What to Look for in Cell Phones for Seniors


Senior Using a Phone and looking at postcard

When we think of cell phones, we probably picture our teenagers texting away for hours on their smartphones. But what about when the kids call Grandma? Chances are, she’s not using a landline anymore! According to PewResearch, 77% of older adults now have mobile phones.

Is it time for your senior relative to make the switch? If so, it’s important to know what to look for in choosing their mobile phone.

While we may love our phones for their snazzy features—such as Internet, email, music, games, and more—many older adults want a mobile device to keep up with the family and also to stay safe and healthy!

Most importantly though, no matter our age, we want a phone that’s easy to use and fits our lifestyle. In terms of the best mobile phone for seniors, the Samsung Jitterbug seems to take the cake. However, several devices have similar features that make them a great fit for seniors—even smartphones!

If you’re looking for a good mobile phone for an older adult, here are a few features to focus on:

A Senior Friendly Keyboard

The keyboard should be large with buttons that are easy to press. Keys should be spaced out and backlit to make them easier to see.

Easy-to-Read Font

Font should be readable and large on both the keys and the display screen. Some phones (like smartphones) allow you to adjust the size of the font on the display to fit your needs.

Built-In Voice Command

Phones with voice command are helpful for those who have trouble navigating menus, seeing, or dialing numbers. Several phones offer voice dialing and will also read the number back to confirm that it registered your request correctly.

A Bright, Clear Display

The display should be large with easy-to-read fonts, clear icons, and direct access to key features such as calling and voicemail. It should also be brightly colored and well lit to help with visibility.


Phones that have speakerphone capabilities are great for seniors that may have trouble hearing through the small speaker on a handheld device. The speakerphone should have ample volume and should come through clearly.


Many phones designed for seniors feature a one-touch SOS button. This feature transforms your loved one’s phone into a security device, so if they were to be in an emergency (like experiencing a fall), they could get help with a touch of a button. Some phones even use this feature to dial pre-set emergency contacts, which could be you!

A Flexible Plan

Many seniors have tight budgets and may not have the extra money to spend on an outrageous monthly phone bill. So what’s an easy way to be sure phone costs don’t exceed a budget? Prepaid phones! No contract devices are great for seniors (and anyone else) that want to only pay for the minutes, texts, and data they need each month. Plus, no contract plans fit a variety of needs and ensure seniors aren’t locked into a service.

While all of these features certainly make a device a great fit for seniors, remember that a phone is a personal choice. Some users like to use cell phones for all aspects of life, while others use them just to communicate. These preferences will also determine what type of phone would be the right device for a senior relative. At the end of the day, their phone should be able to meet their needs, whether that includes gaming, texting, emailing, or simply talking.

If you have more questions regarding cell phone features that are best for seniors, or if you need help choosing the perfect plan for an older adult, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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10 thoughts on “What to Look for in Cell Phones for Seniors

  1. Janet warner

    Ive been a customer for I dont know how many years, have many accruded minutes, the last phone I bought I just cannot use, Im 77 yearsof age and praise ur deals to seniors, what would u reccommend to me to get up to date and able to use my phone again?

    1. puretalkusa

      Hey Janet, if I understand correctly, the phone you have is something you can’t use anymoer. If you’re looking for a new phone, either of the two listed above would be great. They’re both very simple to use and easy to read. If you’re already a customer, you probably have a SIM card already. Just call our customer service at 1-877-820-7873 to activate it. Or if you need a new SIM card, customer service should be able to send one out to you. Hope this helps! Let us know if you need any more info.

  2. L Frank

    I have had your phone for several years, I like the security of having a phone when I need it, especially when I go some place in a vehicle. Not losing my minutes means alot to me because I am not one to be on the cell phone all of the time, but it is there when I need to make a call or receive a call.

    1. puretalkusa

      Hey Arnie…not with Pure TalkUSA. There is no activation fee, or any other fee for that matter, with our service!

  3. Ruth

    Great infos, one GSM phone that I may suggest is the Just5 phone, it’s pretty much like the Snapfon Ez One, with all the features and function. One thing though, Just5 phone is hearing aid compatible and comes in varying colors. Maybe you can add it on your list for PuretalkUSA device list for senior citizen.

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