Everyone remembers their first phone. Back in the day where you had 2 colours: black and green. Back in the day where we had snake, not clash of clans. My first phone was a Nokia 6210 which over the course of my owning went under a car twice and impacted a car when I got hit by a car at 11. Damage? The battery pack became a bit loose and had some blue tac holding to hold it in place.
Now specialist phone companies exist, and EnjoyTone is one of them. A European company, the sell specialist rugged phones and ‘senior phones:’ Phones designed for the older generation who didn’t grow up with the internet and smartphones; and we all know somebody from the generation (my mother) who has difficulty with the technology. And on that loose segway I would like to introduce the W80: an android smartphone built to make grandma look the part at Starbucks.
So how does this phone spec up? Damn well actually. For 150 euros you get a dual core phone with a 4GB ROM. The Phone runs a customised version of Android 4.2, designed to make the phone easier to use (something I will elaborate on later.) The phone is dual SIM, and holds a micro USB. You get front and back facing cameras, 5.0 megapixels on the back, and 0.3 megapixels on the front so grandma can get in with those selfies. The LCD screen is 4.5”, and for the graphic buffs the resolution is 480×854 pixels. So it’s a decent bit of kit which fulfils all the power specifications, and covers all the signal bases from 3G to GPS.
Turn this phone on and you get the heavily customised Android interface for the elderly. If you love your widgets and moving wallpapers this phone is not designed for you. The interface is simplified down to 3 home screens with 22 large icons, and you are stuck with them. These buttons do cover everything, and for the elderly it is likely appreciated. You can add more apps on, which is hidden away under ‘more apps.’ However be warned, the customisation may limit the amount of apps available, although the user manual shows most social apps working fine.
Other than that this phone is nothing special. 3 buttons on the front of the phone: home, back and more. There is a camera button, lock button and volume up and down as well.
One of the selling points of the phone is the large SOS button on the back. This is designed for, if the senior is in trouble, they can hit the button and instantly call help. Surprisingly the button is solid; you are not going to be pranking age concern or your carers with it. However the button is not so loose that you can knock it by accident in your pockets. This is a good selling feature for the phone as – for example, my mother is a community nurse – the button can be saved to emergency services or – for example, I’m a student – your favourite takeaway for those hard partying nights.
So this is an overall bang-for-buck, sensibly built phone for the un-technological folk. It has got plenty of power, so for the built-in apps there is seamless use. The SOS button is a good feature, and the entire tech is snazzy.
Are there issues? Yes. The body feels somewhat cheap. This could be because I’m used to my iPhone, but the phone feels softer under hand. The plastic doesn’t warp under pressure though like some phones on the market; so despite what my fingertips say the build is of decent, solid quality. The assistant voice as well is heavily accented; which made it more of an annoyance than an assistant. I question how this got through the beta product stages, though thankfully it can be turned off.
Applications are also a tricky play. Some applications work just fine: Whatsapp worked fine as did Unit converter, as well as all the apps built into the phone. However due to the overhauled android OS you are risking that a large number of applications will not work. Mostly this appears to be the game applications, which will let you install but will then just tank and end. While I doubt grandma is putting too many games on the phone the fact that this option has not been optimised to allow transfer to base android OS for applications to run is a problem. There is also an app with a Chinese name which shows a bug report when the phone was booted, something else which should have been sorted.
For 150 euros you get a phone which has looks far more expensive then it is. This phone is well catered for the older generations, and I would happily give it to someone not of the technology generation; which is good as I will be donating this phone to my mother when the review is finished. The problem with applications is one the target audience will likely never see; yet that does not exempt this phone because of. If my current phone bust (IPhone 4S) I would probably nab a second hand IPhone rather than reach straight for this. This phone gets 3 stars from me. This isn’t likely the best solution for teaching your nan how to selfie, however it’s much easier than sitting with her for hours trying to show her.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.