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back to article Credit card-sized mobile simplified for oldies

Charity Age UK has unveiled a basic Sim-free mobile phone that lets users dial contacts directly with the touch of an oversized button. The credit card-sized UK My Phone, jointly developed with specialist network operator CyCell, comes with a maximum of eight customised homescreen buttons, simplifying the art of speed-dial. Age …

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These would also make a fantastic phone for younger kids, or as an emaergencty phone to have in the car in case of breakdowns. Preset it with AA / rac numbers and insurance company etc, drop it in the glove compartment till you need it

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That's a good idea, until you shop around for breakdown cover / insurance at the end of year.

Maybe they need a web front end so someone can change the numbers bound to each button? This would also be useful in the main use case when one of the contacts moves or otherwise changes phone number.

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Hang on...

It's a basic mobile (not a smart phone), with no screen even, so how come battery life is only 5 days? They should be able to manage a month between charges.

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Boffin

Re: Hang on...

The constant drain is because the phone needs to always be connected to the network, and it actively varies the power output to make sure it does. IANA RF Engineer, but I'd imagine that accounts for 99% of the battery drain between calls.

5 days was what you got from a late 90's LCD phone, and their displays took almost no power at all when the back light was off.

I may well get me arse handed to me on a plate for using this icon, but I'm feeling daring.

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Re: Hang on...

IIRC, signalling connection attempts are at least initially made at a higher power

On a side note, how much additional cost would a small e-Ink touchscreen have added (so that you *can* reprogram the names/numbers on the phone)? The Kindle Touch/Paperwhite is a hundred quid or thereabouts.

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Anonymous Coward

Crap

no I take that back, expensive crap, the most pure profit % I have ever seen(in a phone), the device can't cost much more than £5 even with all the customisation and printing, it must be around £30 profit on the device and £5 profit every month

all aboard the gravy train for cycell, and is Age Uk really that daft?.

My ancient mother and father can use a normal mobile phone, you know the ones that are really cheap simless ones from Tesco, you know the ones with a display and a standby of greater than five days, that can be programmed without buying a new one, and only cost £10 - £12 to replace.

I guess there is a use case for the one above, but the immense profit in it does not become a charity.

Now go and program you old mums phone.

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Re: Crap

I seriously doubt they're making that much profit. The volumes will be low, so the dev costs will have to be amortised across a much, much, much smaller number of units than the el cheapo units you're referring to.

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Re: Crap

Possibly not quite that much, but still a whole heap of money for a not very nice product.

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FAIL

Re: Crap

So if someone has to change their number - for whatever reason - the person with this device can nolonger call them up without spending £40.

What a useless piece of f***ing crap.

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Stop

Re: Crap

@bluest.one

No. Part of the service is that the numbers can be changed for free, just by calling customer services. Presumably you need to stay in their price plan for that. Check out the FAQ on the link.

£40 is for a new handset with different names printed on it. You'd be daft not to just stick a new label on it to avoid that.

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Re: Crap

It has rounded corners. Maybe that's why it's so expensive.

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Re: Crap

@FartingHippo

Thanks for the clarification.

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Contract ?

Does Gran really need or want a monthly contract - surely PAYG is more suitable

but may be less profitable for the 'charity'

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Nev
FAIL

Expensive Scam?

If the SimValley RX-80 Pico V4.0 can be had for ~€18 SIM free, how come this costs so much?

Lasts more than a week on standby too.

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Re: Expensive Scam?

Probably subsidised or using existing hardware.

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Mushroom

Yet another example of the charities that are supposed to help the elderly or disabled (RNID is just as bad) instead treating them as idiots.

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Another could have been.

Needs a SIM slot and to be network unlocked and needs software for a more technically oriented family member to be able to reprogram the buttons. None of which would have been difficult.

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Looks a bit small as well - my mum couldn't hold that thing, she's got arthritis.

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Anonymous Coward

Because later in life what you really need is a phone that doesn't tax your mind in the slightest so your already decreasing grey matter can carry on dying off with nothing to stimulate it.

I can see the purpose for some people, but elderly people who don't have a disability should be encouraged to keep using their mind and carry on learning throughout life. My father in 75 and uses a normal mobile, laptop, smart TV etc., he is an engineer and so has an enquiring mind which helps.

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Why are the volume buttons so small and diddly?

As the title says…

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FAIL

Re: Why are the volume buttons so small and diddly?

I would also add that I can't really see an easy way for an elderly person to charge it !

The micro USB is a nightmare to fit as it is, even being able to see the "arrow" on one side of the connector .... bad idea really !!!

Maybe they needed a cradle to recharge it ....

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How is granny supposed to charge it…

…with a diddly micro USB connector?

Hardly a great connector for someone with failing eyesight and dexterity!

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Patronising crap

Signed,

J Gilmore (aged 69 3/4)

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Re: Patronising crap

perhaps it's not aimed at you.

My father in laws mother was 98 when she died and for the last years of her life she simply couldn't be bothered to learn a new technology. Bear in mind, she grew up without even cars or telephones, let alone other technology that we take for granted.

It was a trouble for them to find a phone she could use (thanks to the inevitable decay of her dexterity) to keep in contact with family members.

Maybe she's the last of her kind, but it's not all about you sprightly (almost) septuagenarians you know :D

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Tricky ...

I understand why some people think this is patronising, but equally there are some who simply don't want to bother with fiddling around, chargers, and learning how to use a new gadget. We've recently sorted out a phone for my grandmother to use in her room.

She's not far off a century, and still know what's what, but she simply couldn't get on with one of the 'senior friendly' mobiles. Yes, if we persevered, I'm sure we could have taught her how to use it.

Instead I bought a Nokia 22 GSM terminal, which has a PAYG SIM in it, and a perfectly ordinary phone plugged in. In this situation, that's the most sensible solution; given that you can pick up a fixed GSM terminal for 50 quid, it's not an expensive one, either.

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FAIL

Shape

The shape'a all wrong, too.You need something long and thin that you can easily wrap ypur hand around. Not something that you have to hold with the tips of your fingers. I hope it bounces well. And as has been mentioned, a charger that cradles the phone (like most cordless fixed line phones)

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cute but not practical

Thought that might be good for my mum, but like everyone else has said its not really the right size (although I can't find the actual dimensions listed on the website), the charger is likely to be fiddly, volume buttons are possibly tricky and its not PAYG. Also no clues on porting an existing number onto it. I do like the real on/off slider on the back though, something I miss these days is a real off switch on my phones.

Yes they should have supplied a cradle charger, but I seem to remember that all the manufacturers (except Apple) agreed to use the same charger type a few years ago so their hands are tied a bit.

Will stick with the basic £10 Nokia on the tesco PAYG plan then.

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I just bought a pair of slider phones for mine

Physically slide open to answer, slide closed to hang up.

That or flip phones are probably the best bit of UI ever developed, and far, far better for the nearly-blind* or stiff-fingered than any touchscreen or even physical answer-buttoned phone could be.

Along with physical buttons to dial numbers, that makes them perfect for my grandparents.

Whereas this, with the limit of a fixed set of numbers, is for children or Alzheimer's who can't remember the current phone number for X, and not for your average OAP who can probably remember more phone numbers than me!

A contract phone is an odd choice for children and mentally incapable customers.

* Drunk?

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It wasn't clear from the review....

...but does it support WiFi tethering and 4G ?

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