Hi Lifehacker, as a pensioner in his seventies, I have pointedly ignored the "smart phone" craze and have stuck to text-and-calls only phones. I have since decided I would like to upgrade but don't know where to start! What would be your recommendation for the best smart phone for non-techie oldies? Thanks, Upgrade Time
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To get the best functionality at the lowest price, we'd go for a previous-generation Android phone with a four-to-five inch display. These models provide a large screen for easier navigation and will be able to handle a range of important tasks including internet browsing, online banking and email.
Another advantage of Android is the higher likelihood that your relatives will own one: this means they'll be able to get it up and running with all the programs you need. They can also change the display settings so that the text and icons are enlarged.
There are several brands to choose from in this space, but they all provide a similar experience. Our personal pick would be the Motorola Moto E. This model comes with great features for the asking price, including an inbuilt 5-megapixel camera and a 4.3-inch qHD LCD screen that's bright and easy to read. It's also splash-proof and has decent battery life.
On the downside, it only comes with 4GB of internal storage which will limit the amount of apps, games, photos and music you can store at the same time. With that said, you can always buy a Micro SD slot if you decide you want to boost the phone's memory.
The Motorola Moto E has a recommended retail price of $170. We realise that's quite a chunk of money for someone on a pension, but it's certainly better than paying upwards of $1000, which is what a top-of-the-range model would cost you. You can get an even better price if you shop online: Kogan, for example, is selling it brand-new for $129. If you're uncomfortable with online shopping, ask a relative to buy it for you and reimburse them.
Once you've purchased your new smartphone, you'll need to connect it to a telecommunications network to make phone calls and use the internet. Choose a prepaid plan rather than a contract as you'll save more money and will be free to cancel at any time. You can find plenty of information on the best mobile plans via our Prepaid tag. Good luck!
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