Mobile maker to the retirement generation launches SMART.5 ahead of the mooted COVID vaccine passport app, as the older generation leads the charge on holiday bookings

A unique smart cover bridges the gap between a feature phone and smartphone, alleviating concerns among senior users unfamiliar with touchscreens yet with a pressing need for a smart device.

emporia has launched a feature-rich yet streamlined smartphone for retirees. The ‘best of both’ SMART.5 will appeal to both touchscreen converts and feature phone advocates, thanks to a tactile and interactive smart cover included with the handset.

When closed, the smart cover allows access to the most-used functions through a unique set of responsive ‘windows’. This makes answering or ending a call much easier or having the camera or torch, for instance, accessible with one touch. But as these windows are responsive only to finger touch, the smart cover also quells common concerns senior users have about touchscreens, preventing scratches, pocket dialling and muted calls.

Priced at £250, the SMART.5 addresses the top three niggles among UK senior smartphone users: difficulty operating their phones, hard-to-read screens, and sound not being loud enough. Users can expect the easy-to-use, uncluttered interface emporia is known for, compatibility with hearing aids, extra loud and clear sound, and a handy magnifier for reading small print, such as restaurant menus.

Emporia Smart.5

The SMART.5 also caters to the large majority (80%) of senior smartphone users who want their phones to take great photos. There’s a triple main camera with HD and auto modes for macro, portrait and night-time photography, and an 8MP front-facing camera for selfies and video calls.

On the rear is emporia’s tried-and-tested emergency button, for extra peace of mind. If pressed, up to five emergency contacts will receive a text message with the device’s location and be dialled automatically in sequence.

A chief concern for this age group is not wanting to be a burden on younger relatives, while embarrassment concerning a lack of tech know-how is common. For that reason, the handset comes with an illustrated 154-page training book so users can independently teach themselves or refresh their skills. It covers basics like touch and swipe, explains how to use the camera, and helps users set up contactless payments and understand QR codes.

The SMART.5 has been carefully and thoughtfully configured for over 66s based on live user testing. For example, the touchscreen’s sensitivity has been reduced as older users press more heavily, and the phone has face but not fingerprint recognition, which is unreliable for people with reduced circulation and drier skin.

Meanwhile, the device is equipped with a 1.8 GHz octa-core processor providing plenty of speed, there’s a replaceable 3550 mAh battery and the phone is IP54-certified (dust and splash-proof).

Chris Millington, managing director of emporia UK & Ireland, says: 

“Older generations are leading the charge on holiday bookings, and we think this handset is key to unlocking leisure freedom for more over 66s who’ve been vaccinated and want to travel.

“The SMART.5 meets the needs of an entire generation living in an increasingly ‘no touch’, mobile-reliant society. The pandemic has put those who don’t own smartphones at a distinct disadvantage, with WhatsApp, click and collect, contactless payments, and e-tickets now requirements for daily life, and for future travel.

“Before the pandemic, only 36% of people aged 65+ had smartphones*. The primary barrier to upgrading from feature phone to smartphone was that senior users didn’t feel they needed to – 79% of feature phone users told us this. But times have changed, and the SMART.5 is a new phone for a new normal.

“The global uptake in video calls and virtual meet-ups has not escaped the older population, with 48% of senior smartphone owners using apps and features on their smart devices more now than before the pandemic.

“The SMART.5 is a master of disguise: a sophisticated, feature-rich smartphone in a beautifully uncomplicated package designed to encourage more regular use through confidence and usability. And everything – the large icons, the touchscreen’s sensitivity, the accompanying smart cover and training book – has been tested on discerning senior users.”

Eveline Pupeter, owner of emporia Telecom, says: “We have incorporated the latest findings from our surveys and research into this model. From our first test series, to tests with advanced smartphone users, we know we’ve hit the spot when it comes to meeting our customers’ needs.”

We will be going live with our review of the SMART.5 very soon so watch this space. 

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