Recently, on a visit to Vodafone’s Newbury base I was introduced to a new initiative from the company.
Featured as part of its 2018 Future Ready Event at its Newbury HQ, Vodafone announced a new approach to the way the company planned to sell a range of smartphones. With its distinctive capitalised four letter title of VOXI, this Vodafone inspired service has been designed to be a youth’s mobile brand that is initially being targeted at the under 30 years age group who have specific needs for their mobile world experience.
Maxcom are quite a new phone company to arrive in the UK, they have been in Europe for some years. While this is not exclusively an older persons phone it would certainly be useful to allow someone to keep their independence and as it has an emergency call button on the back providing the phone is within reach, then help should come when needed.
This is a Flip Phone and it has its own charge dock so close it up – unflip – and when at home it can remain docked beside you so it’s never going to run out of battery. When docked there are three indicators on the area near the top battery, phone and message. Just above this is the camera and LED flash. The other side has the emergency button and beside that the more than adequate speaker.
As I mentioned in an earlier review, Maxcom initial attack on the UK mobile phone market is made up of models from the Polish company's Classic and Comfort ranges of handsets. This review is based on the MM831 model from the company's Comfort range that is being aimed at the elderly or infirmed user.
The MM831 is a three-band GSM+ UMTS phone offering 2G GSM 900/1800 MHz and 3G WCDMA 900/2100 MHz support. The phone itself is of the clamshell variety decked out in a combination of matte silver and black with dimensions of 99 x 55 x 17 mm (H x W x D) when in its closed state. Including the supplied removable Li-ion 1000 mAh battery, this feature phone has a weight of 99g so should slip into a pocket or bag without causing too much inconvenience or a bulge.
There is a new kid in town. Well perhaps “kid” is not the appropriate expression as the new arrival is Maxcom, a company with over 15 years of experience in the design and manufacture of telecommunication products and is one of the leading mobile handset brands in Poland.
Headed by Chris Millington, previously Group Director and UK Mannering Director at Doro, Maxcom’s initial sortie into the UK market will consists of six devices belonging to the company’s Classic and Comfort ranges. Taking centre spot in this review is the 3G MM330 model. This is a candy bar style of feature handset. My review sample is predominately black in colour with occasional silver highlights.
Maxcom Comfort MM831 is a simple to use 3G flip-phone aimed at meeting the needs of the elderly and vulnerable as it incorporates an easy way to call a relative when required.
Those of us of a more mature persuasion remember the first mobile phones, they did one job making and receiving calls, they were huge and you probably got various strains from carrying them around. Now for those who want a simple phone that does far more and weights very little the phone I am looking at here could be the answer.
The Maxcom Classic 330 measures 12.6x5.6x1cm and weighs 111grams. The viewable screen is 6.5x4.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 3.2inches. While it can make and receive calls it also has a torch, 5MP camera, FM radio and can take a micro SD card up to 32GB to store multimedia. Going around the outside of the phone has only two connections both on the top the Micro USB connection to charge the unit and a 3.5mm headphone socket.
The Doro 6520 is the latest clamshell “easy” phone with added features aimed at the needs of the elderly and frail. It offers greater security to them and peace of mind to their relatives.
The latest handset to come my way from Doro belongs to the feature phone category
While smartphones are a popular choice with users, especially with the younger and fashion conscious market sectors, there is an alternative type of communication device. I am referring to a feature phone such as the Doro 6520 which is the subject of this review. The Doro 6520 is a clamshell handset that is available in a choice of magenta and white or, as in the case of my review sample, graphite and white.
Larger Sainsbury’s stores have their mobile phone shops and this more basic level product is one offering available from them. However when you look at it you see something chunky that would be ideal from the older person to have.
The F24 Power from Archos measures 12.5x5x2cm and it weighs 156grams. The viewable screen is 3.5x5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 2.5 inches. However despite its small screen size it is far more than a phone and text system.
I am sure we all know either first or second hand ‘hello, hello, hello then a range of expletives’ whichever phone company you use they all have ‘not spots’ so the Anywhere SIM allows you to make you call across three different major providers.
The SIM as I received is a full size or micro SIM but it did require careful extraction as the plastic surround was more solid and less well perforated than previous SIMs I have used. As most users will know some SIMs work better in certain areas than others and most will have a SIM to suit their locale.
No doubt you have probably heard on good authority that there is no such thing as a free lunch. This is because there will be a time when a payment of sorts will be required. However not everybody would agree with the no free-lunch sentiment. Definitely failing into the category of believing that a free lunch is possible is the team at FreedomPop.
Launched publicly in 2012 FreedomPop describes itself as being a new wave telecom company with a fresh look at how to provide its customers with the type of service they required. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and includes Niklas Zennstom, the Skype founder, amongst its backers. The support of Zennstom might go some way towards explaining why FreedomPop has adopted its approach to its mobile phone service.
The Moochies Phone Watch has been designed to provide children with certain mobile phone features while, at the same time, giving parents a degree of control over the telephonic activity of their children.
Available in a choice of Black, Orange, Blue and Pink colours, the Moochies Phone Watch combines mobile phone, watch and GPS tracking elements within a single unit. Bright, some might go as far as saying gaudily, coloured with a child friendly image alongside the watch face, compressed non-toxic silicone rubberised casing, and capable of encircling a wrist with a circumference of between 12.5 and 16cm, this device could not be mistaken for anything else other than a child centric product.
While Doro phones are extremely easy to use and have lots of features to suit those with sight and or hearing problems why should those people have to accept a phone that does not have basic features that other able bodied have, none whatsoever hence the PhoneEasy 632.
It is 10x5x1.5cm when closed, the first figure increases to 19cm when flipped open for use. Unlike most Doro phones when in use the emergency button – although still there on the back – is not that obvious, it sits beside the speaker at top of the base half of the phone. Somewhat more unusually the camera is at the base of the top part of the phones back. The volume up and down buttons are on the right with the micro USB charge point on the left with the headphone socket beside it.
Not everybody wants or needs a smartphone with all its bells and whistles. There are many users, especially those often referred to as silver surfers, who are more than happy to find their mobile communication needs adequately covered by a feature phone such as the latest addition to Doros growing 3G feature handset portfolio. This new addition to the Doro catalogue is the PhoneEasy 624 model.
With dimensions of 102 x 52 x 19mm and weighing 104g (800 mAh Li-ion battery included), the PhoneEasy 624 is a clamshell unit with a metallic red outer casing featuring white trimmings. A charging stand, micro-to-standard USB lead, three-pin power plug, earphones with mute control, lanyard and User Manual are included in the box.
Doro have long been the company to look after those who have limited hearing and or sight. Here is what even for Doro is an entry level product. However for not that much money it could for a vulnerable person be a real lifesaver.
One thing that often bothers those less able is the abundance of extras that often confuse. Here most of those are already stripped out but even some basics can be removed from the setup menu so you just have little more than a phone. One thing Doro never remove is the emergency button which can be linked to a relative, neighbour or the emergency services once setup this is a real lifeline for those who do not have regular contacts.
Around a year has passed since I last looked at a Doro handset. This latest handset has cut back of features and has a reduced price tag.
The Doro PhoneEasy 508 is a new addition to the Doro family of easy to use handsets. Designed for the more elderly members of society, this candy bar style of mobile phone is available in a choice of black, white or graphite. With its plastic casing, dimensions of 118 x 53 x 13mm (H x W x D) and a weight of 81g (including rechargeable battery pack), this handset can easily be slipped into a pocket or bag without causing an unsightly bulge.
After their ground breaking Moto G handset recently reviewed what could Motorola produce next. Its called the Moto X and it looks very inviting, you can get it to answer your questions and the curve in its back suits your hands shape.
The Motorola Moto X measures 12.5x6.5x1cm the last figure is at the centre of the back, at the sides it is .5cm and it weights 137grams. The case is sealed meaning the battery cannot be changed and you have no expansion possibilities as there is no micro SD card slot. The top has a 3.5mm socket for headphones; the right side has bar buttons for on/off and a volume up and down rocker. The base has input for the supplied micro USB cable to charge it.
Those of us into our forties or more will remember mobile phones like this in fact some even came with a brief case for the required battery. Here this tongue in cheek offering can be used for real or as a Bluetooth offering, however used it will be a talking point.
The first main difference is the weight 208grams. I can’t exactly remember what my first unit weights but it was a great deal more than that. 20x5x4cm without the dummy aerial that adds another 7cm to the first figure. The display is 3.7x2.8cm and in full colour, six lines of display and the keypad below is also backlit.
Many mobile phones tend to spread their net wide with regards to their functionality but this next handset is aimed mainly at the hard of hearing.
The CL8450 is a GSM telephone with voice amplification from the South African company of Geemarc. This product is being targeted primarily at those with a hearing impediment but it could also be of interest to the elderly members of society. The phone is of the clamshell variety and is available in a limited choice of colour schemes. You can opt for either Black & Silver or, as in the case of my review sample, Red & White.
Here I am looking at two different Doro phones. Doro are a company that started in land line phones and soon found their niche in supplying mobile phones for the hard or hearing and or those with limited sight at a reasonable price.
This is a small flip open phone and simple to use. It is 10x5x2cm when closed, flip it open to show the keypad and screen and the length becomes 19cm, it weights less than 100grams. Once you have inserted your SIM and the battery run the Setup Wizard and the seven things include setting time and date, ringtone, volume level and text size, total time less than three minutes.