Review The Amplicom is a traditional candybar phone design with a conventional keypad, menu and shortcut buttons. However, all the buttons are usefully larger than you will find on most regular mobile handsets, while the high contrast mono screen is not only very easy on the eye but is one of the most crisp and clear I have ever come across.
The ringer can be cranked up to 100dB which is loud enough to alert all but the hardest of hearing, and bring help running if it's used as an emergency alarm, which it can bet. The handset's speaker produces an impressive 23dB.
Below the screen sit three shortcut dialer buttons each of which will dial an assigned number simply by being held down. With an eye to the less technically proficient, the menu structure is very straightforward making set-up a breeze. The M5010 even has Bluetooth, though this is a feature I think most phones targeted at the elderly could easily do without.
The key emergency feature is triggered by sliding a button on the back of the headset. This fires up the truly ear-piercing alarm and then dials either a single number from a sequence of up to five numbers depending on how you have set it up.
Like the Binatone Speakeasy, the Amplicom has a 2.5mm headset jack and while it's a more curvaceous and stylish handset than the Binatone, it's not quite as easy to keep a firm grip on.
Though not as feature-laden as the Doro 334gsm, the M5010 is significantly cheaper, and Amplicom provides a stand-cum-charger. The power cord terminates in a mini USB port which will be handy if ever the original charger gets mislaid.
The best combination of regular phone functionality and emergency features. ®
Next Beafon D50
No cell phone is truly Granny Friendly
To the elderly all cell phones tend to be if not "user hostile" and least "user indifferent". Most of these people spent all their lives with wired phones and cell phones have completely different properties:
1. No dial tone. Once upon a time this signified your phone was broken.
2. Because there is no side tone coming out the receiver, the phone always sounds "dead" when you are talking.
3. Wired phones are full duplex, cell phones aren't. With a cell phone you can not easily interrupt an overly talkative party with an immediate comment. You have to wait for a pause, and time your response so you can break in while he takes a breath of air.
Amplicom NOT Granny friendly
I bought this phone for my Mother, 95 at the time, when the landline failed for months and she needed a lifeline. She has a full set of marbles, if needing guidance with technical devices.
The main and bad faukts with thsi phone are: -
1. The red telephone button doubles as an on/off button and an end call button like most modern mobiles. However when Mum ended a call she also turned off the phone and this was difficult to overcome. A seperate on/off button is essential.
2. The M1 and M3 memory buttons also double as navigation buttons. This is really daft and impractical. Difficult for old times to see the point of doubling which is confusing and impractical.
3. The volume controls can be hard to use for a shaky hand or when the older person is still coming to terms with the phone being a speaker and receiver and having to fiddle with it unlike a landline pickup.
Other than those the Amplicom is a smart, neat and stylish phone, unlike some Granny friendly phones which look like a baby's toy, though understandable so. Those faults however do need rectifiying on this and other phones that use modern techniques of doubling up buttons.