I knew it was time to buy my mom a cell phone when I couldn’t get a hold of her when I had a question and needed advice.
I don’t think there’s ever a time you grow out of needing your mom, and as a mom myself, I go to her first for anything and everything.
Most cell phones today are fairly user friendly once you use them for awhile, but since my mom is not computer savvy I knew I would have to choose one for her that was intuitive to use and wouldn’t overwhelm her. To buy the perfect phone for her, I had to figure out exactly what she would like and dislike in a phone, and as I discovered, it was completely different from what I liked.
I had to think about whether or not she prefers Apple or Android, what size of phone she’d be comfortable with, and whether or not she’d enjoy taking photos with the phone. I also had to consider the provider she likes to go with, because often a parent is already set up with a provider who gives her the best benefits for her needs.
That’s a tall order to fill, but when you break it down into manageable steps, it’s easy to choose the perfect cell phone for any mom.
Does your mom have a device preference?
The first thing I took into consideration when I bought my mom a phone was how up to date she was on the latest technology. My mom gets overwhelmed easy with technology in general, especially anything new, and she needs to be shown step by step how to use it before she’s comfortable. I even had to teach her how to write, send and check her text messages. After all that, she still doesn’t answer her texts, so I usually just call her anyway.
Since she owns an iPad, I knew I would go for an iPhone for her. The iPhone is almost a mini-version of an iPad, so I knew it would be easy for her to use. If your mom doesn’t own or use an iPad, or she prefers another brand, then there are many more options. Of course you will have to take other things into consideration as well when purchasing a cell phone for your mom.
Will screen size matter?
We all know our eyesight tends to blur as we get older, so screen size can be important when choosing a cellphone for your mom. I noticed over the last couple of years that my mom needs to fetch her reading glasses when she’s looking at anything up close, so getting her a phone with a decent size screen was a must.
She also loves the fact that she can zoom in on images on her iPad, and she can change the text message size so it’s larger and easier to read. Of course, that’s when she actually manages to answer a text. Even so a larger phone screen can be essentail for some people.
Phones come in a variety of sizes these days. For example, the iPhone is available with a 4 inch screen (iPhone 5s), a 4.7 inch screen (iPhone 6) and even a 5.5inch screen (iPhone 6 plus)! Android phones too come in a variety of sizes. You might want to go to a Best Buy and try out the different sizes to help you decide what form might suit your mom best.
Is a good camera a must?
My mom is the typical grandma who is always taking pictures of her children and grandchildren (much to their disgust), and after I gave her a few tutorials, she now impresses me by emailing me photos. I knew if she had a phone with a great camera she could stop carrying a separate camera around with her. With kids around, you never know when you are going to want to take a picture or video. I know I don’t leave home without my phone, and it’s mostly because I don’t want to worry about missing those candid moments when the kids do something crazy and I want capture it.
If having the best camera is on the top of the must-have list for your mom, then you should definitely consider the Samsung Galaxy 6. Recent reviews (like this one on the Plug-in blog by Ted Kritsonis) say it has one of the best cameras out there right now. Both my son and husband use the previous Galaxy model and love the camera on it for it’s ease of use and amazing picture clarity.
What carrier should you use?
Not only did I want my mom to have a great phone, I also wanted to get her the best deal on her monthly service. Low monthly fees are great of course, but since my mom is also a traveller, I wanted to make sure the carrier would have packages for roaming and long distance services like US minutes, texting and data.
My kids and I recently went on a road trip to California with friends. When I say friends, I mean a friend and myself with 6 kids between us! A cell phone with a roaming plan came in handy during this trip in so many ways. Because my provider gave me data, I didn’t get lost thanks to my map app, and I was able to capture all of our memories and fun times with my cell phone camera and upload them to Instagram to share with family and friends. I also had minutes to keep in contact with my husband and my mom so they knew we were safe the entire time.
My mom and her husband have gotten the travel bug the last couple of years, so using a provider who could give her the best possible package is a must.
Great phone accessories
There are so many great cell phone accessories out there now, and since my mom is already an iPad user I knew all of the accessories I have would be useful for her.
I don’t know about you, but we love music in our house. Cranking the music and being silly is a great way to get the family to hang out together and unwind at the end of the day.
To blast the music on our cell phones, we use a great docking station. My 14-year-old son is much too cool to partake in our dance parties, but luckily my 9 year old still enjoys them. I also love listening to music when I’m cleaning house—it makes the chores much less boring, and after another quick tutorial for my mom, she now uses her docking station when she cleans too.
On my road trip to California I also learned a valuable lesson on why I should have a great case for all of my electronics. I have been fortunate to never break a screen on my phone, and haven’t we all dropped our devices more than a few times. But in a fog after 14 hours driving home from our California road trip, I did in fact shatter my 14 year old’s iPad screen. Expensive lesson learned: always buy a protective case
If you want to add a personal touch to the cell phone you’re buying for your mom, a unique case is a great accessory to pick up.Since clumsiness runs in my family, I made sure to include a case with my moms phone. Having a protective case doesn’t have to be boring either—here are fun cases available for any type of cell phone. I love to dress up my phone with a case that reflects my favourite things and I usually go for the pinks or purple, much to the dismay of my 9 year old. In fact, my last purple case upset him so much he even refused to touch my phone.
A reliable, handy cell phone is the perfect gift for any mom. She’ll use it every day, and it’s a great way to stay in touch with the one person who’s most important to you: your mom.
And shopping for a cell phone for mom is easy. You could start your search by taking a look at Best Buy online. It’s the best way to compare all of the specifications of the phones that are available, and is a great help when making such an important decision.
Title photo credit @ huffingtonpost.com