An emergency backup phone that also suits the elderly
The Xpal Spareone may be the simplest phones we've ever seen, but that isn't a bad thing. The Spareone is designed for use as backup phone for use in emergencies so it runs on a single AA battery for up to 10 hours.
This well-made phone doesn't have a display, but otherwise follows the shape of a more traditional ‘candy bar' handset. A keypad sits below a quartet of call, power, volume and torch buttons, in between which sits a button for emergency calls which can be used even if a SIM card isn't installed.
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The grey-on-white number keys might not be particularly bold, but they do have give firm feedback when pressed. The Spareone also has an easily removable back plate – revealing access to the battery and SIM card slot – and a bright top-mounted torch.
The phone is very light at 75g, stores nine speed-dial numbers and has two lights indicating battery life and network availability. What you can't do with it is put calls on speaker or connect a hearing aid. It can't send texts either, but it can read out received texts and send a reply back requesting a call. It's basic, but it's very clever and cheap too.
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An incredibly simple mobile with only a few flaws
Sturdy; runs on AA battery; built-in torch
Faint number key lettering; no speaker phone
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