Pocket-lint was given the chance to look at a pre-production model of a new device that will offer a the older generation a chance to have a mobile phone without the confusion of a modern day device. With mobile phones becoming more and more confusing how are the older generation suppose to get to grips with a phone that is all singing and all dancing. Surely there are times when you just want a device that allows you to dial your three most important numbers and the emergency services in case anything goes wrong.
It's a condescending approach, but one for some I'm sure is true. There are times that you don't want to be fussed with MP3 players, built-in digital cameras and the latest downloadable games or applications, you just want a phone that does just that, lets you phone people.
In steps Mobi-click, the company behind the SilverPhone. The SilverPhone is a mobile phone that, once configured, allows you to call just three numbers and the emergency services.
The phone's design is simple, but annoyingly bulky and unstylish. The cheap-looking grey box has three large coloured buttons on the front. Those three buttons are the shortcuts for dialling the numbers, when we say you can only dial three numbers we mean it.
In addition to the three numbers, the phone also doubles up as a monitoring service to make sure you are okay, alive and well. The unit can be set to beep at timed intervals requesting an answer to make sure you are still alive. Those beeps actually represent a text message and by replying to them means you can let your loved ones know that you aren't currently under a large piano. Intervals can be set to as often as you wish, however while we are sure to some this will appeal, to others after time just becoming annoying.
Get past the concept, which (don't get us wrong) we approve of and the instigation of the device isn't so idealistic. The setup was a dog, with you needing to mobile phones, passwords to deactivate your sim card's pin code and then a text two set the numbers. The fact that the device is expecting you to have loved ones who care, or more to the point, because you are incompetent is in our book very condescending. Plus those of us with maturing parents who learned to program VCRS and send text messages with ordinary handsets can see them avoiding this like the plague.
We don’t want to have to rely on other people or other devices just to get this one working. We want to buy a device and for it to work out the box. Additionally with the text “are you okay” service turned on you’ll have to remember to keep a Pay-As-you-Go card topped up. Otherwise we can soon see it running out fast.
For this to really appeal to us a number of things have to be changed. Firstly the style on the unit - hey old people have taste too. Additionally the setup must be made easier. The market this phone is aimed at don’t want to be fussed changing sim cards, or reading in depth instructions in a manual, they want it to work out of the box and be ready to go.
Overall this is a great concept; unfortunately it’s poorly executed.