Maxcom Comfort MM831 phone 

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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.

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This feature phone, which is black and silver in colour, is just 99 x 55 x 17mm when closed and only weighs 88g. Consequently, it is light enough and small enough to be carried conveniently in the pocket or handbag. Furthermore, the size of the digits on the 2.4inch colour display can be enlarged to accommodate the needs of those with poor eyesight.

The phone is supplied with removable 1000mAh battery which is claimed to give it up to 380 hours standby and up to 10 hours talk time. Provided in the box is a neat desk stand into which the phone can be slipped for charging. This avoids the user having to struggle with the small microUSB power connector. Furthermore, it makes it easier to remember to charge the phone at regular intervals and so minimises the risk of the user being caught with a flat battery.

As well as having the full range of facilities that one could expect from a feature phone, there are three  “family” buttons that can be programmed for one-touch calling as well as a number of SOS settings. These include an ICE (In Case of Emergency) function whereby a limited amount of (blood group & allergies etc.) medical and other information can be stored so as to be readily available.

Although the phone is quite easy to use and one can access the various functions from the Menu button which takes one to a display of nine icons with, at the top of the screen, their designations: Camera, Phonebook, FM radio, Call History, Messages, Multimedia, Services, Settings and Tools users really need instructions to get the best from the phone. Unfortunately, as the Polish manufacturer has only recently set up in this country, the review sample only came with its 74 page instruction booklet in Polish and not one in English. As a result it has not been possible to go into all its features in depth and, to a certain extent, one has to go by what it says on the tin – sorry, the box – such as that the camera is 2Mpixel, it is hearing aid compatible and that the phone will support microSD cards of up to 32MB – enough for a very large number of 2Mpixel photos. Unfortunately, nowhere does it mention that the phone requires a micro SIM rather than the increasingly popular nano SIM. This is probably because, even though the phone is new to the UK, it was designed about two years ago as shown by the date of 01-07-2016 when the phone is initially switched on.

In fact, by accident, I found that when the clamshell is open pressing and holding the right hand button activates the torch. This is in addition to being able to access it via the Tools menu.

Despite the lack of the instructions which will be important to the target market for this phone  -- and presumably will normally be found in the box -- I found that it is a well-designed and user-friendly unit. One small but clever feature is the fact that the three “bars” indicating battery power level are green, amber and red.

Available from Amazon at £69.99 this phone should meet the needs of the elderly and vulnerable who need a phone that is easy to use and yet there are many additional features readily accessible and ready for use should they desire to extend become more adventurous. Furthermore, in addition, the family buttons could well make it an ideal phone for young children to enable them to keep in touch with home.

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OverallMaxcom Comfort MM831 phone rated 80 out of 100

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