Binatone Binatone SpeakEasy Mobile
Review Binatone's SpeakEasy isn't aimed at the hard of hearing, but rather at users who simply want a large-buttoned phone with some aids for the elderly.
The lack of an HAC rating is reflected in the asking price. At just over £55, including a desk charger, it's the cheapest handset on test.
The basic layout of the SpeakEasy is not dissimilar to that of the Amplicom M5010, but whereas the Amplicom uses hard-surface buttons, the Binatone features soft, rubberised keys that are more widely spaced. The keys do require a harder push than the Amplicom, but on balance I'd say the Binatone has the best keypad among the phones grouped here. They key press tone is also the loudest.
Beyond the large and simple control layout, the SpeakEasy's main attractions are the torch at the top of the handset and the handy contacts panel that takes up the whole of the rear of the handset. This provides space for you to write down three contacts, your own phone number and some 'in case of emergency' information. This is useful if the phone is going to be used by a friend or carer when the owner is incapacitated.
Though the torch is a simple white LED is throws out enough light to be genuinely useful in the event of a power cut
The final strength of the Binatone is its physical presence and robustness. It may be a bit of a square old lump, but its very size means it's easy to get a firm grip on and I don't foresee it easily slipping from even a weak grasp. Apart from the Nokia, the Binatone is the only handset on test that doesn't feature a panic alarm of some sort of an emergency dialer protocol.
East to use and with a great keypad the Binatone is the budget choice. But it lacks some of the more refined emergency features offered by its rivals. ®
Hi guys, A for effort, but for this kind of review I would recommend getting someone who knows the field of usability, at least consult with a usability expert, preferably someone with some experience in designing for people with diminished ability.
Two example problem areas.
Soft keys (changing function of keys depending on mode) is not a simple interface design. That goes for the Beafon, where illogical behaviour which we, the younger generation, have become used to. What I refer to is using the "call" and "hang up" keys for accessing quickmenus. This functionality will only cause confusion. As there is nothing that suggests this may be the intended function of the keys it must be considered likely that elderly users will hit these buttons by mistake and not know how to get out of the menus.
Picture this: gramps is a little senile but loves getting calls from his grandkids, you call him, he answers, you chat, you hang up. Then HE tries to hang up. Then he wants to call someone. But he's in a menu which popped up.
This is not sensible behaviour even if we are used to it.
The rubberized keys on the Binatone needed higher force, high enough that someone with arthritis would have problems? Is the stability of the rubber keys an issue for the same user?
You need help with this sort of stuff, give me a shout, we can work something out.
Not so robust...
We got one of these for my grandfather, due to the soaring costs of having a fixed line, he wanted to get something to use with a PAYG sim (he's using about £5 credit every 2 weeks, so some saving now)
However, the lock switch on the side of the phone itself has snapped. Not the plastic flick but you slide, but the actual switch itself is whats broken. So locking the phone now is impossible to do.
The phone is still in warranty aswell, but was refused stating it is classed as a wearable item (such is keyboards)
I'm either going to replace it with something else, or replace the switch itself with something far more robust.