smartphones for seniorsFive years ago, I had a flip phone, and I was perfectly happy with it. Having finally added texting to my plan (to the unbridled joy of my friends and family), I was just as “connected” as I wanted to be. I honestly couldn’t figure out why anyone needed to check email in the grocery store. And wasn’t an app’s place on the dinner table, not on my cell phone screen?

But I digress. In 2013, my handy dandy flip phone started not being so handy dandy anymore. The screen was cracked, and it wouldn’t hold a charge for more than a few hours, so I headed to my cell service provider to buy a new one. It was then that I learned that my days of smartphone resistance might be over.

This provider, which shall remain nameless, was offering its giant, blinking, beeping, vibrating pocket computers for less than a low-tech, palm-sized flip phone. After many frustrated minutes walking around the store, I begrudgingly tossed my flip phone in the recycle bucket and joined the ranks of iPhone users.

Thankfully, I had a friend who was far more initiated about smartphones than me to help choose my new phone. However, I’m guessing that many of you out there might not have it so good!

That’s why I’ve distilled information about the best smartphones for seniors from a January 2017 GottaBeMobile.com article* (and updated with new models, where appropriate). All have the voice-to-text capability (although from comments online, it appears this function isn’t as intuitive on the Galaxy Note 5 as other phones) and front- and rear-facing cameras.

Jitterbug Smart 

  • Made specifically for seniors
  • 5” screen for easier reading and use
  • Shortcut to emergency response
  • Less functionality than most smartphones (which, if you’re like me, that’s a good thing)
  • The most affordable on this list (by a long shot!)

Samsung Galaxy S6 

  • 1” screen for easier reading and use
  • Fingerprint reader keeps you from having to remember as many passwords
  • Easy mode to narrow your options for simplicity

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 

  • 7” screen for easier reading and use
  • Comes with stylus to type and select apps
  • Fingerprint reader keeps you from having to remember as many passwords
  • Easy mode for just the basics like photos, phone, favorite contacts, magnifier, etc.

iPhone 6s Plus   

  • 5” screen for easier reading and use
  • Fewer options and controls to avoid overwhelming new users
  • Very intuitive Apple software
  • Fingerprint reader keeps you from having to remember as many passwords

iPhone 6s  

  • Many of the same features of the 6s Plus on a smaller 4.7” screen and at a lower cost

 

*“Best Smartphones for Seniors and Elderly in 2017,” GottaBeMobile.com, January 19, 2017.

                      

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