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Big buttons, good value: Five best phones for seniors

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We recently wrote about choosing a new phone for kids, where affordability, durability and parental controls are key, but what about the older people in your life?

Research shows that, in general, the older a person is the longer it will have been since they last upgraded their phone. Likewise, older Aussies plan to keep their next phone for longer, have less appetite for expensive devices and plan to buy their next phone outright rather than over the life of a contract.

So it's clear that affordability dominates decision-making among older age groups when choosing a phone. Given that price point is the main buying criteria, we've outlined a few devices that offer great bang-for-buck at reasonable prices, while also providing other features that might bring value like long battery life and large buttons or icons.

best phones for seniors

Easyfone Prime A1

If you want to keep costs to an absolute minimum and simply want to make calls from your phone then the Easyfone Prime A1 is worth considering. Designed with accessibility in mind, this semi-smart handset offers big fonts, hearing aid pairing, high volumes and large buttons for easy dialling. The flip-style design means it will fit easily into pockets and purses and battery life can last beyond a week with low use. At $93 from Amazon it makes for a real budget option to do the basics. However, take note that the Easyfone has 3G connectivity. 3G is fine for use in metro areas but those living in rural areas may be better suited to a 4G device.

EasyfonePrimeA1XS

X Vista

The X Vista is a good fit for both older and younger generations, offering a decent camera and premium features on a budget. Priced at approximately $179, (we found some much cheaper on Amazon), the X Vista comes with some great inclusions like facial recognition unlock, a good processor to keep performance nice and zippy, and a large 6.26" display which makes for easy viewing. You can buy the X Vista from Optus but can always opt to pay the fee and unlock it to use with another provider.

xvistaxs

iPhone 7

Just like we mentioned when looking at phones for kids, choosing a refurbished handset is a great way to get hold of a former flagship device at a fraction of the cost of buying it new. Coles has teamed up with Boost Mobile to sell refurbished iPhone 7 32GB models for $299 and you can get the same deal via refurbishment specialists numobile. A rigorous 72-point inspection process makes sure these phones are in excellent and trustworthy condition, giving users access to some top quality, if slightly older phones. If Apple or Samsung is your thing then numobile has a wide range of refurbished devices from the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S9 through to much more recent models.

iphone 7 for seniors

OPPO A91

Lifting the price point to $499 brings the OPPO A91 into the equation; a phone that offers a premium experience but without the top-end price tag. Known for consistently producing affordable quality devices, OPPO has again packed a lot of hardware into a mid-range phone. The 1080-pixel display is large at 6.4" making images and text crystal clear, and an impressive camera array helps with taking quality photos. The battery performs well and charges quickly, which can be very handy.

oppo a91 for seniors

Google Pixel 4a

At the top end of our value-driven budget is one of the best value devices our team has reviewed - the Google Pixel 4a. This is a value-packed device that nails the essentials. For $599 users get one of the best cameras available in a smartphone, (camera quality is often what manufacturers point to for their high price tags), reliable all-day battery and excellent performance. Put simply, as far as bang-for-buck goes the Google Pixel 4a is probably the most sensible phone you can buy.

pixel 4a

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Kenny McGilvary is communications manager at WhistleOut.
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