Emporia specialises in making mobile phone for older people. Their marketing is peppered with pictures of fairly able and fit looking silver haired types holding mobiles. Fair enough, we suppose. There are plenty of older people who find modern mobiles a challenge. Not all older people, mind you, but enough that there is probably a market for specially targeted handsets.
We’d wager the Emporia ELEGANCE has other markets too, though. Those with poor sight, those whose hands have trouble grasping small phones and fiddling with little buttons. There is a host of people, in fact, for whom your average handset isn’t appropriate.
So, the ELEGANCE. It is a mobile phone with a very limited feature set, inside a chassis which is on a par with many other handsets in size and weight terms at 106 x 50 x 17mm and 92g. The screen is very small at 1.8 inches and it is a 128 x 160-pixel OLED offering minimal colours.
Large type sizes are used to deliver information and you can adjust the text size to suit your eyesight, but whatever you opt for you can never see much of anything at once.
The numberpad, by contrast, is vast. Its buttons are enormous by standard handset convention, and that has a couple of benefits. It is easy to hit buttons accurately and anyone who has trouble fiddling with the tiny numberpads on some candybar handsets will know exactly what we mean. And the markings are large, so those with less good eyesight have a better chance of picking out what they are looking for in the first place.
The Emporia ELEGANCE has a torch built in. This is not, as is usually the case, the camera light. There is no camera, and so no light that you can turn on. The torch is an LED on the top edge of the casing. There is a side button to turn it on and off. It is a great idea.
The range of telephony features is limited. You can make voice calls, receive and create SMS messages, use Bluetooth for a headset, and set alarms. The alarms are activated and turned off with a side button while further side buttons let you get to the phone’s menu system. There is a large pair of up and down buttons under the screen for moving through sub-menus. The side-button business felt a little uncomfortable to us, but locating buttons here does mean there is more room on the front fascia, so we can see why it has been done.
Overall this handset is designed, as its name implies, to look quite sharp. The black and silver livery, mix of plastic and aluminium build materials, and curved lines make it seem rather trendy.
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