Smartphones, access to the world of information in our pockets. But we use them for cat videos and scrolling social media and that’s possibly why the smartphone isn’t for everyone. Some people like simple, some feel less is more and some want their phone to do what a phone should do, call, text and in modern times even WhatsApp. For those of the older school who want a simple phone with a modern twist, enter Emporia with their new Smart 4. Targeted at the older demographic with a simpler styling to your more traditional smartphones, the Emporia Smart 4 sports Android 10 in a phone that tries to find the balance between smart and simple. Something they do to great effect.
The Emporia Smart 4
Right, this phone is really for your Ma or Da or those who are absolutely tech allergic. Running that Android 10, with its 5″ display and large icons, this is a device built with simplicity in mind. As ever with the Emporio range the Smart 4 is compatible with hearing aids and has an emergency assistance button. Basically they know their audience.
In the box itself we get a physical manual so a user can read and learn the usability of a smartphone in their own time, full with walk throughs and step by step instructions and through partnering with An Post, this is a smartphone whose goal is about making technology more accessible to that older demographic.
Partnering with An Post
“We’re delighted to announce our first Irish network relationship with An Post Mobile. To have such a credible and respected network partner on board to help us introduce the S4 to the Irish market is key to boost our visibility in front of senior citizens. Working with An Post Mobile will enable us to reach a large proportion of seniors in Ireland and introduce them to the world of simple and easy technology and access a whole new world of communication, confidently and independently,”
The Emporia Smart 4 is available through an post for €140 with a pre paid sim plan that contains unlimited calls and texts and even data for a very reasonable €15 per month. Currently if you are with another provider, An Post will let you keep your phone number and you will get your first month free, fair handy if you ask me.
Michael Ahern, An Post Mobile Manager, comments: “2020 has shown just how important mobile communications are to the community and An Post is especially aware that many of our older citizens have gone for long periods without close contact with family, friends and neighbours. We see the introduction of the emporia S4 smartphone to the An Post Mobile phone range as another opportunity to make life just that little bit easier and safer for the older generation and their families.”
Features and Specs
As a standard, the main nav menu contains big text and big icons for an easy to read display. Unlike standard Android, the Smart 4 uses a simple design that gives you an easy to read menu and your favourite apps are pinned to the main home screen. These can be changed to suit your needs but as a standard your homescreen contains:
With simplicity in mind, as this is a touch screen phone which may be outside the comfort zone of some of their users, they include what’s called a touch trainer to help you learn the basics of touch screen navigation. Things like tappings, swiping and generally stuff most common smartphone users take for granted are all accounted for and tbh having seen this in the hands of someone in their target age group, it makes a world of difference.
It kind of reminds me of the old Nokia phones as the removable battery returns for the first time in ages. In modern phones replacing a battery is a task I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, the Emporia Smart 4 does the right thing and allows the user to swap out the battery if they wish.
It’s a nice to see feature, the emergecy call button on the rear of the phone can be activated by clicking three times. When the button is triggers, the phone will call your emergency contacts one by one until someone answers and will even change to loud speaker to make things a little easier. Now if you don’t need that feature you get a second back for the phone in the box which will cover the button and negates any accidental calls.
The Emporia Smart 4 sports a very tidy 13mp main camera and even offers selfie capability with a 5mp front facing camera. To be honest it’s not something to write home about but for what the phone is, it’s a lovely and welcome addition. “Nana, show me the garden there will ya”
QR scanner & NFC
Honestly the Emporia Smart 4 surprised me. Looking at the phone you wouldn’t expect some of the features that are included. The latest model includes a QR scanner, yes a QR scanner! This will allow our elderly relatives use the likes of the Covid track & trace app with east.
“We know that mobile phone banking and contactless payments are increasingly on the rise across the UK and Ireland; even more so this year with a focus on contact-free due to Covid concerns. But this doesn’t make it automatically trusted. We want to challenge this misconception, and NFC and Google Pay in a mobile phone addresses this concern for seniors head-on.”
The NFC tech then allows contactless payments, not something new but definitely new to the 60+ age demographic. There is a 16 page, extremely simple step by step setup guide, or someone a bit more tech savvy can set up Google Pay in a couple of minutes and off you go, contactless payment is now an option.
As with basically everything to do with the Smart 4, they have really thought about their target users and created features that are totally relevant and required. We have all someone in our family who cannot see anything on their phone if they have forgotten their glasses. The Emporia Smart 4 goes a step further, as our eye sight degrades, we need glasses to read, without them, simple things like menus or signs can be more difficult. That’s why we get the magnifier app, which does exactly what it says on the tin, magnifies what you’re trying to read to make it easier. Simples.
The Goosed Verdict
Due to the Covid Life, technology has become a greater part of our day to day lives. Whether that be for work, shopping or staying in contact, the times do be a changing. The market has been screaming out for a simple smartphone for seniors who wish to keep in contact with their loved ones.
The Emporia Smart 4 is a tidy phone, built to be easy to use but with a tidy 13mp camera, video calling capability and the ability to do Google Pay, this is a phone that is more than what you see.
Essentially the Emporia Smart 4 is a good option for those who value simplicity or those who find modern smartphones a bit too tricky, see anpost.com/mobile for more info.