We bought and tested 6 devices to find the Best Big Button Cell Phone taking into account different motor skills, vision levels and budgets of all sizes.
If you’re in a hurry, Editor’s Choice for the best on our list is the Jitterbug Flip Easy-to-Use Cell Phone. This piece of gear receives our stamp of approval for value, customer rating (1,420+ reviews) and it’s designed specifically for seniors!
The Jitterbug also topped our list on our other related post – flip phones for seniors. It’s a clear winner in both categories.
Anyway, let’s get started…
Operating a cell phone, for the majority of the population is as easy and as intuitive as mastering ABC. This is so irrespective of the phone type or brand.
However, this is not the reality for senior citizens — or elderly people who have a particularly tough time using normal and conventional cell phone for many reasons which will treated in a moment.
This review article is aimed at helping seniors choose the best big-button cell phones.
- Why regular cell phones are not good for seniors
- Why elderly people are better off with a big button cell phone
- Things to consider when buying big button cell phones
- Definitive List of Best Big Button Cell Phones
- 1. Jitterbug Flip Easy-to-Use Cell Phone for Seniors
- 2. Snapfon ezTWO Senior Unlocked GSM Cell Phone
- 3. Alcatel Big Easy Plus Prepaid Phone with Double Minutes (Tracfone)
Why regular cell phones are not good for seniors
It is easy to imagine that the elderly can or should use regular phones – after all, they are every inch like everyone else except in age.
However, if you are a senior yourself or have lived closely with one in the past (or presently), you’ll understand that this is simply not possible.
While the reasons are pretty obvious, we will nevertheless share them here for the benefit of all:
- Most seniors have a challenge with their sight. This means that, they cannot access their phones without their glasses. During an emergency – or when their glasses are left behind, this can prove tricky as they would certainly have difficulty reading the content of the screen and the characters on the keyboard.
- Most elderly persons are not abreast with technology. For such persons, phones with finger print scanners or 12MP cameras are useless to them; what they need is a simple phone that can easily make and receive calls; send and receive SMS. Big button cell phones serve this need in the most brilliant fashion.
- Most seniors do not talk loudly and also have a challenge with their hearing. If they are to make phone calls that achieve their essence, dedicated cell phones must be used.
- Finally, all big button cell phone, are manufactured with seniors/the elderly in mind. Accordingly, they are awesome when it comes to battery depletion/general ease of use. These features make perfect sense and are utterly important because, it is not always that the elderly appreciate plugging in their phones to charge or appreciate the fact of learning about technology. Sometimes, too, they plain simple forget.
Clearly, seniors are better off with a big button cell phone. The following reasons are testimony to the fact:
- Big button cell phones provide as easy button platform. Seniors who have sight problem can easily see the respective keys and deploy them as needed without much fuss or ado.
- Big button cell phones are generally programmed with an SOS button that is very effective during emergencies. Other traditional cell phones do not have this all important function. For seniors however, this is one function that no one should play with.
- Most big button cell phones are paired with a mobile monitoring service that ensures that users are given assistance when the need calls for it. This is very important for seniors especially in time of emergency (since most seniors actually live alone/on their own).
When you’re shopping for big button cell phones, the following are the features you should actively be looking for in any model that crosses your path:
- Clear display: this is important for elderly users who may have eye sight issues. In this wise, the bigger the screen overall (and character rendering), the better.
- Impressive battery life: most seniors are not comfortable charging their cell phones every now and then. If you are desirous of getting them the ideal cell phone for their age, you should be looking at a model that sports an impressive battery overall (talk time and standby time inclusive).
- Durability: elderly persons are not the most careful of persons. They are also most likely to forget that the table they are proceeding to clear has their cell phone right on it. Further, they are more prone to having the grandkids play with their cell phones. Accordingly thus, a model that is not durable will hardly last for any reasonable amount of time.
- Impressive loudspeaker and earpiece: Senior citizens hardly have the hearing ability the youth possess; they also do not always have the strength to speak with the clarity and precision of an American General commanding his troops. Accordingly, cell phones that do not render voices clearly or have the problem of clearly transmitting voice may accordingly, not be very suitable for such seniors.
- Loud ring: finally, a cell phone model that rings loudly is a must, given that the hearing ability of the average elderly person is severely reduced. In this wise, care should also be taken to select models that do not only ring loudly, but also ring the longest (possibly with vigorous vibration) so that no matter how slow the Senior may be (in getting the phone) or how far he/she may be to where the phone is placed, unnecessary/avoidable missed calls will not be an issue.
The good thing is that all the phones reviewed in this article meet these criteria. Your only challenge remains to simply pick up the model that best catches your fancy and ship it home to yourself or your loved one.
Definitive List of Best Big Button Cell Phones
Here are the 5 best big-button cell phones available for seniors at the moment…
The Jitterbug Flip Easy-to-Use Cell Phone for Seniors is another dedicated cell phone for Seniors and the elderly. This cell phone is equipped with a considerably bigger screen, larger buttons and large legible numbers that are powered by a backlit type pad ensuring that the dialing process is as effortless as it can get.
This phone, to our utmost joy does not also come with prepaid (or postpaid plans) or any cancellation fees thereof. Users are thus guaranteed ultimate flexibility and ease of use, especially elderly users who need the least problems overall. To crown it, the cell phone features a 100% US based customer service with phone coverage powered by the America’s largest and most dependable wireless network.
What we like
- Considerably bigger screen and buttons (in relation to the competition).
- A powerful speaker that ensures clearer conversations.
- No contracts or cancellation fees with this cell phone.
- Dedicated 5Star (SOS) button that immediately connects users to highly trained urgent response agents who can help in any situation and emergency.
- US based customer service.
- Easy to use interface.
What we dislike
- Cell phone coverage/support is great in the US only.
- The phone is without internet ability.
The customers and users who bought this phone opined that it is easy to set up, simple to use and loaded with many useful features which they particularly love.
The Snapfon ezTWO Senior Unlocked GSM Cell Phone is a cell phone that has been specifically designed with the elderly user in mind. Sporting a dedicated SOS button and 3-5 hours talk time, speaking keypad, big buttons, enhanced volume and a standard 28 point font, it is the ideal phone for the senior gentleman or lady.
The awesome thing about this cell phone is that the manufacturers actually made it for the elderly. In ensuring that it is elderly friendly thus, emphasis is laid on ease of use and not features per se. However, the phone has all the features the aged need and is further, Bluetooth enabled and compatible with the numerous hearing aids available in the market today.
What we like
- Haring aid compatible.
- Dedicated SOS button.
- Speaking keypad.
- Enhanced volume.
- No accidental dialing with lock/unlock keypad switch.
- Bluetooth availability.
- 3G functionality.
What we dislike
- This cell phone does not support multi-media like photos. A senior user that would appreciate this function would thus be naturally disappointed.
- Some users complained that the 3G service of the phone is not fully compatible on the AT&T network.
Customers of this cell phone love the fact that it has very large buttons that are very easy to use. They also love the fact that the buttons call out the corresponding digits when pressed. Further, users are also enthusiastic over the fact that the phone can easily be operated with arthritic hands and is particularly very loud, ensuring that getting a caller properly is never an issue.
The Alcatel Big Easy Plus Prepaid Phone with Double Minutes (Tracfone) is one of the perfect phones for seniors and the elderly for very good reason. The cell phone is big buttoned and comes powered with large lighted keys, is 3G capable and has a built in flashlight to aid Senior citizens around – when it proves too dark for their eyes to remain useful on their own.
Further, this cell phone has a hands free speaker, has Bluetooth connectivity, is compatible with hearing aids and includes free minutes for life. These features, it is pretty clear, are the basics any Senior citizen needs. However, when such fabulous features such as internet access, a 2MP camera and ‘my phone number’ buttons are included, it is clear that the options here already exceed the expectations of most users already!
What we like
- Internet access.
- Hearing aid compatibility.
- Large lighted keys.
- Built in flashlight.
- 3G capability.
- My Phone Number Button.
- 2MB Camera.
- Hands free speaker.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
What we dislike
- Some users complained that they had a hard time trying to set up this phone…it appears that this part is best left for the younger folk to figure out, before handing the phone over to Seniors for use.
- Other customers had issues trying to get a suitable cover to fit the cell phone.
Customers of this cell phone held on the average that the phone is an excellent option for older people. Users also loved its big screen and numbers and particularly, appreciated the fact that content on the screen is easy to see and that, the phone, overall, is easy to use.
Getting a great cell either as a senior or for an elderly user is not an easy task – the choices are often overwhelming and many do not serve at the end. However, the choices presented above here are the very best and are guaranteed to serve for a long time to come, irrespective of your choice.
Happy shopping. Let us know what you think in the comments below!