Mobile phone use and smartphones for seniors: What should older people pay attention to? {Review}

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Disclosure & Image Rights:  Huawei supported us with free devices, which we checked to the point of being unusable as part of the test. Rights

Mobile phones can be an important companion for seniors if you pay attention to a few important points in your selection. Tips and a smartphone test.

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Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


Smartphones - the ideal companion for older people?

The mobile Internet is actually ideal for older seniors: It guarantees constant accessibility, offers the possibility sometimes to send photos or voice messages, in addition, there are a number of emergency apps that could actually replace old-fashioned facilities such as home emergency devices. The problem: The seniors have to be able to operate a mobile phone as well.

Because despite all efforts to make mobile phones senior-friendly, there are a number of features on mobile devices that are rather difficult for elderly people. In this case, a Huawai Y7 (2018) was tested by a 76 retiree who had never used a computer or other digital device before.

Mobile: Difficult to turn on and off

Accordingly, the switching on and off with the narrow buttons on the side is just so difficult - it simply lacked a concrete Druckwiederstand, the slight tap of the switch was quite a bit of getting used to.

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It is also difficult to enter the pin on the Huawai Y7. Although the timout screen can be set to 10 minutes, this does not apply to the pin input. The test person simply can not make the transfer to activate the blackening screen during the extremely slow pin input. The phone is defacto only without Simcard lock to use. This shows that mobile manufacturers still need to adapt to the slower pace of older people.

Touchscreen and Talk Back function as a challenge

Even the touch screen is a challenge if you are not practiced in the use. On the one hand, it is difficult and requires some practice to hit the pressure points with your fingertip, and on the other hand, the speed at which the screen changes is difficult for seniors to comprehend.

In addition, the phone switches after a while in the tapping-back mode of tapping. This feature reads out the on-screen buttons, but makes the phone unusable because the buttons in Talk Back mode no longer need to use properly. The now appearing hint to operate the touch screen with two fingers, is simply wrong: De facto, all buttons must be operated by a double-tap, but understand the seniors even less.

Another difficulty: The system-immanent, constant Aufpoppen notifications and error messages is already shocking to normal users. This can be downright shocking for older people.

Aids for senior-friendly use

Incidentally, such problems can be remedied by a number of aids, such as a pen for touchscreen operation or apps such as teamviewers, which provide remote access to helping users of such devices.

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On the other hand, there is no need for functions that make the screen clearer and easier: these only unnecessarily obscure usage because suddenly important apps can no longer be found on the screen.

Screen and voice quality

Regardless of these entry-level problems, the Huawai Y7 is very well suited for seniors: It has a size of 5,99 inches1440 × 720 pixels and therefore also for somewhat clunkier fingers or for eye problems well to use, on unnecessary BlowWar and superfluous business frills - was waived and it is therefore very nice tidy and clear. Only the auxiliary function for the blind, which flew the screen, one should do without: It is not mature and makes the phone simply unusable.

It also has good voice quality and a well-functioning speaker that is loud but does not distort sound quality unnecessarily. Especially for people who are hard of hearing this is an additional purchase argument, but also for listening to music, the device is therefore very well suited, even if the bass are smartphone-usually a bit shallow.

Battery and connectivity

Also, the unfortunately not removable battery is quite well dimensioned with 3000 mAh to bring its owners through the day well. After all, it's not easy to explain to older people that you have to recharge such a device almost every day and, on the other hand, take care to switch off the screen to save energy because you can significantly shorten the battery life by charging too frequently.

Very good is also the connectivity to the Internet, the smartphone meets all important standards like GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA +. On the other hand, older people can probably do without features such as dual simcards.

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Technical equipment at a glance

  • Operating system: Android 8.0
  • Display: 5.99 ″, 1440 × 720 pixels, 16 million colors, IPS, capacitive touchscreen
  • Rear Camera: 13.0MP, Contrast AF, LED Flash, Videos @ 1080p / 30fps
  • Front camera: 8.0MP, LED flash
  • Interfaces: Micro USB B 2.0 (OTG), 3.5mm jack, WLAN 802.11b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, light sensor, compass, fingerprint sensor (rear)
  • SoC: Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430, 64bit
  • CPU: 4x 1.40GHz Cortex-A53 + 4x 1.10GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU: Adreno 505
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Memory: 16GB, microSD slot (dedicated, until 256GB)
  • Navigation: A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Modem: GSM (0.2Mbps / 0.1Mbps), UMTS, LTE Cat 4 (150Mbps / 50Mbps)
  • Frequenzbänder: 2G (850/900/1800/1900), 3G (B1/B2/B5/B8), 4G (B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20)
  • Network standards: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA +
  • Battery: 3000mAh, firmly installed
  • Standby time: 498h / 639h / 506h (GSM / UMTS / LTE)
  • Talk time: 21h / 16h (GSM / UMTS)
  • SAR value: 0.81W / kg head, 1.16W / kg body
  • Housing shape: ingots
  • Housing material: plastic (back)
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 158.3 × 76.7 × 7.8mm
  • Weight: 155g
  • SIM form factor: Nano-SIM
  • Special features: Dual SIM, FM radio, notification LED

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