5 must have features for a mobile phone for the elderly

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zonev mobile phone for elderly

Smartphones are generally designed for millennials and are becoming increasingly complex and rich in functions over time.  A simpler design approach and set of features is needed for a mobile phone for elderly people. 

Here at Zone V we believe that everyone should have access to the latest in technology. Not all older people find technology difficult, but for those that do, help is at hand. We have created this guide to help identify features that we believe to be important when buying a mobile phone for an elderly person.

1. Easy To Use Interface

Not growing up with technology means it is often a barrier for older people and they are often not interested in the latest gadget. This certainly applies to smartphones which are updated every year and have become increasingly more complex. Smartphones are designed and marketed towards millennials with limited thought to the elderly members of the community.

This is an issue as we progress into the 2020s where technology is increasingly becoming central to our lives. For example the NHS and its 5 year plan

The NHS Digital 5 Year Plan

NHS logo
NHS 5 year forward view

As people are living longer and the population of the UK is increasing, they are looking for solutions to reduce the strain on the healthcare system. Part of this is strategy is to increase the use of digital apps to help people manage their own health.

The recent launch of the NHS App is part of this strategy and it provides an online portal for people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access a range of other healthcare services. As services like the NHS become increasingly available exclusively through apps, older people over time will be required to use them and therefore must learn how to use smartphones.

Vodafone report on loneliness with older people and how tech may help 

In the UK we are also seeing a rise of loneliness with older and elderly people. A report by Vodafone quotes the Office for National Statistics analysis that 1.5 million people in the UK aged 50 and over suffer with ‘chronic loneliness’.

Vodafone is looking to help address this with techconnect. This programme provides free, friendly events that help people understand more about technology. The use of apps is key to this type of program and for older people being able to easily navigate a smartphone to find the apps is equally important.

Easy phones by Zone V are designed to address access to apps and lower the technology barrier with a simple interface with elderly people in mind. Users can easily access the latest apps and still get some of the best screens, cameras and battery life, with Samsung devices. They were designed by mobile phone designer guru Frank Nuovo – previously Chief of Design at Nokia and creator of iconic mobiles such as the 3210 and 3310.


Easy to use mobile phone - Samsung Galaxy A10 with Zone V

An easy to use interface 

2. Large Buttons & Big Text

One of the features we often see requested with mobile phones for elderly people is large buttons. With age, fingers can get slower and less nimble and trying to hit small icons and buttons can be frustrating. Feature and flip phones can help towards this as they can have large buttons, however they have a major downside which is they aren’t typically compatible with apps.

Our easy to use interface has large selection areas and big buttons making it easier on those fingers. Every icon also has a description so there is no guesswork in thinking about what each button does.

Large text big buttons

Large buttons and big text

3. Big Screen

The trend for smartphones is an increase in screen size year on year. Many of this year’s smartphones are now 6 inches or larger! As an elderly person, a smartphone with a large screen can be a good choice as the text can be larger, images clearer and can overall make the experience much more enjoyable.

This is something you won’t see on basic phones, so a smartphone is a great way to go. All of our phones are based on Samsung devices so they have large screens and are also some of the brightest and most clear with their AMOLED technology.

Accompanied with hearing aid support in the Galaxy S10, we have you covered for both sight and sound.

4. SOS Button

With the onset of age, it’s more important than ever that you feel safe and secure where ever you go. If you have a fall and you don’t have a friend or family member with you it could be distressing. A mobile phone for the elderly can help reduce anxiety through a SOS button. A SOS button can provide immediate access to emergency contacts and in the case of Zone V, also provides vital information such as:

  • Allergies
  • Medication
  • Blood type
  • Doctor’s details
  • Insurance details
  • Next of kin


The SOS assistance button sits on the lock screen as a persistent notification so anyone that finds the phone can have direct access to this vital information without needing the passcode to the phones. Of course, you only need to put in the information that you feel comfortable sharing. A feature like this could be life saving for an elderly person.

SOS button and emergency information

SOS button on home screen and Emergency Information home page

5. Magnifier

A magnifier can be of great benefit to an older person who needs to read a document such as a menu or train ticket. Unfortunately with the onset of age, eyesight becomes less able, and a magnifier that is always with you will help when you need to read the small print.

Our phones have a magnifier built in, accessible via the home screen. It has zoom in and out buttons with no need to pinch and zoom (pinch and zoom can be challenging for those with issues with dexterity) and even has a feature which turns white text to black and visa versa. It really helps someone  who struggles to read smaller or low contrast text.

Magnifier for Larger Text

In built magnifier


The design of a mobile phone for elderly people has different requirements from what is typical of a mobile phone created for the 20-50s.

We believe that easy phones by Zone V make smartphones easier to use for an older person. If you are looking for a sim free smartphone that is easy to use for your parents or maybe for yourself, consider Zone V as your next smartphone choice. Starting at just £169.99 for the Galaxy A10 up-to £809.99 for the Galaxy S10. 

If you already own a Samsung device you can download the software separately!  

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