Top tips for older Australians buying a mobile phone

    The ways in which we communicate have come a long way since the string telephone of the 1600s. From the late nineteenth century alone, we’ve advanced from the telephone exchange; to rotary dial and touch tone; coin-operated phone booths; mobile phones and the current smart phones.

    It can be hard to keep up with all of the advances. And while technology continues to make it easier for us to keep in touch, sometimes it would just be nice to have a phone that is simply a phone.  

    However, while you might think all of the bells and whistles that come with a smart phone are superfluous, with a little research, you may discover that many of the features and capabilities are actually quite necessary.

    We’ve put together the following tips to help you decide which phone is best for you.

    • Make sure the phone is optimised for the mobile network you choose – talk to your sales person about how and where you will use the phone.
    • Does it receive MMS (Mobile Media Messages): While you may not necessarily want to record and send video of your own, it is still nice to be able to watch those that are sent to you by family members who you don’t often see face-to-face.
    • Does it support hearing-aids? Not all mobiles are compatible with hearing aids – most smartphones are, but to be sure yours is, check that it has a rating of M3/T3.
    • Screen size – if you plan on accessing the internet or emails regularly, opt for a phone with a large screen.
    • Check that you can change the size of text and icons to improve visibility.
    • If you choose to stick with a more basic phone, does it have large and easy to read buttons?
    • Does the phone have the ability to store important numbers on easy to access speed dial buttons?
    • Ask yourself if you want to buy the phone outright, or go on a plan and pay the handset off over time.
    • Do you need a camera on your phone? If so what quality do your require?
    • Battery life – remember, all the increased functionality on smartphones demands more power than a simple talk and text phone.

    Do your research and consider all of these pointers before choosing your next phone. And don’t forget, referrals can often be the best form of research, so ask your friends and family for their recommendations too.

    Posted January 25, 2018 in Seniors blog