Best Mobile Phones For The Elderly (in 2023)

Older couple with phones

In the United Kingdom, around 3.6 million older people live alone, and this number is growing. As the population ages, access to mobile phones can make living independently easier for the elderly and reduce their feelings of loneliness.

With the rise in health concerns among older adults, mobile phones can be instrumental in helping them stay attached to their families and friends. Just calls or video calls can be highly valuable during emergency times when they have no other means of communication.

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However, old folks will often have a tough time when it comes to using a smart device. Given the rapid development of technology in recent times the elderly can easily feel entirely alienated from such an integral part of life today – let alone taking into consideration if their smartphone is hearing aid compatible, or any other potential special requirements they may have.

This means it is increasingly important to have a phone to help them stay connected. Here are some popular smartphones and feature phones that will be ideal for the elderly. Take a look at this handy guide, and you’ll find the best mobile phones for elderly users.

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Our Top 5 Mobile Phones For The Elderly (in the UK)

A good mobile phone should be easy to use, reliable, and safe. It should not cost too much and should offer all the elderly’s essential needs. Below are some of our top picks.

1. The Best Mobile Phone For Elderly People: Doro 8200

The User-Friendly Smartphone Especially Designed for Elderly people

The Doro 8200 is an ideal choice for seniors looking to maintain an active connection with their loved ones. This smartphone is geared towards ease of use, featuring larger icons that can be adjusted for even greater visibility. The device comes with Doro’s proprietary ClearSound technology, ensuring crisp and clear conversations, even for those experiencing age-related hearing loss.

Much like its counterparts, the Doro 8200 is equipped with an assistance button that, upon a single press, sends alerts and automatically initiates a call to family or friends—providing peace of mind for situations like falls. Furthermore, the smartphone includes TeamViewer, allowing trusted individuals to remotely access and assist with phone operations.

The device offers a unique blend of accessibility features and simple functionality, offering users the option to switch between the full version of Android’s tried-and-tested platform, with apps downloaded from the Google Play store; or Doro’s intuitive interface. In addition to its user-friendly design, the phone incorporates Google Assistant, facilitating voice-activated commands for tasks such as composing messages, web browsing, and setting reminders.

Enhanced communication is made possible with Doro’s ClearSound system, while the assistance button serves as an immediate lifeline to relatives. The handset’s versatile features, including adjustable icon sizes and easy-to-follow tutorials, make the Doro 8200 a highly suitable option for seniors keen on staying connected in today’s digital age.

2. Alcatel 2008G

Alcatel 2008g

Simple Mobile Phones Designed For Senior Citizens

Alcatel stands apart from other phone manufacturers as a brand that has pioneered a range of simple mobile phones, designed with older users in mind.

The Alcatel 2008G is a feature phone designed for the needs older consumers who want an affordable phone that can be used for both phone calls and text messages. It comes with a 2.4-inch display and a large keyboard that allows users to navigate their way around the device quickly. Additionally, an SOS button can be programmed to automatically dial emergency numbers upon pressing.

Alcatel’s simple mobile phones are compatible with hearing aids, making them very convenient for elderly users. The handset is designed to provide maximum ease of operation with dedicated hard keys, an SOS button, and volume control.


3. Doro 6820

Clarity and Safety in a Flip Design Mobile Phone

The Doro 6820 is specifically designed to offer an enhanced communication experience, especially appealing to elderly users who prioritize clear conversations and ease of use. The device boasts a spacious, high-contrast keyboard and a generous display for easy navigation and texting, preventing accidental calls. To add an extra layer of safety, the phone comes with a dedicated assistance button that can be programmed to alert trusted contacts in case of emergencies.

With HD voice technology, this flip phone makes sure that conversations are crystal-clear. The built-in loud and clear sound feature enhances audio quality, making it easier for seniors to engage in phone calls without auditory challenges.

The ample, easy-to-read display ensures visibility, further enhancing the device’s user-friendly nature. For those concerned with safety, the assistance key provides an immediate means to reach out for help, instilling a greater sense of security for the user. In summary, the Doro 6820 is a stylish and functional flip phone that places an emphasis on clarity, ease, and safety—ideal qualities for older individuals who need a reliable means of communication.

4. Alcatel 1s 2019

Alcatel 1s

A Cheap and Functional Android Phone

The Alcatel 1s 2019 is an excellent option for those who need to use a smartphone and do not want to spend a lot of money. It is the cheapest Android smartphone available and features a sleek body that fits comfortably into your hand. This budget smartphone offers all the necessary features required by most senior citizens.

With the advancement in tech every year, Alcatel is one of the few companies which focuses on producing basic phones for the elderly and people with disabilities. They understand how important technology is for seniors. Their team works closely with these groups and tries to improve the quality of life through innovations.

5. Apple iPhone SE 2020

Affordable iPhone For The Tech-Savvy Elderly User

The Apple iPhone SE 2020 is another excellent option for older people who would love to keep up with the times while still enjoying the benefits of having an advanced smartphone. In many ways, the iPhone SE is like the iPhone 8, but with some updates to keep up with modern trends.

Although the display, camera, and design may seem outdated today, it will not matter to most seniors if they do not keep up with the latest tech. Additionally, if a senior with an iPhone wants a larger screen, they can shift seamlessly between the iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s devices also come with plenty of accessibility features thanks to the iOS operating system, the most obvious of which being the ability to use Siri to navigate the phone without having to rely on your own dexterity. That’s not all, though – with an adjustable interface and the ability to zoom in on any screen, the iPhone remains one of the more accessible choices of mobile phone.


How to Choose A Mobile Phone For An Elderly User

Although it might be tempting to buy a flagship iPhone or Android smartphone as they tend to be more popular than other devices, there is no point in buying an expensive handset if you cannot utilize its potential. Here’s a handy buying guide for you.

What are the differences between a smartphone and a feature phone?

What is a Smartphone?

A smartphone features a touchscreen and a choice of apps to download from the App Store. It’s basically a miniature computer in your pocket.

What is a feature phone?

A feature phone is any mobile phone other than a smartphone, as these phones often have special features such as the ability to send text messages. These phones have begun to be referred to as ‘dumb’ phones.

Features to look for:

Older people have different levels of vision and hearing compared to younger people, so these factors must also be considered. In addition to technical specifications, there are some things about smartphones that elderly users should be aware of:



Many people, regardless of age, suffer from vision problems. However, the older generation tends to need glasses and may struggle to read small text. Therefore, it is best to choose a display screen size that will allow them to see everything on-screen clearly.

When choosing a display, make sure it is large and clear so that the person can more easily navigate through the screen.



Buttons & Keyboard

Most touchscreen keyboards on smartphones are relatively small, and this can cause problems for older users who need larger keys for easy typing. Some older adults might prefer to use virtual buttons that appear on the screen, whereas others may prefer a device with buttons. Due to dexterity issues such as arthritis, finger strength could be an issue.

Therefore, buttons that are easy to press and big enough for fingers to reach should be considered. In addition, those with visual impairments will be able to use big, raised buttons more easily.



Higher Volume

Hearing problems are another common condition among the ageing population. A high-volume device makes it easier for the user to hear what is being said over background noise.

Some smartphones come with higher volume settings, making them suitable for the elderly who might want to listen to louder volumes. A high-volume setting can provide additional comfort in noisy environments like the bus or train.


Elderly woman wearing a hearing aid


Hearing Aid Compatibility

When looking for a new phone for an elderly who is deaf or hard of hearing, you should purchase one that is hearing aid compatible. If your relative has a hearing problem, consult with them to determine which features their hearing aid supports.



Emergency Features

One of the most helpful safety features on smartphones today is the SOS function, which is excellent news for anyone over 50 years old! Most manufacturers include this feature in their latest flagships, but many older handsets do not support it.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy A32 listed above has the option to set up emergency SOS messaging for specific contacts, making it easy for an elderly person to signal that they are in need of help to those who can deliver it, such as carers.


Long Battery Life

One of the most important factors in picking out a mobile phone for the elderly is making sure the phone has extensive battery life. Most old folks are not used to regularly charging an electronic device as it was not culturally necessary for the majority of their lives. So a device that lasts multiple days on a single charge is a good investment – such as the Alcatel or Nokia models listed above for example.


Get Great Value With Refurbished Handsets

For someone who is not a heavy mobile phone user, refurbished phones can help save money. For elderly users, refurbished phones offer better value than new models by providing the same functionality at a fraction of the cost.

Furthermore, when you are looking to purchase an older model, finding them can be a challenge. As manufacturers are ceasing production of old devices, purchasing a refurbished device may be the best option. This way, you get the phone you need as well as in a very good condition.

Beware of buying from marketplaces, as they can be prone to scams. You should always buy from official retailers with a warranty and return policy available.


Easiest Phone For A Senior To Use

Feature phones (i.e. brick phones) are the most accessible phones for the elderly since they are simple to use and have long-lasting batteries. Nevertheless, if you want something easier to carry around, then a basic phone is ideal since it takes less space.

Flip phones are also popular among seniors because they are easy to operate. They require only one hand for dialling and texting, making them great for those with arthritis or other injuries. Modern ones are also equipped with 4G and various apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. They may be challenging to un-flip for certain users as well.

The hardest mobiles to use will be smartphones, even for seniors who have used technology for decades. Touch screens make it extremely challenging to navigate through all their functions. Only pick one if you are sure the user will be able to use it or have a youngster with you.


Should You Consider a Basic Phone or a Smartphone?

Depending on a person’s needs and mobility, a basic phone may be preferable. Unlike basic phones, which provide most of the most basic features, smartphones are also linked to the internet, which can be used to access a wide range of applications, including social media and banking apps.

Even so, a basic phone may feel like a better fit for someone limited in terms of mobility due to age-related health issues. If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative, there is none better than a basic phone made specifically for seniors.


Mobile phones are prone to damage from falls and accidents, so buy one that is durable. This is especially true for older adults who tend to fall more often. It would also be helpful to get a phone case and screen protectors for added protection and longevity.

Final Thoughts

To help your loved one stay connected, you should always look for senior-friendly features when choosing the best phone for the elderly. Pick one that matches their preferences and physical abilities.

Rather than buying a new one with a contract, we recommend getting an unlocked refurbished phone. Having an unlocked phone means your loved one is not confined to a particular network provider and can choose from various options while travelling.

Check out our article on refurbished phone grades to learn more.

Once again, choose wisely! You do not want to get a device that does not suit the special needs of your elderly user. And remember: always consider their budget before purchasing anything else.


Which is the easiest mobile phone for seniors?

We recommend the Doro 6820 – a flip phone with large, clear buttons and a large, easy-to-read display. This phone is perfect for simply making calls.

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