The Best Cell Phones for Seniors–with 9/12/14 update

I just got my new cell  phone, and it’s one that I  can understand, outsmart, and know how to operate!!!  I got it at the Verizon Cell Phone for Seniors store at the mall!” (an email forwarded to me by a friend in 2011. Although I found several Verizon Senior Stores through Google and Yahoo in 2011, they no longer exist.)

What is the best cell phone for aging parents? I thought PC magazine might have the answer.  Its three-page article, The Top Simple Cell Phones,” (Feb. 2011) offers excellent information, plus ratings and a slide show of seven phones. I knew Jitterbug (third page) was senior-user-friendly, but had little knowledge about the other cell phones.

CNET reviewed “best basic phones” (Sept. 2014), if you read the comments, you probably won’t buy any of them…so you might want to check what not to buy. Instead click this PC Magazine link, read content below the phone and check comparison chart which features older (seemingly preferred) cell phones for seniors, Just 5 J509as well as  Snapfon ez ONE-c-unlocked, written about in the 11/29/12 piece below.  Worth reading if doing comparisons for a non-techsavvy senior phone.

That said, 9/12/14 CNBC news commented on Great Call’s Touch 3 (Samsung). Although a smartphone, from the video it seems simple enough for non-techsavvy seniors; and their children might love the “being able to check up” feature. On the other hand, for seniors who continue to be/feel independent, some features could be considered intrusive.

Most recently, 1/1/15, a relatively young guy, G.E. Miller, reviewed and reinforced Tracfone’s simplicity and value on his blog, 20Something Finance, In fact, he’s now using it. The Tracfone was far and away the most popular based on the many comments below, going back to 2011. Always heartening to know when a product has staying power.

Cell phones today are  invaluable–for different reasons for different age groups. Clearly a simple, user-friendly cell phone is a necessity as we try to help parents and older people age well. Gaining the confidence to use it encourages connections (a key to aging well) and is obviously helpful in emergencies.

And what was this cell phone that she could understand, outsmart, and operate? Comment from Fran, below, much more helpful than the writer’s, so I’m going with Fran and her thoughtful research. Note: Comments are found below social media icons, below “Related” They’re called “Thoughts”–at the very bottom of post.

Because there’s so much interest in the SVC (Samsung T115) I’m including 2 UTube links about it. The first–short, simple, but bounces around:   The second–longer and more detailed, showing seemingly every feature (including textured sides for a nice grip) and updated 10/11:

11/25/11 The new Snapfon ez ONE-c (Unlocked) has been selected as PC Magazine’s new “Editor’s Choice” for simple cell phones (,2817,2396826,00.aspby Alex Colon. He  also wrote PC Magazine’s “Top Simple Cell Phones” 2/2011 review (second paragraph above). The Nov. 2011 issue elevated the new ezONE-c (unlocked) model above the Snapfon ez ONE’s  3.5-star rating.

11/29/12 Alex Colon (PC magazine) writes–page 2, near bottom: “As far as simple phones go, our favorite is still the Jitterbug Plus, which is a straightforward flip phone with a good keypad, an easy-to-navigate interface, solid call quality, and good battery life. The Just5 J509 and Snapfon ez One-c are also good options, and are even more basic than the Jitterbug Plus, if you’re looking for Zen-like simplicity.”

2/20/13 For those with disabilities (vision, hearing) states offer programs that distribute free telephones. Check out my recent post:

5/20/13  There  are 2 Simple Smartphones on the market. Some parents may love the simplicity and features. Check May 7th post ” Smartphones for Seniors” 

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.