We pick the most easy-to-use mobile phones designed for older people and people with disabilities, complete with big buttons, clear displays and simple menus.
If you have an older relative – or a family member with a disability such as impaired eyesight or arthritis – who needs a basic phone with big buttons and an easy-to-read screen, we’re here to help.
Although some modern smartphones have some form of ‘easy mode’, which boosts the font size and simplifies the menus, you shouldn’t be paying out for expensive contracts. The likes of Doro regularly launch mobiles that are aimed at ease of use, complete with special emergency features for quickly contacting help when needed.
Here’s our pick of the best easy-use phones for elderly and less able users.
This clamshell style handset sports an external display, which reveals the current time and also any notifications, such as the name of whoever is calling. Flip the phone open to reveal a numeric pad with good-sized keys, plus shortcuts to some of the most important features. This includes favourite contacts, a flashlight feature and the 3-megapixel camera (which is basic, yet does the job for simple family shots).
That 2.8-inch screen is bright and colourful, so it’s easy to see even in strong daylight. As usual, Doro’s interface is well laid out and clear to read, while a rear assistance button can be held down to alert your loved ones or emergency services if you’re in distress.
Hearing aid compatibility and number blocking are just two of the other features you get packed inside, while the phone charges via a dock, so you don’t need to fumble with cables. All in all, a solid choice.
Check out our hands-on Doro 6050 review below to see the handset in action.
Doro Liberto 820
Doro’s Liberto 820 is a fully-fledged smartphone that retains Doro’s easy-to-use design and smart set of features. The 4.5-inch display boasts large icons which are easy to see and tap, while the curved plastic shell is comfortable to grip but also slender enough to slip into a pocket.
You can browse the web, take photos with the 5-megapixel camera and download Android apps via Google Play, so there’s no compromise on the typical smartphone features, but the Liberto 820 is also hearing aid compatible and includes Doro’s Assistance button that sets off an alarm and automatically contacts your preferred person when pushed. The phone can also be remotely configured by a friend or relative, who can see the user’s exact position as long as the Liberto 820 is switched on.
And when it comes time to charge, the phone slips into a bundled dock – no messing around with irritating cables and the like.
Check out our full Doro Liberto 820 review. You can also pick up the Liberto 820 Mini, which packs a 4-inch screen and 5-megapixel camera but the same great features.
Amplicomms Powertel M9000
The Amplicomms Powertel M9000 is another easy-to-use smartphone for seniors, packing a clear and colourful 4-inch screen. There’s an SOS emergency call button to call your chosen contact if assistance is required and the phone is fully hearing aid compatible, while the extra-loud ringtone makes it easy to recognise when someone is trying to get in touch.
In addition, you have the usual smartphone features such as a 5-megapixel camera (plus a front-facing camera so you can video chat with family and friends), WiFi connectivity and GPS.