Steve August 30, 2020
5-best-smartphones-for-seniors-in-2020

Smartphones, for the most part, have opened up technology to seniors and the older generation – their intuitive and large touch-screens proving much friendlier to use than old mobile phones with buttons (or circle-dial phones).

When looking at the best smartphone for seniors, we took various criteria into account like screen size, special accessibility features, and modernity. Do your grandma and grandpa think an Android is the metal trashcan from “Lost In Space”? It’s time to take them under the arm and guide them into the modern age. The phones listed below should be enough to convince them that smartphone technology isn’t all that scary.

1. Doro 8080

The Doro series of smartphones has a long-running reputation as one of the best phones specifically designed for senior smartphone users. Despite being tailored for those with special accessibility needs the Doro 8080 is a modern and elegant phone running on Android 9.0 Pie with a sizeable 5.7-inch display and decent (if not spectacular) resolution.

Best Smartphone For Seniors Doro 8080

Of the more bespoke features, there’s an Assistance button on the back of the phone that immediately contacts your designated family and friends along with tagging your GPS location in case of emergency. The charging cradle is a nice addition, too, letting you use your phone hands-free from your bedside table or other part of the house.

Beyond that, the Doro 8080 is a smart and regular handset, with a decent camera, crisp sound, and and audio boost function for the hard of hearing. It’s also officially Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC).

Specifications

  • 5.7-inch display with 720 x 1440 resolution
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD to 128 GB
  • 16 MP rear camera,  5 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • LTE/4G
  • Android 9.0
  • Hearing aid-compatible

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

There’s no reason why senior smartphone users shouldn’t get a taste of what a true flagship phone feels like, just like there’s no reason for them to pay over $600 for the latest flagship when something cheaper will suffice. The award-winning Galaxy Note 8 is a perfect balance and great choice. It came out in 2017 but boasts a large and crisp 6.3-inch 1440p Super AMOLED display that’s still among the clearest on any phone. The fingerprint sensor also makes it much quicker to unlock your phone than fiddling around with patterns or PIN codes. Crucially, you can get it for around $300 today.

Best Smartphone For Seniors Galaxy Note 8

The unique feature on the Galaxy Note 8 that may appeal to grandma and grandpa is the included S-Pen stylus, which lets you doodle and write on the screen just like you would with an actual pen. It has excellent handwriting detection, which learns your handwriting and converts it to text. On a technical level, this is the best smartphone for seniors on this list.

Even a few years on, this is a really high-quality and powerful device that can be easily adjusted for extra accessibility, increased font sizes and so on. Its last OS update was Android 9.0 Pie, which is still pretty recent and includes the vast majority of OS features you’d want from a modern phone.

Specifications

  • 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2960 resolution
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 64 GB to 256 GB internal storage
  • 12 MP rear camera,  8 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,300 mAh battery
  • LTE/4G
  • Android 9.0
  • Hearing aid-compatible

3. EmporiaSmart.3S

The latest edition of the popular accessibility-focused EmporiaSmart isn’t just a phone designed for senior smartphone users, it’s actually an up-to-date and powerful smartphone in itself. It has the important accessibility features, like large display buttons, hearing aid compatibility and an emergency Call for Help button, but it also runs Android 9.0 and packs an HD resolution.

Best Smartphones For Senior Citizens Emporiasmart3

The 5.5-inch screen should really be a minimum for senior smartphone users, as it offers plenty of leeway for less accurate button presses and is a good size to ensure visibility of everything onscreen. It also comes with a full training book, helping new users really learn the ropes of using a smartphone.

Crucial technologies like Bluetooth and LTE/4G data connectivity ensure that users will be able to connect online and between devices. This phone really is great for seniors.

Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch display with 720 x 1440 resolution
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 64 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,500 mAh battery
  • LTE/4G
  • Android 9.0
  • Hearing aid-compatible – M4/T4 rating

4. Google Pixel XL

Yes, the first phone in Google’s flagship range may have already received its last major Android software update, but as a way of getting older people acclimatized to the ways of true stock Android, the Google Pixel XL remains the best choice.

Best Android Smartphones Seniors Google Pixel Xl

First of all, it’s very cheap these days and can be purchased for under $100, which is a great price considering the power onboard. It has a sizable 5.5-inch display squeezing in 1440 x 2560 pixels, ensuring everything is nice and clear for faded eyes, and its 12.3 MP camera is sure to dazzle the old folks. UI elements like icons and font size can be increased for convenience.

The last Android software update the Pixel XL received was Android 10, which is just one more OS update than is usually rolled out, and a pleasant surprise to Pixel owners. That means that seniors will still get most of the bells and whistles of Android that anyone else would. Why does this matter? Because the stock Android UI is among the most user-friendly around and will help familiarize older people, not just with using this specific phone but with the Android OS as a whole.

Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution
  • 32 GB/128 GB internal storage, no card slot
  • 3,450 mAh battery
  • Android 9.0
  • 4G LTE

5. Jitterbug Smart2

The upgraded version of the Jitterbug Smart2continues in the vein of its predecessor, with a sizable 5.5-inch 720p screen and big, bold interface elements making it easy to use for those whose fingers aren’t as graceful as they used to be. It’s not the fastest of phones, but the GreatCall UI is designed for accessibility rather than gaming, and in that it does its job very well.

best-smartphones-for-seniors-jitterbug-smart2

There are various subscriptions you can get that add extra services such as nurse contact lines, the option for family members to track you by your phone’s locations, and more. The camera is pretty decent for a phone like this, too, so your grandpa will be able to dabble in the joys of photography and maybe social sharing without pictures looking like they were processed through a 90s game console.

Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch display with HD resolution
  • 16 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • 4G LTE
  • Hearing aid-compatible – M4/T4 rating

Now that you have found the best smartphones for seniors, why not pick up a few tricks on how to use them? We have a guide that will help you stop Android apps running in the backgroundand also a guide on how to prevent your Android phone from overheating. Forth!

This article was first published in July 2017 and was updated in August 2020.

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