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Need a smartphone for a 90yo


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#1 Pearson

Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:30 PM

I need to get a phone for a 90yo who has moved into a residential care facility. Something simple, but that can accept photos and maybe get onto facebook.
He is fairly tech savvy, but just cannot look after himself anymore, so has had to move into the facility. Something inexpensive, outright, unlocked and we will put a auto recharge pre-paid on it for him. But big enough to see things, including the phone number pad etc.

Thanks,

#2 qak

Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:41 PM

I'd suggest heading over to Whirlpool.net.au and asking/searching on one of their relevant threads.  They's also be able to help re the pre-paid plans.

I vaguely remember there's an app you can get for easier visibility.

I'd also consider something you can actually get a protective cover for, in case it gets dropped.

#3 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:47 PM

If he's Android saavy I would look at an early Samsung Galaxy Note. Nice big screen. My 70 something mum loves hers. She uses it as a phone and a tablet.

Samsung as accessibilty apps plus you can boost the font and icon size up in settings.

#4 Pearson

Posted 17 October 2019 - 08:32 PM

View Postqak, on 17 October 2019 - 07:41 PM, said:

I'd suggest heading over to Whirlpool.net.au and asking/searching on one of their relevant threads.  They's also be able to help re the pre-paid plans.

I vaguely remember there's an app you can get for easier visibility.

I'd also consider something you can actually get a protective cover for, in case it gets dropped.

The ability to get a good cover is the reason why I need to know, as the cheaper phones are hard to get covers for.
We have the plan option we want, it is just the phone. Never had much help on the whirlpool forums.

Edited by Pearson, 17 October 2019 - 08:32 PM.


#5 Pearson

Posted 17 October 2019 - 08:34 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 17 October 2019 - 07:47 PM, said:

If he's Android saavy I would look at an early Samsung Galaxy Note. Nice big screen. My 70 something mum loves hers. She uses it as a phone and a tablet.

Samsung as accessibilty apps plus you can boost the font and icon size up in settings.
We would rather buy new than deal with secondhand for phones - for many reasons, including not being ripped off with a dodgy or stolen phone.

#6 LucyGoose

Posted 17 October 2019 - 09:06 PM

I personally would go for an iPhone,  even a model as old as a 6.  They have so many features for hearing impaired and visually impaired.



#7 -Belinda-

Posted 17 October 2019 - 09:21 PM

Does he actually need a phone or would an iPad with Facetime do the trick? Much easier to see. My non-tech mum could deal easier with apple than android.

#8 can'tstayaway

Posted 17 October 2019 - 09:54 PM

View Post-Belinda-, on 17 October 2019 - 09:21 PM, said:

Does he actually need a phone or would an iPad with Facetime do the trick? Much easier to see. My non-tech mum could deal easier with apple than android.
This. You can get protective cases easily too.

#9 Pearson

Posted 18 October 2019 - 07:04 AM

View Post-Belinda-, on 17 October 2019 - 09:21 PM, said:

Does he actually need a phone or would an iPad with Facetime do the trick? Much easier to see. My non-tech mum could deal easier with apple than android.

None of us have apple products. No facetime :( he's always been android.
It's for calls to us (closest rellies) if he needs something, his son on the other side of the country, all of that. The fam is spread out, and not one person has an apple phone.
He had samsung but it was returned because it was an overpriced you never pwn it plan. $143 a month and he never used it! Signed up 2 years ago! Dodgy salesperson!

Edited by Pearson, 18 October 2019 - 07:05 AM.


#10 beccaj

Posted 18 October 2019 - 07:14 AM

How about the Samsung A20?  its a larger screen, has all the functionality needed for a smartphone without the bells and whistles - and about $280 unlocked.  

We have this for the kids.

#11 overlytired

Posted 18 October 2019 - 07:15 AM

Nokia makes smartphones that are good value and are "pure" Android and they also sell cases for the more popular models. Most Android phones incude built-in accessibility features if needed.

#12 kimasa

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:04 AM

Go Android, not Apple. Apple is shocking for accessibility and you will be paying for features he will never use.

You want a basic one. No fingerprint unlock, no face ID. They're the two features that cause the most problems in my tech help for seniors classes. Especially if he gets a little shaky from time to time.

Seriously, go to the post office and look at the entry level androids. You may need to get a case online, but they do exist.

#13 -Belinda-

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:31 AM

If he is good with Android, all good - a tablet will still be bigger and you can put Skype or similar app on it. As long as that medium works for all family, then don't particularly need the phone. Otherwise, big as phone as you can.

#14 **Xena**

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:37 AM

I have an Oppo. Cheap to buy outright, great camera and easy to use. I have a plan through JBHiFi for $45 a month and I get 50gb of data a month.

Edited by **Xena**, 18 October 2019 - 08:38 AM.


#15 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 18 October 2019 - 09:10 AM

View PostPearson, on 17 October 2019 - 08:34 PM, said:


We would rather buy new than deal with secondhand for phones - for many reasons, including not being ripped off with a dodgy or stolen phone.

Look for refurbished phones from a dealer or store. They have more to lose if caught with stolen goods. I brought a factory refurbished Samsung tablet through JB Hi Fi and it's been great. Came with a warranty as well.

#16 Froyo

Posted 18 October 2019 - 09:44 PM

I'd check out Oppo and Huawei.

#17 Bearynice

Posted 18 October 2019 - 09:50 PM

Oppo on an aldi plan. Cheap and will do the job. You could set him up some apps on there too

#18 nasty buddha

Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:33 PM

Samsung j5 with aldi sim card.


Being an android, you can change the home screen and  remove/hide unwanted apps from view and make it more user friendly.

#19 melanieb530

Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:27 AM

There's an independent website that compares all the phones in Australia. I've been desperately googling but can't find it now. I saw an excellent presentation at a disability related event earlier this year and you could search for exactly what you were looking for, particularly for older people or people with various needs and the website would short list phones with all the features. Can't find it now though!

#20 casper1675

Posted 19 October 2019 - 06:03 AM

Don't forget to check out  ebay for cases for less popular phones.
I got my DD a cheap $30 optus play as an emergency phone and managed to get a case and screen protector specifically for it for under $10

#21 Pearson

Posted 19 October 2019 - 06:52 AM

View Post-Belinda-, on 18 October 2019 - 08:31 AM, said:

If he is good with Android, all good - a tablet will still be bigger and you can put Skype or similar app on it. As long as that medium works for all family, then don't particularly need the phone. Otherwise, big as phone as you can.

Skype/facetime etc are not being considered. A phone. Only a phone. He won't use skype. If he wants to call us ( per the op) to say hey I need xyz.... he just needs a phone... and these will be the majority of his calls.

#22 dadwasathome

Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:53 AM

My 86yo never tech savvy mum has an Oppo and its pretty good at the price for what she needs.

But trying to talk her through which app is which and that she won’t break stuff  more difficult. “Oh, so the one that looks like an envelope is my email?”

#23 MarciaB

Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:02 AM

My Mum (early 80s) has a Samsung A30 and really likes it.

It has a decent screen size and she finds it easy to use.  The battery life is also pretty good.  She changed from an old iPhone 5s (was a hand me down from me) and she likes the Samsung.

I actually found the Harvey Norman website comparison feature really good for choosing a phone for her.  You can tick a few and look at the features side by side.

I think we originally thought the A20 would be fine but when went instore they only had an A30 (it was a bit more but still good value).

edited to add - she got a case from there too - one of the flip kind which she likes.

Edited by MarciaB, 19 October 2019 - 11:08 AM.


#24 JBH

Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:50 AM

After researching the same thing, we bought a relative a Motorola Moto. The Opel is specifically aged care friendly, but i’m Not sure there’s a 4G version, so will soon be obsolete.

#25 Pearson

Posted 21 October 2019 - 07:54 AM

View PostMarciaB, on 19 October 2019 - 11:02 AM, said:

My Mum (early 80s) has a Samsung A30 and really likes it.

It has a decent screen size and she finds it easy to use.  The battery life is also pretty good.  She changed from an old iPhone 5s (was a hand me down from me) and she likes the Samsung.

I actually found the Harvey Norman website comparison feature really good for choosing a phone for her.  You can tick a few and look at the features side by side.

I think we originally thought the A20 would be fine but when went instore they only had an A30 (it was a bit more but still good value).

edited to add - she got a case from there too - one of the flip kind which she likes.

We went to JB with the oppo and an A30 saw an samsung A20. Spoke to guy, he said A20 is perfect for his needs, price is right and he had a look at some photos. He is happy with this.
Thankyou to everyone who came in and contributed with models etc.




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