Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nokia 3711: Simple but Suitable for the Elderly

Nokia does not have a large presence in the US despite being the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world. However, most of the Nokia phones that have debuted in the US are basic devices that are ideal for senior citizens. For instance, the Nokia 3711 can be considered as a basic phone by todays standards but the simplicity in its form and function makes it a suitable device for seniors. Let's go over the details of this mobile phone for the elderly.

Let's start with performance. After all, seniors purchase cell phones as a convenient tool for communicating with friends and family. It's a portable device that allows them to make calls on the go. Well, the 3711 is a solid tool for communication. The quality is good and the callers sound natural. There was little evidence of any static or interference plus calls via speakerphone or a Bluetooth headset are also lud and clear.

Now let's proceed with the display. The Nokia 3711 comes with a bright display. It measures 2.2 inches, which is a bit bigger then most basic cell phones. Size is a factor when chosing cell phones for seniors because weak eyes often come with old age. The display also supports 16.7 million colors and a 320x240-pixel resolution. This combination results in a brilliant display with great colors and graphics.

Let's continue with the keypad. This phone has flushed keys but a few factors can redeem it as a user-friendly phone. The keypad has good size so there's plenty of space for dialling and your fingers. The numbers on the buttons are also large so dialing is not difficult even thought the keys are flushed.

The Nokia 3711 comes with the Series 40 menu interface that is relatively easy-to-use. Even seniors who have never used a cell phone before can easily learn the basic functions such as making a call or sending text messages.

That's it for this feature on the Nokia 3711. As always, stay tuned for more weekly posts on cell phones for seniors and related topics on this blog.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Wireless CapTel an Application for Mobile Phone users who are Hard of Hearing

A number of senior citizens suffer from some sort of hearing loss due to a variety of factors including, illness and old age. Some estimates show that nearly half of the seniors in the U.S. suffer from some form of hearing loss. Fortunately, mobile phone technology has provided solutions for users who suffer from hearing loss such as extra loud ringers and hearing aid compatibility.

Well, here's a new service that aims to serve seniors and folks who are hard of hearing. Sprint recently introduced the Wireless CapTel, an application that is designed to help seniors and others who are hard of hearing to more easily interact with their family/friends through their phone. Let's take a close look at this service for senior citizens.

So how does it work? Well, the application routes all calls placed to/made from the through a captioning service. Then, the service transcribes the conversation into text and displays it on the phone's screen where it can be read. Obviously, a phone with a large screen is suitable for this app. Adjustable font sizes and brightness also fit the bill.

So is there a downside to this service? Well, the Wireless CapTel service from Sprint is only is compatible with devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and up. Seniors do not usually carry Android smartphones around and the service won't work with the Jitterbug or any basic cell phone. One cn get it from the Android Market for free with an Everything Data plan

But there is hope. Manufacturers and carriers have released cheap Android phones that are designed for new users. Some of these device are simple and easy-touse. Also we should not under-estimate the ability of seniors to muse and operate a smartphone.

So what do you think? Is the Wireless CapTel service suitable to the needs a of senior citizens? Share you feelings in the comments.

That's it for this service for the elderly. Stay tuned as we look at plans, and cell phones for seniors every week.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bluetooth Headset for the Jitterbug Cell Phone for Seniors

I've posted a lot of cell phones for seniors over the past few weeks so I thought well feature something different for this post. I was browsing the GreatCall website and looked at the accessories for the Jitterbug phone. The Bluetooth headset accessory caught my eye so let's discuss it at this post. This accessory can help some seniors who want to communicate hands-free with their friends and family.

Upon closer investigation, I discovered that this device is the called the Samsung HM 1000. This Bluetooth headset for seniors is being offered at fifty bucks. Let's look at the features and capabilities of this device.

This accessory comes with the active pairing function and a Multifunction button that enables users to easily pair it with a compatible device. It can allow one to connect with another device within seconds. This is a good attribute as easy pairing is ideal for seniors who have no need for complicated steps and procedures.

The Samsung HM 1000 is also capable of connecting with two Bluetooth-enabled handsets. This is a good feature for those who have separate phones for work and play. A great feature but not one that is very useful for senior citizens.

This Bluetooth headset for the Jitterbug phone also comes with some easy-to-use features. And as we have discussed countless times in this blog, simple and easy-to-use devices are always suitable for the elderly users. For instance, the a dedicated power switch and easy-to-find volume button makes it easy to operate. It also comes with a battery-level indicator that informs the user of how much power is left on the batteries.

This accessory for mobile phones for seniors has a Talk Time of up to 7 hours and Standby Time of up to 400 hours.

That's it for this post on an accessory that can be useful for the elderly. Stay tuned for more post on accessories, services, plans, and cell phones for senior citizens.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Inexpensive Samsung Contour SCH-R250

MetroPCS has a good collection of cheap and simple phones that can be of service to seniors. The Samsung Contour SCH-R250 is a good example of a good handset from this prepaid carrier. Let's look at this phone and see how it can fit the need and budgets of elderly users.

The Samsung Contour can fit the needs of senior citizens and those with a limited budget. This phone was offered for fifty bucks without a contract when it was launched. An affordable price is pretty much a requirement for seniors because many of them do not have a stable income that can pay for expensive phones, plans, and services.

However, the Contour is much more than just your ordinary cheap phone. It also offers some features that can match the specific needs of senior users. Let's look at the senior-friendly features of this mobile phone.

The menu for this phone is basic and easy to navigate. A user will be faced with a soft-key controls and an icon-based menu to quickly access the needed applications be it to make a call or send a message.

The Contour's main display measures 2-inches with 128x160-pixel resolution and 262,000 colors. It's good enough for its cheap price and users can adjust the dialing font size and brightness to suit their sight.

This handset also comes with an easy-to-use keypad. The large buttons are lighted well, separated and raised above the surface so they can easily be used by those with weak eyesight. The buttons are also made from a rubbery substance that makes them easy to press.

Senior users will not be disappointed when using the Samsung Contour to call friends and loved ones. The call quality is solid, the sound was clear, and the calls we made were never interrupted. We observed only minimal white background noise.

That's it for this MetroPCS phone for seniors. Stay with us every week for more features on cell phones for seniors as well as plans and services for the elderly.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Samsung SGH-A167 Pay-As-You-Go Phone for Senior Citizens

We've already discussed why prepaid phones are suitable for seniors so I guess its clear that the Samsung SGH-A167 can be a good buy for the elderly. This handset was offered as a pay-as-you-go phone for AT&T. But being a prepaid phone is not the only factor that makes this handset a good mobile phone for seniors. Let's take a closer look at the SGH-A167 and see why it can be a suitable product for folks who are 65 years of age and older.

The Samsung SGH-A167 is a simple phone, which makes it a good fit for the needs of the elderly in more ways than one. First, since it's a basic device, a user do not need to pay a large amount to own the phone. It doesn't come with high-end features that drive up the price so seniors with a tight budget can afford it.

Since this phone is a simple device, there are complicated features that can confused seniors who are not familiar with the latest technology. A simple device is easy-to-learn so the elderly can learn how to use the device for making calls within minutes.

This cell phone for seniors also features a design that fits with the needs of elderly users. For instance, it offers a main display with adjustable dialing font size and backlighting time. If a user feels that the menu fonts are too small then the size can be altered. The menu font color and style can also be changed according to the need of a senior user.

The senior-friendly features of this phone also extend to its navigation array and keypad. Users will find plenty of space for these buttons on this phone. However, they are a bit flush so getting use to them may take some time.
The Samsung SGH-A167 is a reliable device for users who want to use it mainly for making calls. The voices on calls sounded natural and we did not observe any interference. The speakerphone also functioned well but users should not set it at the highest levels because that tends to distort the sounds.

This cell phone for seniors also provide the following key features:
  • VGA camera
  • battery life of three hours talk time and 10.5 days standby time
  • 4MB of user accessible memory
  • 200-contact phone book
  • 10 polyphonic ringtones
  • vibrate mode, an alarm clock, and a calculator,
  • instant messaging and POP3 e-mail
  • WAP browser
That's it for this week's post. Stay tuned for more cell phones, services and plans for seniors.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Nokia 5130 XpressMusic: A simple Music Phone for the Elderly

Cell phones have come a long way since they became affordable for the masses several years ago. Nowadays, even the basic phones can act as music players! Now. senior citizens do not need fancy phones with surround sound or Audio Beats. However, some affordable and simple phones come with decent music players that can entertain some senior users.

The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is a good example of a mobile phone that can be used by seniors both as a phone and a music player. Let's look closer at his device and see how it can be a good purchase for music-loving elderly users.

The 5130 XpressMusic is a simple phone that was launched by T-Mobile about a couple of years ago for $29.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate and a mandatory 2-year contract. It is still available via a few retailers such as Amazon and eBay.

Now let's look at the phone's design. The display for this phone measures two-inches and supports 256,000 colors and 320x240 pixels of resolution. It's a solid display and the icons can be viewed easily. User's with weak eyesight can alter the font color and the font size to make the display more suited for their needs.

Seniors will not find it difficult to navigate this music phone. The phone's navigation array has a spacious, easy-to-use design and the soft keys and Talk and End/power controls have good size. The buttons for the keypad are also large so dialing is not difficult. However, the numbers and letters on the buttons may be a bit small for some users.

Let's proceed with the how the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic performed as a phone. Well, my experience shows that the phone can handle calls very well. I did not recall any static and interference on the calls I made. The audio also sounded natural and the speakerphone calls I tried were also solid.

But how about as a music player. Well, the 5130 XpressMusic is a cheap phone so one should not expect too much. The handset ships with the standard Nokia Xpress Music player, which offers a simple interface and controls. The music quality is not bad and I'm sure users will enjoy listening to their favorite songs on this device.

Seniors who want to enjoy a bit of music from a simple phone should look at this handset. It's cheap and easy-to-use with a decent music player.

That's it for this week's mobile phone for seniors. Stay tuned as we bring you more phones, plans, and services for the elderly.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mobal Freedom 15 Cell Phone Plan for Seniors

I stumbled upon a new carrier with cell phone plans for seniors as I was researching for news topics for this blog. Mobal Freedom appears to be anew company that was established only this year. Their homepage indicates that they specialize in no contract cell phone plans that adapt to a user's needs.

Is this a company that can cater to the needs of senior mobile phone users? Well, let's look at one of its cell phone plans for seniors to find out. Let's examine the Mobal Freedom 15 plan.

This plan is affordable and only charges a $9.99 monthly fee. That's a great price for the elderly but what does it provide at this price? Well, subscribers to this plan will get $15 worth of free call and text allowance. This means that one can use combinations of minutes and texts and mobile internet up to $15. Users who want to make international calls can do so for $2/minute.

To explain more clearly, one can get 40 minutes of calls (at $0.25/min) and 50 text messages (at $0.10/msg) for a total of $15. You can also choose to use the $15 for 60 minutes of calls. It's up to you to choose how you use one's minutes. I guess that's where it get the "Freedom" label.

What else are other advantages of getting the Mobal Freedom 15 plan? It offers carry over call credit is valid for 60 days. There are also no cancellation fees and roaming charges.

Mobal Freedom also offers a 60 day guarantee. Consumers who are unhappy with the company's service can get a full, quick, no-hassle refund within 60 days.

What do you think of this plan? Does it fit with your requirements? IS this offer a good mobile phone plan for seniors? I'll let you decide. You can also express what you feel in the comments.

That it's for this post on the Mobal Freedom 15. Stay tuned as we feature cell phones for seniors from this carrier and related topics.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

The Simple Verizon Wireless Escapade

The Escapade was originally marketed as a dual-mode CDMA/GSM phone for Verizon Wireless subscribers who want a handset in the U.S. and abroad. However, a closer look at this device shows that it's a simple handset that can cater to the needs of the elderly.

Let's see if the Verizon Wireless Escapade is a good mobile phone for seniors as well as a solid global roaming device.

This cell phone sports a simple flip design with a glossy shell plus silver and black trim. It's not a flashy design but it feels comfortable to hold. It comes with an external display which measures 1.1-inches and supports 65,000 colors. It's not very large but it provides useful information such as date, time, battery life, caller ID, and signal strength.

The Escapade sports a larger internal display that measures 2-inches. This is a solid display because it also comes with 262,000-color support and 176x220-pixel resolution. The screen offers bright colors and sharp legible text, which are good qualities for a cell phone for citizens. Most of the elderly have weak eyes so a bright display with good size is ideal for their needs.

This phone's display also comes with adjustable font sizes for dialed numbers and menu text so seniors can manipulate them to suit their eyesight.

Unfortunately, this simple mobile phone also comes with a flat key pad. The buttons are quite flat to the surface of the phone so dialing and composing text messages are not quick and easy. Luckily, the phone has some raised lines in between each key so dialing is not too difficult for senior users.

Now let's talk about performance. After all, the elderly need cell phones to communicate with friends and family. The Verizon Wireless Escapade might be a simple phone but its call quality is quite impressive. The callers on this handset sounded loud and clear. The voice sound natural and there was minimal static or noise in the background. This mobile phone for seniors also come with a solid speakerphone.

This feature is not really a priority for seniors but I think it deserves to be mentioned since it performed better than I expected. The Escapade comes with a 2-megapixel camera that produced surprisingly good images for a phone that only cost thirty bucks with a contract. A camera is not really a requirement for senior phones but its a nice feature to get with an affordable phone. Folks who want a good cell phone for seniors with a decent camera should definitely consider this device.

That's it for this post on a senior-friendly phone that's also got dual-mode CDMA/GSM for international roaming. Bookmark this blog if you want to get information on mobile phones for the elderly.

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