Why Get an Emergency Cell Phone?
Everyone will experience at least one emergency situation in a lifetime, if not more. While they're not always natural disasters, small-scale emergencies happen often enough in our lives that we learn to pad ourselves against the next one. That includes buying a new box of bandages or aspirin when the last one runs out, or making sure we have a means of calling out for help when we need it most.
While it feels like almost everyone has a cell phone in the U.S., users are largely concentrated in the 12- to 64-year-old population. Children and seniors are largely behind the curve on mobile technology, and most of it isn't made with their needs in mind. Even if your parents or children aren't comfortable with or ready for a full-fledged smartphone, there are emergency cell phones designed for them, so you can be sure they have the means to reach out to you or to first responders in an emergency.
We compared a line-up of great emergency mobile phones to connect you with your kids and your senior parents. Seniors could definitely benefit from the unlocked Jethro SC118 with its built-in emergency features for friends and family. Active seniors might like the Jitterbug5 with the Greatcall emergency service and GPS location feature. The Jethro SC213 is just a little bit more stylish and compact. In case you're also needing a phone for your child age 4 to 7, you will appreciate Verizon’s GizmoPal. Older kids and tweens might like an unlocked Firefly glowPhone. Our top 10 list of emergency phones covers a range of devices for young and old that rated well for design, accessibility and features. You can learn more from our articles on emergency cell phones in the learning center.
Emergency Cell Phones: What to Look For
Emergency cell phones for kids and senior citizens exist in a variety of styles to provide accessibility and one-click emergency calling. You can even find emergency phones to put into your emergency preparation kit that provide lengthy battery lives. Depending on the needs of your family, phones and wireless plans alike exist to serve your needs and prepare for the probability of a true emergency.
Design & Accessibility Features
When selecting an emergency mobile phone for your child or senior family member, you are going to want to compare the available features with their needs and capabilities. Some come with one-click functionality to call you or an emergency help line in the event of an emergency. Other phones track the wearer via GPS to monitor their activity and location for added security. A few are even hearing aid compatible. Depending on your needs, these emergency devices serve a wide range of purposes beyond simply providing a device to make calls during an emergency.
Basic & Advanced Features
Most of the emergency cell phones we reviewed offer simple dialing, and many include texting capabilities and reminder application such as wake-up alarms, calendars and to-do lists. A few go a bit further with internet, FM radio and unlocked SIM card capabilities that let you take your phone from one carrier to another.
As emergency phones for seniors or limited function feature phones for a child, these phones are not designed for heavy use. In fact, they're not likely to see much use beyond an average of three calls a day. In looking at these devices, we confirmed battery sizes and compared the manufacture's specs with our own testing.
As emergency phones for seniors or limited-function feature phones for a child, these phones are not designed for heavy use. In fact, they're not likely to see much use beyond a few calls a day. In looking at these devices, we confirmed battery sizes and compared the manufacture's specs with our own test results.
The average battery we tested was just over 800 mAh with 208 hours of standby time and 3 hours of talk time. Of course your battery’s life will change depending on how you use the various features on your phone. With minimal use and when properly cycled, a battery will last a long time. You will get results like ours with regular charging, storage and discharging over its lifetime, which should be at least that of your phone
Help & Support
Phones today are made with users aged 12 to 64 in mind. However, users above or below that age group might find themselves challenged to complete what you might consider a simple function. While these emergency cell phones are designed to be simple, there still can be challenges and you'll want to know that help is available. Look for easy-to-follow instruction manuals, video tutorials provided by manufacturers and toll-free helplines.
Getting an emergency contact phone for yourself, your child or elderly parent is a smart move. Rarely do emergencies occur but when they do, it’s best to have an available means of reaching out for help. The simple design of these devices makes added security and one-button emergency calling accessible to you or your loved ones. When emergency responders are needed, you can rest assured an emergency mobile phone will get them to the scene.