inexpensive cell phones for seniors

The best senior cell phone plans are budget-friendly, uncomplicated and have zero surprises when it comes time to pay the bill. We took a look at the top cell phone plans for older adults and the Inexpensive Cell Phones For Seniors to see how they stack up. Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying the easiest cell phone to use.

inexpensive cell phones for seniors

GreatCall Jitterbug Flip

Red GreatCall Jitterbug Flip PhoneGreatCall Jitterbug Flip

Features: The Jitterbug Flip has a long-lasting battery that can handle 10 hours of call time or weeks in standby. With 1GB of storage, there’s room in the camera app for more than 1,000 memories. The speakers offer noise-cancelling technology to filter background sounds and maintain clarity.

Why it’s good for seniors: The Jitterbug Flip phone is compatible with GreatCall’s senior-specific services. It features an emergency button for elderly loved ones to use if they’re in trouble, and is connected to the 5Star emergency network, which uses GPS to locate the user. Jitterbug devices also offer voice dialing, voice-to-text, and an operator service to help connect seniors with any services they may need. Big buttons and a magnifying screen round out this excellent option. Some plans offer additional amenities, like Urgent Care, which tele-connects seniors with certified nursing professionals.

Cost: For seniors interested in a basic, trustworthy device with tailored features, this phone is an affordable option at $99.99.

GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2

GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2 smartphoneGreatCall Jitterbug Smart2

Features: This smartphone brings the Jitterbug Flip’s features to the modern age. Its bright display is clear and easy to read, with large fonts and simple icons. Seniors can easily access the internet, stream videos, and use face-to-face chat.

Why it’s good for seniors: In addition to the standard 5Star emergency network offered through the Jitterbug Flip, the Smart2 offers visual features like GreatCall Link, which allows caregivers to stay informed about the health and location of their loved ones. Brain Games, a standard feature on all GreatCall devices, is enhanced by the large touchscreen.

Cost: This option is low-cost for a smartphone at $149. The unlimited calls, data, and texting plan [AG2] is $49.99 per month with add-on potential.

easiest cell phone to use

Motorola Moto G7

Motorola Moto G7 smartphoneMotorola Moto G7

Features: The Moto G7 has a 13MP camera, great for capturing family photos and videos. It’s also water resistant and includes features like facial recognition, fingerprint unlock, and great audio when streaming. This phone also comes “unlocked,” which means you can use it with any service provider, or pay in advance for minutes and texts.

Why it’s good for seniors: This is one of the loudest phones on our list, with sound quality that peaks around 88 decibels. The screen is 5.7” tall, allowing significant text enlargement.

Cost: The starting price of $199 is fairly affordable for a smartphone, but what makes the Moto G7 ideal is the option to choose a pay-as-you-go plan, perfect for seniors who want the wifi capacities of a smartphone without the commitment of unlimited talk and text.

Consumer Cellular GrandPad

Consumer Cellular GrandPadConsumer Cellular GrandPad

Features: Technically a small tablet, this video and audio calling device also streams music, plays videos, and has a wide selection of games. It’s durable, with a soft case and stylus, and comes with a charging dock station to eliminate the need for wires and cords.

Why it’s good for seniors: The GrandPad is a way for seniors to connect without a traditional cell phone. It lets your loved one enjoy all the benefits of technology with none of the effort. It’s designed to be accessible to tech-averse seniors, and even comes loaded with training videos and tutorials. The 8-inch screen is larger than a standard phone. Clear, bright icons add to ease of use.

Cost: The GrandPad is a great stand-in for a smartphone at $200. It’s available through Consumer Cellular on a monthly payment plan. Unlimited service and support come to $40 per month, which includes music streaming and curated articles.

Verizon LG Exalt

Verizon LG Exalt flip phoneVerizon LG Exalt

Features: It’s a sleek, modern flip phone with big, tactile buttons and a 3-inch screen for ease of use. The LG Exalt is a great option for seniors who want an updated look and feel without the added feature of a touchscreen. It also offers web browser access and email.

Why it’s good for seniors: The phone offers HD voice and hearing assistance, as well as text-to-speech capabilities, so it can read messages out loud to loved ones whose vision may not be strong enough for the smaller screen.

Cost: This phone is built to last at $169 from Verizon. It can be used with unlimited or prepaid service plans for a customizable monthly cost.

Consumer Cellular Doro 7050

Consumer Cellular Doro 7050 flip phoneConsumer Cellular Doro 7050

Features: The Doro 7050 is a simple, classic way to stay connected. It’s a traditional flip phone with limited features, but offers large buttons and high-contrast displays, as well as Consumer Cellular’s signature senior features and a basic camera.

Why it’s good for seniors: An emergency assistance button, hearing aid compatibility, and thorough instructional videos make this an ideal choice for seniors who want to stay connected without breaking the bank.

Cost: This phone makes the list due to its affordability. It’s a great option for seniors with a fixed income, or those who don’t want to invest too much in technology. The newest model is only $50, and offers customizable plans.

Best flip cell phones for seniors

Flip phones are often the best option for first-time cell phone buyers. Their basic design features traditional buttons similar to those on a handset, and many offer longer battery life and more durability than their smartphone counterparts. Choose a flip phone with high-quality speakers, large buttons, and a camera for capturing memories.

  • GreatCall Jitterbug Flip
    The Flip’s affordability and senior-oriented design make it a top choice. The 5Star emergency button, noise-canceling speakers, and lengthy battery life are great features in addition to the phone’s large keypad and camera.
  • Verizon LG Exalt
    High-fidelity speakers and HD voice calling make this phone ideal for seniors with hearing loss. It also offers a basic web browser, camera, and text-to-speech function.
  • Alcatel Go-Flip 3
    Word dictation, durability, and basic smart features accompany this phone’s easy texting and long battery life.

Best smartphones for seniors

Smartphones offer more amenities than basic flip phones. Food delivery and transportation request apps like Instacart and Lyft can help seniors living at home maintain autonomy, while video chat keeps families and friends connected.

If you do choose a smartphone, check for accessibility settings geared toward seniors. As the number of older Americans with smartphones has grown, companies have started catering toward their specific needs with larger screens, higher volume settings, and increased brightness.

  • Jitterbug Smart2
    Like the Jitterbug flip, this phone is a great choice because it’s designed with seniors in mind. GPS locating, medical assistance, and operator services accompany great battery life, a large touchscreen, and voice dictation.
  • Google Pixel 3
    A large screen with increased icon size helps seniors easily adapt to a touch-screen option.
  • Motorola Moto G7
    For an affordable price, this phone offers excellent voice quality for seniors with hearing loss, and a screen that measures nearly 6” diagonally.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    Though it’s pricier, this option offers outstanding image and video quality, and has a stylus addition for those who prefer to write with a traditional “pen.” All Samsung phones also have an Easy Mode, which is great for seniors who want to ease into a smartphone with fewer icons and larger text.

Best multi-use phones for seniors

  • Apple iPad Mini
    Consumer Affairs highlighted the iPad Mini as a great option for seniors with hearing loss, since the audio connects directly to compatible hearing aids. Like a smartphone, you can text on the iPad as well as video chat, play games, and write.
  • Consumer Cellular GrandPad
    Affordable and designed with seniors in mind, the GrandPad is a small tablet that offers music streaming, video chat, and cellular calling.

inexpensive cell phones for seniors

Seniors with a fixed income may prefer a less expensive or pay-as-you go phone without significant startup costs. While we still recommend the Jitterbug Flip at under $100, these phones are made for seniors who are looking for an option without commitment.

  • Consumer Cellular Doro 7050
    Consumer Cellular offers inexpensive service plans designed specifically for seniors. The Doro 7050 rings in at only $50, and is light and durable with great HD voice quality.
  • Consumer Cellular Link
    While the Link doesn’t offer many flashy features, it is convenient and affordable at only $30 with large buttons and effective speakers. AARP [AG3] even offers a member discount on services!
  • Tracfone ZTE
    This phone isn’t made for seniors, but it is the most affordable option at only $9.99 with no subscription or commitment required. If you’re looking for a bare-bones “emergencies only” cell, the ZTE will do the trick.

How to choose a phone for seniors

Use this list as a starting point, read reviews for phones your loved one might enjoy, and follow these tips:

  • See if companies offer a trial period or have in-store models to test.
  • Think about special features, like HD voice for those who are hard of hearing, or text-to-voice and large displays for seniors whose vision is fading.
  • If your parent or relative has dementia, consider a phone with tracking or emergency alert.

THE BEST SMARTPHONE FOR UNDER $500 IN 2020


The Apple iPhone SE is a great choice if you want a phone that lasts for years.
The Apple iPhone SE is a great choice if you want a phone that lasts for years.

1. APPLE IPHONE SE

THE BEST SMARTPHONE UNDER $500

TheThe phone that strikes the right balance of camera, build quality, speed, battery life, software, and longevity for most people is the Apple iPhone SE 2020. Specifically, we recommend upgrading to the model with 128GB of storage for $449, which is $50 over the base price but well worth it long term.

The iPhone SE follows a very tried and true formula. It has the same body and 4.7-inch LCD screen that Apple has been using since the iPhone 6. That puts the display on the smaller end of screen sizes today and also means the phone’s bezels are bigger than anything else sold on the market.

But in exchange for that very familiar phone body, you get a lot of value. The best thing about the iPhone SE is its processor, Apple’s A13 Bionic. That matters because it is literally the fastest processor you can get on any phone, anywhere. It’s the exact same chip found in Apple’s $999-and-up iPhone 11 Pro. Normally speed isn’t something we prioritize on phones at this price point, but it’s nice to have.

Why that processor really matters, though, is overall longevity. Apple consistently supports its phones for four or more years with software updates. (That’s in opposition to Android, where getting software updates on anything but the Pixel is still a struggle.) So Apple’s choice of a fast processor means that in a few years the iPhone SE will still feel snappy and still be supported with iOS updates.AS A TOTAL PACKAGE, THE 2020 IPHONE SE IS THE BEST SMARTPHONE UNDER $500 FOR MOST PEOPLE

Battery life is good, but not best in class. It should last about a day. Luckily, this iPhone supports wireless charging, a relative rarity at this price point. And because it has the exact same shape of the iPhone 6, 6S, 7, and 8 there is a huge ecosystem of chargers and cases for it. Unlike many inexpensive Android phones, finding compatible accessories for the iPhone SE will be a breeze.

The iPhone SE has just one camera on the back and just one selfie camera on the front, 12 megapixels and 7 megapixels, respectively. Neither is great by 2020 standards, but both are significantly better than what Apple shipped in older iPhones. It’s also fairly good by the standards of sub-$500 phones, though the Google Pixel 4A continues to win this category by a knockout. You will get a lot of camera features on the iPhone SE, including portrait and HDR, but unfortunately there is no night mode.

As a total package, the 2020 iPhone SE is the best smartphone under $500 for most people. If you think of it on a cost-per-year metric, it ends up being significantly less expensive than the competition because it’s likely to last four, five, or even six years if you take care of it. Just as importantly, it’s a great phone on its own merits. You get access to the vast array of iOS apps, Apple’s clean iOS software, and huge ecosystem of accessories.

APPLE IPHONE SE (2020)

  • $399

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The best smartphone under $500 for 2020.


The Google Pixel 4A has an incredible camera.
The Google Pixel 4A has an incredible camera.

2. GOOGLE PIXEL 4A

THE BEST INEXPENSIVE ANDROID PHONE WITH THE BEST CAMERA

IfIf you prefer Android, want to spend a little less money, or just want the best camera, then the Google Pixel 4A is the obvious choice. It doesn’t have the largest screen or the fastest processor, but it does have a clean version of Android that’s guaranteed to get software updates for at least three years. It only comes in one version: black with 128GB of storage for $349.

The Pixel 4A’s main claim to fame is its camera, which can go head-to-head with smartphones that cost $1,500 or more. That’s because Google does so much of the image processing in software — the sensor itself is actually quite old and not very special. It means that the Pixel 4A can take night photos, do astrophotography, and has a passable portrait mode. It can’t hang with the iPhone SE for video but beats it for photos every time.THE PIXEL 4A USES GOOGLE’S VERSION OF ANDROID, WHICH MEANS IT’S EASY TO NAVIGATE AND FREE OF EXTRA STUFF

The rest of the Pixel 4A’s specs are good but not great. It has a 5.8-inch screen, just enough RAM to keep apps from closing in the background, and a headphone jack. There’s no wireless charging, no fancy face unlock, and the body is made out of plastic instead of something more premium like glass. The Pixel 4A doesn’t even offer any IP water resistance ratings (but a splash of water is probably fine).

The Pixel 4A uses Google’s version of Android, which means it’s easy to navigate and free of extra stuff you probably don’t want. More importantly, it means that Google can supply the software updates directly instead of waiting for another manufacturer or carrier to approve it. That puts you first in line for Android updates and also guarantees you’ll get them for three years.

Unfortunately, in three years, it’s quite likely that the Pixel 4A will be on its last legs. Android phones generally don’t last quite as long as iPhones do because Android tends to bog down on older hardware more quickly. The Pixel 4A’s processor is fast enough today to not be a bother, but over time it’s possible that it won’t age well.

But for all that, the Pixel 4A is probably the safest bet if you want to get an Android phone for less than $500. You’ll get better software support and a better camera for $350. Not a bad deal.

GOOGLE PIXEL 4A

  • $349

Prices taken at time of publishing.

A very inexpensive smartphone with one of the best cameras for photography you can get on any smartphone at any price.


The OnePlus Nord has very good specs for its price.
The OnePlus Nord has very good specs for its price.

3. ONEPLUS NORD

THE BEST ALL-AROUND ANDROID PHONE OUTSIDE THE US

Technically, saying the OnePlus Nord costs less than $500 doesn’t make much sense because it’s not available in the US right now. But if you live in a market where it’s available, the OnePlus Nord is the kind of phone that aims for a solid B in every category instead of trying to ace one or two. For £379 / €399, it’s a safe Android bet.

The OnePlus Nord has a couple of features that are normally reserved for much more expensive phones: support for sub-6 5G networks and a high-refresh-rate 90Hz display. If you live in an area where 5G is built out, you may notice faster download speeds. But it’s the display that’ll have a bigger impact on your day-to-day experience. It makes everything feel smoother and better.

You will miss out on wireless charging and a headphone jack with the Nord, but they’re really the only big things that are lacking. Battery life is solid, the 6.44-inch screen is big and beautiful, and the software is less annoying than some competitors (though not as clean as Google’s). The £379 / €399 model comes with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, both plenty good for this price point.

As for cameras, there are a bunch of them — maybe even too many. There’s a standard, an ultrawide, and a macro camera on the back as well as a couple selfie cameras on the front. As is the norm with most smartphone cameras these days, they will get you decent photos in decent light but fall down a bit in the dark. You’ll mostly want to use the main camera, as the ultrawide has a noticeable drop in quality and the macro is only good for, well, macro or close-up shots.

All too often, phones at this price point have some critical compromise you’re forced to make in order to get the feature you really want. With the OnePlus Nord, there’s no big flaw you’ll have to work around. Again, though, it’s not available in the US. You can import it, but it’s not recommended as it won’t support the right LTE bands.

ONEPLUS NORD

  • $439

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The OnePlus Nord has better specs than you’ll find on almost any other Android smartphone in this price range.


The Samsung Galaxy A51 has a huge screen and is otherwise a pretty decent phone.
The Samsung Galaxy A51 has a huge screen and is otherwise a pretty decent phone.

4. SAMSUNG GALAXY A51

THE BEST PHONE IF YOU WANT A BIG SCREEN

Samsung’s $399 Galaxy A51 Android phone may well turn out to be the bestselling phone of 2020. Its predecessor, the Galaxy A50, outshone all expectations. For the A51, Samsung focused on nailing a big screen, good battery life, and the camera. It got the screen just right; the other two are just fine.

The 6.5-inch OLED display on the A51 is bright and vivid, and you’d have to be pretty persnickety to find fault in it. It doesn’t offer the same high refresh rate you can get on the OnePlus Nord, but it makes up for that with Samsung’s great quality. If there’s one weird thing about the screen, it’s that Samsung put a chrome bezel around the hole punch for the front-facing selfie camera. It’s distracting.

The A51 sports nice build quality, though you can definitely feel that it’s plastic on the back. It has a headphone jack and 128GB of storage, which is the number you should be aiming for on any phone these days. Battery life should be superb thanks to a 4,000mAh battery, but because it has to power that big screen, it nets out to being just so-so.

As is becoming a (weird) standard on this class of phone, the A51 has a regular wide angle, an ultrawide, a depth sensor, and a macro camera. And as is also standard, the regular wide angle will get you the best images. The A51 can’t beat the Pixel 4A for quality, but the different lens options might be more fun for you.

Samsung recently committed to providing the A51 with three generations of Android software updates, which is great news. Less great is that it usually takes Samsung longer than you’d like to get software updates out to the A-line of phones. Samsung has also started to junk up its previously elegant OneUI software interface with ads and other junkware, so be prepared to do some cleanup.

On the whole, though, what the A51 gets you is a very big, very beautiful screen. If that’s your highest priority — and for many people, it is — the A51 is a solid choice.

SAMSUNG GALAXY A51

  • $399

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Samsung’s Galaxy A51 has a big, beautiful OLED screen.


You probably don’t need 5G yet, but the Google Pixel 4A 5G has other strong benefits.
You probably don’t need 5G yet, but the Google Pixel 4A 5G has other strong benefits.

5. GOOGLE PIXEL 4A 5G

IF YOU REALLY THINK YOU NEED 5G

If you live in the US, chances are the 5G networks in your area are not going to live up to the high-flying promises carriers have been making. But if you really do think you’d benefit from 5G, the best phone under $500 that supports it is Google’s Pixel 4A 5G. At $499, it comes in just under the wire on our price limit — but the Verizon version costs an extra $100.

The Pixel 4A 5G is good for all the reasons that the Pixel 4A is good: it has a great still camera, solid battery life, and clean Google software. It has some other benefits, though. It uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, which means it’s faster than the Pixel 4A and nearly all the rest of the sub-$500 Android phones you can find.

It also has a larger screen, clocking in at 6.2 inches diagonally. It doesn’t feel too gigantic when you hold it, but you can tell it’s a larger phone. Google chose this size not to give you that bigger screen, but because it needed the extra space to hold all the components and antennas required for 5G.

The Pixel 4A 5G has a slightly better camera system compared to the Pixel 4A, thanks to the inclusion of an ultrawide sensor. Google has also made its excellent Night Sight mode automatic and improved video with some new stabilization modes.

Otherwise, it follows the standard low-cost Pixel formula. It has a plastic back with fingerprint sensor and a headphone jack. Google doesn’t load down the software with extra crapware you don’t want, but it does include some nice little Google touches like a voice recorder that automatically creates a transcription as it records.

Someday, not having 5G will be a serious downside for smartphones, but right now those networks still need to be built out a little bit more. Even if you ignore the potentially faster network speeds, the Pixel 4A 5G is a surprisingly great phone.

GOOGLE PIXEL 4A 5G

  • $499

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Priced at $499, Google’s Pixel 4A 5G is a slightly bigger, 5G-ready version of the 4A that released earlier this year.


The Moto G Power has incredible battery life, but the rest of it isn’t so incredible.
The Moto G Power has incredible battery life, but the rest of it isn’t so incredible.

6. MOTO G POWER

THE PHONE WITH MAXIMUM BATTERY LIFE

Motorola makes a pair of phones that are siblings: the G Stylus and the G Power. The difference between them is right there in the names: the G Stylus comes with a stylus and the G Power has a larger battery.

We prefer the G Power because a 5,000mAh battery on a $249 phone is a shockingly good deal. You will, of course, notice a bunch of other compromises in exchange for that huge battery, but if you definitely need a phone that will last, the G Power is your best bet.

The G Power has a 6.4-inch FHD+ display which looks decent, but it unfortunately only has 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. You’ll get by on both, but you’ll run into hassles just a bit more quickly than on phones with more. The processor is a Snapdragon 665, which will be enough to run whatever app you want, it just won’t launch it quickly and overall the phone may feel too slow in two or three years.

As for cameras, the G Power keeps the trend of a main sensor, an ultrawide, and a macro on the back. The main sensor is 16 megapixels and performs much better than the $250 price would lead you to expect. If you’ve used inexpensive Motorola phones before, you’ll likely find that the G Power offers a big step up in picture quality.

If you’re very confident you want a stylus, your best bet is to see if you can find a refurbished or gently used Samsung Galaxy Note. It does a much better job providing a software ecosystem of compatible apps for its stylus. If you can’t, the G Stylus pretty much matches what we’ve said about the G Power, just with less battery life.

MOTO G POWER

  • $300

Prices taken at time of publishing.

A massive battery is the Moto G Power’s biggest selling point.


TCL is trying hard to break into the US market.
TCL is trying hard to break into the US market.

7. TCL 10 PRO

THE PHONE THAT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL

TCL is probably best known for its televisions, but it has served as the white label manufacturer for smartphones for many years. Now, it’s trying to make a name for itself in smartphones with new, low-cost options like the TCL 10L and the TCL 10 Pro. The Pro is the upgrade pick and retails for $449.90, though you can often find it on sale for less.

The 10 Pro looks like it means business. Instead of iridescent colors and big camera bumps, it’s thin, flat, and gray. It has a 6.47-inch display, but overall feels smaller than some phones on this list. You also get a headphone jack and a big, 4,500mAh battery that should get you through a full day without issue.

The best spec on the 10 Po is its 6GB of RAM, which is plenty for multitasking and should keep your most recent apps from shutting down in the background. There’s the appropriate 128GB of storage, too.

The 10 Pro’s understated looks also extend to the Android software, which has a few extra little features but generally tends to stay out of your way.

As for cameras, they’re somewhat uninspiring: there’s a 64-megapixel main sensor, a 16-megapixel ultrawide, and a 5-megapixel macro. The photos you’ll get have that over-processed look that sometimes makes images look artificial.

Overall, the best thing about the TCL 10 Pro is that it has plenty of RAM for multitasking and a thin shape that isn’t bombastic. If you can find a good deal on one, it’s worth a look.

TCL 10 PRO

  • $450

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The TCL 10 Pro has a sleek, professional design.

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