Top senior-friendly cell phones

BY JIM MILLER, Savvy Senior Published: June 11, 2012
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Dear Savvy Senior:

What types of simple cellphones can you recommend to seniors that are easy to use, without all the bells and whistles? My 77-year-old mother has had a cell phone for two years but never uses it because she finds it too confusing.

-- Shopping For Mom

Dear Shopping:

While smartphones garner most of the attention in the mobile phone world today, there are still a number of companies that offer simplified cellphones that are specifically designed for boomers and seniors who want one for the primary purpose of making and receiving calls. Here are some top options to consider.

Senior-friendly phones

Created by GreatCall nearly six years ago, the Jitterbug (greatcall.com, 800-733-6632) continues to be the best senior-friendly cellphone on the market. This custom designed Samsung flip-phone offers a big numerical keypad that lights up, extra-large text on a brightly colored screen, and “YES” and “NO” buttons to access the phone’s options versus confusing icons.

It also offers voice dialing, an ear cushion that cups around your ear to improve sound quality, a powerful speakerphone, a 24-hour Jitterbug operator who can place calls for you, and optional features like voicemail, texting, medication reminders, 5Star personal security service, a live nurse service to answer your health questions any time, night or day, and more.

The Jitterbug J sells for $99 with a one-time $35 activation fee, no-contract, and calling plans that start at $15 per month.

If you’re looking for something a little less expensive, the Doro PhoneEasy 410 sold through Consumer Cellular (consumercellular.com, 888-345-5509) is also an excellent option.

This flip phone offers a large separated keypad, with a bright easy-to-read color display screen and huge text. Other features include a vibrating ringer, easy text messaging, a two-way speakerphone, and a one-touch emergency SOS button on the back of the phone to contact help when needed.

The Doro 410 sells for $25 with service plans starting at $10 per month, a one-time $35 activation fee, and no long-term contract. They even give a 5 percent monthly service discount to AARP members.



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