Flip phones have roared back into style in recent years, with some brand new models emulating the suddenly trendy retro models to appeal to youthful new buyers. But for some folks, like our older brothers and sisters, flip phones may have been their first cell phone, and have remained a favorite throughout the glass slab smartphone era.
Buyers who are now 60 years or older may have started their cell phone usage, in the 1990s, with a flip phone. However, with advancing age, additional considerations emerge that many newer models take into account. Ease of use is a primary concern, both for older folks who previously eschewed smartphones and old hands looking for something smaller and less complicated. Flip phones also have a compact design, which makes them easy to use with one hand.
Older buyers may also seek out phones with powerful, adjustable speakers, hearing aid compatibility, large keypads, bright screens, easy-to-grip exteriors, medical and fall alert options, or specific assistance buttons. Other major features to consider, which benefit all cell phone users, are long battery life and data capabilities for email, GPS, and web surfing. Many flip phones do not require a contract and that adds to the appeal for those living on a fixed income.
Here is our selection of some of the best flip phones for seniors.
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For seniors, the all-time favorite of critics and users alike is the Alcatel Go Flip 3. which combines advanced features like internet access with ease of use. It’s got a classic clamshell design that’s easy to slip into any pocket, and opens to a bright 2.8-inch display for viewing text and numbers. The phone is famous for its long battery life — 6.8 hours of continuous talk time, and 8GB of storage. There’s a microSD card slot too, offering up to 32GB extra storage. The device runs the simple KaiOS operating system, which includes the KaiStore marketplace. Google Assistant facilitates using voice commands to open and navigate to apps, message friends, control smart home devices, and search the web. With T-Mobile’s discounted 55+ plans, the Go Flip 3 can also be quite affordable.
The Lively Flip, exclusively designed for seniors, has all the features the older crowd craves: A large screen and buttons, a loudspeaker, and a simple list menu that makes it a snap to use. Add Amazon Alexa to the mix to make navigation and calling a cinch. A dedicated 5Star Urgent Response button connects callers to emergency help 24/7. Users can set up GreatCall by phone or online to select a plan or a health and safety package. The Flip costs $100, plus shipping and activation fees with plans as low as $15 per month. You can choose the regular talk and text plan or a health and safety plan with health-related features. Data is not available. Cool extras include a free car and wall charger, plus you can keep your own phone number. There are no annual contracts or cancelation fees.
Jitterbug (invented by GreatCall, a health care tech company that still owns the name) is one of the most popular flip phones catering to the senior set because it is built with seniors in mind with everything needed in one attractive, brightly colored package. The Jitterbug is easy to use, thanks to a large display. Key selling points include a simple menu with yes/no navigation, long battery life, powerful speaker, a 2-megapixel camera for shooting text or locations, and a 5Star button for 24/7 emergency assistance. Plans start at $15 per month.
The Doro Flip is an attractive clamshell-style flip phone with many senior-oriented features. It’s lightweight and compact, with a bright, 2. 8-inch screen, 3MP camera and video recorder, caller ID, and works with 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and supports a microSD memory card up to 64GB. Its large buttons are nicely spaced out with high-contrast keys that combine convex and concave buttons for low-vision users. The menu offers various color themes adapted for low vision users, and also offers adjustable display colors and font sizes. You can hide functions and features you don’t need. Doro 7050’s receiver sound and tone curves are specifically designed for seniors’ hearing frequencies and the handset is hearing aid compatible. A programmable Assistance key activates the phone’s loudspeaker for placing phone calls. An Assistance button lets you quickly dial an emergency contact.
The Coolpad Snap was designed with seniors in mind as a basic phone for easy-to-use calling and texting. With large buttons and a bright screen, its basic phone functions are tailored to older users who don’t need a smartphone. This phone comes with 4MB of memory, plus an SD card slot for more storage. The Snap has a 2MP camera and dedicated camera buttons as well as shortcut buttons. The external display shows the clock and other notifications. It’s an affordable $55 and can be paired with T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plan.
Not all seniors seek a simple, easy-to-use flip phone. Sometimes active and adventurous older folks are looking for something rugged and compact for outdoor activities after retiring. That’s where the Kyocera DuraXV Extreme fits in. It meets military standards for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, freeze-thaw, and icing/freezing rain. It’s drop-proof up to five feet and IP68 dustproof, and waterproof up to 6.5 feet. Its rubberized housing ensures secure handling and durability. It features a customizable app menu, programmable keys including SOS, push-to-talk, speaker key, call list key, and four-way navigation, large font, tactile keypad, and a clear display. A 1.2GHz quad-core 64-bit processor and removable 1,770mAh battery ensure long battery life while dual loudspeakers and dual-mic noise cancellation assist with voice for calls. A 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash and video recorder are helpful for the outdoors. You can activate the phone as a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot for up to 10 users.
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