It allows you to phone your contacts with the press of a photo-button.
Not knowing who's calling, or being able to call someone with a press of a button.
It has 6 Picture Memory Buttons
The photo lights up with an incoming call from that number
Analogue Volume / tone control
Hands free speaker phone
Buttons light up and it's easy to use.
It might not work if you don't have 'caller ID' with your phone line provider.
Flashing lights might upset someone.
"Easy to use, but annoying flashing light."
The phone was easy to unpack, not many components, straight forward to understand where they go and how they work.
We plugged our phone into the wall without following the instructions but then had to check the instruction booklet to ensure that the power cord and phone line cord were connected correctly. The phone requires 4 batteries which already seemed to have been fitted. We attempted to follow the setting up instructions in the booklet to remove the battery compartment cover on the base of the phone but were unable to remove it, so would not have been able to insert the batteries ourselves. The remainder of the setting up instructions were straightforward to follow. However there is a flash time setting and it is not clear what this is for. It has a constant flashing light and we can't work out how you get rid of it.
We did not try to set the service access keys.
We then stored some telephone numbers in the phone book. A phone book icon appears on the LCD screen but this is quite small. The icon toggles between a caller ID icon and phone book icon. The caller ID icon only seems to show number of calls received and we are unclear on the usefulness of this feature, as it does not provide the telephone numbers of the caller(s). When entering details in the phone book, a curser flashes to enter firstly number and then name. This would be clearer if the prompt actually said ‘number’ and ‘name’.
We then set up 3 photo buttons to 3 phone numbers, but we followed the instructions. This was fairly straight forward as the instructions are easy to understand. We changed 3 photos under 3 buttons. It was a bit fiddly to do, but not a big deal.
When calling, you have to press the photo button, then press the 'OK' button near the screen, so that might be confusing for some. Similarly when using the phone book to make a call, the number appears in the screen and you have to press the OK button to call. Also the buttons are sensitive, so you might inadvertently press undesired buttons.
OVERALL IMPRESSION (After 2 weeks)
The phone is a good product. It does its job and it's relatively easy to set up and use. The flashing light is annoying though. Also the call indicator is a bit puzzling.
"Ringtones choices and volume could be better."
I thought the packaging was fine. Box was nice and easy to open, there were only a few pieces of equipment and the phone and it's attachments were easy to identify and take out of the box.
The text on the box was legible.
I didn't use any utensils in the unpacking and I managed to unpack it myself.
I found the photophone easy to unpack, quite straightforward.
The first thing I did was go into my own computer and re-sized and printed out photos to fit 3 of photo buttons but at that point I had only checked the size of the photo needed. I then put three of my own photos into photo phone.
When I played the ringer melodies my mum was put off straightaway by the fact that they were all so loud and harsh and there wasn't just an ordinary ring.
I then followed the instructions to set up the phone.
I used scissors to open the battery compartment, although I could have used a small screwdriver
fitted four batteries according to instructions.
I plugged in:
the Line Cord
Settings: I followed instructions on pages 12 - 17 to set:-
Language - easy to set up
Contrast - easy to set up
Date & Time - easy to set up although I am not sure about the wisdom of having only the 24hr clock. I have never known my mum to use the 24 hr clock but won't I don't know if she will use the clock on the phone anyway.
Ringer Melody - instructions easy enough to follow but I went through the various melodies a few times trying to find one that my mum would like. They are all very harsh and had frightened mum when she heard them initially. I have chosen melody 5 and will need to wait and see how she reacts. A simple ring tone could be added unless this is already available and I am missing it. She lives in a flat and I know that one of her concerns was that they would disturb her neighbours.
Ringer Melody Volume - easy to set up
Dialing Mode - easy to set up
Flash Time - easy to set up
Service Access - easy to set up however, at bottom of page 16 the User Guide said "see Phone Book chapter on using the numeric keypad to enter characters". I had to scroll through to Page 29 until I found the relevant chapter, "Page 29"could be cross referenced to page 16 to tell you what page you are looking for and it would have been helpful if, when you clicked on the sliding cursor to move through the pages, it showed you what page number you were at.
Ringer - seems easy to set but I need to look at this again because it says it can be set to high/low/off OR 12 polyphonic melodies so surely this means the melodies can be replaced with a simple ring tone.
Phone Book - page 28 & 33
I found it easy to set up a phone book and put in 5 phone numbers so far. I attached 3 of them to photos. I decided not to use SOS or nurse buttons as in the future mum could become a nuisance by constantly ringing e.g. the surgery and the buttons would make it very easy for her, so I have left remaining 3 photos blank at present.
However occasionally I pressed one of the photos before I had attached them to phone numbers and it came up on screen as empty - the only way I could find to clear this and get back to set up was to lift receiver?
Although I glanced through the instructions on pages 18 - 27 and 29 - 35 I didn't actually do anything from them.
OVERALL IMPRESSION (After 2 weeks)
Mum only ever had a phone in the hall, she thought it was rude to be talking on the phone in the living room when other people were talking or watching TV. She had just started to take the phone into the bedroom for security and into the living room now that she is on her own. There is only one phone socket in the house and at the moment she won't let me fit another one.
Things that are bad about the phone:
Size - too big
Ring Tone - an ordinary ring tone would be better as Mum had very little experience of a mobile phones so doesn't recognise melodies as the phone ringing.
Ring Tone - had been set to Melody 5 at level 5, then at level 7 but these were too quiet. According to User Guide there are 8 ringer melody volumes available, but with Melody 5 there were only 7 so I had to change Melody.
Ring Tone - Mum lives in a ground floor flat and some of the ring tones are very loud and harsh and she worries that she will disturb the upstairs neighbours.
There is no small phone linked to photo phone that mum could bring into the Living Room or the Bedroom
As phone is not cordless I am going to have to plug the cordless phone back in and mum was starting to have problems using it.
Things that are good about the phone
Colour - fine
Weight - fine
We now have Melody 1 (Edelweiss) as ringer melody at ringer melody volume 8 and mum can hear this and likes it.
Photos are good for letting mum know who is phoning in.but she has not yet remembered that she only has to press photos to dial out, she just dials the numbers on the keypad as she would on an ordinary phone.
For her a smaller phone that she could take into the living room would be good. I don't know if one could be designed with a keypad and possibly only 2 or 3 photos. So far I don't see mum getting a huge benefit from the photos but maybe in time.
I would score phone as not bad for mum.
Dementia Circle is a service of Alzheimer - Scotland Action on Dementia
Alzheimer Scotland - Action on Dementia is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland 149069.
Recognised as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, no. SC022315
160 Dundee Street, Edinburgh, EH11 1DQ - tel: 0131 243 1453