The best cell phone for seniors in 2020

iPhone SE: Best cell phone
Jitterbug: Best flip phone
Pixel 4A: Best Android phone
Nokia 3310: Best simple phone

Choosing a cell phone is confusing at the best of times, but if you’re not up to speed with technology, it’s even more daunting – so we’ve found the best cell phone for seniors in 2020 for you.

Ranging from flip phones with large, easy to read screens to the latest in iPhones, we’ve picked the best of the bunch in several categories, and even found you the best price to buy them.

How to choose a cell phone for seniors

Pricing is usually a key part of the decision – and as a rule, iPhones are usually the most expensive. However, the iPhone SE is our pick for the best cell phone for seniors in 2020 for a reason, and in this case you really do get what you pay for. Moving down, there are the name brand Android handsets like Google’s Pixel, and Samsung’s devices. These have an excellent reputation, but are also expensive. There’s also a vast range of cheaper Android cell phones from brands you’ve probably never heard of. These are usually best avoided, as they come with a host of security problems due to many running older versions of Google’s Android software.

At the other end of the spectrum are the budget flip and ‘simple’ cell phones. These don’t have a touchscreen, have a numerical keyboard and won’t run apps. However, what they do usually boast is ease of use, price and battery life.

It’s really up to you depending on your budget and skill level – we’ve picked the best cell phone for seniors in 2020 in each category to (hopefully) make life easier for you.

The best cell phone for seniors- iPhone SE

If you’re reasonably tech savvy, then buying an iPhone SE is really a no-brainer – if you can afford it.

Apple’s latest handset is supposedly a ‘budget’ model, but bear in mind this is Apple’s version of a budget price tag. That said, given the amount of technology packed into the SE, it really is good value, and in almost every area way ahead of its rivals, without breaking the bank.

For seniors, the key to the SE is really the ease of use.

Apple’s iOS software is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand.

It’s also got some great accessibility features, such as working with a whole bunch of hearing aids (more here). If you’re also using Apple’s Airpods wireless headphones, you can even use a feature called Live Listen as a kind of hearing aid to boost conversation volume.

The SE’s design is also simple, relying on the firm’s tried and tested TouchID fingerprint sensor rather than the latest and greatest, FaceID. This is actually a good thing for many seniors, who we’ve found can struggle with FaceID. If you’re learning to use the SE, it’s important to put your finger in the right lace over the sensor – this is by far the biggest problem we’ve found people encounter.

Elsewhere, the SE has a great, bright screen and surprisingly good speakers. It’s obviously got a massive selection of apps you can download, including games like Candy Crush, Wordscapes and others perfectly suited to seniors.

We’ve got a complete guide to setting up an iPhone and iPad for seniors, which will tell you exactly what to change and download to really turn the SE into a great phone for seniors into the ultimate phone for seniors.

Overall, the only possible reason we think not to buy an iPhone SE is the cost, or if you think a smartphone is just a step too far (in which case our next pick, the Jitterbug flip, is a great option.

If price is the problem, read our guide to buying a cheap iPhone.

The best flip phone for non-tech seniors: Jitterbug flip

  • Pros: Designed specifically for seniors, built in magnifier
  • Cons: Relatively expensive, limited in capabilities, US Only

The Jitterbug flip is designed especially for seniors, with a large, easy to read 3.2inch display and large, easy to use buttons.

It’s also got a really loud speaker, so you’ll be able to hear calls, something many struggle with even on the latest smartphones. In fact, the flip is even compatible with hearing aids.

Don’t expect any apps, but you can send texts, and there’s even a camera built in so you can send pictures to friends and loved ones easily.

It’s also got a couple of neat features like a magnifier and a flashlight built in. 

It’s basic, but for seniors who aren’t comfortable with anything more, it’s an absolutely great cell phone for seniors.

The best Android cell phone for seniors- Google Pixel 4A

  • Pros: Great all round phone, excellent camera
  • Cons: No wireless charging

The newest smartphone on our list, we think Google’s Pixel 4a is the best Android cell phone for seniors. It’s incredibly well built, and really well priced as well.

While some say Android phones are more difficult to use than an iPhone, Google’s software has got significantly better in recent years, and it now pretty much on a par with Apple.

The Pixel 4a has a 5.8inch screen, which is more than big enough for most people, and don’t forget you can easily tweak things to make text appear bigger if you’re struggling.

It’s got a polycarbonate case, and some reviews have pointed out it can flex a little, so if you have a tendency to drop phones, you’ll definitely want to buy a case (we’ve got a guide to the best accessories here)

Samsung Galaxy S10e

The best simple phone for seniors – Nokia 3310 3G

  • Pros: Astonishing battery life, easy to use
  • Cons: Limited apps

Nokia is a name you probably haven’t heard for a while, but in fact it offers one of most straightforward cell phones out there. Called the 3310, it’s what is called a ‘simple’ phone – no touchscreen, limited apps and a traditional number keypad.

The 3310 doesn’t run apps, but one big bonus is that is does have a new version of Snake, the iconic Nokia game from when the firm led the way in phones. The new version is just as addictive, and will definitely help you get over the fact there’s no Candy Crush to be had here.

Without doubt, one massive selling point of the 3310 is its battery life. It’s an astonishing 22.1 hours of talk time, and 31 DAYS of standby time if you aren’t making calls.

Combined with the bargain price, the 3310 is a really good option if you don’t want the latest apps, and are happy with a more traditional phone. In fact, with the amazing battery life, it’s even worth buying one for a senior to keep as a backup so they’ve always got a charged device on hand for emergencies (or just to play Snake).

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