The best cell phones and smartphones for seniors

Every age group has different demands on a cell phone or smartphone. Older people, for example, often need models that are easy to use and easy to read. Therefore, there are cell phones that have been specially developed for seniors. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON presents the best senior smartphones and reveals how conventional smartphones can also be converted.

When the eyes get worse with age and the hands become more uncoordinated, smartphones are no longer so easy to use. In addition, some older people shy away from the new technologies. This is where special senior cell phones and smartphones come into play. They not only offer a simply structured surface, but are also often equipped with larger buttons, making them easier to use. There is a large selection of such senior smartphones and cell phones for senior citizens. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has therefore selected the best models for different user groups. We will also present software that can be used to convert an existing smartphone into a model that is compatible with seniors.

The best cell phones for seniors

Cell phones for seniors are classic cell phones that are equipped with significantly larger buttons. This makes them easier to use and the buttons are easier to read. Manufacturers often also use an easily understandable interface with the option of creating contacts as favorites in order to find them quickly. Your own child or grandchild is just a push of a button away. The models also offer special emergency buttons that are used to call for help quickly in an emergency. Some senior cell phones even have integrated sensors that register falls and, in this case, automatically make emergency calls. The battery life of the devices is significantly longer than that of senior smartphones due to the simpler equipment and smaller displays. In addition, the cell phones are cheaper than the models in the smartphone division.

Doro 7080

The Doro 7080 has been available since the beginning of 2021. It offers the compact form of a folding device with the clear operation of a simple cell phone. The 2.8 inch color display offers a lot of space for presentations, whereby the menu impresses with its simplicity and the large symbols. However, users do not have to open the senior cell phone to find out who is calling. Because the caller information is shown on a monochrome display on the front. The 5-megapixel camera is also located here, with which users can take one or two snapshots.

The senior mobile phone has a 1350 mAh battery that can be changed and charged using the charging station. Thanks to its high ringtone volume and hearing aid compatibility (HAC), the senior mobile phone is ideal for people with hearing problems. The visually impaired can also use it independently, as the manufacturer has built in speaking buttons that tell the user which button he is currently pressing. Although the Doro 7080 is a simple senior mobile phone, it can be used to send emails. With the help of the reminder function, you can also be reminded of appointments or daily events – for example medication.

The Doro 7080 comes with a programmable emergency call button as well as the ICE rescue helper (In Case of Emergency). The latter allows important information about illnesses or current medication as well as contact persons for emergencies to be saved on the phone. In an emergency, paramedics know immediately what to do.

Equipment summarized:

  • Clamshell phone
  • 2.8 inch color display with 320 x 240 pixels, monochrome external display for call information
  • simple menu navigation and large, illuminated buttons
  • Telephone book for 500 entries, contacts as picture speed dial
  • Hearing aid compatibility (HAC) T4 / M4
  • Emergency button with SMS alarm messages and ICE (In Case of Emergency)
  • SMS, WLAN + LTE, VHF radio, GPS, alarm clock, integrated flashlight, Bluetooth
  • daily reminders and access to calendar
  • Text recognition, adjustable font size and key response time
  • 1350 mAh exchangeable battery with charging station
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • Price: from 106 euros

Nokia 2720 Flip

The Nokia 2720 Flip is one of the more modern senior cell phones. Despite its folding shape, it offers some of the features of a smartphone. Not least because of the integrated Snapdragon 205 processor, 4 GB of internal storage space and the installed KaiOS system. It is based on the former FirefoxOS and has a similar structure to Android. KaiOS, however, has its own app store and also offers services such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The inner main color display measures 2.8 inches diagonally. In addition, the Nokia 2720 Flip has a smaller 1.3-inch external screen that, when folded, notifies incoming calls and messages, but also shows the day and time. The special functions specially developed for seniors include voice control via the Google Assistant as well as an emergency button. In an emergency, this can be used to send an SMS to a previously defined contact. The SMS contains, among other things, the current location of the user. The phone also automatically calls five emergency contacts in the address book.

Also read: From budget to top model – 6 new Nokia smartphones presented

The senior cell phone’s battery has a capacity of 1500 mAh and can be replaced. Nokia specifies a standby time of up to 28 days for the device, so that it can stay there for longer without having to be charged. The Nokia 2720 is hearing aid compatible, has a jack socket for connecting headphones and is available in three different colors (sea black, gray, red).

Equipment summarized:

  • Clamshell phone with large buttons
  • 2.8 inch display (320 x 240 pixels), 1.3 inch external display (240 x 240)
  • KaiOS, access to WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook & Co.
  • WLAN a / b / g / n, LTE, GPS
  • Hearing aid compatible (HAC: M4 / T4), emergency functions, hands-free mode, adjustable ringtone and earpiece volume, LED flashlight
  • Main camera with 2 MP
  • Telephone book for more than 1000 entries
  • 1500 mAh battery, exchangeable
  • 154.5 x 192.7 mm x 11.6 mm, 118 g
  • Price: from 83 euros

Emporia Touch Smart

Like the Nokia cell phone, Emporia’s Touch Smart shows that a senior cell phone can look modern and stylish. The device is a clamshell phone that can be operated using the 3.35-inch touchscreen and the large buttons. The Emporia Touch Smart runs with Android Go based on Android 8.1 and thus also offers access to apps such as WhatsApp. In addition, the senior mobile phone dials into the Internet via WLAN a / b / g / n or LTE. When folded, it is particularly compact, but still allows access to important information such as the time or incoming calls via the small 1.54-inch display.

Special emergency functions give the user security. In an emergency, up to five saved emergency contacts can be called one after the other at the push of a button. An emergency SMS can also be sent with one click. The emergency call button is located on the back of the phone on the battery cover. If desired, the cover can also be exchanged for a version without a button, which is also included in the scope of delivery.

Equipment summarized:

  • Clamshell phone with large buttons
  • 3.35 inch touchscreen (480 x 854 pixels), 1.54 inch external display (240 x 240)
  • Android Go 8.1, access to WhatsApp (pre-installed)
  • WLAN a / b / g / n, LTE, GPS
  • Hearing aid compatible (HAC: M4 / T4), emergency functions, hands-free mode, adjustable ringtone and earpiece volume, LED flashlight
  • Main camera with 5 MP, front camera with 2 MP
  • Telephone book for more than 1000 entries
  • 1400 mAh battery including charging station and second battery cover
  • 113.8 x 56.7 x 20.6 mm, 127 g
  • Price: from 70 euros

Olympia Happy 2

The Olympia Happy 2 is simpler, cheaper and more colorful. The small device looks like a classic cell phone, but has large and therefore easy-to-use buttons. The scope of delivery also includes three colorful interchangeable covers in gold, blue and red, with which the senior mobile phone can be customized in color.

The Olympia Happy 2 is shown on the 2.2-inch color display, whereby the manufacturer relies on simple menu navigation with large symbols. The ringtone can be changed and is comparatively loud, so that users with hearing problems can also hear it. Up to 300 contacts can be saved in the phone book, of which the most important eight can also be assigned to the speed dial. They are then clearly displayed with an image and can be reached at the touch of a button. The selection buttons are illuminated and pleasantly large. The Olympia Happy 2 accepts two SIM cards on request, supports sending SMS, hands-free calling and also has an integrated camera, a flashlight and an FM radio. The alarm function and a separate SOS button, which calls for help at the push of a button, ensure safety.

Equipment summarized:

  • Bar mobile phone, dual SIM, 126 x 60 x 12 mm
  • 2.2 inch color display
  • simple menu navigation and large, illuminated buttons
  • Telephone book for 300 entries, 8 contacts as picture speed dial
  • Battery for up to 6 hours of talk time or 350 hours of standby, rechargeable via cable or supplied charger, charging reminder via SMS
  • Alarm function and programmable emergency button
  • SMS, bluetooth, FM radio, integrated camera
  • Loud ringtone and / or vibrating alert
  • 3 interchangeable covers included
  • Price: from 32 euros

The best senior smartphones

If you are not afraid of new technologies in old age and do not want to do without the classic Google applications and apps such as WhatsApp, you should take a closer look at the senior smartphones sector. Here, the operation is not only carried out via buttons below the display and on the side of the housing. Entries can also be made via the touchscreen. Thanks to LTE support, senior smartphones are connected to the mobile Internet. In addition, they usually offer a better camera than senior cell phones and voice recognition via the Google Assistant. Because the smartphones are delivered with Android, over which the manufacturers have created their own, easier-to-use interface. Important emergency functions can be reached more quickly and the app icons and virtual keypads are usually much larger.

Emporia Smart. 5

Manufacturer Emporia not only manufactures senior cell phones, but also matching smartphones. In February 2021, he launched the Smart.5, whose system is based on Android 10. Apps such as WhatsApp, Gmail and Chrome are available as well as the PlayStore for downloading additional applications. The manufacturer has kept the interface simple. Large symbols and access to emergency call functions dominate here. The senior smartphone can be operated via the touchscreen or by voice thanks to the Google Assistant. Text input by voice is also possible.

Visually, the Emporia Smart.5 is one of the more modern senior smartphones. It has a flip cover that allows quick access to the four most important contacts. The 5.5-inch smartphone also has a triple camera with a 13-megapixel sensor and two 2-megapixel sensors. There is an emergency button directly under the camera. If it is pressed, the Smart.5 will automatically call up to five predefined contacts until one of them picks up. The smartphone then automatically goes into loudspeaker mode and plays an alarm to alert neighbors.

The technical equipment is in the simple midfield. Driven by a 1.8 GHz octa-core processor, the Emporia Smart.5 also has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of memory that can be expanded. It is waterproof to IP54, but the 3550 mAh battery can be replaced. Users can access the Internet either via WLAN ac or LTE.

Equipment summarized:

  • 5.5 inch IPS display with 1440 x 720 pixels
  • Octa-core chip with 1.8 GHz
  • 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory (expandable)
  • Android 10 with simple menu navigation
  • Hearing aid compatibility (HAC) T4 / M4
  • Emergency button with SMS alarm messages and ICE (In Case of Emergency)
  • WLAN b / g / n / ac, LTE
  • Bluetooth, GPS + Glonass, VHF radio, alarm clock, integrated flashlight, IP54
  • daily reminders and access to calendar
  • Text recognition, adjustable font size and key response time
  • 3550 mAh battery (exchangeable) with charging station, additional battery cover without emergency call button
  • Triple camera with 13 + 2 + 2 megapixels, 8 MP front camera
  • Price: from 238 euros

Doro 8080


With its 5.7 inch HD display, the Doro 8080 is significantly larger than a senior mobile phone. The manufacturer relies on simple menu navigation, legible, resizable fonts, but also on a modern look. Using integrated remote access, seniors can get help with setting up and operating them if necessary. The Doro 8080 comes with Android 9.0 Pie. Typically for a senior smartphone, users have access to applications such as Google and WhatsApp, whereby the connection to the Internet can be established either via WLAN or LTE. There is a 16-megapixel camera on the back, a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the senior smartphone and an emergency button including rescue worker ICE (In Case of Emergency).

In terms of performance, the Doro 8080 corresponds to an entry-level smartphone. Because here the octa-core chip Snapdragon 439 together with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of expandable memory provide the drive. The Doro 8080 is largely operated via the touchscreen. The senior smartphone also has a home button below the display that users can use to navigate through the menu. The smartphone is compatible with hearing aids and has a loud ringtone that can also be muted.

Equipment summarized:

  • 5.7 inch IPS display with 1440 x 720 pixels
  • Snapdragon 439, eight cores
  • 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory (expandable)
  • Android 9.0 Pie with Doro UI and simple menu navigation
  • Hearing aid compatibility (HAC) T3 / M3
  • Emergency button with SMS alarm messages and ICE (In Case of Emergency)
  • WLAN b / g / n, LTE Cat.4 with up to 150 Mbit / s
  • Bluetooth, GPS + Glonass, VHF radio, alarm clock, integrated flashlight
  • daily reminders and access to calendar
  • Text recognition, adjustable font size and key response time
  • 3200 mAh battery with charging station
  • 16 megapixel camera with flash
  • Price: from 298 euros

Bea-Fon M6

If there is a little more space on the display, the Bea-Fon M6 with its 6.26-inch HD screen is worth a look. The German-based manufacturer Bea-Fon relies on Android 9.0 Pie, a simple menu navigation and buttons on the side for the M6. The front, on the other hand, is button-free and shows a modern full-view display with a drop notch. In this sits an 8-megapixel front camera, which accompanies the rear 13-megapixel dual camera.

Users can decide whether they want to use the classic Android interface or the simplified Bea-Fon menu. The latter is dominated by the large symbols and easy navigation. A 2 GHz quad-core processor ensures fast operation. there is also 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of expandable storage.

The Bea-Fon M6 supports WLAN b / g / n as well as LTE and thus allows the sending of emails and the use of apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook. In an emergency, an SOS button is available that not only informs a previously specified person, but also the police or paramedics. Thanks to position recognition, the seniors smartphone also indicates where the accident victim is.

Equipment summarized:

  • 6.26 inch IPS display with 1520 x 720 pixels
  • Quad-core processor with up to 2 GHz
  • 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory (expandable)
  • Android 9.0 Pie, switchable to senior user interface
  • Emergency button with position detection
  • WLAN b / g / n, LTE Cat.4 with up to 150 Mbit / s
  • Bluetooth 4.0, GPS + Glonass, FM radio, alarm clock, integrated flashlight
  • daily reminders and access to calendar
  • Text recognition, adjustable font size and key response time
  • 3600 mAh battery
  • 13-megapixel dual and 8-megapixel camera with flash
  • Price: from 158 euros

Gigaset GS195LS

The senior smartphone with the somewhat bulky name Gigaset GS195LS also comes from a company based in Germany and advertises with the label “Made in Germany”. Like the Bea-Fon, it also scores with its large 6.18-inch display with good resolution, which extends over almost the entire front, and an overall modern exterior. An octa-core processor ensures solid performance. At the same time there is 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of expandable storage.

The Gigaset GS195LS allows the use of two SIM cards and is delivered with Android 9.0 Pie. The user interface is simple and shows the large symbols characteristic of a senior smartphone. Gigaset has also integrated the common emergency functions. The magnetic USB cable is a special feature. To charge the large 4000 mAh battery, it is simply attached by a magnet – there is no need to plug in the small plug.

On the back of the smartphone there is a dual camera with 13 and 5 megapixels, for video telephony there is also an 8 megapixel camera at the front. The Google Assistant for voice control is also on board. The Gigaset GS195LS has only been available since mid-December and is therefore still quite fresh on the market. The costs are currently around 200 euros.

Equipment summarized:

  • 6.18 inch IPS display with 2246 x 1.080 pixels
  • Octa-core processor Spreadtrum SC9863A with up to 1.6 GHz
  • 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory (expandable)
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Emergency button with position detection
  • WLAN b / g / n, LTE Cat.4 with up to 150 Mbit / s
  • Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + Glonass, FM radio, alarm clock, integrated flashlight
  • daily reminders and access to calendar
  • Text recognition, adjustable font size and key response time
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Dual camera with 13 + 8 MP and 8 megapixel front camera
  • Price: from 179 euros

Retrofit software

Some manufacturers offer special software for installation on conventional smartphones. It simplifies the user interface and makes it easier to use with clear icons, high-contrast fonts and large input fields. The classic smartphone applications are still available and the devices can also be operated as usual. However, with this solution, users have to do without the haptic and larger buttons. The software is therefore only suitable for those who have no problem with the small buttons and the touchscreen of conventional smartphones. The advantage: There is no need to buy a new device. Instead, an old smartphone can be converted into a model suitable for seniors in just a few steps.

“Make your smartphone easy” from Emporio

It is suitable for devices with Android 4.4 or higher and is available from retailers such as Media Markt, Saturn and Otto from around 15 euros. In addition to an activation code for the Emporia app, the package also includes a training manual that guides the user step by step through the installation and precisely describes the functions of the app.

According to the manufacturer, the installation takes about 5 minutes, and setting up contacts and personal settings such as the ringtone takes about 15 minutes. 60 MB of free space is required. However, the Emporia app is not suitable for dual SIM smartphones. The Emporia app simplifies menu navigation and brings the most important functions (telephone, camera, internet) to the fore. The manufacturer lists the properties as follows:

  • Good legibility, high-contrast font
  • Big Icons; clear colors and shapes
  • Simple structure of the three main pages: home screen, personal screen and app screen
  • Eases usability: no accidentally moving or deleting apps
  • Simple overview of the settings
  • All notifications at a glance in the Info Center
  • Direct access to the phone, SMS and gallery: With a simple swipe to the right, other frequently used functions (e.g. weather, calculator, browser) are displayed

Big Launcher: For a simplified Android interface

“Big Launcher” is also software that can be used to turn any current Android smartphone into a senior smartphone. The customized interface is superimposed on the standard Android and reduces the home screen to essential functions such as calls, SMS, emergency calls and the camera, which are shown in large symbols. This should make the devices easier to operate than with the conventional Android interface. If you want, you can switch between the Big Launcher and Android interfaces.

To customize Big Launcher, users can choose from not only various functions developed for seniors, but also special icon packs. The font size can be adjusted and, thanks to TalkBack, visually impaired users receive spoken feedback on their input. Contacts can also be linked to widgets so that they can be quickly reached on the start screen. Big Launcher even has an SOS feature that can be used to call for help quickly in an emergency.

If you want, you can try Big Launcher for free. In the free version of the app, however, the symbols in the right column cannot be freely arranged. The full version of the app, on the other hand, offers the full range of functions and costs 9.99 euros. Big Launcher can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website .

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