Smartphones are loaded with features and tech, but they also give us convenience and instant communication that just wasn’t possible before they existed. That’s why they are an ever-present tool for many of us and always within arm’s reach; a rule that applies to plenty of people who are elderly too.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a senior friend or family member, you might consider size, affordability, usability, battery life, and more to find the right device, so we’ve pulled together a list of our best mobile phones for elderly users in 2022.
Choose from a variety of simple designs (for those who just want something sturdy and reliable), mid-range handsets from big brands (for modern tech on a budget), and phones created with accessibility in mind (for people living with physical impairments).
iPhone SE (Third Generation)
Apple’s iPhone SE 3rd Gen marries the easy-to-use interface and superb performance of the iPhone range with a budget-friendly compact design. It all starts with the SE’s crystal-clear HD screen, which presents text and images with tonnes of detail, while text can be resized and colours inverted for visually impaired users. Phone Noise Cancellation and subtitles are available for those who are hard of hearing and like with all new iPhones, the screen is very responsive, too.
The iPhone SE also comes equipped with a suite of accessibility tools to aid readability and general use. The VoiceOver feature enables you to touch and drag over the screen, which will trigger the phone to read aloud. There is also AssistiveTouch for physically impaired users; the iPhone SE can be configured to enable multiple functions with a single tap, reducing the movements needed to use the phone.
With an SE 3rd Gen, the owner will be able to take quality photos and videos in light or dark settings while making memories, and a fast-charging battery means the phone can regain 50% charge in around 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
With the Galaxy A32, Samsung has gone for a sleek, simple, and affordable device that packs in a great deal of quality. The beautiful HD screen highlights every detail and looks crisp from any angle. Maximising visibility, Samsung has stretched the 6.5-inch screen to cover as much of the front panel as possible, with a very little frame around the edge of the phone.
4k shooting capabilities will allow an older user to create stunning video memories, while 5G connectivity makes for quality video-calling with friends and family.
From Settings, you can activate the Accessibility menu, which uses large, easy-to-identify buttons to navigate around the device. Users can also further increase the size of the buttons from this menu. The huge 5000mAh battery will provide hours of power, and can be recharged quickly with 15W fast charging.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
The Redmi Note 11 is another phone that excels with its accessibility capabilities. Front and centre is the large HD display, which allows users to read the screen in all lighting conditions, including in bright sunlight. Reading Mode 3.0 helps relieve eye strain by adjusting the brightness and applying a less intense paper-like background to the display. By emulating the reading conditions of a book or traditional paper, the eyes don’t have to work as hard over time.
Powering the Redmi Note 11 is an impressive high-capacity battery for around 22 hours of video playback time. You can charge it back up to 100% in about 60 minutes thanks to the 33W Pro charging technology.
Four cameras occupy the back of the Redmi Note 11, the star of the show being the superb main camera. If the older person in your life has an eye for photography, they’ll be able to capture portrait and landscape photos with exceptional detail and clarity and store hundreds of photos with the Redmi Note 11’s internal and expandable storage.
Nokia 105 v5
Nokia is a phone brand with a huge amount of pedigree and history behind it. The 105 v5 is a call-back to Nokia’s earliest models and a fantastic compact option for older users if they prefer simplicity.
The 105 has a classic pebble design that fits perfectly in the hand. Plus, it’s made of durable polycarbonate that can withstand some accidental drops, so the owner won’t need to feel anxious when carrying it around. At just 74g, it is a tiny phone that can be stored in just about any size pocket or compartment.
Whilst the Nokia 105 has a small screen, care has been put into the usability of the phone. The interface uses large icons for easy readability and minimal input is required to access the different menus.
Store thousands of contacts and hundreds of texts, and enjoy up to 14 hours of talk time with this nifty, nostalgic device. When it’s not being used, the battery lasts even longer, so you can rely on your 105 when you really need it.
Doro is a brand that specialises in ease-of-use when it comes to technology and has applied this specialisation to the 7080. Using a classic flip-phone design, the 7080 is simple to use and easy to hold. The classic keypad features high-contrast and widely spaced keys to make it easy to type and navigate.
On the back of the 7080 is a Response Button, which can notify friends and family in the event of an emergency. It raises an alarm and triggers a GPS location should the user need an immediate response. Such a feature makes it an ideal phone for older people and offers excellent peace of mind.
Despite being a simpler phone by design, Doro has made sure to include access to services and tools to keep elderly users connected to friends and family. The owner can access social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp via the Doro 7080, without the need for an additional device. The camera on the 7080 can capture photos quickly and are easily sharable to contacts.
All of these phones put ease of use and accessibility at the centre of their design. For more buying advice, discover our guides to the best budget mobile phones and smartphones with the best cameras.