Smart phones have long dominated the cell phone market. The world is at our fingertips with one little device. While younger generations seem to be born with the ability to operate the newest smart phone, the senior population is left trying to figure out a world in which a home phone is becoming obsolete and complicated devices have replaced them.
Flip-style cell phones are a great way for seniors to stay in touch with loved ones, but not have the complicated features and operating plans of a smart phone. With simple to use, durable designs, flip phones have improved from their earliest models and some offer features designed with seniors in mind. If you’re in the market for a flip phone or need to purchase one for an older family member, refer to this list for the best ones available today!
- Determine how and how often the phone will be used. Some seniors may only use their flip phone for emergencies and the occasional call to loved ones. Others may want texting and internet capabilities with a phone. Knowing approximately how many minutes per month will be used will help when deciding which phone plan to purchase. This can ultimately save money. Why pay for unlimited minutes when less than 100 are needed? Many plans offer cheaper rates for fewer minutes used.
- Make sure the number can be transferred. Most cell phone carriers allow customers to transfer their existing phone numbers, but some do require a new number. To cut down on the hassle of updating phone numbers, make sure the cell phone carrier you choose allows the number to be transferred to the new phone.
- Purchase extra chargers for the new flip phone. One of the things that will be hardest for a senior to adjust to with a new cell phone is remembering to charge it. Especially for older seniors who may only have ever had a home phone, it’s a good idea to purchase additional charging cords to place around their house and the car. Remember to check and make sure the charger is compatible with the flip phone!
- Add important phone numbers to the phone once it has been purchased. Once a phone has been purchased and activated, take some time to learn how to use the phone. Adding important phone numbers, such as close family members and friends, doctors, and other frequently called people will help navigate the new device. If the senior will be texting, make sure they know how to text on the flip phone. Also, review any special features such as emergency call buttons to ensure proper use.
- Purchase appropriate accessories for the flip phone. Along with extra chargers, additional accessories will help get the most use out of the cell phone. Protective cases and screen covers will ensure durability. Specially designed pocket holder clips are perfect for keeping the cell phones close. You can also purchase lanyards that enable seniors to wear the phones like a necklace so they can still reach it in the unfortunate event of an emergency, such as a fall. Headphones that plug into the phone may also be of assistance to seniors who are hard of hearing.
- Talk to your loved ones about phone scammers. Especially if this is their first cell phone purchase, be sure your loved ones are aware of the growing amount of scam calls they will get. Even if their number is added to the do-not-call list, they will still get calls from solicitors and scammers. Help them recognize the signs of a scam (individuals asking for money, transactions via gift cards, or threats of arrest, etc.) and stay vigilant on their incoming calls. The senior population is most susceptible to this type of fraud.
Best Flip Phones for Seniors
Now that you know what to consider before purchasing the flip phone, here are *ten of the best on the market today!
Update July 19th, Gabb Wireless has their Z2 phone for $50 off if you buy through this link. Discount will be applied when product is added to the cart. This is our most recommended basic phone.
|Gabb Wireless||Gabb Wireless|
|Sonim XP5||Most carriers|
|Simple Mobile Alcatel||Simple Mobile|
|Kyocera Cadence S2720||Verizon|
|Jitterbug Flip Phone||Verizon|
|Ushining Flip Phone||T-Mobile|
|Spytec STI||Spy Tec|
Gabb Wireless (Gabb Wireless network)
Yes, the Gabb Wireless phone is marketed as a safe phone for kids, but it’s also a great option for seniors. This basic phone for the elderly has everything needed to call and text but doesn’t have all the complications of a smartphone, although it looks like one. There are no internet capabilities with the Gabb phone.
In addition to calling and texting, this phone has a camera, calendar, and radio. You can save contact info so it’s quick to call and text. It’s easy to use and very affordable. Service is provided by Gabb and costs $19.99-$24.99 per month for unlimited talk and texts (the more expensive plan allows for group texts and photo texts). Gabb has coverage across the U.S. I live in the middle of nowhere (where we get very little reception) and Gabb is crystal clear here. We have tried it in many different location and have had great reception.
The sound on this phone is excellent, and it also has GPS tracking. This is a great feature if you are worried about your loved one.
Overall, this is one of the best options for a senior cell phone.
Tracfone Alcatel MyFlip Prepaid
The Tracfone Alcatel MyFlip has a unique digital 2.8” main screen with 4G connectivity and is Wi-Fi capable. Powered by Tracfone, this device will run on a large network, ensuring continuous coverage. This phone is prepaid, so you pay for as many minutes as you want and then buy more when you need more. Minutes can be purchased online through Tracfone or Amazon.
The phone comes with a Micro SD card, up to 32 GB, to save pictures and other important details. Big buttons with large print make for more legible numbers and a powerful speaker helps those who may be hard of hearing. My 10-year-old son has a similar Alcatel phone and it has held up well to being dropped and the call quality is great!
This Tracfone flip phone for seniors is very inexpensive and paying just for minutes instead of a regular phone plan can also be much more economical.
Sonim XP5 4G LTE Cell Phone (Most carriers)
While the Sonim XP5 isn’t a classic “flip” phone, it is a great option for seniors needing a basic phone. This rugged phone has good sound quality and is good for calls and texting. It also has internet capabilities, though the browser on the phone is not as easy to use as on most flip phones.
This is a GSM phone, meaning it works with AT&T and T-Mobile. It also works with other networks including Cricket, NET 10, and Wal-Mart Family Mobile if you use a prepaid plan. The Sonim XP5 does not work with Sprint or Verizon. This phone does not come with a SIM card; you will have to buy one.
Battery life for this phone is about 19 hours of talk time, which can be several days to a week depending on how much the phone is used.
The biggest negative with this phone is that it is quite a bit heavier than most other similar phones.
Simple Mobile Alcatel MyFlip 4G Prepaid
Alcatel has many phones that work on prepaid style cell phone plans, but this simple model is a great design for seniors. This phone comes with a few more features that seniors may find useful. Customers can have access to email, internet, and music, along with phone calls and texting, making it perfect for the senior who wants a little more functionality to their cell phones. Call quality is good, and the phone is loud enough for those who are hard of hearing.
The cell phone works off the 4G network and is Wi-Fi compatible. It also has built-in Bluetooth along with a camera and video recorder! It is easy to add more minutes to this phone–simply go online and choose the package you want.
This prepaid flip phone for seniors is packed with features and is on a phone network in which you can transfer an existing number to as well!
Kyocera Cadence S2720 (Verizon)
The Kyocera Cadence S2720 is a 4G LTE phone from Verizon. It has a loud ring, which can be important in a flip top phone for seniors. The sound quality is good. This flip cell phone for the elderly has good size buttons, but they aren’t as large as the buttons as those on some of the other phones on this list.
This phone comes with a SIM card and has internet capabilities. It also has a 2.0MP camera, though the photos it takes aren’t great quality.
The Kyocera Cadence S2720 has a battery that needs to be charged every 2-3 days.
There are two versions of this phone. One requires you to prepay for minutes and the other is used on a Verizon phone plan. Before purchasing this phone, check with the seller to make sure you are getting the version you want.
Easyfone Prime (AT&T, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, GSM networks)
The 3G Easyfone Prime is perfect for the senior who needs larger buttons and an easy to operate design. The main display is 2.4” while an additional outside screen, measuring at 1.44”, helps users see who is calling them. With 3G data capability, this phone is good for seniors who want basic features. The Easyfone Prime is also hearing aid compatible!
The phone comes equipped with a 2-megapixel camera, FM radio, flashlight and other useful features. A built-in SOS button connects users with first responders as well in the event of an emergency. However, the location of the SOS button makes it easy to accidentally push the button. A unique feature of the Easyfone is a charging station that it sits in which is perfect for seniors who may have a hard time plugging charging cords into small slots.
This unlocked GSM flip phone for seniors can work with AT&T, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, and other GSM networks. It does not work with Verizon or Sprint. Before buying this phone, make sure your carrier still supports the 3G network. The battery on this phone doesn’t last very long. The phone comes with two batteries, but it can be hard for a senior to change the batteries. The Easyfone Prime doesn’t come with a SIM card so you will need to buy one separately. Some of the features on this phone are difficult to maneuver.
Jitterbug Flip Easy-to-Use Cell Phone for Seniors (Verizon, Great Call)
The Jitterbug Flip Easy-to-Use cell phone is designed with seniors in mind. It has many good features: a simple menu, large buttons, long-lasting battery, and a loud speaker. It is also hearing aid compatible.
When paired with the Great Call network, a 5-star button gives instant access to medical emergency personnel, reducing the amount of time for response during emergencies. The phone also features a reading magnifier with flashlight and a built-in camera.
This is a CDMA phone and only works with Verizon or the GreatCall network. Verizon is generally a less expensive carrier option with this phone.
Unfortunately, there are some cons with this phone. It has good call volume, but the ringer is quiet, which can be an issue for those with hearing challenges. When you press the buttons, the tones are very loud. Sometimes during a call you can hear your own voice echoing.
Ushining Flip Phone
The Ushining flip phone is a 3G T-Mobile, Simple Mobile, or Straight Talk compatible phone made with the senior population in mind. The bright red color will help the phone stand out and not get lost. Large buttons and a loud speaker help those with hearing or vision difficulties.
Much like the other flip phones, an SOS button will connect users directly to 911 in the event of an emergency. Room for 5 preset numbers can also be utilized for speed dialing. A lower battery consumption is also featured, ensuring that the phone lasts when needed most.
Before buying this phone, make sure your carrier still supports the 3G network.
Ushining Dual Screen Flip Phone
The Ushining Dual Screen flip top phone for seniors is a durable 3G phone that has features specifically for seniors. You can flip the phone to answer or hang up calls instead of having to find a button to push. When buttons are needed for dialing, they are large and have bigger font to accommodate aging eyes.
A big volume button boosts volume as well to make for easier communication. With a 2.8” main display and a 1.77” external screen, this phone makes it easy for seniors to see who is calling or what time or date it is. However, if a senior has trouble seeing, the text size on this phone is fairly small and could be difficult to read. The phone also comes with a quick charging dock, making it easier to charge the device.
Before buying this phone, make sure your carrier still supports the 3G network.
KidsConnect KC2 (T-Mobile, AT&T)
Don’t let the name of this phone fool you–it’s not just a phone for kids. This is a great simple phone and GPS tracker for seniors. The KidsConnect KC2 can only contact phone numbers that have been preset into the phone. It has three buttons on the front which speed dial the phone numbers you preset. There is also an SOS button on the front that you can program to call any number you choose to preset.
In addition to the three phone numbers you preset for the three call buttons on the front of the phone, you can add numbers into the phone book on the phone.
The KidsConnect KC2 has some fantastic features that other phones don’t have. Download the app or go to the KidsConnect website and you can see the GPS coordinates of the phone. You can also see how much battery life remains and turn the ringer on/off or the volume up or down on the website. In addition, in case of emergency, you can use the phone as a walkie talkie or listen to what is going on around the phone even without calling it directly.
This easy to use flip phone for seniors does have the capability to text, but the text size is small and would likely be hard for seniors to see and push the correct buttons.
The sound quality on the KidsConnect is good and plenty loud. However, sometimes the quality on the other end of the call is a little muffled but it’s not bad.
Service for the KidsConnect KC2 is through KidsConnect. On their website you choose a phone plan. This phone works only in areas covered by T-Mobile or AT&T.
GPS Trackers for Seniors
Knowing where your aging loved one is can be very important. It’s especially important to have a GPS tracker for Alzheimers patients or just in case of emergency. A good tracker is accurate in finding location and makes it easy for you to see that location either through an app or online. Here are our favorite GPS trackers for seniors.
PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker
If you need a tracker for your parent or grandparent, PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker is a good option. It offers real time tracking throughout the United States. This tracker automatically updates every 60 seconds. You can set up to have updates every 10 seconds by going to the PRIMETRACKING website or by calling customer service.
You can set up a geofence with this tracker, which alerts you when the user goes outside the preset perimeter. Alerts come via email, not via text (as some other options do). You can track from a computer, tablet, or cell phone.
In addition to tracking location, this option also tracks car speed and alerts you when the speed limit is exceeded. However, if your grandparents are anything like mine, exceeding the speed limit isn’t the problem–going too slowly is. This GPS tracker for elderly people also has an SOS button for emergencies.
Maybe you need to keep records of where your loved one has been. This tracker allows you to export the travel logs so you can save them for later if needed.
Service for this tracker is through PRIMETRACKING and costs $25 per month or $20 per month for 6 months.
The battery life depends on how much the tracker is being used. It can last anywhere from 5-14 days.
The PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker is larger than other options. It shows distance in kilometers not miles, which may or may not matter to you. The tracking is accurate and usually quick to update, but it does lag occasionally.
Jiobit Location Tracker
For an easy to use and affordable location tracker, Jiobit is a good choice. This lightweight, relatively small tracker is easy to clip to a belt, backpack, purse, or shoelace. It can also be worn on a lanyard. Easy set up and a user friendly app make this tracker a customer favorite.
The Jiobit can only be used if paired with your smartphone, which allows you to track the user through the app (the user doesn’t have to have a smartphone, just the person monitoring it). The tracker comes with an embedded SIM card. You can set up a geofence to alert you when the user goes outside the perimeter you have preset.
Jiobit costs $8.99 per month if you sign up for a contract and $12.99 per month with no contract. That is about half as much as competitors charge for their service.
This tracker can be used anywhere in the U.S. and will track as long as it’s within cell range. If you need to take it outside the U.S., Jiobit customer service can help set that up. In addition to tracking on the app, if the user is in a crowded place, you can make the device ring so you can find the user.
Jiobit claims a 7-day battery life, but it is closer to 3-4 days, depending on how you use it. There is a regular mode and a live tracking mode, which uses more battery.
Generally, this tracking device is accurate, though sometimes it takes a few minutes for the app to update the actual location.
Spytec STI GPS Tracker
The Spytec STI GPS Tracker uses 4G LTE coverage to provide tracking. Like many other options, this tracker pairs with a smartphone app. You can see all tracking information in the app, and a notice is sent when the battery is below 40 percent. You can set up a geofence which will alert you when the unit goes outside the preset area. A pre-installed SIM card means you don’t have to purchase one separately.
Service for this device are provided by Spy Tec. For the basic plan which updates every 60 seconds you will pay $24.95 per month. There are plans with more frequent updates, but the costs are higher. There is no contract with any of these plans–they are month-to-month plans. You will be charged every month until you cancel (even if you do not use the tracker at all in a monthly period).
This option works only in the U.S. and only in areas with T-Mobile coverage. The batter can last up to 2.5 weeks, depending on how much the device is being used.
The tracking on this unit is accurate within about 75-125 feet. Like many of the other options in this space, the Spytec STI GPS Tracker sometimes lags in its updates.
Overall, this device is good. If you have a problem, however, the customer service isn’t great.
If the senior in your life wants a phone with phone, text, and internet capabilities, we recommend the Tracfone Alcatel MyFlip Prepaid phone. It is inexpensive, good quality, and easy to use. If you want a phone for basic calling, the KidsConnect KC2 is our favorite choice. For a tracker, we suggest the PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker.
Why is a flip phone a good choice for seniors?
Flip phones are easy to use and don’t have all the complicated features of a smartphone. Many basic phones also have larger buttons that are easier to see and easier to push, making them a good choice for older people.
What are good features in a basic phone?
For seniors, a basic cell phone should have good sound quality and volume loud enough for the user to hear clearly. Large buttons and fewer features can be important depending on the user’s needs.
How can seniors avoid cell phone scams?
Seniors should not answer phone calls from numbers they do not know. Personal information should not be given over the phone unless it is to someone who can be trusted.