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January 4, 2017 2:38 PM   Subscribe

It's been a while since last someone asked, so for 2017: what are good recommendations for non-iPhone smartphones for seniors?

Specifics about our situation: Mother is upset with the poor build quality of her iPhone 5C from October 2014, and also upset with the way Apple treated her when she sought redress for its issues. Unless something drastic changes, she does not want another iPhone.

She knows enough about smartphones to know that they can send texts, that they can hold her address book and pictures of family, and that she can use them handsfree in the car with Bluetooth. What is a good phone that can do all those things, cost up to $250 USD unlocked and out the door, and last three years or longer?
posted by infinitewindow to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How good is she with technology? My dad, in his mid-80's is having fun with his iPhone. My mother-in-law, same age, needed something as simple as possible with large buttons and very clear instructions. We ended up with a jitterbug from great call. It is cheap. It can send texts, hold an address book (and you enter the address book from the website instead of the phone) and take and view pictures. I don't know about bluetooth.
posted by metahawk at 2:51 PM on January 4, 2017

I got my mom a Samsung Galaxy 5S last year and it's been very good to her. There is an "easy mode" that you can put the phone into, which makes all the icons very large and hides all but the very basic apps and settings. I'm not sure if the newer models have this feature (and obviously avoid the spontaneously combusting versions), but from everything I've read the 5S does "simple" the best.
posted by tryniti at 3:50 PM on January 4, 2017

I have a Moto x pure. Good volume is a plus, hearing loss is a thing. Not in love with some features, but Android has apps to address stuff like the phone tool. Nice big screen, nice camera.
posted by theora55 at 5:43 PM on January 4, 2017

As far as phones for seniors generally: Don't know if this applies in your situation (you don't mention it) but if dexterity is an issue at all, using a stylus with a phone is awesome. Similarly, if sight is an issue, larger phones/phablets provide are a lot more usable while text is magnified. Given those points, I'd recommend the samsung galaxy series - they have fantastic built-in styluses and they're plenty big. They're pricey, but I'm pretty sure you could get a used galaxy note 5 in that price range, which is still plenty new enough to work well for a long time.

As far as phones for her: if those options aren't useful, it sounds like you're just asking for the best sub-$250 android phone. Luckily that's a question many people have tried to answer already, so this and this roundup of the best cheap android phones would be a great place to start.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone is better than Apple when it comes to providing redress and ongoing support, so in case she assumes otherwise, I'd encourage her to be prepared for poor service and support going forward.
posted by R a c h e l at 8:17 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

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