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Finding the Best Cell Phone For Seniors : Comparisons & Considerations
The competition is fierce! Each year, cell phone manufacturers race to churn out their version of leading-edge cell phone technology. Smartphone enthusiasts flock to the closest cellular emporium as they eagerly anticipate the release of the next state-of-the-art handset. But, there is a fairly large group of cellular consumers that are not so passionate about newfangled mobile phones. This precious group of customers is none other than the growing number of senior citizens in every community.
Although our silver-headed friends are not usually interested in touting a smartphone, they still need to keep in touch. What mobile handset is considered to be the ideal senior citizen cell phone? What is the best cell phone for seniors who are susceptible to the dangers of a diminishing state of health? Is there more than one to choose from? Where can caring family members or friends shop for the best cell phone for seniors? What about free phones for seniors? Is there a program that provides free cell phones for seniors? If there is, does it come with what can be considered as being the best cell phone for seniors? What are the advantages of having one?
Advantages of phones for senior citizens:
Aside from safety, the best cell phone for seniors can provide seniors with:
Surveys show that more and more people aged 50 and above are now using social media. These silver surfers play games, chat with old friends, classmates and relatives, search for worthwhile activities like cooking new recipes, creating things and more. And here’s another plus – according to a study conducted by a group from no less than the University of California-Los Angeles, older people who used the internet more often have been found to have increased activity in the area of the brain that is responsible for making decisions and complex reasoning. The best cell phone for seniors should be able to provide them with simple puzzles and games that can help keep their minds sharp.
It is a fact that as people age, so do the neurons that transmit messages to and from the brain. This causes forgetfulness or worse, dementia. This is why some of us refuse to allow our elderly parents to leave home lest they forget the way back. This can be very frustrating for them, especially if they have been used to working and socializing during their younger days. Such feelings may lead them to run away, leaving their caregivers worrying about them. But with cell phones that have maps, GPS or like features that can track them within a certain distance, they can be easily located and brought home safely.
Connection with grandkids
Very rare are the occasions when grandparents can have real “just us” moments with their grandkids due to their busy schedules. But with the best cell phone for seniors, your kids and your parents can have those precious moments anytime, anywhere. Imagine how happy and excited your parents will be upon seeing their grandson’s photo or video as he plays baseball? Or how proud they will feel as they gaze as their granddaughter who’s all dolled up for the prom? The best cell phone for seniors who know a thing or two about using the multimedia capacity of phones would be a smartphone, but it is best to stay with the simplest kind of smartphones.
What Should You Look for When Buying a senior citizen phone?
So now you have convinced your loved one that a cell phone is a must. The question is, which senior mobile phone will provide him with the most benefits? Let’s start by taking a peek at the features you should be looking for a handset to be considered as the best cell phone for seniors. Here they are:
Ease of use: We all know that some elders still find it difficult to operate a cell phone, so to make it less daunting for your loved one, it is best to choose ones that are simple to use, whether he intends to use it for calling or texting. Buttons must be large and easy to press, with numbers and letters big enough for them to see. However, do not eliminate smart phones for seniors from your selection because there are models that can fit their needs.
Size and weight: Yes, size does matter. Your loved one needs something small enough to fit into his palm or pocket but thick and heavy enough to make him remember that it’s there. Far too many instances have occurred when seniors forgot that they had cell phones in their pockets before tossing their clothes into the washing machine!
Screen size: The screen must be large and clear to protect his eyes from strain. The best cell phone for seniors will have a big screen which will help him read messages and numbers easily.
Volume: How loud can the ringtone and earpiece volumes be set? Is the speakerphone button accessible enough? These questions need to be answered as hearing impairment is one of the leading chronic problems affecting the elderly. You can read more about the technology used in cell phones designed for the hearing impaired here
Locking features: This depends on the health condition of your senior. Does he have arthritis or other issues with mobility? Then, a flip phone will be your best bet. Otherwise, a cell phone that separate buttons for putting it on or off will do.
Economy: Sure, you can buy the most expensive cell phone that money can buy. But remember that most of our elders sometimes suffer from memory lapses that may cause them to misplace or lose it. Not to mention that they may drop it due to a tendency to lose control over their muscles. In cases like these, the best cell phone for seniors will be the simplest one.
Customer service: Isn’t it comforting to know that fast-acting and reliable customer service representatives can provide the necessary assistance to your senior even when you’re miles away from him? It’s only reasonable to assume that the best cell phone for seniors would come with excellent customer service.
Other features: It is important that your loved one’s cell phone has GPS, maps, alarm and panic buttons that they can use in case of emergency. A radio, camera and some games can come provide him with entertainment during dull, boring moments when he is alone.
Best CELL phone for seniors: Our Picks
Haven’t decided as to which senior citizen phone to buy? We’ve created a comparison table to make searching a lot easier for you.
Emporia ClickPlus V32Emporia
|Less than $100||105 x 51 x 18.5 mm (4.13 x 2.01 x 0.73 in)||3.88 oz||2.4 inches||Big and easy to pressAccessible emergency button||With vibrate function, polyphonic tunes and loudspeakerCan be used with a hearing aid||flip||Stand-by: 320 hTalk time: 4 h||GPRSEDGEBluetooth||CameraSMS, MMS
|$30||0.59 inches, 1.81 inches, 4.33 inches||2.4 oz||1.8 inches||Medium-sized buttons||With vibrate function, polyphonic tunes and loudspeaker||buttons||Stand-by: 840 hTalk time: 7 h||GPS||FlashlightFM radio|
|$99||2.01 inches, 0.77 inches, 3.86 inches||1 pound||2.2 inches||Large and easy to press buttonsEmergency button|
|Very loud speakerCan be used with a hearing aid|
|flip||Stand-by: 25 daysTalk time: 5 h||GPSBluetooth||US-based customer service with no added fees;1.3 megapixel camera|
|$39||2.3 inches, 0.53 inches, 4.56 inches||0.2 oz||2 inches||Large-font buttons that are easy to press||Very loud speakerCan be used with a hearing aid|
|buttons||Stand-by: 16 daysTalk time: 5 h||GSM||FlashlightFM radio|
Samsung Gusto 2
|$39||3.82 x 1.93 x 0.75 inches||3.90 oz||2 inches||Medium-sized buttons||Very loud speakerCan be used with a hearing aid|
|flip||Stand-by: 14.6 daysTalk time: 7h||Bluetooth||1.3 megapixel cameraInternet browsing (FB, Twitter)|
Here’s a more detailed review of these senior friendly cell phones:
Emporia ClickPlus V32Emporia
This is a German company that builds stylish phones with practical features for the elderly. The expensive-looking ClickPlus V32 combines elegant design with contemporary style for the fashion-conscious senior citizen. For less than $100 this handset touts a luminous display for easy reading and a user-friendly keypad, with raised dots, to facilitate outgoing and incoming phone calls and text messages. For the convenience of international travel, this phone is unlocked and works on the GSM cellular service network.
Cons: Camera takes fuzzy photos; menus are not that easy to navigate
Perhaps the built-in FM radio on this Nokia model could make this the best cell phone for seniors. AM radio is included too. Although this cellphone weighs only 70 grams, it is tough. The casing is made of plastic, and the price tag is a delightful $30. The desirable characteristics of this handset include an easy to use keyboard and predictive text messaging for speedy written communication. It is designed to work as a dual-band bar unlocked GSM phone.
Volume buttons are not easy to access
In the year 2006 GreatCall wireless started producing the Jitterbug cell phone. This handset has become, perhaps, one of the most renowned cell phones for senior citizens. The Jitterbug Plus is the latest release by GreatCall. A user in distress can connect directly to a Response Agent by simply pressing “5” and the star key. This 5star Urgent Response system tracks the location of the caller using GPS technology. By means of popular opinion, this $99 gem could very well be the best cell phone for seniors. This mobile phone may also be used as a handy device to remotely keep an eye on anyone in need.
An already expensive jitterbug cell phone for seniors with additional $35 fee for activation and steep monthly fees.
No camera, music player, or web surfing
This is an uncomplicated and straightforward tool for communicating. Aptly named, “The Big Easy”, this is conceivably the least perplexing handset for a person to use; making this a good candidate as the best cell phone for seniors. Enormous keypad buttons, a convenient speakerphone and caller ID characterize this simple speaking apparatus. The cost to purchase this phone is approximately $30.
CONS: No camera at the rear; no user manual; no rear camera
Samsung Gusto 2
While Samsung is famous for its cutting-edge smartphones, the company also produces a respectable flip phone. The Samsung Gusto 2 is considered to be a free cell phone for seniors; provided the user signs a 2-year contract with the service provider. Enhanced social network support and a 1.3 megapixel camera make this a great choice for the internet-savvy senior.
CONS: Not very clear screen; camera doesn’t have autofocus
Popular demand and online ratings make these five phones candidates for the best cell phone for seniors. Three of the cell phones for seniors mentioned in this article are flip phones. The innate flip feature is conducive to easy call answering. The user only needs to open the phone to accept an incoming call. Common attributes such as large buttons and a bright display facilitate uncomplicated user interaction.
As with any mobile phone purchase, individual preference will likely prevail when choosing the best cell phone for seniors.