Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:04

Telstra's new phone with bloody big buttons


When it comes to finding the buttons on your phone, you'll never say 'where the bloody hell are you?' again!

Seniors, people of low vision, the big thumbed and the retro-lovin' rejoice! Telstra has announced its 'EasyCall 2', a mobile phone with 'specifically designed features for older Australians'.

Of course, the sentence above explains why Telstra's EasyCall 2 isn't just for the politically correct title of 'older Australians', but any Australian (or otherwise) that wants one.

After all, as Telstra's Executive Director of its Consumer Division, Ms Rebekah O'Flaherty states, 'With big buttons and large numbers on the screen for easy dialling, the EasyCall 2 has audible key tones so you can hear the numbers you are typing and make sure you're dialling the right number.'

Why 'discriminate' against younger Australians who might also find such features desirable?

However, I'm just being unnecessarily fiendish, for after all, it is indeed the less technically savvy set of Australians, and older Australians at that, that Telstra is targeting.

This is clear through one of the EasyCall 2's new features.

As Telstra's Ms O'Flaherty o'explains, 'There is a quick access switch on the back of the phone, which older customers can use if they ever need to make a call in a hurry.

'For instance, flicking the switch activates the speaker phone and dials their preferred phone number, so even if they can't hold the phone up to their ear they can still speak to someone. At the same time, it will send a SMS message to four pre-programmed numbers, so seniors can simultaneously contact friends and family.'


A photo of the EasyCall 2 and more details on page two, please read on!


Telstra hasn't just pumped out some dodgy 2G phone with big buttons either. No, this is a Next G capable handset that even gets Telstra's rural and regional-friendly 'Blue Tick' designation, which means 'superior handheld coverage' in those areas, and presumably even better coverage in metro areas.

Ms O'Flaherty didn't miss the opportunity to spruik Telstra's chosen pricing for the EasyCall 2 either, as you'd fully and naturally expect.

Ms O said: 'It's great value too - only $99 and comes complete with a Telstra Pre-Paid Next G SIM card and $10 credit, to use within a 30 day expiry period.'

So, what other features does the EasyCall 2 offer to older Australians, or Australians of any age that might want this particular model?

We're told that there an in-built torch to help see in the dark, compatibility with T-Coil hearing aids, a dedicated keypad lock/unlock side switch and an integrated FM radio to listen to music.

Given there's no mention of Mobile Foxtel or any of Telstra's other mobile services, we can only assume these are not available on this model, although again, given the target market and the low pricing, this isn't a surprise.

So, if you want a phone with bloody big buttons, as you can see from the picture below, the siren call of the EasyCall 2 is one that may well prove irresistible!

EasyCall 2 from Telstra


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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