Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:57:39 PM
While a tad retro, the Emporia ELEGANCE has a chicness not seen in the manufacturer?s previous models
Unless you are after a phone that just calls and texts, the lack of features could be a deal breaker
When Emporia first came to our attention its devices were billed as mobile phones for the ‘silver generation’. The manufacturer was targeting the older market, which it believed didn’t want the multi-megapixels or lightning quick internet speeds’. While we applauded Emporia for approaching a fairly neglected demographic, we felt the handsets lacked aesthetic appeal, and would therefore be overlooked by any potential suitors. Be it our wise words, dwindling sales or just a change of direction, Emporia’s latest phone, the ELEGANCE, is a bit of a looker.
Just to clarify, when we say ‘change in direction’, we’re not implying that Emporia has kitted the ELEGANCE with all manner of gizmos. It’s still primarily a simple call and texting device, yet with its piano black finish and smooth curved back, it’s by far its most handsome device. A metallic, belt like strip divides the display and the keyboard, and this encompasses the call key, call end key and the two scrolling keys used to flip between menu options. The numeric keys remain large – something of an Emporia trademark – so even the chubbiest, clumsiest fingers will be able to key in numbers without any errors.The star attractions are the keys found along the sides of the phone. On the right-hand side is a shortcut to all your texting options. Use the scrolling keys to compose an SMS, check both your inbox and outbox or send a phonebook entry to another of your contacts. Below this is the main menu key, which provides access to your phonebook, call info, text messages (again) and phone settings. Something that did take us by surprise was that each time you make or receive a call, the Emporia ELEGANCE will prompt you to save the number into your phonebook (up to 220 numbers).Below these two keys is an alarm switch. It’s perilously easy to set up, with a simple slide of the switch activating it before prompting you on screen to enter the time you want it to go off. Unlike the ringer, which is piercingly loud, the alarm is far more humane, loud enough to wake you, but not so loud as to induce a heart attack. Above the SMS and menu keys is something of a stalwart of Emporia phones: the torch. While we may breezily snigger at this ‘feature’, there’s no denying it can certainly prove useful, not to mention bright.
Though we would normally bemoan a screen that only measures 1.8 inches, the ELEGANCE is not built for watching video or surfing the web (and it can’t do either) but for a back to basics text and calling device, it serves its purpose. What is an Emporia first, is that the ELEGANCE’s display also has a tint of colour. Only a hint, mind (it’s fundamentally a shade of turquoise), but it makes for a more colourful experience and the text displayed is both bold and crisp.
With the ELEGANCE, Emporia has remained true to its roots. It’s low on features, and houses oversized keys and a deafening ringer. The fact that it is hearing aid compatible is another indicator to its original target audience. Yet as opposed to previous Emporia handsets, the ELEGANCE sports a subtle grace that puts it in its own class. For a basic mobile to call and text with, the Emporia ELEGANCE fits the bill – and to pass it off as only being fit for pensioners would be doing it a disservice.