Best mobile phones for the elderly

You want to choose the model of phone that will do what you need it to - whether that’s browsing the internet or working with a hearing aid. So here's a guide to the options.

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There is no “one size fits all” model for mobile phones. The type of handset that’s right for you will depend on your personal priorities and needs.

The choice of mobile phones available is as diverse as ever – ranging from the latest smartphones with fingerprint technology to basic “bricks” which simply cover the basics, like texting and calling. This vast array of choice means that you’re guaranteed to find a mobile that is suited to your lifestyle and reflects your personal needs, whatever they may be.

If you’re an elderly person, or helping to buy a phone for someone elderly, there are now phones specially designed for people who have reduced dexterity, sight or hearing. For example, there are phones with larger buttons and font sizes, to help those with impaired sight, and phones that are compatible with hearing aids.

In order to help you decide on a mobile phone, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best models on the current market for a range of different needs and budgets, so there is something for everyone to choose from.

There are some key aspects you’ll want to consider when deciding on a type of phone:

  • Service compatibility
    Does the phone model support the network provider you want to be with? For example, many basic phones aimed towards elderly people are not compatible with Three mobile SIMs.
  • Ease of use
    Does the phone have an easy-to-use interface? Is the layout clear and intuitive? Are the buttons comfortable to use?
  • Special features
    Is your phone compatible with hearing aids if you struggle with impaired hearing? Are the buttons and the text on the phone easy to read if you have problems with your vision? Does the phone have an assistance/SOS button to press in case of a fall or other emergencies?
  • Battery
    Does the phone have a good battery life? If you’re a frequent user of your mobile, how long can the phone last before needing a recharge? If you only use your phone for emergencies, how long does the phone last while on standby? Will it have enough charge to last a few days or even a few weeks?

Best mobile phones for elderly people on a budget

Great choices:

  • Alba – £12.95 (Model number: 503119)

The SIM Free Alba Mobile Phone is a good choice for people who want an affordable phone that is able to make simple calls and texts efficiently. With an easy-to-use interface, and 2G mobile internet access, this phone proves an inexpensive option that is still capable of doing the basics. Plus, the battery lasts up to 220 hours on standby time. However, this phone is not compatible with the Three mobile network.

  • Alcatel U5 3G – £69.95

The Alcatel U5 3G Mobile Phone will cost you a little more than the Alba phone, but is suited to those who want access to a few more features, without having to splash the cash on an ultra high-tech smartphone. This touch-screen handset supports 3G network capability which allows you to browse the web from your fingertips. The Alcatel U5 3G can last up to 450 hours on standby mode.

Best mobile phones for emergencies only

Great choices:

  • Doro 5030 Candy Bar – £29.95

One of the most helpful features of Doro phones is the assistance/SOS button located on the rear. Pressing this button automatically sends a message to your emergency contacts to let them know you might need help. The Doro 5030 Candy Bar phone is also suited to those with dexterity, sight or hearing issues. The font size on this model is adjustable, which makes reading text easier, and sounds are loud and clear to help those who struggle with hearing.

  • Nokia 216 – £29.95

One of the best features of the Nokia 216 is its impressive battery life, which lasts up to 24 days on standby and 18 hours with regular talk time. So, if you’re someone who wants to keep a spare phone handy in case of emergencies, this phone will only need charging around once or twice a month, leaving you with one less task to worry about in times of need.

Best mobile phones for just talking and texting

Great choices:

  • Alcatel 2008G – £29.95

The Alcatel 2008G boasts both a large display and a big keypad, with hard keys to help make texting easier. Plus, you won’t have to worry about accidentally pressing the wrong buttons, since this phone has a voice-on-touch feature which announces when a button has been pressed. The brightness and font sizes are adjustable to assist those with impaired vision, and the phone is compatible with hearing aids, in case you have hearing difficulties. This means that you can chat away without the hassle of straining to hear what’s being said on the other end.

  • Nokia 105 – £22

If you don’t have any particular visual or hearing impairments, and are not interested in using the internet, then the Nokia 105 allows you to simply talk and text with ease. This phone is lightweight, comfortable, and is straightforward to use. If you’re a chatterbox who loves long phone calls, the battery on this phone will last about a week with regular use – so you won’t have to worry about your phone dying mid-conversation.

Best mobile phones for those impaired in sight or hearing

Great choices:

  • Amplicomms Powertel MP500 Amplified Smartphone – £199.99

Amplicomms is a leading manufacturer in specialist phones for the visually impaired and for those with hearing difficulties. One of the most helpful features of this phone is that it can reach volumes of up to 40dB. Also, you can switch to the specially designed Amplicomms user interface, made with older people in mind. This interface is extremely simple, and has clearly laid out navigation tools to help reduce the chances of making accidental calls.

  • Alcatel 2008G – £29.95

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a specialist phone, there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives to help you out if you’re visually impaired or struggle with hearing. One of these is the previously mentioned Alcatel 2008G, which has a large keypad and hard keys, making texting and navigating your phone easier. For those with impaired sight, the brightness and font sizes are adjustable. For those with impaired hearing, the sounds are loud and clear, plus there is a hearing aid compatibility feature.

    Best mobile phones for grey nomads

    Great choices:

        • Sony Xperia XZ Premium – £499.95

        Starting with the top of the price range, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is for those who want a fast, high-tech phone that can do more than the basics. One of the most useful features for grey nomads is the water protection capability, saving your phone from any poolside or river-boat splash damage. Plus, you can travel light as you won’t need to bring a separate camera around with you, since the camera on this phone achieves clear quality of up to 19MP.

        • Honor 9 Lite Mobile Phone – £149.95

        The Honor 9 Lite is a slightly cheaper alternative to the Sony Xperia, but still offers a quick processor which makes doing the all-important tasks quick and convenient. The battery on this handset can last up to a whole day on one single charge, meaning you won’t have to worry about a dead phone if you plan on hitting the road for a few hours. With a 13MP camera on this phone, you can still capture beautiful sights along the way.

        • Nokia 2 – £69.99

        This handset is at the lower end of the price range for a smartphone, but still does everything you need it to do on your travels. The Nokia 2 is a robust handset that can survive the knocks and bumps of travelling, and has a decent camera with 8MP quality. You won’t have to worry about a sacrifice on battery life with this less expensive phone, since it can last up to 19 hours of standard use.

        Choosing a SIM-free mobile phone

        Choosing the right phone is essential, but your phone can’t do much without a SIM card. If you opt for a SIM-free mobile, then having the right plan is critical to getting the best out of your new phone.

        If you’re not sure about the right type of plan, have a look at our mobile phone plans guide specifically designed to help you choose a great deal.

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        2 Responses

          Default Gravatar
          NicciNovember 10, 2018

          Hi there, my father has dexirity and needs a push button large font. He can use WiFi on the phone. However his first language is not English. We want a sim phone. Only for talking and using Skype/WhatsApp video calls – no form of texting. Which phone do you advise?

            Avatarfinder Customer Care
            JoshuaNovember 22, 2018Staff

            Hi Nicci,

            Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

            There are not too many phones with physical buttons today that come with WiFi capabilities. However, a quick search on the Internet should give you a good result. These phones should also come with your needed features.

            I suggest that you explore the phones on this page first. Check if your father can use any of them. If not, you can then go to the Internet to find more options.

            I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

            Have a wonderful day!


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