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Vodafone launches handset for phone-phobes

This is your grandmother calling

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Vodafone has launched a new handset range designed for "customers who only want a mobile phone with voice and text services". Or, to put it in more straightforward terms, for your grandparents.

Vodafone Simply Sagem VS2

Vodafone says it has conducted extensive customer research and discovered a market for phones that don't have all the shiniest tech gadgets, but that are simple to use, much like landline phones. Other desirable features, according to the research, include clear, large screens, straightforward price plans, and built-in tips for how to use the phone.

Two handsets were developed in tandem with Sagem: the Vodafone Simple Sagem VS1, a silver, curved handset, and the Vodafone Simply Sagem VS2, a straight, black handset (pictured).

Both phones have large screens with larger-than-average text and symbols (see the user interface here), as well as dedicated buttons for fast access to the Main Screen, Contacts and Messages. A button on the side of each phone controls ringer volume and a switch locks the key pad.

The voicemail system has been designed to be as close to a home answering machine as possible. When a message has been left, the messages button on the handset lights up. To listen to the message, the user just presses the button and is connected to the voicemail service directly.

The handsets are available free with a monthly contract, including the new Stop the Clock price plan. On this plan, at evenings and weekends customers can talk for up to an hour, but only pay for the first three minutes. On a pre-pay deal, either handset will cost £80.

The service switches on tomorrow, 24 May in the UK, Portugal and Spain. Find out more here

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