Best iPhone for Seniors iMore 2021
Each year, we look at the newest iPhones on the market and decide which ones are best for our readers. For seniors, we're recommending the colorful iPhone 11, which offers great features at an aggressive price. We've gathered other noteworthy models to help you choose the one that fits your needs best.
- Best Overall: iPhone 11
- Best Alternative: iPhone XR
- Best Premium: iPhone 11 Pro
- Best Value: iPhone SE (2020)
- Best Large Screen: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Best Overall: iPhone 11
The best-selling Apple handset of the year, the iPhone 11 is a terrific choice for most buyers, especially seniors looking to save some money. However, it doesn't offer the same camera specs as the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, which could influence some would-be buyers. Still, you can't deny the iPhone 11 has the best color choices among all the iPhones on the market. It's available in black, white, purple, yellow, green, and (PRODUCT)Red.
Measuring 6.1-inches diagonally, the iPhone 11 is significantly less expensive than the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (see below). The lower price comes with some obvious drawbacks, however. Although the iPhone 11 includes the same A13 Bionic chip with the next-generation Neural Engine as the other two, it ships without an OLED. Instead, there's a Liquid Retina HD display. The lower-priced model also has limited storage capacity.
On the iPhone 11, you'll find a dual 12MP back camera with Ulta Wide (ƒ/2.4 aperture) and Wide (ƒ/1.8 aperture) cameras with an optical zoom of 2x and digital zoom of 5x. On the front, there's the 12MP TrueDepth camera with a ƒ/2.2 aperture.
If you're buying an iPhone based on camera specs, go with the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. Otherwise, the iPhone 11 is the one you want. Trust us.
- Large display for less
- Six different colors
- Same internals as the Pro models
- LCD, not OLED
- No triple camera on the back
Best Alternative: iPhone XR
Before the iPhone 11, Apple released the iPhone XR. Still on the market and cheaper than ever, the iPhone XR is still a great choice, especially for the budget-conscious. Available in multiple colors, including blue, yellow, black, white, coral, and red, the iPhone XR comes with a 7MP TrueDepth camera, A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, Face ID, and wireless charging. It also consists of a 12MP camera, Liquid Retina HD display, water resistance to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, and much more.
Why buy the iPhone XR over the iPhone 11? If you like the colorful look of the iPhone 11 but find it too expensive, this is the one you should probably select. Just keep in mind that the internals are a year older, and they're only a single 12MP Wide camera versus the dual Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide cameras found on the iPhone 11.
- Large display for even less
- Durable design
- One rear camera, not two
- Aging internals
Best Premium: iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro offers a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display. Beyond this, it's nearly identical to the iPhone 11 Pro Max right down to its three cameras system. Like the iPhone 11 Pro Max (and iPhone 11), the iPhone 11 Pro has an A13 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, Face ID, and wireless charging. For this, you'll pay at least $999, up to $1,349 for the most expensive model.
If you want everything Apple has to offer on a smartphone and have smaller hands (or just prefer a smaller phone), go with this model.
- Same camera specs as Max
- Current flagship
- Limited color options
Best Value: iPhone SE (2020)
Not everyone wants to buy a new iPhone every year that includes all of Apple's latest bells and whistles. For those folks, there's the iPhone SE (2020). Introduced earlier this year, the iPhone SE (2020) looks a lot like the iPhone 8 that it replaced in Apple's current handset lineup.
Featuring Touch ID, not Face ID, the 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2020) is still packed with plenty of features that make it worth considering. These include a 12MP camera and 7 MP FaceTime HD camera, A13 Bionic chip with a third-generation Neural Engine, wireless charging, Haptic Touch, and more. Better still, the iPhone SE (2020) is available for hundreds less than other handsets on this list.
If you're looking for a new iPhone that acts and feels a lot like the one you currently own, the iPhone SE (2020) is probably the one for you. It offers modern features in a design that's practical and familiar. Best of all, it's often on sale.
- Much less than iPhone 11 series
- Tried and true design
- Is 4.7-inch display enough?
- Touch ID, not Face ID
Best Large Screen: iPhone 11 Pro Max
The largest of Apple's two current flagship devices offers the most advanced internals found on a large display iPhone to date. The iPhone 11 Pro Max features a 6.5-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED Multi‑Touch display with a triple camera. These are an Ultra-Wide: ƒ/2.4 aperture and 120-degree field of view, Wide: ƒ/1.8 aperture, and Telephoto: ƒ/2.0 aperture. There's a front-facing 12MP TrueDepth camera too.
All these goodies come at a price; the iPhone 11 Pro has a starting price of $1,099. It's available in space gray, silver, gold, and midnight green.
- Biggest iPhone display to date
- Great rear- and front-facing camera
- Blazing fast
- Difficult to hold with one hand
If you're a senior and in the market for an iPhone, you'll quickly notice there's a wide selection from which to choose. Our advice is to go with the iPhone 11, which provides most of the features found on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, but for less cash.
Among the features packed into this beast is Apple's A13 Bionic chip with the next-generation Neural Engine. You'll also find a dual rear camera, Liquid Retina HD display, and more. Happy shopping!
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. A Penn State graduate, Bryan likes to watch Nittany Lion football in the fall and explore new cities each summer with his teenage daughter. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe
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