How we test mobile phones for seniors

How we find the phones that are easy to use and provide the best way to communicate in times of emergency.

We test mobile phones made especially for seniors and kids, along with standard mobile phones that might be suitable, so you can be confident you're making the right decision when it's time to buy. Here's how we do it.

Ready to buy? Compare our reviews of mobile phones for seniors.

Our expert testers

Our expert tester Scott O'Keefe tests a wide range of products, including TVs, digital radios and turntables. He loves good design with a purpose and is just as frustrated as most of us when he encounters poor design or features and functions that confuse rather than make sense.

We enlisted the help of Ben White and Josh Giumelli from Farming Ahead magazine for the reception test in the field, with our lab tester Scott O’Keefe carrying out ease of use, call sound quality and various ergonomic and daily use assessments for each mobile.

How we choose what we test

We look for readily available mobiles with a focus on ease of use and features to help enhance the usability experience for people with limited eyesight, dexterity or cognitive ability. For our most recent test, we selected mobiles with claims of support for seniors as well as some feature phones and simple keypad phones that are affordable and readily available at outlets such as Big W and Target. 


  • Poor sight: 25%
  • Poor dexterity: 25%
  • Sound receiving: 20%
  • Sound sending: 20%
  • SMS: 10%

How we test

Testers rate the following aspects of each phone:

  • Poor sight score Our tester Scott checks to see how well the mobiles perform under conditions relevant to a sight-impaired user. He looks at how easy it is to read the display in general and in low light, and assesses the icons showing battery level and reception.
  • Poor dexterity score Scott assesses the process to install the SIM, access the battery, accept a call and dial a number. He also looks at the indications of a call coming in such as haptic (vibration) feedback and ease of carrying.
  • Sound receiving and sending score Sound quality measurements are carried out with users assessing the sound quality of a call as a receiver and as a caller.
  • SMS score Scott looks at the ease of composing and sending an SMS as well as reading a received SMS. Models without SMS capabilities are not penalised in the overall score.

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