Whilst we’re busy obsessing over the latest Nexus handset from Samsung or Nokia’s new Lumia, spare a thought for your relatives for whom the most basic 8k voice circuit is a huge bonus.
Quite a few of my relatives in their 60s have tried using iPhones and BlackBerries. Some persevere. Most do their best. The problem is your average consumer grade handset just can’t handle the sensory degradation that most people beyond 65 suffer. Hearing, eyesight and touch.
At age 34 it seems rather strange to comprehend being unable to easily press numeric keys on a mobile phone. Or see the number I’m typing in. Or actually hear the person talking to me on the phone. It’s a real problem. Thankfully the industry is addressing it. Both Doro and Amplicom are making significant head road nowadays.
It’s the Amplicom PowerTel M4000 I’m looking at today though: You might consider this for an elderly relative given Christmas is coming up. And since we’re talking big buttons, high contrast screen, loud speaker, we’re not talking crazy prices. Indeed most of the accessible handsets I’ve seen retail well below £100. The PowerTel M4000 is a very reasonable £54.49 unlocked via Hearing Direct on Amazon.
As you can see from the photo, the M4000 has a colour screen, big easy to read fonts and it handles both text messages and calls. It’s got a 200 number memory phone book, a powerful hands-free speaker and — crucially — a desktop charger. It’s far easier to drop the handset into the desktop charger than use your arthritic fingers trying to stick in the charger lead.
If any of your relatives have hearing aids then, rather usefully, the M4000 will work perfectly fine with that thanks to an integrated induction coil (M3/T3 rating). And they’ll always hear you: The phone has a 25dB volume boost function that boosts call volume 20x compared to standard handsets.
Buy a couple for your relatives. Seriously, even if they’re struggling with an iPhone or a BlackBerry, they’ll probably swap to one of these within a day because they’ll find it so much more comfortable to use.