The Emporia Life Plus isn’t your usual mobile phone. It is not crammed full of the latest bits and bobs, it is not designed to entice you to go for just one more upgrade, and it is not, well, how can I put this? It is not exactly small. What it is, though, is a phone intended for those who find it difficult to use more usual mobiles because they are a bit complex, or a bit tiny, or just plain too hard to fathom. It is sold in the UK by a company called Matobmobile, a specialist in supplying ‘easy to use, simple mobile pones for the elderly and the disabled’.
Now I want to make an important point here. I am not suggesting that all the other phones I review are absolutely out of the picture for our older readers or those with disabilities. Plenty of people in both groups use a range of mobiles and enjoy fancy phones as much as the next person. But there are groups of people for whom run of the mill phones aren’t appropriate, and Matobmobile reckons the Emporia Life Plus is suitable for them.
This phone will cost you £169 if you want it SIM free, and it is free on a range of contracts. Essentially the Emporia Life Plus is a phone with a basic feature set and some specialities designed to appeal to those that fall within its target ‘elderly’ and/or ‘disabled’ groups. It is only dual-band, which might be a problem for those who like to travel.
It is a positively vast slider phone and when closed it measures 112mm tall, 58mm wide and 18mm thick – not exactly pocket-sized. Slide it open and it’s a massive 175mm tall. I can see the point of the size as it means the phone can accommodate a big screen and large keys – more on both in a moment. But I found it difficult to open and close the slide one handed, and I reckon my thumb muscles are pretty good from plenty of phone sliding. I’d say that many of those less firm in body than myself could find it a bit of a pig to slide, and at 138g it is a little heavy.