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Emporia Life

 Emporia Life Available now
21st July 2007

Made by Emporia of Austria, the Emporia Life is a GSM handset designed for older consumers who may struggle with other phones.

Designed to be very easy to use, the Emporia Life comes with some interesting features such as a hearing aid compatible loudspeaker, an emergency call system which can be activated with a single keypress, a very large 2.7" display and a simple-to-use interface with detailed help.

 Emporia Life vs Nokia 6111 This is a big phone, relatively speaking. Measuring 112 x 51 x 26mm and coming in at a hefty 152 grams, the Emporia Life is almost the same weight and size (when shut) as the Sony Ericsson P990i. If you compare it with the Nokia 6111 for size (see left) you can see just how big it is. But this large size gives the Emporia Life a very large screen and a great big set of buttons.

It's not the first time that mobile phone has been designed that aims at this market segment - notably the Sagem VS1 and VS2 had a very similar approach when they were launched two years ago, but they managed to inject a little style into the design whereas the Emporia Life does look a bit like a brick.

Looks aren't the only thing that counts against the Emporia Life - the large 2.7" 128 x 160 pixel display looks like something from a piece of industrial machinery rather than a mobile phone. And the extra large keys may look useful, but they do appear to be very flat without any raised area or separation which could make them tricky for some people to use.

 Emporia Life One final problem is the battery life - while the Emporia Life doesn't exactly have a short battery life, the 1000 mAH cell only powers the phone for up to 6 days standby time. On a device of this size and weight, the standby time should be much longer. The Philips Xenium 9@9m managed a staggering 30 days standby time and a similarly sized screen (although in colour).. so why can't the Emporia Life do it? One plus point is that the Emporia Life can be powered by 3 AAA batteries if needed.

Shortcomings aside, there are plenty of practical features in the Emporia Life. It has a very loud speaker, very strong vibrating function, a built-in flashlight, visual alerts, emergency SMS feature, calculator, birthday reminder and an alarm clock. It does send and receive text messages, including SMS multicast capabilities. It's clear that some thought has gone into the feature set, and the Emporia Life seems to deliver the sort of things that most people will want without weighing it down with functions that won't be used.

The the moment the Emporia Life hasn't been picked up by the networks, but in the UK it can be bought for around 170 with a Vodafone prepay SIM here.

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Emporia Life at a glance

Available:

Q3 2007

Network:

GSM 900/1800 or 850/1900

Data:

None

Screen:

128x160 pixels, monochrome

Camera:

No

Size:

Large slider
112 x 55 x 26mm / 152 grams

Bluetooth:

No

Memory card:

No

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

No

Battery life:

3 hours talk / 6 days standby

 

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