Remember last Christmas when I got my 88 years-young, stroke-surviving mother her first cell phone
? That didn't turn out so well... She only really ever used it when her landline went down and now, with her carrier Public Mobile being assimilated into TELUS,
her handset is set to become a doorstop sometime this month.
But thanks to Howard, the good folks at Snapfon
and some helpful advice from fellow forum members she was surprised this past Mother's Day with a fairly substantial handset upgrade.
Let's have a look.
Right out of the box the Snapfon ezTWO
is an immediate improvement over whatever my mom was using before. The high-contrast screen is super-easy to read, even in bright sunlight. The number keys are separated and have a good feel. It even charges via micro USB, like every phone should. Sorry, Apple fans....
The ezTWO ships with a 1000mAh removable battery. Amazingly, it kept the phone up and running for almost a month
in standby mode—that's how long I've been waiting to re-gift it to dear old mom. Underneath the battery you'll find a slot for a mini SIM and another for a micro SD card, to store photos from that VGA fixed-focus camera. The less we talk about the camera, the better.
The speaker phone is clear but could be louder; for old people such things could always be louder, I guess. The SOS button can be programmed to call and/or text any number, or multiple numbers. It can also serve as an alarm:
I'm hesitant to teach my mom this particular feature as she'd probably use it as a pager for her caregivers; they'd hate me for that!
At the top of the handset there's a loop for a lanyard/wrist strap and a not-at-all-bad torch.
At the bottom is a headphone jack (mmkay), micro USB slot and what appear to be charging plates for a cradle. Snapfon does indeed sell a charging cradle for this phone
; too bad it's not included in the box—biddies love charging cradles...
On the right side of the ezTWO you'll find a toggle for the torch and another to lock the keypad. Not sure I see the value of the latter for an elderly person.
On the left side of the ezTWO you'll find a volume rocker and a shutter button for the camera—which won't actually launch
the camera, just capture an image. And if you really want to see a camera sample from the ezTWO, prepare to be underwhelmed:
If you reside in the USA the ezTWO is made even more compelling by service plans that you can buy with the phone
. Prices range from $15 to $55 USD per month and at the high end include an SOS monitoring service
, very much like the Lifeline system
that my mom currently uses.
Unfortunately these plans aren't available to Canadians. But we can at least purchase an ezTWO unlocked for $99 CAD from Frontier Computing
. It goes great with a prepaid SIM from Speakout Wireless
—even if my
dear old mom will probably only ever use it as a clock.