These days most people own a smart phone. Smart phones allow you to check your email, access the internet and listen to music – it’s a mini computer in your pocket. Smart phones also have a never-ending selection of Apps where access to almost everything is possible. And while the majority of people are lost without such a device, phone companies are now realising smart phones are not on everyone’s wish list. Some of my friends have just basic, simple, compact mobiles that are easy to use and don’t cost the earth.
Just calls and text
Dan has low vision and prefers a very simple phone. He has just bought a new Doro PhoneEasy. What Dan likes about this phone is that it has large print keys and a good clear window. While Dan can only make and receive calls and texts, it currently meets all his needs.
Janice loves her OwnFone. Janice is blind and has arthritis in both her hands, which makes most phones difficult for her to use. Janice says with other phones she often missed calls as she had trouble finding her phone in her handbag.
“My OwnFone is so light and compact, I just hang it on a lanyard around my neck and it gives me perfect access, especially with the braille keypad.”
OwnFone and Kisa
The OwnFone keypad is personalised with large print, photos or graphics. Or in Janice’s case, with embossed braille. The phone is more simplified than Dan’s PhoneEasy. It can only make and receive calls to 12 pre-programmed numbers.
Kisa is another phone that is similar to the OwnFone but uses the Telstra network. OwnFone is connected to the Vodafone network. Both offer limited functionality and are only available through the companies’ websites.
Last Christmas Kim gave her two children a Kisa phone each. She likes knowing she is only a phone call away. She also likes the $84 price for the phone and the pay-as-you-go plans that start at five dollars a month.
Most communication networks now have many choices when it comes to the right phone for the right person. And while the salesperson might be aiming to sell the latest gismo with all the bangs and whistles, the range of more accessible and affordable phones and plans is now becoming more readily available.
Dan has learned to shop around before buying a new phone. Not because of the continual advancements in smart phones, but more so because of the constant improvements now available in what he likes to call “dumb phones for smart people”.