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Phone news - People who like simplicity may want a tough mobile phone

Some smartphones may be too high-tech and fragile for certain people. Occasionally, customers prefer a tough mobile phone or a device which is designed for simplicity.

Researchers from the Catholic University in Eichstaett, Germany, have been looking into what the elderly look for when they shop for a mobile phone.

Researchers gave questionnaires to 450 elderly people and interviewed experts alongside 70 senior phone users. The data revealed that phones with small keys or advanced menu structures may not be suitable for some consumers.

Nicola Bilstein, a researcher from the university, said mobile phone keypads should have a display which is easy to read, with a large keypad.

She said, "On the other hand it shouldn't look like it's for a senior person and have giant keys.

"Most of [the respondents] have a mobile phone in order to summon help in an emergency. Only a few want to be constantly reachable. To them an SMS message is too impersonal."

Although some people may prefer handsets which allow a wide variety of tasks to be carried out, customers who just want simplicity and functionality should consider purchasing a waterproof or tough mobile phone. These devices might be more useful than ordinary smartphones as they may still function after being exposed to hazardous environments or situations.

However, before purchasing a new mobile phone, a consumer should always seek advice from the seller to find out if the device is compatible with his or her lifestyle.