I am a bit concerned that the side buttons are easily hit accidentally either when holding the phone or by something in your pocket or bag. Just as with the Emergency button, though, this is an ease-of-use versus accidental pressing trade-off, and in this case you can lock the buttons with a left side-mounted slider. This side also houses a volume rocker and the phone’s on/off switch. A huge key pops up on screen whenever you try to touch a locked button, but interestingly enough the Torch and Alarm buttons are never locked. Oops.
The screen measures a large 2.7 inches diagonally and its old fashioned FSTN LCD technology offers black text against a greenish background that turns orange when you press a button. It is old, old, old technology and is a little slow to respond to key presses, but neither factor is a major problem here.
For all its size, the screen only manages 128 x 160 pixels. That isn’t as much of a downer in real life as it might seem on paper. Large fonts are used throughout and the phone manages to display six lines of text which is enough for most SMS messages.
There is no camera and no Web browser to trouble the screen’s resolution or capabilities. This phone is strictly for making voice calls and sending SMS messages. It can do the latter singly or to groups. There are five ringtones plus a birdlike cheeping sound and, bizarrely, a cockerel. They are all naff and users should demand better.
Apparently the handset is compatible with digital hearing aids, though not having one around I couldn’t test this. It is certainly loud, though, with one of the loudest speakers I’ve ever come across. The vibrate feature is pretty robust too.
True, I am not in the target group, but I think the slide might be awkward for some and nobody deserves the dreadful ringtones. I think target users can cope with a few more features and I am sure a stopwatch and unit converter might be useful. I do like the torch and the large fonts though.
Score in detail