Best Overall: Nokia 3.1

Nokia makes several great new phones running the new Android One platform, but the best for people who want a phone small enough they're not concerned about dropping is the Nokia 3.1. This 5.2-inch display is a unique 18:9 aspect ratio, which means the display itself is a little taller and more narrow than most other phones you'd pick up and use. The 1440x720 resolution of the display means text will be nice and crisp even when you zoom in.

The specs sheet doesn't look like much compared to a Galaxy S9, with its 1.25 GHz Octa-Core Mediatek 6750 processor and 2GB of RAM, but the thing that makes Android One special is the ability to run well on very little hardware so the phone feels fresh and snappy and new. We've seen this work well on other phones, and Nokia has done well continuing this experience.

Bottom line: You're going to struggle to find a better phone than the Nokia 3.1 for less than the $160 asking price.

One more thing: The Nokia 3.1 is available in three colors, Black, Blue, and White.

Why the Nokia 3.1 is the best

Nokia surprised a lot of people when it announced multiple Android phones, and that surprise continued when they turned out to look and feel really nice and have surprisingly capable internal hardware. The included 2990mAh battery in this model means you're going to get a full day of use out of it with no problem, and having Android One installed means you get the latest software updates and security patches straight from Google.

Basically, this phone is the best because you don't have to do anything to make sure it's offering the best experience. As soon as you take it out of the box, Google's software is taking this inexpensive hardware and making the most of it.

Best for Verizon: Moto E4

The Moto E4 is a perfect size and has great, easy to use software so you can keep in touch without any of the frills, or install apps from the Google Play Store if you want a bit more. The bright 5-inch HD display is paired with a four-core processor and 2GB of memory to keep up with almost anything. The 8 megapixel camera is paired with a 5 megapixel front-facing camera so you'll be able to take great photos and videos, and the space for a removable SD card means you'll never run out of space to keep taking them. And sharing those photos is a breeze with the high-speed LTE network radios the Moto E4 processor delivers.

Android 7.1.1 also offers great accessibility features like a screen magnifier or text-to-speech reader if you need a little help in low light or in general. Other features include a fingerprint reader so you can keep things like your messages and banking information locked away safely where only you have access.

Best Value: Doro 824

There are a few companies making phones specifically for senior citizens, but the Doro 824 seems to be the best at actually delivering important features. This phone has physical buttons instead of the all touch screen experience, an alert button on the back to contact emergency services, and a speaker tuned for use with hearing aids. The volume rocker even has physical notches for up and down to avoid confusion in use.

But the real features here are in the software. The entire Android system has been themed to offer big text and bigger buttons so it's simple to find everything important like calls and contacts.

This $50phone isn't something you'd buy for a younger person for a bunch of reasons, but it's custom-built for senior citizens and the price wouldn't be better.

Bottom line: This phone is crazy cheap, and made specifically for the elderly.

One more thing: This phone has a physical camera button!

Conclusion

The Nokia 3.1 is the best choice for seniors because it's the best for most people on a budget. It's small, affordable, and guaranteed to get important security updates to keep everyone safe. This is the phone to get for someone who doesn't want to spend a bunch of money and just wants something that will work for a long time.

Best Overall: Nokia 3.1

Nokia makes several great new phones running the new Android One platform, but the best for people who want a phone small enough they're not concerned about dropping is the Nokia 3.1. This 5.2-inch display is a unique 18:9 aspect ratio, which means the display itself is a little taller and more narrow than most other phones you'd pick up and use. The 1440x720 resolution of the display means text will be nice and crisp even when you zoom in.

The specs sheet doesn't look like much compared to a Galaxy S9, with its 1.25 GHz Octa-Core Mediatek 6750 processor and 2GB of RAM, but the thing that makes Android One special is the ability to run well on very little hardware so the phone feels fresh and snappy and new. We've seen this work well on other phones, and Nokia has done well continuing this experience.

Bottom line: You're going to struggle to find a better phone than the Nokia 3.1 for less than the $160 asking price.

One more thing: The Nokia 3.1 is available in three colors, Black, Blue, and White.

Update, July 2018: The Nokia 3.1 is our new best overall recommendation!

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.