Cellphone for parents (old, retired folks)

Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
Hi Dudes and Dudesses....

Need your help / suggestions on purchase of a couple of cellphones for my friend's parents.

Basically, his folks want to experience "touch". So, a touchscreen camera phone is an absolute MUST. The only thing they will do with these phones is make calls. And receive them. End of story. Oh and may be some music, so a music player or FM is desirable. A flash light would be good to have too. Apps would be useless, bluetooth would be useless, 3G would be useless ... a lot of things will never be used. Oh and a 3MP camera would be about enough. They want it, but I am pretty sure apart from the first day or two, they will never use it.

Oh and since these are pretty old folks we are talking about, a large screen (3.2" minimum) and large fonts would be real good to have. And if its a touchscreen slider with physical buttons, nothing like it then.

OS? See, till now these folks have been using Chinese sh1t. I mean they have been on Chinese sh1t all their life! Not even basic Nokias but absolute crap junk! So, you can understand that "OS" is the last thing they care about!

1. Budget? Within 5K (+/- 3K) per phone

2. Display type and size? (Clearer the better, Bigger the better, Large fonts would be great!)

3. Form Factor? bar, slider, flip? (Whatever - but touchscreen must)

4. Preferred choice of brand? (Nokia/Samsung, suggest others like Micromax or Karbonn if you have personal experience and know them to be good - I have no idea! I think at this budget pretty much all "touch" phones will probably suck!)

5. Preferred input method (QWERTY, touchscreen, numpad, touch-n-type). Touch is must. Obviously, capacitive is preferred but I dont know if the budget is enough for that. A lagless single-touch (multi-touch would not be used, rest assured) experience is what he's looking for. Physical numpad would be good to have too but not an absolute must.

6. What camera option you want? Please specify need for flash, autofocus, front facing camera. 3MP is fine. Flash would be good to have but no issues if its missing.

7. Preferred operating system? (Android, Symbian, iOS, Windows Phone etc). Don't care!

8. Preferred connectivity options (3G, Wifi etc)Please specify clearly. Dont care!

9. Preferred applications (Flash, Swype, GPS, etc)? Dont care!

10. Primary use of handset (multimedia, camera, mails, internet, gaming etc)? Lots of "touching" :)P) and calls. Just calls; Not even texts! ok, maybe occasional FM and rare camera usage during daytime....and if there's a flashlight, then that too during power failures!

11. Any specific mobile phones in consideration? Havent researched much recently - did some googling and forum reading about 2 weeks back but dont remember much of that now...

12. Any other info that you want to share - Well, just suggest a touch screen phone that old folks can use to make calls.

Please do inform me if more info is required.

Buyer's preference is to buy locally from Kolkata but I can convince him to buy online. Budget can be stretched to max 7K but buyer would really like to keep things to 5K.

Ok guys, lay it down for me! :) Store names and prices.

Thanks.


Update: Oh forgot to add that, reliability is a factor. The phone should preferably be free from signal, call quality problems. Dont want a buggy phone with 50 features, rather have a fast phone with 5 features - you get the idea!
Oh and a loudspeaker would be good to have too! Damn! I keep forgetting his requirements :p
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
Wave Y. Easy to use.

Thanks Sam. Just opened the Samsung website and saw that the Y in WAVE Y stands for Young! Hah - "young" phone for old people! :D :p

This seems to be priced around the 6.5 to 7.2 mark. The cam is 2mp. Sorry but I dont think I can convince him for this. I really wish something like the Wave M had come in around 7K - (led flash 5 mp touch) - but I guess thats just wild daydreaming!

Anyway, can you suggest something within that 5K limit please? How's Star Next 5233 or something like that? Usability?
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
What about Corby Pro?

:p That slide out qwerty would be such a waste! :p

Guys, hows the Samsung Star II S5263? It seems to compliment the requirements perfectly but not having personally used it, I am not too sure if it has any issues.
At Adexmart, it says, it has a capacitive touchscreen!!!!! At this price? Seriously?

Another problem is, it seems to be out-of-stock at all the prime online shops. But I can try searching locally.
 

coderunknown

Retired Forum Mod
Thanks Sam. Just opened the Samsung website and saw that the Y in WAVE Y stands for Young! Hah - "young" phone for old people! :D :p

young days are back for your dad :p

This seems to be priced around the 6.5 to 7.2 mark. The cam is 2mp. Sorry but I dont think I can convince him for this. I really wish something like the Wave M had come in around 7K - (led flash 5 mp touch) - but I guess thats just wild daydreaming!

2MP is not that bad. though lack of a camera flash won't help either. you can only have feature phone in that budget with better camera. or try Motorola Fire XT. But it looks downright ugly (you may like it) and priced at 8-8.5k or so. But the UI is not easy to use. TouchWiz looks way too basic (thats what i hate) but that actually helps.

Anyway, can you suggest something within that 5K limit please? How's Star Next 5233 or something like that? Usability?

Avoid all stars. they are just too slow. The UI looks good but once you try it, you'll know. Total waste of money. Simply avoid any touch based samsung feature phone.
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
young days are back for your dad :p
This is for my friend's parents - not mine. :p

2MP is not that bad. though lack of a camera flash won't help either. you can only have feature phone in that budget with better camera. or try Motorola Fire XT. But it looks downright ugly (you may like it) and priced at 8-8.5k or so. But the UI is not easy to use. TouchWiz looks way too basic (thats what i hate) but that actually helps.
No Motos plz....my friend has had terrible experiences with Moto and there is no way, I can make him buy a Moto! :p :evil:

I know without flash 2 or 3 MP would barely make a difference but how to explain and convince old folks (for whom more MP, better cam logic works) about it?? :p :p ;)

About UI, I think the more basic it is, the better it is...The only "touch" they will do is probably press the call button every time..!!:p I doubt if they will even visit the menu!

Avoid all stars. they are just too slow. The UI looks good but once you try it, you'll know. Total waste of money. Simply avoid any touch based samsung feature phone.

Uh-oh! Are you saying all touchscreen sub-5K samsung phones are crap?

I was afraid someone would say so..I used to use a low-end Samsung CDMA years earlier and boy, did it suck or what!!!! :x

BTW, about the Stars, I was really leaning for the Star II 5263 or the Star Nxt 5233...But now that you say they are slow....

Just about how slow? Is it like the UI hangs for 5 minutes and then responds or is it you need to press the screen twice to make a button respond? Remember, these are pretty old people (65+) and a typically "slow" UI which is slow for us will probably not register with them!

Oh and I guess these will also come with lots of bloatware (fb, twitter links?)...Is there a way to decrapify it? May be that would make it faster??
CFW?
 

coderunknown

Retired Forum Mod
I know without flash 2 or 3 MP would barely make a difference but how to explain and convince old folks (for whom more MP, better cam logic works) about it?? :p :p ;)

but when there is no better cam available, then they'll have to go for a basic camera only.

Uh-oh! Are you saying all touchscreen sub-5K samsung phones are crap?

Samsung S5230 Star. Were you talking about this Star (NXT)? my friend bought it even after i asked him not go for this. Result. Crappy touch. Punch Screen and yes, laggy. Even Symbian S40 is faster.

Maybe not the new Star III but old star and corby were absolute crap.

I was afraid someone would say so..I used to use a low-end Samsung CDMA years earlier and boy, did it suck or what!!!! :x

Samsung use touchwiz kind of UI in all their mobiles. in Android or Wave, it easily runs. You have a capable 500-800Mhz processor to take care of it. In lowend mobile which lack any kind of GPU and have rather 300Mhz processor and it has to do all the decoding, it'll be extremely slow. Maybe before touchwiz or whatever UI they use was smooth but the one on Star Nxt and II are laggy.

BTW, about the Stars, I was really leaning for the Star II 5263 or the Star Nxt 5233...But now that you say they are slow....

2MP & 3.2MP are mostly same. i really doubt there will be much difference in quality. or maybe cause i don't click much pics. Only thing to check is noise is less in pics you click.

Just about how slow? Is it like the UI hangs for 5 minutes and then responds or is it you need to press the screen twice to make a button respond? Remember, these are pretty old people (65+) and a typically "slow" UI which is slow for us will probably not register with them!

like 2sec when opening the menu. But for typing numbers, should be smooth. but resistive touchscreen sucks. You'll have to use your nails most of the time or punch the screen really hard. though accuracy is not bad.

Oh and I guess these will also come with lots of bloatware (fb, twitter links?)...Is there a way to decrapify it? May be that would make it faster??
CFW?

yes a few but not like Android. And whatever extra software they pack only adds to usability. Sadly, for Android this is exact opposite where they pack around 10 or more bloatwares :-x
 

Raccoon

Journeyman
Rather than low end Samsungs, I'd personally prefer a Nokia. Also, since you want a touch screen only, consider the options from LG. Couple of them have pretty good reviews. Whats good is that LG prices are also somewhat lower. Sorry, I can't recall the model names exactly, but you can easily search them out.
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
but when there is no better cam available, then they'll have to go for a basic camera only.

Completely agree!!

Samsung S5230 Star. Were you talking about this Star (NXT)? my friend bought it even after i asked him not go for this. Result. Crappy touch. Punch Screen and yes, laggy. Even Symbian S40 is faster.

Maybe not the new Star III but old star and corby were absolute crap.

I am talking about these two -->
Stars

One is definitely Star II, the other is Star NXT 5233. I just found out that one of my other friends' sis uses the latter and as per her, its good when used as a "call"-phone. You know, like no apps, no nothing, just make and get calls. She uses a S2 as her "app" phone so I am guessing she's not making it up about the other samsung. [Dunno why but I have come across people who would give you "glowing-bright" reviews of crappy products just because they own them! :x]

Samsung use touchwiz kind of UI in all their mobiles. in Android or Wave, it easily runs. You have a capable 500-800Mhz processor to take care of it. In lowend mobile which lack any kind of GPU and have rather 300Mhz processor and it has to do all the decoding, it'll be extremely slow. Maybe before touchwiz or whatever UI they use was smooth but the one on Star Nxt and II are laggy.
Hmm...the only reason I dont want to go for the Star III is because I cant find a single-sim version of it (dunno if one even exists). Dual-sims, especially cheap ones, might turn out to be problematic; so, am a little sceptical about those.

2MP & 3.2MP are mostly same. i really doubt there will be much difference in quality. or maybe cause i don't click much pics. Only thing to check is noise is less in pics you click.
Exactly, but the megapixel mania survives because there are n00bs who make it survive! I heard Nokia released some 40mp phone - geez..why not release a 40x optical zoom phone instead!! :p :D

like 2sec when opening the menu. But for typing numbers, should be smooth. but resistive touchscreen sucks. You'll have to use your nails most of the time or punch the screen really hard. though accuracy is not bad.
Ok, 2 seconds is fine for folks who would use a touchscreen for the first time in their lives I think :p Its the hard punching that scares me. Ah well, cant expect more from cheap resistive touch!

yes a few but not like Android. And whatever extra software they pack only adds to usability. Sadly, for Android this is exact opposite where they pack around 10 or more bloatwares :-x
Damn these bloatwares!! I wish they would include an uninstaller! :x

Sam, thanks a lot for your patience - can you point me towards some URLs for CFW for these low-end samsungs? Or just forums or portals where I can hunt around myself.

Rather than low end Samsungs, I'd personally prefer a Nokia. Also, since you want a touch screen only, consider the options from LG. Couple of them have pretty good reviews. Whats good is that LG prices are also somewhat lower. Sorry, I can't recall the model names exactly, but you can easily search them out.
I did go with LG except low-end LGs suck when it comes to battery. My mom had one, it got stolen - good for it. It had to be charged every time she made a call that lasted more than 30 mins. It was that bad!! LG has left a scar on my brain :p Dunno if the newer ones are better though! Thanks for your suggestion.
You said couple of models have good reviews - care to give me a hint which two? :)

I'd recommend Nokia 500 for both of them, if your friend can afford them.
5 MP Cameras and a good 3.2 inch screen. And old folks go good with the Good old Nokia Symbian UI.
And you can always trust Nokia for Great Call Quality, Signal Reception and Loudspeaker.
Either the 500 or the C5-03 should do, I believe.
Nokia C5-03: Price in India, Reviews, Specification: Flipkart.com
Nokia 500: Price in India, Reviews, Specification: Flipkart.com

I agree with one thing you said - Old folks and Symbian seem to compliment each other! ;) This I have seen! But did you see the reviews at Flipkart for the links you posted? Damn! Such negative reviews mostly. I can stand a partially laggy phone if I am running apps, but I dont think I can suggest a phone that keeps restarting!!! Even after updates!! Darn! I did rather buy a Nokia 2100! :p Thanks for your suggestion though!


Another phone I found that seems to work good as a basic call phone with touchscreen is the Nokia 5233! Got some hands on on it yesterday and the owner told me she tried installing a lot of apps and games and after a point it simply refused to let her do anything with it, at which point she rolled back everything (uninstalled) and ever since its been going good for her! She's been using it for 2 years now. Only problem is I dunno if this is still available at the stores! What you guys think?
 

coderunknown

Retired Forum Mod
I am talking about these two -->
Stars

One is definitely Star II, the other is Star NXT 5233.

yes my friends own the Next. And its UI is slow and touchscreen is extremely poor. Same as the C series touch and type where you have to touch the screen multiple times to type a digit.

I just found out that one of my other friends' sis uses the latter and as per her, its good when used as a "call"-phone. You know, like no apps, no nothing, just make and get calls. She uses a S2 as her "app" phone so I am guessing she's not making it up about the other samsung. [Dunno why but I have come across people who would give you "glowing-bright" reviews of crappy products just because they own them! :x]

:lol: there are very few peoples out there who will give you unbiased review or point out to exactly what you get and where it fails. Every mobile fails in some area but some make it look like no big deal and give more emphasis on the +ve points.

Exactly, but the megapixel mania survives because there are n00bs who make it survive! I heard Nokia released some 40mp phone - geez..why not release a 40x optical zoom phone instead!! :p :D

hype is everywhere. more ram in mobile. more cores in mobile. slimmest of the slimmest mobile. duh. and ignore the real deal like battery, touch response, etc. i can't make my own family members under these simple things.

Ok, 2 seconds is fine for folks who would use a touchscreen for the first time in their lives I think :p Its the hard punching that scares me. Ah well, cant expect more from cheap resistive touch!

even Chinese touchscreens are better than resistive. Thankfully LG & Samsung are shifting to capacitive for even cheap touchscreen phones. But not nokia.

Sam, thanks a lot for your patience - can you point me towards some URLs for CFW for these low-end samsungs? Or just forums or portals where I can hunt around myself.

i really doubt there any custom firmware for these. For Symbian, Linux or BADA there are but these are mainly java based mobile for finding CFW won't be easy at all.

I did go with LG except low-end LGs suck when it comes to battery. My mom had one, it got stolen - good for it. It had to be charged every time she made a call that lasted more than 30 mins. It was that bad!! LG has left a scar on my brain :p Dunno if the newer ones are better though! Thanks for your suggestion.
You said couple of models have good reviews - care to give me a hint which two? :)

LG features phones are crappiest mobile i have used. their specs are ok but software is total nonsense. Actually their software design team is clueless what they want to do. Doubt they have any experience. Even Android based mobiles are damn buggy.
Original Cookie & Coolie Plus were much better than Samsung corby. Sadly, thats a one time story which they can't repeat.

I agree with one thing you said - Old folks and Symbian seem to compliment each other! ;) This I have seen! But did you see the reviews at Flipkart for the links you posted? Damn! Such negative reviews mostly. I can stand a partially laggy phone if I am running apps, but I dont think I can suggest a phone that keeps restarting!!! Even after updates!! Darn! I did rather buy a Nokia 2100! :p Thanks for your suggestion though!

Nokia 500 doesn't have GPU causing it to be terribly slow and laggy. Belle update fixes the problem but not fully. Thats said, 500 was Nokias attempt to bring Belle under 10k where it failed but the mobile did sold quite a few pieces.

Another phone I found that seems to work good as a basic call phone with touchscreen is the Nokia 5233! Got some hands on on it yesterday and the owner told me she tried installing a lot of apps and games and after a point it simply refused to let her do anything with it, at which point she rolled back everything (uninstalled) and ever since its been going good for her! She's been using it for 2 years now. Only problem is I dunno if this is still available at the stores! What you guys think?

Try homeshop18. They usually have old stock. Or check Nokia C5-03.
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
yes my friends own the Next. And its UI is slow and touchscreen is extremely poor. Same as the C series touch and type where you have to touch the screen multiple times to type a digit.



:lol: there are very few peoples out there who will give you unbiased review or point out to exactly what you get and where it fails. Every mobile fails in some area but some make it look like no big deal and give more emphasis on the +ve points.



hype is everywhere. more ram in mobile. more cores in mobile. slimmest of the slimmest mobile. duh. and ignore the real deal like battery, touch response, etc. i can't make my own family members under these simple things.



even Chinese touchscreens are better than resistive. Thankfully LG & Samsung are shifting to capacitive for even cheap touchscreen phones. But not nokia.



i really doubt there any custom firmware for these. For Symbian, Linux or BADA there are but these are mainly java based mobile for finding CFW won't be easy at all.



LG features phones are crappiest mobile i have used. their specs are ok but software is total nonsense. Actually their software design team is clueless what they want to do. Doubt they have any experience. Even Android based mobiles are damn buggy.
Original Cookie & Coolie Plus were much better than Samsung corby. Sadly, thats a one time story which they can't repeat.



Nokia 500 doesn't have GPU causing it to be terribly slow and laggy. Belle update fixes the problem but not fully. Thats said, 500 was Nokias attempt to bring Belle under 10k where it failed but the mobile did sold quite a few pieces.



Try homeshop18. They usually have old stock. Or check Nokia C5-03.

Thanks Sam :) Really appreciate it!
 

Raccoon

Journeyman
I did go with LG except low-end LGs suck when it comes to battery. My mom had one, it got stolen - good for it. It had to be charged every time she made a call that lasted more than 30 mins. It was that bad!! LG has left a scar on my brain :p Dunno if the newer ones are better though! Thanks for your suggestion.
You said couple of models have good reviews - care to give me a hint which two? :)

LG Optimus Me P350 and LG T515 seem to have good reviews. Check them out. Not sure if there are other good LG options. If you can up your budget a bit, then just get the Optimus Net which is much better. In feature ph segment, the Cookie was one big hit. After that the Optimus One. Seems LG has not been able to repeat its success story.... sad.
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
LG Optimus Me P350 and LG T515 seem to have good reviews. Check them out. Not sure if there are other good LG options. If you can up your budget a bit, then just get the Optimus Net which is much better. In feature ph segment, the Cookie was one big hit. After that the Optimus One. Seems LG has not been able to repeat its success story.... sad.

Thanks Raccoon! :)

Hmm.. Optimus P350!! Now, you have done it...I am tempted to look at cheap Andro-s now!! :p

Actually, when I started out with this search, I promised myself that I would not look at Honey or Ice cream no matter what!! :p ;) But now I am really tempted!

I have two questions -

1. How good are the cheap Optimus phones (below 8-9K) against HTC Explorer?
I say Explorer because to me it seems, reading across a lot of boards, that Explorer has become the Android to get if your budget is tight! Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong! Is is true that the Explorer has kinda set a standard for "cheap" Andro-s?

2. From the usability perspective, how "difficult" are Andro-s for old folks who
a. may/may not know english
b. have not kept with the times and dont know what the hell a facebook or twitter is?
c. have no idea that even a mobile phone may be hacked or infected?

You get what I am trying to get at!
 

coderunknown

Retired Forum Mod
1. How good are the cheap Optimus phones (below 8-9K) against HTC Explorer?

there is mainly 1 Optimus under 10k. Optimus Net (or the dual sim version).

I say Explorer because to me it seems, reading across a lot of boards, that Explorer has become the Android to get if your budget is tight! Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong! Is is true that the Explorer has kinda set a standard for "cheap" Andro-s?

yup. fast processor (in its class) and at the same time really low power requirement, compact and looks really good and still priced at 8k. Optimus Net on the other hand looks plain boring but has physical keys, more internal memory and a bigger battery but processor is old.

2. From the usability perspective, how "difficult" are Andro-s for old folks who
a. may/may not know english
b. have not kept with the times and dont know what the hell a facebook or twitter is?
c. have no idea that even a mobile phone may be hacked or infected?

unlocking the mobile may turn out to be too much :p
and once unlocked, the next obstacle is the series of buttons at the bottom which if you mistakenly activate will take you back, popup the search bar or even show you menu or other thing.
once in the dial pad its easy but even that mayn't be really easy to handle. dial pad has 2-3 tabs. press on the wrong one and they'll find it difficult to get back to the old one unless guided properly.

In short, don't give Android mobiles to people who are not in touch with complicated mobiles. or those who find it hard to learn the functions of mobile cause its bekaar for them :p
 
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Mario

Ambassador of Buzz
there is mainly 1 Optimus under 10k. Optimus Net (or the dual sim version).

But then Optimus Me P350 is priced at around 7K...Is that good or is just another crap Andro?

yup. fast processor (in its class) and at the same time really low power requirement, compact and looks really good and still priced at 8k. Optimus Net on the other hand looks plain boring but has physical keys, more internal memory and a bigger battery but processor is old.
Thanks.

unlocking the mobile may turn out to be too much :p
and once unlocked, the next obstacle is the series of buttons at the bottom which if you mistakenly activate will take you back, popup the search bar or even show you menu or other thing.
once in the dial pad its easy but even that mayn't be really easy to handle. dial pad has 2-3 tabs. press on the wrong one and they'll find it difficult to get back to the old one unless guided properly.

In short, don't give Android mobiles to people who are not in touch with complicated mobiles. or those who find it hard to learn the functions of mobile cause its bekaar for them :p

Exactly what I was thinking. Andro is too geeky for old folks. :)


BTW out of context question --> but why is the Sensation XL priced higher than the HTC One X at Flipkart? I believe the XL is the older gen phone so why the heck is it priced higher? :p
 
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