4 Best Cellphones for Older Adults in 2024

Jan 25, 2024
Fact Checked
The top cellphones we chose range from touch-screen smartphones to simple flip phones.
Best Smartphone
Lively Jitterbug Smart4
Unlimited talk and text starting at $19.99/month
Smartphone with simplified navigation and features
24/7 monitoring service available
Our Top Pick
Best for Flip Phone with Voice Assistance
Consumer Cellular Verve Snap
Unlimited talk and text starting at $20/month
Simple flip phone with large keypad
Discounts available for AARP members
Best for talk and text only
Lively Jitterbug Flip2
Unlimited talk and text starting at $19.99/month
Amazon Alexa voice assistance
24/7 monitoring service available

Key Takeaways

Between standard flip phones and the newest smartphones, you have many options for keeping in touch with family and friends. The right cellphone for you depends on how much or little you want to do on your phone. Are you looking for a simple flip phone for long calls and quick texts? Do you love using your smartphone to check emails or browse online but want a more straightforward design?

Our Reviews Team narrowed down our top cellphone recommendations to four options to meet a variety of lifestyles, preferences, and accessibility needs. Whether you’re looking for a cellphone for yourself or someone else, keep reading to find the right fit.

A quick look at the top cellphones for older adults

  1. Best Smartphone: Lively Jitterbug Smart4
  2. Best for Talk and Text Only: Consumer Cellular Verve Snap
  3. Best Flip Phone With Voice Assistance: Jitterbug Flip2 
  4. Best for Dementia or Cognitive Decline: RAZ Memory Cellphone

Why should you trust our expert review

hours of research
models considered
models reviewed
experts consulted

Cellphones help care recipients stay connected to caregivers and emergency services. Although they don’t have the same safety features as medical alert systems, our Reviews Team underwent a similar process when reviewing cellphones: 

Table 1 Comparing the best cellphones for older adults, as of January 2024

Cellphone One-time device cost Starting monthly cost Data plan available Smartphone device Connection type Battery life (hours of talk time) Location tracking Water resistant Learn more
$149.99 $19.99 Yes Yes Cellular 4G LTE, GPS, Wi-Fi 37 Yes No Visit Site
$69 $20 Yes No Cellular 4G LTE 14 No No Visit Site
$99.99 $19.99 Yes No Cellular 4G LTE, GPS, Wi-Fi 12 Yes No Visit Site
$309–$349 $15–$25* No No Cellular 4G LTE, GPS 12 Yes No Visit Site

Best cellphones for older adults

Jitterbug Smart4

Best Smartphone
Starting monthly cost: $19.99
One-time equipment fee: $149.99
Device type: Smartphone
Device dimensions: ‎6.6 x 3.01 x 0.35 inches (length x width x diameter)
Device weight: 6.7 ounces (oz)
Connection type: Verizon Cellular (4G), Wi-Fi, GPS
Battery life: 37 talk hours

Why we chose this cellphone

We like that the Jitterbug Smart4 combines standard smartphone perks such as internet browsing, apps, email, video calls, and a high-quality camera, with accessibility features. Some of our favorite accessibility features:

  • Simplified, list-based navigation menu
  • Hearing aid compatibility
  • Large screen and text
  • Speech-to-text
  • Live call captions

You can decide how customized or simple to make your Smart4. Download your favorite apps on Google Play, such as Facebook, your local weather app, and more—or keep your smartphone straightforward with only these apps: phone, text messaging, camera and photos, web browser, email, maps, and Google Assistant.

Pros & cons

Pros $149.99 equipment cost is lower than most smartphones ($400–$999) Large touch screen (6.75 inches) Front and back camera Video call available Cons Touch screen may be difficult to navigate for some users Phone may be too heavy for some users $5–$30 monthly data plan required

Additional details

Lively offers additional emergency and wellness features for the Jitterbug Smart4 and Flip2, allowing your phone to double as a medical alert system. The three plans:

  • Basic: Unlimited talk and text, Lively customer support, Lively Rides ($19.99 per month)
  • Preferred: Everything in the basic plan, plus Urgent Response 24/7 monitoring and Lively Link caregiver notification ($39.99 per month)
  • Premium: Everything in the preferred plan, plus Care Advocate and Nurse On-Call ($49.99 per month)

You must choose one of the above monthly plans with your Jitterbug phone. One drawback is you’ll need to pay for a data plan on top of the above packages if you’re interested in using apps, like email, online browsing, maps, and social media, without a Wi-Fi connection. Data plans start at $5 per month for one gigabyte and go up to $30 per month for unlimited data.

Ease of Use

While some users may like the large screen (the length of two credit cards), it may be more difficult for others to navigate and hold the Smart4. Weight is an important feature to consider when shopping for phones for older adults, especially if the user has dexterity issues or limited mobility. The Jitterbug Smart4 weighs almost 7 ounces, which is heavier for phones. For reference, the iPhone 14 is 6.07 ounces.

The Google Assistant app allows you to make calls, send text messages, check the weather, and ask general knowledge questions with your voice. Use this hands-free feature by saying, “Hey Google,” followed by a question or command.

Like all cellphones in this review, you can keep your same phone number when switching to a Jitterbug phone. We also like that you have the option to activate your Jitterbug phone online or by phone.

Keep in mind if you’re switching to the Smart4 from an iPhone or other smartphone, it may take some time to learn the new layout and button placements.

Kate V., based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, purchased the Jitterbug Smart3 (discontinued but available until stock is gone) for her mother and found that the learning curve was difficult since her mother was familiar with an iPhone.

She gave the example of her mother pressing the side button, thinking it was similar to an iPhone “wake” button, but instead, she was turning the ringer volume down.

“If the person has previously used an iPhone and has memory loss, switching to a Jitterbug smartphone may be confusing and counterintuitive,” Kate said.

Our Top Pick

Consumer Cellular Verve Snap

Best for Flip Phone with Voice Assistance
Starting monthly cost: $20
One-time equipment fee: $69
Device type: Flip phone
Device dimensions: 4.67″ L x 3.07″ W x 0.4″ D
Device weight: 4.67 oz
Connection type: Cellular 4G LTE
Battery life: 14 hours talk time

Why we chose this cellphone

The Verve Snap from Consumer Cellular is a simple flip phone with helpful accessibility features and, most notably, no internet access. We recommend the Verve Snap if you’re interested in calling and texting close friends and family—and nothing else. Here are some of our favorite accessibility features:

  • Simple, list-based navigation menu
  • Backlit, large keypad
  • Hearing aid compatibility
  • Phone call captions
  • Display color management

Like most flip phones, you can still take pictures and videos on the Verve Snap. We also like the “Favorites” button at the bottom of the keypad that allows you to access your top contacts quickly.

Pros & cons

Pros Low one-time equipment fee ($69) Discounts available for AARP members Hearing aid compatible List-based menu for simple navigation Cons Internet browsing not available GPS tracking not available Voice assistance not available

Additional details

The Verve Snap has the lowest one-time equipment fee in our review, and Consumer Cellular even offers financing if you’d like to pay for your cellphone over time. AARP member discounts are also available.

You can also add the following features to your Verve Snap cellphone:

  • Protection plan: You can make up to three claims in a 12-month period and get unlimited battery replacements ($3 per month).
  • Roadside assistance: Receive vehicle towing (up to 10 miles), fuel delivery (up to 3 gallons), jump starts, stuck vehicle assistance, flat tire service, and lockout service ($3 per month).

Ease of use

The Verve Snap weighs slightly less than a baseball, making it one of the lightest phones on this list. Users with dexterity or mobility issues may find it easier to navigate and hold this phone for longer periods of time. We also like the rubber keypad and textured back of the phone to help keep your fingers and thumb from slipping.

A charging cradle is available as an add-on for $29, but we wish it came with the Verve Snap like it does with the Jitterbug Flip2.

Jitterbug Flip2

Best for talk and text only
Starting monthly cost: $19.99
One-time equipment fee: $99.99
Device type: Flip phone
Device dimensions: 4.3″ L x 2.2″ W x 0.7″ D
Device weight: ‎4.7 oz
Connection type: Verizon cellular (4G), Wi-Fi, GPS
Battery life: 12 hours talk time

Why we chose this cellphone

The Jitterbug Flip2 offers the simplicity of a flip phone paired with voice-assistance technology through Amazon Alexa. Make calls, send text messages, and ask questions by saying, “Alexa,” followed by your question or command. This voice assistant distinguishes the Jitterbug Flip2 from other flip phones and is an easier way to navigate your phone with your voice.

The Flip2 also offers the following accessibility features:

  • Backlit, large keypad
  • Compatibility with hearing aids
  • High volume setting
  • Read-aloud menu setting

We like that the Flip2 doesn’t require a monthly data plan. While opting out of a data plan saves you $5–$30 per month, keep in mind without a data plan you can’t access Amazon Alexa unless your phone has a Wi-Fi connection.

Pros & cons

Pros 24/7 monitoring available as an add-on Amazon Alexa voice assistance Front and back camera Magnifier and flashlight Cons Internet browsing not available GPS tracking only available with 24/7 monitoring package

Additional details

On top of the one-time equipment fee, you’ll choose one of the three Lively plans mentioned in the Jitterbug Smart4 section. Each monthly plan has unlimited talk and text, and you can add extra health and safety features to enhance your Flip2 phone.

GPS location tracking GPS technology uses satellites to provide users with positioning, navigation, and timing services. Examples include driving directions and realtime weather conditions. isn’t available with the Lively Basic plan. If location tracking is a priority, you can purchase the preferred or premium plan—both have 24/7 monitoring and location tracking.

See our full Jitterbug review to learn more about Lively Jitterbug phone safety features.

Ease of use

One of our Reviews Team’s favorite accessibility features is the read-aloud setting, which reads the navigation menu aloud as you scroll through your Flip2. This is especially helpful for users with low vision.

We also like that the Flip2 has a charging dock and a standard charging cord. The charging dock may be easier to use than a cord for those with limited dexterity, mobility issues, or low vision. The phone also beeps when charging, giving you verbal confirmation that it’s been placed in the charging dock correctly.

RAZ Memory Cellphone

Best for Users With Dementia
Starting monthly cost: Depends on carrier
One-time equipment fee: $309 (T-Mobile only) or $349 (other carriers)
Device type: Touch screen phone
Device dimensions: 6.59″ L x 2.98″ W x 0.34″ D
Device weight: 6.56 oz
Connection type: Cellular 4G LTE, GPS
Battery life: Up to 12 hours

Why we chose this cellphone

The RAZ Memory Cellphone is one of the only cellphones specifically designed for users with dementia. The touch-screen phone features one screen with six contact names and photos, allowing users to call a family member or friend by pressing and holding the contact icon. To keep things even simpler, the RAZ phone only makes and receives calls—other features, like text messaging, a camera, and internet access, are not available.

The phone also has the following accessibility features:

  • Volume always at maximum
  • Hearing aid compatible
  • Verbal cues to confirm charging
  • Verbal announcements for incoming calls
  • Low vision mode and tremor mode: The six contact pictures are replaced with two contact icons in large text only, and the 911, Answer, and Hang-Up buttons are enlarged

“The press and hold access method is genius,” said Christoper Norman, a geriatric nurse practitioner based in New York state. “The cognitive processing speed and reaction times in people with cognitive impairment (generally) make a person more prone to press and hold rather than a simple tap as many of us are accustomed to with electronic device use.”

Pros & cons

Pros Specifically designed for those with dementia or memory loss One screen with contact names and photos Low vision and tremor mode available Video calls available Cons No voicemail No text messaging Always-on mode may drain battery quickly

Additional details

The RAZ Memory phone is known for its simplicity. While it’s specifically designed for users with dementia, the basic one-screen layout is fitting for anyone who prefers a no-frills phone that only makes calls. The default layout fits six contacts, but you can add up to 30 contacts.

If your care recipient has made false alarm calls to 911 in the past, you may consider adding the RAZ Emergency Service to their phone. Verified monitoring agents intercept any calls to 911 from the RAZ phone and immediately text designated contacts asking if they should dispatch emergency services. We verified with a customer service representative that if none of the emergency contacts answer this text, the agent decides whether or not to send emergency services based on the situation.

The RAZ Emergency Service is available as a yearly subscription ($99.99) or monthly subscription ($9.99, plus a one-time $20 activation fee).

Ease of use

The RAZ Memory phone is designed to be as simple as possible to use. We like that the single home screen never locks or sleeps. This “always-on mode” means the six contact names and photos are constantly displayed, so the user doesn’t need to unlock their phone or “wake it up” by pressing the screen to use it. A customer service representative warned us that this drains the battery more quickly than standard phones, meaning the user or caregiver will need to charge it every day since the battery lasts about 12 hours.

To make the RAZ phone even easier for your care recipient to use, you can manage the phone with the Remote Manage app. You can do the following in the app:

  • Create and edit contacts
  • Send reminders to the user’s phone
  • Schedule hours the user can’t place calls
  • Monitor the phone’s location
  • Check battery level and cellular network signal
  • Restrict incoming spam calls

The Remote Manage app is available to download in the App Store or Google Play.

Keep in mind every type of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia In this type of dementia, protein deposits called Lewy bodies develop in the brain’s nerve cells. Symptoms include cognitive problems, visual hallucinations, and movement disorders , and vascular dementia Vascular dementia, which is caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to the brain, is characterized by problems with reasoning, judgment, memory, and other thought processes. , progresses differently. The type and stage of your care recipient’s dementia may affect how easy or difficult it is for them to adapt and use the RAZ Memory cellphone.

Norman emphasized that the device needs to fit the person using it. “What works at one stage of dementia may not work in the next or later stages of dementia,” he said.

Other cellphones to consider

Our Reviews Team chose the best cellphones based on accessibility, affordability, safety features, and other important considerations

The following phones didn’t make our best cellphone list, but we wanted to add them here as smartphones are becoming more popular with older adults. In fact, 83% of adults age 50–64 and 61% of adults age 65 and older use a smartphone, according to a 2021 survey conducted by Pew Research Center. 

iPhone SE 

The iPhone SE may be a cellphone to consider if you’re familiar with the iOS layout, love using your apps and browsing online all in one place, and a high-quality camera is non-negotiable. We like that the iPhone SE has the home button and touch ID, which may make it easier to navigate compared to other models without the home button. 

Top features


Consumer Cellular IRIS Connect 

The IRIS Connect from Consumer Cellular is a simple smartphone with a familiar Android phone layout. It doesn’t have as many special features as the iPhone SE, but it also doesn’t have the variety of accessibility features that the Jitterbug Smart4 has. The IRIS Connect may be a good fit if you’re used to an Android phone but want to make a switch to a simpler smartphone at a lower price. 

Top features


What we considered when choosing

When choosing the best cellphones for older adults, we assessed each phone based on the following features: 

Heidi Huynh, an occupational therapist and owner of Ascend Therapy Services, recommended two ergonomic features when shopping for cellphones: the general grip and how easy it is to hold the phone when using screen features and talking.

“For some, this may mean getting a phone that is a bit thicker and more sturdy, maybe one with a textured outside so it’s not as slippery,” said Huynh. 

info icon

Fall detection is an important safety feature for many older adults, but most cellphones don’t offer it. If you or your care recipient have a history of falling or have a higher fall risk due to a chronic disease, consider a medical alert system with fall detection

What cellular provider should you use?

Most cellular providers offer discounts for adults 55 and older, and some even have special deals for AARP members. Whether you’re interested in keeping your current provider or want to switch, use our chart below to compare.

Cellular network provider Deals and discounts available
AT&TThe AT&T Unlimited 55+ Plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $60 per month. 

AARP member discounts available: Save $10 on unlimited talk and text, select activation, and upgrade fees waived 
Consumer CellularCellphone plans start at $20 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. 

AARP member discounts available: 5% off monthly plans, up to 30% off cellphone accessories, 45-day money-back guarantee (regular is 30 days) 
Mint MobileThe Mint 55+ Plan offers unlimited talk and text for $15 per month, plus free activation. Customers purchasing a RAZ Memory phone also get three free months of service. 
T-MobileThe Essentials 55 Plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $27.50 per phone per month (minimum of two phones).
VerizonThe Verizon 55+ Unlimited Plan offers unlimited talk, text, and discounted data plans for $62 per month (only available in Florida).

Bottom line

The best cellphone for you depends on your preferences, accessibility needs, budget, and comfort with technology. That’s why our top recommendations are various phones with different technology levels and features.

We recommend the Jitterbug Smart4 if you enjoy your current smartphone but want simpler navigation and more accessibility features than competitors. 

If you enjoy talking and texting on your phone—and nothing else—we recommend the Consumer Cellular Verve Snap. It’s a high-quality, durable flip phone with accessibility features and no internet access. 

If you want something between a smartphone and a standard flip phone, consider the Jitterbug Flip2. It’s an excellent flip phone with “smarter” features, such as Amazon Alexa voice assistant. 

The RAZ Memory Cellphone is the most specialized phone in this review. The simple, one-screen menu, contact photo icons, and other features are designed for users with dementia or cognitive decline.

Frequently asked questions

Lifeline is a federal program offering free or discounted cellphone services for older adults. To qualify, your income must be 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines. You may also qualify for Lifeline benefits if you receive assistance from programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other programs. 

Jitterbug phones use the Verizon cellular network. Use the Verizon coverage map to see coverage in your area. 

The Jitterbug Smart4, Jitterbug Flip2, RAZ Memory Cellphone, and Consumer Cellular Verve Flip are our Reviews Team’s top cellphones for older adults. The right cellphone will vary for each user’s needs, preferences, and budget, but we believe these phones are the easiest to use.

Large text, hearing aid compatibility, screen size, and simple navigation are key features older adults can look for when shopping for a cellphone. Users with limited dexterity or mobility issues should also factor in the cellphone’s weight, size, and keypad size. The best cellphone features for older adults depend on the user’s comfort with technology, accessibility needs, budget, and other factors. 

Have questions about this review? Email us at reviewsteam@ncoa.org.


  1. Alzheimer’s Society. The Progression, Signs and Stages of Dementia. Feb. 24, 2021. Found on the internet at https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/how-dementia-progresses/progression-stages-dementia
  2. Faverio M. Share of Those 65 and Older Who Are Tech Users Has Grown in the Past Decade. Pew Research Center. Jan. 13, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/01/13/share-of-those-65-and-older-who-are-tech-users-has-grown-in-the-past-decade
  3. Federal Communications Commission. Hearing Aid Compatibility for Wireline and Wireless Telephones. Jan. 28, 2021. Found on the internet at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/hearing-aid-compatibility-wireline-and-wireless-telephones.
Emily Breaux headshot
Emily Breaux Author
Emily Breaux is a writer with a background in education. She has written on multiple health care and technology topics, as well as for the higher education and hospitality industries. She specializes in medical alert systems and enjoys writing about hearing aids, health insurance, and wellness topics specifically for older adults.
Christopher Norman Headshot
Christopher Norman Medical Reviewer
Christopher Norman is a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Holistic Nurse. As a nurse’s aide, registered nurse and now nurse practitioner, he has loved working with older adults since 2004.
Susan Stiles
Susan Stiles Reviewer
Susan Stiles, PhD, provides leadership in the design and development of consumer products that inspire, educate, and activate older adults. She’s been instrumental in bringing the Aging Mastery Program® to market and scaling it nationwide via strategic alliances and business partnerships. Stiles has 20+ years of experience in design thinking, multimedia, strategic communications, and management consulting.
Was this helpful?
Thank you for your feedback!