These days if you venture into any cell phone retailer, you will be met with a range of weird, wonderful touch screen, internet based smart phones, with all the features you could think of, from WiFi to fingerprint recognition, and a million other technological wonders.
That’s great for you, if you’re into all that stuff, but what about your non-tech savvy parents or grandparents? All those features might be wasted on them, because they just don’t have much interest or use for those little Internet phones.
For example, my mother-in-law is just getting now into Facebook and web surfing on an iPad we gave her. She likes it, but she needs help. A lot. Like almost every day haha. And that’s cool; we’re always happy to answer her questions and help her find fun new videos or e-coupons or whatever.
But there’s no way she could do that on a little phone or iPod, not even on the crazy big phones coming out nowadays. Even on the large iPad screen, she’s always accidentally touching the wrong app or link, and she has a hard time reading small print (thank God for pinch-and-zoom). But on an iPhone? Forget about it.
So she just has a basic cell phone, and that is already complicated enough for her (she can text, but she never does haha). But for web browsing, she much prefers her tablet.
So anyways, I assume you’re in a similar boat with your folks, and you want to find a basic phone that isn’t too hard for your elderly mom or dad to figure out.
I Recommend Flip Phones
Well, keep reading, because this article lays out five of the best flip phones for seniors. All have different features suitable for different users, so please do have a good read and decide which works best for you.
Flip phones are often recommended for older users, partially because they make butt-dialing a non-issue, but also because they make it so simple to answer a call and hang up. My mother in law always stands there, searching and searching for the right button to answer or end a call, and it’s just ringing and ringing…so I’m like, “Mommy, just open it…Mommy, just close it.” So cute 😉
Anyways, the flips below retail at well under $100 each and don’t require any data plan, which provides phenomenal value for your money, particularly as an operational, easy to use cell phone is a vital lifeline to so many.
1. Jethro SC213b Flip Cell Phone
This is an extremely good cell phone, and offers features which make life that much easier. Supplied with a quick charging dock, there is no more fighting with chargers, and small wires making it ideal for those with poor dexterity.
The unit has hands free functionality, so no need to stop what you are doing to take a call – welcome to the world of multi tasking! The phone is designed to flip open, singlehandedly, and has an SOS button, also designed for single handed operation, which can call up to 5 specified contacts in case of emergency.
The Jethro SC213b is not without other useful features either, with a large keypad, and speaking keyboard. It supports Bluetooth connections, can receive and send SMS and MP3 files, and sports a camera to capture every memorable moment.
With capacity for up to 200 contacts, this is easily expandable by inserting a Micro SD card, giving up to 16MB of extra storage space.
There are a choice of 7 languages supported by this phone, which are English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and Dutch.
(Please note, this handset is NOT compatible with Verizon or Sprint.)
2. TT Phone – Pluto Big Button
Presented in a handsome, well designed clamshell flip casing, this excellent device comes with a range of features designed to be basic, functional and with ease of use foremost in the design and functionality.
For the hard of hearing, this handset is complete with loud volume. It has big buttons, for ease of use by partially sighted individuals, and that all important SOS button.
As with the Jethro handset above, the flip and SOS functions are designed to be operated with one hand, when required.
(Please note, this TT Phone will NOT work on the Three network because only 3G handsets work on their network, and this lovely little thing isn’t 3G enabled.)
3. LG A340
This flip phone comes with one particular feature which makes it stand out from the rest. Offering Text to Speech, you can choose to have your SMS (Text Messages) received by voice rather than text. This is an excellent feature for users with limited vision. No more changing glasses and trying to read tiny words; the LG A340 will automatically change the Text to Speech, and you can choose between a variety of voices to deliver this.
With enhanced audio, it provides the option of extra loud volume, features a 1.3 megapixel camera, which can also shoot video, and is complete with Bluetooth connectivity.
4. Quadband GSM Seniors Flip Phone
This is a very useful, basic little phone – easy flip operation combined with a sleek look make this the ideal phone for occasional users with a low demand for features.
As with the Jethro, the GSM Seniors flip phone has an SOS button, designed for one handed operation, and you can store up to 5 contacts here.
It comes with an easy charging dock, again making it a great option for those with dexterity problems.
You can set up speed dials, store 300 contacts and make use of the hands free facility or use the phone for listening to FM radio channels.
Unfortunately, this unit does not come with enhanced audio.
5. Samsung Haven U320 Flip Phone
If I had to choose one word to describe this excellent phone, it would be “stunning.”
The only phone in the range to offer a color display scree, and a wealth of other features, making it an ideal choice for seniors. The display and the keys are large, and easy to use. The large, bright screen is kind to the eyes, and offers the option to further magnify.
In case of emergency, this is most definitely the phone to have. Hot keys provide single button access to 911 and to your appointed ICE contacts and can also be operated by voice command. This function allows Emergency Teams, when necessary, to have critical medical information, along with who they need to contact. This is perhaps the best possible phone for seniors with medical requirements, because it provides the most advanced features for this type of phone.
So, with added security, simplicity, ability to store medical information alongside ICE contacts, the Haven U320 also offers a variety of exercise regimes to use on the move or at home.
The phone is extremely slim, and will fit discretely in your pocket without being intrusive.
Clearly, there are a number of flip phones out there, but hopefully this little summary has pointed you towards some good options and given you the information you need to make a decision on which is best for you and your family.