, however, keeps things simple with its interface.”

3. iPhone 13

SeniorLiving.org says, “The iPhone 13 from Verizon earned its place on our list as the best Apple smartphone for older adults for good reason. Its Face ID system protects your privacy, which means that you don’t need to remember any passwords. For many older adults with memory loss, this is a big win. All I had to do to unlock the phone was hold it up and look at it. It’s that simple…I’d recommend the iPhone 13 for seniors with family members or friends who also have iPhones. My grandma and I are both iPhone users, and sending iMessages and video chatting makes staying in touch a breeze. Plus, if your loved ones are already familiar with Apple products, they can help you learn how to use and navigate your shiny new iPhone.”

iPhone 13
iPhone 13

Forbes admits this phone is pricey and may be out of reach for some seniors. “The iPhone 13 offers great features, including a brighter display than previous iPhone versions, high-quality cameras, and the standard suite of iOS apps and functionalities. It also comes with a new video feature—Cinematic Mode—that can make even the most casual home video look like a professional movie. Durable and water resistant, this phone can handle the wear and tear of everyday life, but it may not be the best choice for older adults on a tight budget.”

“Our pick of Apple’s iPhone range for seniors is the iPhone 13,” according to Tech Advisor. “If you don’t mind not having the old-style home button and can get used to Apple’s swipe gestures to go home and flick between apps you will be fine. The iPhone 13 came out in 2021 but is practically the same as the iPhone 14 while costing less. There’s no reason to spend more.”

4. iPhone SE

According to The Senior List, “While the iPhone SE is not designed specifically for seniors, it’s the ideal option for someone looking to transition from a flip phone to a smartphone. If you’re looking for a phone with internet access and stellar camera quality — and you don’t mind a slight learning curve — then the iPhone SE is a great place to start. Additionally, the iPhone SE also has the best camera of the phones on this list.”

iPhone SE
iPhone SE

“For budget shoppers who still want an Apple handset, the iPhone SE is the best choice,” according to PC. “Chances are that at least someone you know also uses an iPhone, so getting help with anything shouldn’t be an issue.”

Lifewire says, “The phone screen is also relatively small compared with pricier models. But if you’re looking for a lot of power and performance with an easy-to-use operating system on a budget, this is one of the best deals in town.”

5. Motorola Moto G Power 5G

PC writes, “If you want a high-end Android phone that costs well under $1,000, this Motorola handset is worth considering. It consistently surprised us in both our benchmark and battery rundown tests, which means it won’t make you feel behind the times.”

Motorola Moto G Power 5G
Motorola Moto G Power 5G

Forbes likes this phone for seniors because “consumers can purchase the phone without committing to a long-term contract.”  In addition, “For added security should an emergency arise, users can set up the Moto G Power for emergency calls and upload their medical history as well.”

“In addition to the senior-friendly interface, the Moto G Power 5G also has M3/T3 hearing aid compatibility, a large screen for easy reading, and fingerprint and facial recognition,” according to SeniorLiving.org. “Perhaps best of all, I found that the battery lasted for a whopping 48 hours during testing.”

6. Jitterbug Flip2 Phone

This is a flip phone, but since it’s designed specifically for seniors, it’s on our list. Lifewire writes, “The Jitterbug Flip2 is a flip phone with a small outside screen for incoming calls and notifications and a large inside screen with a custom operating system designed with simple navigation. The large buttons and bright screens are perfect for seniors because they’re so easy to use. The loudspeaker makes phone calls a snap, even for those whose hearing could be better. This phone also has Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and responds to voice commands for making calls and sending text messages. Lively offers an array of medical alert features for an extra $20 monthly. These health and safety features include an urgent response button for immediate help, on-call nurses, personal operators, and easy-to-book Lyft rides.”

Jitterbug Flip2
Jitterbug Flip2

The Senior List states, “Lively’s Jitterbug Flip2 isn’t quite a smartphone, but with its Alexa compatibility, dual camera design, and safety features, it redefines how modern flip phones can work. Its simple navigation menu, large backlit keypad, and built-in urgent response button make it stand out as one of our favorite flip phones.”

Five Star Senior Living says, “The flip2 is perfect for people who want a phone that is simple to use and has all the features they need.”

7. Raz Mobility Memory Phone

This phone is designed especially for older adults with memory issues. The New York Times writes, “It is designed to do one thing and do it well: allow those with memory loss or dementia to stay in touch with family and friends, while also reducing common problems like unnecessary calls to emergency services, spam, and fraud. The owner simply taps and holds a photo of the person they want to call. When the user gets a call, two large buttons appear, labeled ‘Answer’ and ‘Hang Up,’ with a large photo of the caller on the screen. This takes caller ID to a different level for those who may not remember phone numbers or have difficulty operating a traditional smartphone. The caregiver controls all aspects of the phone through an online portal or a downloadable app.”

Raz Mobility Memory Phone
Raz Mobility Memory Phone (razmobility.com)

“Made for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or an intellectual disability, the RAZ Memory Phone is a great option with simplified functionality,” according to The Senior List. “Through its picture-based contact list, the Memory Phone allowed us to easily make and receive calls with minimal confusion.”

“The RAZ Memory Cell Phone is incredibly simple and easy to use,” reports SeniorLiving.org. “It helps individuals with memory loss stay connected to their loved ones by limiting the number of things you can do on the phone. The phone features a list of contacts with photos of each person, making it easy to know who you’re calling. There are no apps, web search features, text messages, or voicemails — just click-and-call options. If you want a simple phone without any frills, this is the pick.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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