Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.11 9 Feb 2021


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While smartphones have long-since become the norm, many older people or less tech-savvy users will still be in the market for phones with more basic functionality.

'Simple' devices offering calls, texts and simple online functions have long been available.

However, many may be looking for something in the middle - a phone offering support for widely-used smartphone apps without the complications.

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The Emporia Smart 4 is currently being sold through An Post, and is aimed at being simple to use while still having many of the features of a modern smartphone.

It also has features such as extra emergency call functions, including a dedicated emergency button located on the phone's body.

Newstalk's technology correspondent Jess Kelly has been testing the phone, and spoke to The Pat Kenny Show about what it has to offer.

She said: "This is a device that’s been specifically designed for older people - and I’m not putting an age bracket on that, because I know people of all ages who can’t get their heads around smartphones… and just want a device for calls and texts.

“But obviously things have changed now, and people are using things like Zoom or WhatsApp video to stay in touch with friends and family.

“This phone has a 5” screen… it looks very similar to the iPhone 3 or iPod touch. It feels very solid in the hand, and is not going to slip."

Jess said opening the box is 'exactly what you would want' for someone who is not tech savvy.

It includes a detailed printed handbook, with graphics and instructions explaining exactly how to set up the phone.

The phone itself is put together like an 'old-school Nokia phone', where you put the battery the phone in yourself before putting on the back cover.

Simple to use

The phone itself runs a version of the Android operating system, but has a special user interface that makes it easier to use.

Jess said: “You can set it up to make it look like a normal phone… or you can set it up so you only have five icons on the home screen.

“It comes with all the basic apps you would have on any smartphone… you can put WhatsApp and Zoom on it. It has a very good 5 megapixel front camera, and 13 megapixel back camera… that’s ideal for video calls.

“What a lot of people will like about this phone for elderly relatives, I think, is when you swipe to the left there are five different slots where you can put in emergency contacts.

"Then there’s a button below the rear end of the camera you can press if someone gets into trouble… then a message gets sent urgently to those five contacts."

The phone costs €140 for those who switch over to An Post mobile, or €175 for those who get a new number.

Jess said: "It is locked to An Post mobile, and then it’s €15 a month.

"For your €15 a month, you are getting a lot - 50gbs of data, 3,000 minutes and texts per month as well.”


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