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Finding the best smartphone for seniors: Three models compared!

senioren smartphone 01
© fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Are you looking for the best smartphone for seniors, but can't decide between Artfone, Beafon, Doro, and Emporia? NextPit explains the differences between these models with a focus on smartphones for seniors—ranging from emergency call buttons to hearing aid compatibility and WhatsApp. With modern senior-centric smartphones including an optimized user interface for older people, we can once again get more in touch with our beloved relatives.

Three current senior smartphones compared

  The industry leader The cheapest The newest
Device Emporia Smart 5 Doro 8100 Beafon M7 Premium
Image Emporia Smart 5 Seniorenhandy Doro 8100 Seniorenhandy Beafon M7 Premium Seniorenhandy
Technical specifications 5.5 inch, LCD
1,440 x 720 pixels
Octa-core processor max. 1.8 GHz
32 GB ROM
microSD support up to 256 GB
3 GB RAM
Triple camera
Main camera: 13 MP
Macro camera: 2 MP
Portrait camera: 2 MP
Front camera: 8 MP
Status LED
3,550 mAh
Replaceable battery
3.5 mm headphone jack
Hearing aid compatible M4/T4
Emergency call button
November 2021
















6.1 inch, LCD
1,560 x 720 pixels
Octa-core processor max. 1.6 GHz
Unisoc SC9863
32 GB ROM
microSD support up to 128 GB
2 GB RAM
Triple camera
Main camera: 13 MP
Macro camera: 2 MP
Portrait camera: 2 MP
Front camera: 8 MP
Status LED
3,000 mAh
Battery fixed
3.5 mm headphone jack
Hearing aid compatible M4/T3
Emergency call button
March 2022

















5.5 inch, LCD
1,440 x 720 pixels
Octa-core processor max. 1.6 GHz
32 GB ROM
microSD support up to 128 GB
3 GB RAM
Single camera
Main camera: 13 MP
Front camera: 5 MP
Status LED
3,500 mAh
Fixed battery
Wireless charging
3.5 mm headphone jack
Hearing aid compatible M4/T4
Emergency call button
December 2022















Rating Not yet reviewed Not yet reviewed Not yet reviewed
MSRP $275 £200 €229

Jump to:

Buying advice: What should you look out for?

User interface

The most important purchase criterion is the user interface. Content must be displayed in a large and legible manner, and the smartphone must be easy to use. In this article, we focus on smartphones for seniors that offer an optimized user interface. Voice control for entering text messages is also useful. Most manufacturers also allow the conventional Android interface to be enabled if desired.

Hearing aid compatibility

Many people probably didn't even know that some smartphone manufacturers' handsets for seniors can also be used with standard hearing aids. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has adopted hearing-aid compatibility (HAC) requirements for digital wireless phones. Whenever a manufacturer advertises this compatibility, this means in most cases, the smartphone can be paired with the hearing aid via Bluetooth.

The standard that the US adopts is divided into two classes: M and T standards. An M rating followed by the number "3" or "4" (the higher, the better) represents hearing aids without an inductive coil, while smartphones with a T3 or T4 rating, respectively, are suitable for hearing aids with an inductive coil.

Some smartphone manufacturers also specify a European ETSI ETS 300 381, which roughly corresponds to the FCC's test procedure. However, this test is not mandatory in this country.

Basically, an M3/T3 rating indicates how well a hearing aid is isolated from noise. Modern hearing aids also offer a free app for Android or Apple smartphones, from which additional settings can be made. For example, geofencing also makes it possible to enable predefined sound profiles for the location. Of course, you can also listen to music or make phone calls from your smartphone.

Emergency call button

Elderly people can quickly get into a situation where they need quick help due to a fall - or God forbid - a medical emergency. Since a smartphone is basically always and everywhere within reach, a dedicated emergency call button comes in handy. Once this SOS button is pressed, it can automatically call pre-programmed numbers of friends, relatives, or caregivers and, if necessary, communicate the location via GPS tracking. Some manufacturers also offer a so-called fall detection feature in addition to this separate button, which can independently trigger an emergency call in the event of a fall and send an SMS with the location.

IP certification

When it concerns older people, it is more often than not that a glass of water is accidentally knocked over. Then, of course, according to Murphy's law, the smartphone is ready for such an event. To avoid having to buy a new smartphone every time, you should look for an appropriate IP certification against water penetration. The Emporia Smart 5, for example, is IP54 certified. The first number stands for protection against the ingress of foreign objects - in this case, dust-protected. The second number indicates the protection class against water. The 4 stands for splash water protection

Camera

When buying a cell phone for seniors, you should pay attention to the front camera as well as the rear camera(s). The quality is rather negligible here, since smartphones for seniors generally come with minimal storage space. For this reason, we have only recommended smartphones for seniors that offer additional memory expansion options via a microSD card.

At this point, we would like to point out that the handling of this type of memory expansion must also be understood correctly. Many memory cards render the precious content useless if they are removed in the middle of use!

Surveys have shown that the use of instant messengers like WhatsApp are particularly popular among older people. This way, video calls can be made using the front camera of the senior smartphone and nice photo reminders can be created with the main camera and shared with relatives using WhatsApp.

Replaceable battery

Forgotten to charge the battery? A full reserve battery can work wonders here. Some manufacturers still offer removable batteries. Also practical in this context is wireless charging, as offered by the Beafon 7 Premium. Or a charging cradle, perhaps even with a built-in speaker, can also prove to be very efficient in everyday use.

The industry leader: Emporia Smart 5

Wir sehen das Emporia Smart 5 Seniorenhandy
The Emporia Smart 5 offers a lot of accessories for little money. / © NextPit

Emporia is a medium-sized company founded in Austria in 1991. Here, they focused on their clientele: those in their golden years, and this is quickly determined after looking at the tile-based user interface. The company does extensive research in the field and is considered the market leader when it comes to smartphones for seniors.

The Emporia Smart 5 is by far not the manufacturer's first smartphone for seniors, as it is also enticing with some extras thrown into the mix. It has the fastest processor in our trio and also boasts having the largest battery capacity. By the way, the battery is replaceable. A special feature is the Smart Cover, which limits the Smart 5's operation to the most important functions and adds an emergency call button on the back.

In addition to a comprehensive user manual and a charging cradle, Emporia also includes a guide booklet that very well describes the most important application scenarios, such as taking pictures or contactless payment with NFC with extensive photos.

Alternative: Emporia Smart 4

If you only want to trust the market leader in Europe but do not want to pay the highest price, you can also choose the cheaper alternative: its predecessor, the Emporia Smart 4. It also has an IP54 certification, but the display is smaller at 5-inches compared to the 5.5-inches on the Emporia Smart 5. The smart cover and charging cradle are also not included. However, it currently only costs $139.

The best value: Doro 8100

Doro 8100 Senioren-Smartphone
Doro offers the largest display with the 8100. / © Doro

Doro is probably an unknown entity when it comes to communication products for older people. Yet the company, founded in 1975 in Malmö, Sweden, with almost 1,000 employees, is probably the largest company in the sector. In addition to landline phones, cell phones, and smartphones for seniors, Doro presented the first smartwatch for seniors at IFA 2022 in Berlin, which is at least as far as I know.

The Doro 8100 is currently still the latest model, which was officially presented in March 2022. According to rumors, another model might follow this year. This will probably be the first 5G-capable smartphone for seniors.

The Doro smartphone for seniors is the largest model in our market overview with a 6.1-inch display and a resolution of 1,560 x 720 pixels. The 8100 also has a senior-friendly user interface with the nice name "EVA". It is much closer to the typical Android user interface, but mainly impresses with larger icons that ensure easier menu navigation.

The Doro 8100 has the identical camera setup as the Emporia Smart 5, which means an 8 MP camera on the front and a 13 MP main camera on the back, supported by two 2 MP cameras for macro and portrait shots. Directly underneath is the emergency call button, which is typical for a senior phone.

A special service from Doro is the technical support with a remote function that can be activated via Team Viewer. The so-called "helpline" is free of charge for customers for the first 30 minutes.

More comfort: Doro 8100 Plus

By the way, you can also buy the Doro 8100 with a desktop charger. The package is then called Doro 8100 Plus. The charging cradle is particularly practical, as it means the smartphone always has a full battery—and a fixed place to put it.

The newest: Beafon M7 Premium

Wir sehen das Beafon M7 Premium Seniorenhandy
The Beafon M7 Premium is the newest smartphone for seniors in this NextPit comparison. / © NextPit

Beafon is an Austrian company that is based in Peuerbach. It has been active in the smartphones for seniors market since 2009, making it the youngest company in our comparison. Through the parent Aspöck Group, the company has a workforce of over 1,500. people The Beafon M7 Premium is the latest model, which they recently unveiled at Berlin's IFA 2022 along with a senior tablet. Availability is supposed to happen some time this month, where certain parts of Europe are set to receive it in December. It remains to be seen whether such handsets will hit the shelves in the US anytime soon.

Like the Emporia Smart 5, it also has a 5.5-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 1,440 x 720 pixels. The processor is an unknown quantity, where we presume it is a UniSoc processor that offers a maximum clock rate of 1.6 GHz and is accompanied by 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory. The microSD card slot offers up to 128 GB of additional storage space in the Beafon.

However, the Beafon M7 Premium is only equipped with an 8 MP camera in front and a 13 MP main camera. The additional two 2 MP cameras are rather useless. Below the main camera lies the obligatory emergency call button. Like Emporia's Smart 5, the familiar home button is also found in the front.

Until the launch: The predecessor

The Beafon M7 Premium is brand new and is not yet available in stores. Until then, we want to share about its predecessor - the Beafon M6s, which retails for $135 after conversion. Here, you get a 6.26-inch display with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage space, which can optionally be expanded to an additional 128 GB via microSD card. There is also an emergency call button as well as the in-house user interface features resizable tiles on board.

All three smartphones target those who are over 60 years of age and offer hearing aid compatibility according to the US FCC standard. However, the Beafon M7 Premium has another special feature: It is the first smartphone for seniors that also supports wireless charging for its 3,500 mAh battery. However, the battery is not replaceable like those in the Emporia and Doro smartphones.

We have ordered all three smartphones for seniors in the NextPit editorial office to be able to answer many unanswered questions in the near future. Of course, this article will be constantly updated. Which smartphone is your favorite so far? And which feature are you still missing?

NextPit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.

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