Smartphone Buyer’s Guide for Older Adults


Work out your wants

Telephones are available in all styles and sizes with completely different options and completely different costs. Step one is to evaluate your particular wants, says Ramon T. Llamas, analysis director for gadgets and shows at IDC, a analysis agency based mostly in Framingham, Massachusetts.

“For instance, what are you going to make use of the telephone for? Do you want all the brand new bells and whistles, like 5G and augmented actuality, or are the tried-and-true options sufficient for you, resembling telephone calls, texting and a digital camera?” Llamas asks.

In the event you do not want the most recent iPhone or souped-up Android system and are merely taking a look at an emergency communication system to maintain in your glove compartment, then an everyday cellphone could also be best for you.

The identical could be stated for funds: When you’ve got just a few hundred {dollars} to spend, it’s going to rule out the most recent premium gadgets, resembling iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, each beginning at $799. Extra inexpensive gadgets exist, says Siddharth Lal, vice chairman of buyer acquisition advertising and marketing at T-Cell.

“For instance, there’s the well-loved Samsung Galaxy A32 5G [for $282] or the [$239.99] OnePlus Nord N200, which options a big show with triple rear cameras and a front-facing digital camera,” he says.

Along with the price of the telephone itself, think about your funds for month-to-month service prices for voice calls, textual content messages and knowledge, he says. You employ knowledge for net shopping, accessing e mail, downloading apps and different on-line exercise.

Lal says his firm’s analysis discovered the 55-plus phase tends to be extra “worth aware” than different customers, which helped T-Cell design extra acceptable plans for the age group.

Think about accessibility, ease of use

The following consideration needs to be any accessibility options value contemplating, whether or not tied to utilizing the system, seeing the textual content or listening to the individual you are speaking with.

“Many senior residents can use a mainstream smartphone with little to no situation, whereas others could profit from extra options, resembling larger buttons, a bigger display and louder speaker,” Llamos says. “Since wants range from one senior to the subsequent, assess whether or not your wants benefit a smartphone designed particularly for seniors.”

For instance, some telephones supply high-definition voice for individuals who are onerous of listening to and speech-to-text options for these with arthritis, Parkinson’s illness and different medical circumstances which will make utilizing a cellphone harder.

Digital assistants, resembling Google Assistant, are preferrred to have in a smartphone since speaking could be sooner and extra correct than typing. And also you needn’t break the financial institution for this function: The $100 Alcatel GO FLIP 3 is a primary flip telephone with massive buttons, listening to assist compatibility and lengthy battery life — practically 22 days on standby — plus Google’s built-in private assistant.

Search for rip-off safety

“Additionally essential is rip-off safety,” Lal says. “We all know that older People are sometimes being ‘gamed,’ and we provide an excellent service to forestall that with Rip-off Defend, which is included in all 55+ plans.”

Different main telephone carriers, resembling T-Cell and AT&T, supply related companies to assist clients push back robocallers and scammers, plus apps resembling Nomorobo and YouMail work with any provider.