OK, you know you need a cellphone, but all you want to do is talk—for a reasonable cost. No pictures, no browsing the Internet, no baffling array of buttons. Here are some options:
The Jitterbug by Samsung has large, easy-to-use buttons with a bright screen and jumbo, readable text. It's different from a regular cellphone: It has an on/off switch, a familiar dial tone and yes/no buttons instead of send/end. This makes it attractive to someone who's never used a cellphone. The Jitterbug is also hearing aid-compatible.
The Coupe from Verizon Wireless offers more functions, including text messaging. But it also has large buttons and screen fonts, a 9-1-1 key and three programmable In Case of Emergency (ICE) keys.
Finally, a very simple cellphone: the Jitterbug OneTouch, with only three big buttons. One connects to a live operator, another to 9-1-1 and the third to a preprogrammed number of choice.
The cost for either model Jitterbugs is $147, with no long-term service contract required. Service starts for as little as $10 a month, although usage, at 35 cents a minute, costs extra. The Coupe costs $39.99 with a two-year service contract. For customers 65 and up, Verizon offers a special $29.99-a-month service contract.