Best Smartphones for Seniors–updated January 2014 and September 2014

Did you search and search for the most user-friendly cell phone you could find for your parents a few years ago? Views of my “Best Cell Phones for Seniors” post are very popular, attesting to the fact that a huge number of people find buying simple cell phones for seniors a challenge.

Following the 2014 Las Vegas electronics show, PC Magazine again named one of the best smartphones—oops smartphone– for seniors. The Samsung Jitterbug Plus remains their 2014 top–and only– choice so far, calling it “the best simple smart phone there is.”  

Samsung Jitterbug Plus  (Great Call) View slide show and video

Their January 22, 2014 review doesn’t rate the Jitterbug Plus 2 as high as the Jitterbug Plus. Check the comparison chart: Jitterbug Touch 2 (GreatCall), Samsung Jitterbug Plus (Great Call), Just 5 J510 (Unlocked) and Snapfon ezTwo (Unlocked).  Note: Click the Just 5 J510 on the comparison chart and look below for a comparison between older (seemingly preferred) cell phones for seniors, Just 5 J509, as well as  Snapfon ez ONE-c-unlocked and Jitterbug Plus. Worth reading if doing comparisons for a non-techsavvy senior phone.

There’s now a Jitterbug Plus 3.
September 2014’s senior technology editor reviewed Samsung’s Jitterbug Plus 3.Its health and safety apps may give it special appeal.
In a Black Friday ad, November 2014, Great Call features it with an explanation of the smartphone’s ease of use. To my knowledge PC magazine hasn’t reviewed Jitterbug’s Plus 3 yet.

Want to ponder more about smartphones? PC magazine’s late-fall 2012’s offerings (which include the Jitterbug Plus and videos of all) are centered below.

With holidays and no doubt some birthdays coming up, perhaps now is the time to expand seniors’ capabilities just a bit and provide more fun and opportunities by gifting a smartphone. That said, change can be hard for older people so my caution as a retired counselor/educator: Don’t spring this gift on an older person as a surprise, unless you’re willing, from the very beginning, to give an initial lesson and weekly (if not daily) follow ups for the better part of a month. If possible, go together to the ATT, Apple, Verizon or where-ever store and try out the phones together.

(On a personal level, I don’t consider myself very tech-savvy, and find my old iPhone (I think 5g) user-friendly, especially for anyone who uses a Mac. The phone plans, however, can be expensive. Thanks to PC Magazine, you can check cheapest iPhone plans as of March 2013.

PC Magazine reviewed these simple smartphones late fall 2012…..
Pantech Flex (AT&T); watch video
Jitterbug Touch (Great Call) be sure to read 2nd page; watch video
Doro PhoneEasy 740 (Consumer Cellular); watch video

*Update 9/27/13 Doro in US–not available; see below

Doro got a glowing report, however, Doro’s phone (from Sweden) is not for sale in the US. (See my 9/27/13 letter from Doro below.) It’s only sold in the EU (note French YouTube you can google). Also check out England, and Ireland. 

*9/27/13–this email from Doro AB Lund Sweden: Not good news. That said, stay in touch as I carefully look for new options. 

  Dear Susan, I’m afraid you are right, the version of 740 sold in EU would lack the US 850 frequency band. There are no immediate plans to launch 740 in US, but we do hope to be able to offer an easy to use smartphone for the US market in the future. Best Regards– P. Nilsson

*            *           *

RELATED: Best Cell Phones for Seniors with 9/22/14 update
Best Cell Phones for People with Disabilities–Possibly free
The Best Prepaid Phone Plans You Never Heard of PC mag. 11/22/13  

 Check out Newsworthy (right sidebar) links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus some practical stuff–to help parents age well.

3 thoughts on “Best Smartphones for Seniors–updated January 2014 and September 2014

  1. Well,my mom turns 90 next week and lives in assisted living. She loves words with friends,playing with her friends and grand children across the USA and googling and reading her home town newspapers.all online on a smart phone

    • Your mom sounds great–a smartphone user at 90! Thanks for sharing. And isn’t the smartphone a wonderful way for elders to stay connected in so many ways. Happy Birthday to your mother.

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