What to Look for When Buying a Smartphone for Elderly People?

Author:  Milica Vojnic        Image by Freepik

Smartphones are mobile computers that help connect you to friends, family, and the world around you. Since the early 2000s, their popularity has continued to increase with each passing year, with statistics showing that around 61% of seniors aged 65+ own one.

The rising demand for smartphones for elderly people has to do with the many benefits they offer, which include the following:

  • Development of mental skills: Smartphones for seniors enable them to tune their mind and keep it engaged as they master new technology.
  • Emergency aid: If something was to happen to your senior loved one, they could always use it to call 911 or use an installed app to seek help.
  • Multifunctional: When you buy phone for elderly people, it helps to replace several items at a go. It can serve as a notebook, calendar, flashlight, and map

Reasons to Buy Refurbished Phones for Seniors

Priorities vary when it comes to buying smartphones for elderly loved ones. But while usage may dictate the features you consider, there are certain overarching features that a phone for a senior person must have. These are:

1. User-Friendly Interface

Today’s smartphones come with all manner of tech crammed into them. Nonetheless, a simple interface and an easy-to-navigate screen are a must-have when looking into smartphones for seniors.
A user-friendly interface makes it easy to locate the apps they need to search the web, add a contact, or make a call. Most seniors have eyesight problems, so you’ll want an interface with large icons, intuitive navigation, and readable text.

2. Display and Screen Size

Anyone who wants to buy phone for elderly people must choose one that has a bright, clear display. A large display guarantees that your loved ones can see everything present on their screen clearly. Without this, they may have a hard time making or receiving calls.

3. Simplified Operating System

Many refurbished phones available today come with an ‘easy mode’ option. As its name suggests, this mode simplifies how an older adult uses the phone. The mode makes the text and icons on the screen bigger than normal.
Seniors will love this option as they won’t struggle visually when using the smartphone.

4. Physical Design and Ergonomics

A comfortable design in smartphones for elderly people isn’t a luxury; it’s a must-have. The physical design changes how the smartphone looks, including how it feels in their hands. An excellent design will impact how it feels when a senior holds it and how they connect with it.
The right phone must, therefore, be lightweight, have a non-slip grip, and easy to press buttons.

5. Hearing Aid Compatibility and Volume Control

Hearing is among the top problems plaguing seniors, hence the need to ensure that smartphones for seniors are hearing aid compatible. Such a feature is vital for those who have already lost all or some of their natural hearing capabilities.
The volume control buttons should be easy to find and use to help them adjust the volume accordingly.

6. Emergency Features and Assistance

When preparing to buy phone for elderly people, you must remember that the situations in life aren’t written in stone and can change at a moment’s notice. And when they do, an older adult may not have enough time to dial 911, which is where an SOS button comes in.
You may also want to consider getting a phone with special personal alert features.

7. Battery Life and Charging Options

The battery in the refurbished phones will run out at some point, necessitating a recharge. To ensure it doesn’t run out too often, go for smartphones with a long lifespan, as the seniors in your life may not always remember to charge their phones at the end of the day.
While at it, ensure the smartphone has an easy-to-charge option, e.g., wireless charging.

8. Camera Features and Visual Communication

Seniors love taking and showing off pictures of their loved ones and places they visit. The ideal smartphones for elderly people should, therefore, have high-resolution cameras for taking pictures and making videos and simplified photo-sharing options.

9. Support and Customer Service

The reality is that you won’t always be available around the clock to help your loved ones navigate their phones. For this reason, ensure that the smartphones for seniors under consideration have reliable customer service.
Some brands to consider here are iPhones and Samsung phones, and carriers such as AT&T. These are well-known for their reliable support and customer service. Keep them in mind when looking to buy phone for elderly loved ones.

10. Budget Considerations

Last but not least on this list of what to look for when buying refurbished phones for seniors is the budget. Unlike feature phones, smartphones are traditionally expensive, with most costing over £100.
Please note that this is the base price, and some may cost more than this. Examples of cost-effective smartphones for elderly people include the Apple iPhones which has a big screen and long battery life and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, which have an easy mode.


The ten factors mentioned above are key to choosing the best smartphones for elderly individuals. Each highlights an important aspect of cell phone use among seniors that you can’t afford to overlook. And as you shop, remember to keep IT Asset Disposition rules in mind.

About our Author: This article was written by Milica Vojnic of Wisetek. Wisetek is a global provider of data centre services and data sanitization solutions.

Skip to content