What is AARP?
AARP is an abbreviation that stands for American Association of Retired Persons. It is a U.S.-based interest group and non-profit organization that focuses on issues concerning people over the age of fifty. In 2018, it had over 38 million members, which receive the organization’s magazine and bulletin. AARP is dedicated to empowering seniors and helping make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Does AARP Recommend Smartphones for Seniors?
Staying connected is nowadays a big concern and an important goal in every senior’s life. Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our society and many of them live on their own, without younger companions that could help them pick up their medications from the pharmacy, contact the doctor or emergency services in case of an emergency, order food and groceries, or simply keep them company. During the pandemic, it has become painfully clear how alone our dearest seniors can truly become and how much they need a phone and mobile service to help them stay connected.
As having a phone that seniors will know how to navigate is of utmost importance, the AARP also takes time to review the devices and recommend the ones they find most appropriate for elderly people. Indeed, not all smartphones are a good fit for seniors. Of course, it depends on the needs and skills of the user, however, most seniors find the newest and most advanced smartphone models too complicated. In addition, people with visual impairments may dislike small buttons, people with hearing impairments may need a device that is hearing aid-compatible, etc.
In order for seniors not to waste precious time trying to figure out which device will be the most convenient for them, AARP is often updating its list of AARP recommended smartphones for seniors.
Does AARP Offer Cell Phones for Seniors?
AARP does not offer cell phones for seniors. However, it does offer a long list of benefits for its members, including discounts on mobile devices and services in numerous retail stores and carrier companies. AARP members may get considerable senior discounts at carriers, such as AT&T and Consumer Cellular, and retailers, such as Target.
Now, you may have heard the phrase ‘AARP cell phone’, however, it doesn’t refer to AARP phones but to phones purchased using the AARP membership benefits.
To become an AARP member, visit aarp.org, press ‘Join’, and follow the on-screen prompts. To successfully sign up, you must be 50 years old or more. Membership includes a yearly fee of only $12 for the first year. AARP membership also offers a long list of other benefits, such as discounts on vacation packages, car rentals, health insurance plans, restaurants, movie tickets, etc.
Which are the AARP Recommended Smartphones for Seniors?
Recently, the AARP recommended the following budget-friendly and senior-appropriate phones:
1. Alcatel GO FLIP 3
This is a low-budget flip phone with lots of features that make it fit for seniors. It has a reliable and long-lasting 1350 mAh battery, 0.5 GB RAM, 4 GB of storage + micro SD, a 2.8-inch 320 x 240-pixel display, a 2 MP single camera with HD video recording, large tactile buttons, an earpiece and loudspeakers, and an M4, T4 rated hearing aid compatibility.
2. Kyocera DuraXV Extreme
This is another sturdy, durable, and reliable flip phone that has proven to be very popular among senior users. It comes with 16 GB of storage with a microSDXC card slot, 2 GB of RAM, a 2.6-inch display with 320 x 240 pixels, a durable 1770 mAh battery, a 5 MP single camera with HD video recording, a large keypad, an M4, T4 hearing aid compatibility, etc.
3. Jitterbug Lively Flip
No list of senior-friendly phones is complete without a Jitterbug phone. Jitterbug is one of the most popular phone brands among seniors, as it was designed especially for elderly users. It has a 12-hour-lasting battery, an 8 MP camera, large, visible buttons, a simple menu, an emergency response button, and an M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility rating.
4. Sonim XP3
If you tend to drop your phone, it may be best to buy a device that is very sturdy and durable. This phone model is protected against water, dust, and shock. Its color display has a scratch-resistant coating. The phone has soft keys, which make dialing and texting easier, and several other senior-friendly characteristics.
5. ZTE Cymbal Z-320
This is another flip phone with a reliable 1500 mAh battery, a 2.8-inch display, 4GB of storage with a microSD card slot, 0.5 GB of RAM, a 2 MP camera with HD video recording, HD voice, large physical buttons, an M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility, and other convenient features.
6. BLU G91
This is a simple and user-friendly smartphone from BLU. As a smartphone, it doesn’t have physical buttons, which may be a downside for some seniors, however, it also comes with tons of other features, which enable users to browse the internet, video-call loved ones, monitor their health, track their blood sugar levels, and more. This particular phone model is powered by Android 10. It comes with 128GB of storage, a microSDXC card slot, 4GB of RAM, a long-lasting 5000 mAh Li-Po battery, a vibrant 6.5-inch display with 720 x 1600 pixels, 16 MP front and back cameras, and other attractive features.
7. Moto G Power
Motorola is a giant when it comes to mobile devices. This particular model is especially popular as it includes most of the advancing features, yet has a very user-friendly interface. The device comes with a reliable 5000 mAh Li-Po battery, 64GB of storage with a microSDXC card slot, 4 GB of RAM, an immersive 6.4-inch display, a 16 MP camera, a fingerprint sensor, an M3/T4 hearing aid compatibility rating, and much more.
8. Jitterbug Lively Smart3
This smartphone from Jitterbug was designed especially for senior users, as such, it includes everything an elderly user may need and more. It has a large 6.22-inch display with large icons and fonts, which help seniors with visual impairments read, text, and dial, a built-in voice assistant, a 13 MP read camera, a 5 MP front camera, 32GB of internal memory, a hearing aid compatibility, and other great features that tend to be most valued among elderly customers.
9. OnePlus Nord N200 5G
This is a very durable, reliable, advanced, yet simple smartphone model from OnePlus. It comes with 64 GB of storage, a microSDXC card slot, 4 GB of RAM, a 6.49-inch display, a durable 5000 mAh Li-Po battery, a 13 MP camera, the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, tons of highly practical apps and features, and hearing aid compatibility.
10. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Samsung is one of the most reputable Android smartphone brands. As such, it offers tons of different devices. However, this particular model seems to be particularly suitable for seniors due to the fact that it is jam-packed with features that can make a senior’s life simpler, yet has a very straightforward and user-friendly navigation. It offers 64 to 128GB of storage, a microSDXC card slot, 4-8GB of RAM, a large and long-lasting 5000 mAh battery, a vibrant 6.5-inch display, an impressive 48MP camera, hearing aid compatibility, and many more convenient options and features.
Most importantly, the AARP recommends seniors assess their needs in advance and purchase a device accordingly.
You can read one of our past articles Best Cell Phones For Seniors
Which Other Smartphones are Suitable for Seniors?
In addition to the recently AARP-recommended smartphones for seniors, these mobile devices are also considered fit for seniors:
- Jitterbug Flip 2
- Alcatel Go Flip 4
- Apple iPhone SE
- Consumer Cellular Link II
- REVVL V from T-Mobile
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro from Verizon
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- GreatCall Jitterbug Flip
- GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2
- Motorola Moto G7
- Consumer Cellular Doro 7050
In case you also need information Best Jitterbug Phone for Seniors Free
Where Can I Get an AARP Recommended Smartphone for Seniors?
You can purchase any of the AARP recommended smartphones for seniors mentioned above virtually anywhere. Carrier companies sell them, so do MVNOs, retailer companies, online stores and marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, and government Lifeline assistance program providers may even offer them free of charge to eligible low-income customers.
In order to receive a free AARP-recommended smartphone for seniors from a Lifeline government assistance provider, you will have to meet some eligibility requirements and be able to prove that you qualify. Seniors who qualify for Lifeline must have an annual household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or participate in one of the qualifying government assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or certain Tribal programs.
However, in case you are a member of the AARP organization, you may wish to purchase the device from a wireless provider that has a special deal with the AARP and thus offers AARP members generous discounts.
The organization offers frequent limited-time deals on devices. The simplest way to review these deals is to log into your account at the AARP official website. As all deals only last for a limited amount of time, it makes little sense to mention all the discounts that are currently available, as by the time you read this article, the deals may have changed. The best thing to do is to check out the current offers at aarp.org/membership/benefits/tech and then jump at the opportunity to take advantage of the deal as soon as possible.
Let’s just say that the organization often has deals with the following companies, where you can purchase an AARP recommended smartphone for seniors:
- Consumer Cellular
- Cricket Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
Which Features Does an AARP Recommended Smartphone for Seniors Have?
First of all, the decision on which AARP recommended smartphone for seniors to buy should depend on your needs. For instance, are you tech-savvy? Are you planning to use apps other than calls, texting, and camera? Do you need a dedicated emergency button? Are you planning to use health-monitoring apps? Do you wish to use the device for gaming, video streaming, and other kinds of entertainment? Is it important to you to take high-quality photos and videos? How about video-calling your loved ones? Plus, you should consider the price of the device.
The device you choose should be relatively easy to use and have accessibility features. People with visual and hearing impairments should make sure that they will be able to see the buttons, read the text, write back and hear the person on the other side of the line clearly.
AARP smartphone recommended senior-friendly features include:
- Large display – it is especially important for people with visual impairments; it enables comfortable video streaming, texting, reading, gaming, etc.
- Big buttons – some seniors prefer physical buttons, as they enable them to rely on touch rather than solely on vision
- Assistive touch – it provides feedback about whether you are touching the right parts of the screen
- Large adjustable icons and fonts – also consider choosing High Contrast mode so that the content is more visible on the screen
- Zoom – a feature that can magnify any content on your phone’s display
- Louder speakers
- Virtual assistant (Google Assistant or Siri), which simplifies the typing process and enables users to text, browse the internet, and navigate the device without ever having to touch it
- VoiceOver or TalkBack – a feature that reads the text out loud and saves the user the trouble of having to read anything off a small screen
- Microphone – it transcribes what you say into text
- Long battery life – seniors tend to forget to charge their devices, as such, we must choose a device that will last at least an entire day on a single charge; we don’t want the senior to have low battery when he or she needs the device the most
- LED light – a feature that activates a LED light when someone is calling
- Accessibility menu – it is a large simple menu that shows the most important features and apps
- Sound amplifier – a feature to amplify faint noise and filter it
- Hearing aid compatibility – especially important for users with hearing impairments
- Scam protection – a feature that will protect the user’s identity, data, and other valuable information from hackers and other criminal activities
Before you choose the best AARP-recommended smartphone for you, also make sure to consider coverage, the plan costs and features, the internet speed, the price and any hidden charges, bonus features, return policies and warranties, durability, safety features, and potential discounts.
Read more about free phone for seniors here Free Flip Phones for Seniors