Most helpful critical review
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Good, not great
on August 12, 2011
Bought this phone for my hearing-impaired father. The overall design is solid, but there are some problems. The voice quality just isn't that great. Dialing the volume up and down isn't smooth, it tends to jerk around between levels. It's a bit static-y overall. Also, there's just too much delay from the time when you push the "one-touch" dialing buttons, and when it actually dials out, which unfortunately confuses my father each time he tries to use it. Someone needs to actually do a focus group someday of families who take care of seniors, and find out exactly what features and capabilities they need in these products.
(Updating this review Aug 2012):
Note that Clarity has CHANGED this phone, so that now instead of TWO preset memory buttons, there is really only ONE. They have taken one of those preset memory buttons and programmed it to call a Clarity help center directly. While this might be a good feature for some, it wasn't for us, since I needed my 88 year old father to be able to call two numbers with the one-touch dialing buttons. The manual says you can over-ride this feature, and program in your own desired number to that second button, but it didn't work when I tried it. Calling the Clarity help center myself, they were somehow able to program it remotely to make that button call the number I wanted it to.
I ended up buying the second version of the phone because my father thought the first one was broken. It turns out someone (probably cleaning staff) in his nursing home had accidentally flipped the switch on the bottom of the base of the phone from "tone" dialing to "pulse" dialing. And pulse dialing won't work from his nursing home (why anyone even includes this ancient feature on a phone anymore is beyond me...) So the original phone really wasn't broken, so now we have two of these.
I'd like to repeat my original claim that some company NEEDS to put a bit of research into what is needed in a phone for the hearing impaired elderly. It needs:
1. clear sound with strong hearing assist
2. BIG buttons
3. NO screen
4. NO menu options (How many seniors like learning how to scroll through and select menu options? That's what our generation does, not the type of user interface the senior generation ever got used to.)
5. Three or Four ONE-TOUCH memory buttons. And I mean, one-touch. Not two-touch, like pressing an "M" button, followed by a keypad button. Just a ONE-TOUCH, for the senior to be able to call his emergency contacts, closest loved ones, and caregivers.
6. NO buttons related to key settings on the handset! Think about an 88-year old guy, stuck living in a wheelchair, not very nimble, who accidentally changes one of those settings because it's on the side of the handset. Now he can't hear me on the phone, how do I tell him how to set it back? All key setting buttons should be on the BASE.
7. CORDLESS, not corded! When you live in a wheelchair, the ability to keep your phone with you is your only remaining independent link to the outside world. Plus, when you've lost mobility, it may be tough to maneuver your wheelchair to the base location to answer a phone in time.
8. Easy to grip shape! Meaning a phone shaped like they used to be, molded to easily conform to the shape of your hand and your head. The brick shaped phones we all use now are NOT easy for seniors to handle!!
And I'm sure a few others I'm missing. This Clarity phone has a few of these features, but not all. I've spent days of web searching trying to find better options, but I've come to the conclusion that this phone doesn't exist. Maybe someone someday at a phone-maker will read this review and finally develop one.