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ETpro's avatar

What's a good cellphone for a technophobe who needs reading glasses?

Asked by ETpro (34202 points ) December 19th, 2012

I want to ease my wife into the tech world a step at a time. Last Christmas, our son gave her a Kindle Fire, and she will use it. This Christmas I’d like to get her a cellphone. She doesn’t have the patience or inclination to use a ton of features. I just want her to be able to call me when she’s out shopping and finds a real steal but needs someone to play mule and lug it home for her. She’s passed up a couple of opportunities to grab a real bargain because it was simply too big and bulky for her to bring home. I’d also like her to have a phone for safety sake. Neither of us are spring chickens anymore.

Before I got my cataract surgery, I had to give up using my cell phone because I couldn’t see the function keys and tiny icons on the display well enough to even make a call. She’s at the point where, without reading glasses, she can’t read anything but the great big print on labels on stuff on store shelves. So I want to get her a phone that’s dead simple to use and that is designed for easy reading even for someone with hyperopia (farsightedness).

I’d appreciate any suggestions you Jellies might have on the brand and model to target.

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Jitterbug is specially designed for seniors. Less and larger buttons. A service in which they will dial the calls for you. Different levels of plan.

wundayatta's avatar

I have no idea if you guys could handle a smart phone. But they have next to no buttons at all. Everything is done via GUI. You can make the symbols on the screen bigger. I’d get a Nexus 4. It’s Android and it doesn’t have any overlays, so it is fast. It’s the latest version of Android, which means it’s a computer in your hand, and it can do anything a computer can do, only more so.

There will be a little bit of a learning curve, but making calls is easy. You can tell it who to call. You don’t even have to dial.

janbb's avatar

yes – I’ve read good ads for Jitterbug too.

gailcalled's avatar

Me, too. Three guesses where we have seen the ad, in large, black font, no less.

janbb's avatar

Yup – that wonderful publication.

jerv's avatar

My first thought was also the Jitterbug, but I got here a bit late.

As much as I love the Android eco-system, I have to say that it really isn’t for everyone, especially not those whose needs are meager and/or technical skills limited.

People who aren’t into tablets would best be served by a simple dumbphone, and those of limited visual acuity who are unable to handle reading micro-text on a 4” screen would also have difficulty with many dumbphones, so the Jitterbug with it’s large-print buttons probably is the best choice.

@wundayatta Setting up the one-touch dialing is non-trivial, so unless @ETpro is willing to set aside a hunk of time programming it, that feature really isn’t useful. More importantly, I think that any sort of learning curve is probably not good for impatient people, especially not impatient technophobes. As much as I would like to draw another person into the collective, I don’t think @ETpro‘s missus is a suitable recruit for the Android Army.

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv You are probably right. But only they can make that evaluation in the end.

bkcunningham's avatar

Go to Walmart and check out their StraightTalk phones. You cannot beat the no contract , monthly rates and service. They have a variety of phones.

ETpro's avatar

@marinelife, @gailcalled & @janbb 3 votes for the Jitterbug is impressive. The Jitterbug Plus looks interesting, because I think the artist in her would lead her to learn to use its built-in camera.

@wundayatta For my wife, I think @jerv is right—The Nexus 4 is out. Now I might get one for myself, but I am the sort that will milk all I can out of it, setting it up so I can tether to it, etc. I’d like to go with an uncaged Android OS. I’m absolutely done with nickle and dime you up to $200 a month 2-year plans.

@bkcunningham Thanks. I’ll add that to the list and give the series a serious look.

wundayatta's avatar

@ETpro From what I understand, you won’t be getting a Nexus4 anytime soon. They are sold out. At least, that’s the case if I am interpreting the someone cryptic comments from my wife properly.

ETpro's avatar

@wundayatta Looks like Google is. I understand T-Mobile has them, but I’m sure those come with their SIMM.

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