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Last updated: 20 September 2018

Older people and young children may find a simple phone specially made for their needs a better option than a smartphone. We lab test and review the latest mobiles for seniors and kids.

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Our test covers popular affordable smartphones such as the Motorola G4 Play and HTC Desire 530, as well as models targeted at seniors and kids such as the Olitech Easy Mate + and Doro Phoneeasy 6520.

Our expert testers give every mobile phone a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are best for using with poor eyesight
  • are best for using with poor hearing
  • have the best sound when making and taking a phone call
  • have the largest buttons
  • make it simple to call out to emergency services.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find which models can automatically make emergency calls or text messages and which offer good support and help. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Recommended retail as of September 2018.

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Hearing aid support

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The Microphone (M) rating and T-coil (T) rating determine how well your hearing aid will work with your mobile phone. If you use your hearing aid in Microphone mode (M), look for a phone with an M3 or M4 rating. If you prefer telecoil coupling (T), look for a phone with T3 or T4 rating. A sum of six (M3/T3) or greater indicates that the telephone would probably provide good performance with that hearing aid. Models that do not have score either support hearing aids but do not specify a rating (yes), or do not provide hearing aid support (no).

Maximum speakerphone volume (dBa)

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Measurement (dB) taken at 1 metre from speakerphone.

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Features

Charging cradle

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A dedicated charger removes the need to insert a cable and physically plug in the phone for charging. This can also make it easy to find compared to a cable that could be used for another device.

Emergency button

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This button sends an automatic notification to 000/112 emergency services. 

Test results

Poor sight score

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We check to see how well the mobiles perform under conditions relevant to a sight-impaired user. We look at how easy it is to read the display in general and in low light, and assess the icons showing battery level and reception.

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Sound receiving score

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Sound quality measurements are carried out with users assessing the sound quality of a call as a receiver and a caller.

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Maximum ringer volume (dBa)

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Measurement (dB) taken at 1 metre from ringer.

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Status

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Poor sight score
  • Poor dexterity score
  • Sound receiving score
  • Sound sending score
  • SMS score
  • Manual and support score
  • Maximum ringer volume (dBa)
  • Maximum speakerphone volume (dBa)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Handset type
  • Status
  • Screen size (in)
  • Standard headphone socket (3.5mm)
  • Hearing aid support
  • Emergency button
  • Charging cradle
  • USB type
  • Torch
  • MMS support
  • Menu font adjustable
  • Video capture
  • Micro SD
  • FM radio
  • Removable battery
  • Maximum speed dial storage
  • Time in use - claimed (hr)
  • Standby time - claimed (days)
  • Battery capacity (mAh)
  • Camera resolution (MP)
  • Bluetooth
  • Total storage possible (GB)
  • SIM type
  • Dimensions HxWxD (mm)
  • Weight (g)
  • SAR (W/kg)
  • Contact
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