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Best Cell Phones for Different Age Groups

Feb 12, 2013 02:43PM ● By Erin Frisch


According to the Pew Research Center, most Americans own cell phones. No longer the technology of the future, these devices have become commonplace in the space of a few years. Older people spent much of their lives without cell phones, while most youngsters today have never known a world where they were not omnipresent. The nature of cell phone usage is therefore strongly connected to the ages of those using them. Below are our recommendations for different user age ranges.


While smartphone use is growing across all age groups, teens are adopting smartphones at the fastest rate, according to a recent Nielsen study. It is estimated that more than half of all teens presently own a smartphone (as opposed to a standard cell phone), and this number is expected to grow. Teens text more than any other age group. According to the Pew Research Center, the average teen sends 60 texts per day. The perfect phone for a teenager would be one with a QWERTY keyboard such as the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2. The choice of device may depend on the type of phone carrier plan that the parent has in place, as 1,800 texts per month could become quite costly in some cases. To make text messaging slightly more difficult, a parent could always opt for a more basic phone, like the Pantech Breeze 3.

Ages 20–30

Nielsen states that 74 percent of young adults presently own smartphones. Of these, 51 percent own smartphones powered by the Android operating system, and they regularly download apps. In this age range, 97 percent of cell phone users use their cell phones to send text messages, and 77 percent use them to access the Internet. The best recommendation for this age group would be a device with a large screen for Internet viewing and a QWERTY keyboard for easy texting. Both the Samsung Captivate Glide and the Motorola Droid 4 meet these requirements.

Ages 30–50

Many people in this category spent their younger years without a cell phone and adopted them well into their adulthood. While they are not necessarily as comfortable with the technology as younger users, they are still able to use the devices, with 90 percent taking pictures and more than half downloading apps. They are also fairly close to the young adult group in their adoption of texting. Smartphones with QWERTY keyboards like the Blackberry Bold 9930 are good options for this group. Devices with large screens like the Samsung Galaxy Note are another option, since almost 70 percent access the Internet on their cell phones.


Most seniors now own cell phones, but not many of them access the Internet with them, and according to the Pew Research Center, only about a third send text messages, but almost half take pictures with their phones. A basic phone with a good camera should make most users in the 60–plus age range happy. Other features should be a simple keyboard that makes “dialing” easy and a clear interface so the screen can be easily read without glasses. Examples of senior-friendly phones include the Just5 J509 and the Samsung SPH-M360.

Needs and wants differ from user to user; while the trend is toward smartphones, you’re wise to carefully research different models to ensure that you are getting the best option for your own lifestyle, regardless of your age.

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