Feature: No-nonsense mobile phones

The Emporia LifePlus is designed specifically for elderly & disabled users

The Emporia LifePlus is designed specifically for elderly & disabled users

While high tech phones are catching everyone’s attention some manufacturers are going back to basics to cater for a more straight-forward user. Adam Maguire looks at some of the simpler devices currently available to Irish customers.

With increasingly complex mobiles available today the purchase of a new phone can be a minefield of fiddly buttons and buzz-words. Retailers’ focus always seems to be on the latest device with the most functions – regardless of how useful they may actually be.

However despite the attention cutting edge phones are getting many manufacturers have spotted the growing demand for no-nonsense and are now catering for these customers too. As they are low-tech – and low-cost – these devices do not tend to get talked about much but they are there to be found if you know where to look.

The bare-bones phone

For those wanting the simplest – and cheapest option – there is the Samsung Keystone. Costing just €39 in The Carphone Warehouse, or €19 on O2′s pre-pay plan, this is about as basic as phone’s get.

Keystone users will not have to worry about being bogged down by features – this really is a phone and little else. The colour screen is easy to read, menus are simple to navigate and the handset is easy to hold and dial from.

In terms of battery life Samsung promise an impressive 200 hours in stand-by mode, meaning users will have to root for the charger less often than normal.

Simplicity that keeps a cutting edge

For slightly more savvy users there is Nokia’s popular 6303 Classic, which can be bought as a pre-pay phone on Vodafone or O2 for under €100.

This phone boasts generous buttons, a clear colour screen and a menu system that is easy to go through no matter how inexperienced a phone user you may be.

Nokia have struck a balance with it, however. Not only is it a simple device – perfect for users who just want to talk and text – it also has some of the more advanced features available should you want them.

So if you decide you want a camera and music player after all, the functions are there waiting for you. If not, you never have to worry about them getting in your way.

Accessible mobility

As simple as they are these phones may not be ideal for users who want something extremely accessible, particularly for users with sight or hearing issues. However there are phones that cater specifically for this market.

The EmporiaLife Plus is one such device and is available in Ireland through O2. The pre-pay handset costs €129 and is quite a smart handset.

Sporting an over-sized screen with an orange backlight to make it easy to read the phone also has extra large buttons to make dialling simple. The ringer and vibrate functions have also been enhanced to make it much easier to hear – or feel – when it rings.

The body of the phone itself is durable aluminium while the back cleverly houses a large emergency button which can be programmed to dial a designated number with one touch.

There really is a mobile for everyone

While mobiles can seem daunting the truth is manufacturers want to gain everyone’s custom – not just that of the tech savvy. Phone makers know the latest tech is only a must-have for some and many just want a phone that works.

An added bonus is the fact that users with more focused demands can get the best deal possible – after all, they only pay for what they get.

Useful sites:

www.carphonewarehouse.ie – Where the Samsung Keystone and Nokia 6303 Classic can be bought
www.o2.ie – Where the EmporiaLife Plus can be bought
shop.matobmobile.co.uk – A site that specialises in easy-to-use phones.

This article originally appeared on SilverCircle.ie

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