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Snapfon ezTWO Senior Unlocked GSM Cell Phone, SOS Button, Hearing Aid Compatible
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- Easy to Use Features: Speaking Keypad, Keypad Lock Side Switch, Enhanced Volume, High Power LED Flashlight, Low Battery Warning System, 8 Speed Dial Keys, Simplified Menus, 4 Alarm Modes, Hearing Aid Compatible(M3/T3)
- Talk time 3-5 hours,Standby 90-120 hours. No accidental dialing with lock/unlock keypad switch.
- SOS button is a senior cell phone must, with one touch play Loud 120dB Siren and connection through text and call to emergency contacts and services.
- Add sosPlus Mobile Monitoring Service add to any plan and SOS button will connect you to our 24/7 Mobile Response Agents. Our operators will have your preprogramed urgent care information on hand in case of an emergency 24 hours a day, and will stay on the line with you until your emergency is resolved.
- Snapfon Mobile service plans are a monthly, no-contract, budget friendly choice, or this unlocked ezTwo 3G is compatible with other SIM card carriers (ATT, T-Mobile, etc.). NOT compatible with Verizon or Sprint. GSM 850/900/1800/1900 mHz.
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The Snapfon ezTWO 3G was designed with ease of use in mind. Our easy to navigate menus, external switches, SOS button, Low Battery Warning System, and optional sosPlus Mobile Monitoring Service transforms the Snapfon ezTWO 3G into a life-saving device for those with visual or hearing impairments and gives added security to loved ones.
Works with Snapfon Service Plans, AT&T, or T-Mobile-based service providers.
This device is unlocked and can be used on your chosen GSM network.
The Easy to See, Easy to Hear, and Easy to Use ezTWO 3G
SOS Emergency Alert Button
The SOS button located on the back of the ezTWO 3G makes this phone uniquely helpful during emergency situations and brings support and reassurance to our users and their loved ones.
Press and hold the SOS button located on the back of the ezTWO 3G cell phone for 3 to 5 seconds to:
- Alert your 5 preprogrammed contacts and emergency service through voice and text messaging.
- Automatically switch to speakerphone mode for emergency calls.
- Play 120dB siren to alert those close-by to the emergency. (This feature can be switched off in the menu)
- Add sosPlus and connect to our 24/7 Mobile Monitoring Agents during emergencies.
Big Buttons: Each button is approximately the width of a dime, separated, and features a rubberized finish.
Easy to Navigate Menus: Menus are easy to navigate.
Speaking Keypad: Each button press is clearly announced back to you (this may be disabled).
Keypad Lock: The keypad may be locked with a simple slide of a switch on the side of the phone. When the keypad is locked, you can still answer a call easily with one press.
LED Flashlight: Need a little extra light? The Snapfon includes a flashlight, controlled with a simple slide switch.
Enhanced Sound: The Snapfon is made to be heard. Turn it up or down for ear or speakerphone operation. You can also use your favorite headset/earpiece.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0 allows connection to your Bluetooth earpiece, neck loop, or Bluetooth Hearing Aid.
Hearing Aid: Compatible Rated at M3/T3 for use with most hearing aids.
|Talk Time:||3-5 hours|
|Standby Time:||4-7 days|
|Battery:||Lithium-ion battery, Li-ion 3.7 V/1000mAh|
|Charger Input:||100-240VAC-50/60hz.3A MAX|
|Charger Output:||5.0 VDC / 500mA|
|Camera:||0.3 MP (perfect as a magnifying glass)|
|Headphone Jack:||Standard 3.5mm|
|Size:||4.665 in x 2.262 in x.602 in (118.5 mm x 57.5 mm x .602 mm)|
|Screen:||1.8 in x 1.57 in (46 mm x 36 mm)|
|Weight:||2.3 oz (with battery)|
|Storage:||1.26 MB built-in storage (optional micro SD space)|
Maximize the Snapfon ezTWO 3G with a Snapfon Service Plan.
Snapfon runs on the most dependable nationwide network.
- Low Prices with No Contracts
- Great U.S. Based Plans
- 30 Day No-Risk Trial
- Build-Your-Own Plan Option
sosPlus Mobile Monitoring Service
Sign up for sosPlus and use your SOS Button to connect with a 24/7 sosPlus Mobile Emergency Agent.
Our agents will contact emergency services, friends or family, and stay on the line with you until your situation has been fully resolved.
All information listed below may be entered into your Snapfon User Account to ensure the best quality of care by our sosPlus Agents in the event of an emergency.
- Your Doctor
- Medical Conditions
- Emergency Contacts
- Non-Responsive Plan
- Past Surgical History
At Snapfon we understand our customers’ needs are different than the average mobile phone user. We care about making your life better by providing you with excellent service and simple easy-to-use products.
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|Camera Description||0.3 Megapixel||—||—||2.0|
|Screen Size||2.33 inches||2.8 inches||2.4 inches||2.4 inches|
|Item Dimensions||5.25 x 1.50 x 5.25 inches||6.00 x 8.00 x 2.00 inches||3.94 x 1.97 x 0.79 inches||4.24 x 0.55 x 2.35 inches|
|Item Weight||0.54 lbs||2.72 ounces||3.32 ounces||1.06 ounces|
Top reviews from the United States
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The ringer is very loud even on the lowest setting. I turned the ringer all the way up n it was so loud that it could be heard outside. The s.o.s. Button works n sends a text message once it is held for 2-3 seconds to emergency contacts stored in phone. It will also automatically call the first person(only) on the emergency contact list. It will call the other emergency contacts but you will need to subscribe to the monthly feature that is offered from snapfon. It took me a couple of hours fiddling with it and double checking the s.o.s. Button to get it dialed in.
The phone is a simple phone and perfect for seniors. The main reason I bought this phone was the emergency button. It gives me peace of mind that if she falls and no one is home that she can get help without manually dialing a phone number for help. It also has speed dial for 8 numbers. My mom short term memory is slowly degrading and I knew she won't remember how to use the speed dial feature so I made a list starting with #2 with my name next to it n then added #3 with my sisters name next to it n so on til #9 and the last name on the list. I taped the list to the back of the phone with clear tape so it won't smudge and the list is easy for her to read. I spend a little time with my mom explaining to her about the speed dial feature and she loves having to just push one number to get ahold of her kids.
The one negative about the phone is feels a little cheap( and that's the reason I gave it 4 stars). I did buy the red protective case. I also purchased the charger stand ( second generation) and the phone will charge in the cradle with the protective case on it.
All in all it cost about $115.00 for everything, but the cost is worth the peace of mind that I have knowing my mom will hear the phone when we call her n having the s.o.s. Button on the phone is the added feature that I was hoping it would work without the added subscription fee from snapfon with cricket wireless and it does work perfectly.
Hope my review helps answer some of the questions that other people might about this phone.
P.S.This phone will also work on att wireless network as well. Att bought cricket wireless about two years ago and they use the same towers.
The Snapfon ezTWO3G has many features helpful for a senior looking for a basic phone for phone calls - large screen, big buttons, loud sound. But as explained below, there are a few quirks to be aware of. There have also been some improvements since the previous model, the similar looking ezTWO. The biggest improvement for me is the "In Call" volume control, which can now be locked (more on that below).
First, a clarification on models available. Snapfon has made at least 3 different phones:
- Snapfon ezONE (2011? - early 2013?)
- Snapfon ezTWO (mid 2013? - October 2014?)
- Snapfon ezTWO3G (late 2014? - ?)
Please pay attention to the name of the model for sale on this page right now. It could be different from the models in the reviews, because unfortunately, Snapfon combined all the old reviews for old models into a single Amazon listing.
So as you review feedback here, you need to filter out irrelevant ones yourself. For example, the current "Most Helpful" reviews listed by default are all from 2011 for the ezONE, which is no longer for sale.
I wish they created separate listings for the separate models, so that reviews and questions could be correctly associated to their model. The star rating summary would be more meaningful when separated per model, rather than lumped together. Old pages could simply provide a link to the latest model on a separate page.
Also make sure you get the correct model in the mail. I ordered a 3G model, but got a 2G model instead (more details below).
2G shut down?
Previously, since I only needed a phone for phone calls, I thought 2G was good enough. But apparently, cell phone companies are in the process of shutting down (or at least reducing capacity in) the 2G networks as they transition them to 3G and 4G. If the 2G coverage where you are is getting inadequate, you may have better success with a phone that can access the 3G coverage.
I researched what network frequencies are used by GSM companies today - in the United States, mainly AT&T and T-mobile. Here is a summary.
2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE = 850 MHz, 1900 MHz
3G UMTS/HSPA+ = 850 MHz CLR, 1900 MHz PCS
4G LTE = 700 MHz Block B, 850 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz AWS, 1900 MHz PCS, 2300 MHz WCS
2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE = 850 MHz, 1900 MHz
3G/"4G" UMTS/HSPA+ = 850 MHz CLR, 1700/2100 MHz AWS, 1900 MHz PCS
4G LTE = 700 MHz Block A, 1700/2100 MHz AWS, 1900 MHz PCS
Sources, current as of 2014-12-20:
Note the "1700/2100 MHz AWS" above is actually a single band sometimes written as UMTS 1700. The reason for the expanded notation is that the band consists of the 1700 range for uplink, and 2100 range for downlink. But as a band, it is different from UMTS 2100 MHz IMT, which is not used in the United States.
Okay, how do the Snapfon models match up against these requirements?
The ezTWO model only had 2G bands (GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz).
The ezTWO3G model has those same 2G bands, plus 3G bands (WCDMA also known as UMTS 850/1900/2100 MHz). The website includes 2100 MHz, but it is missing from the printed manual that came in the box. Hopefully, that is just a misprint, and not that I got an inferior model. But it does not really matter for me, since UMTS 2100 MHz is not used in the United States.
Based on the above, the ezTWO3G covers all 2G and 3G needs for AT&T. For T-mobile, it covers all 2G needs, but for 3G, it is missing the 1700/2100 MHz band. If you want to go with the ezTWO3G and T-mobile, hopefully your area has enough coverage through the other supported bands.
Also, the ezTWO3G has no support for any 4G LTE networks. But as far as needing a phone only for voice calls, a 3G phone is probably good enough "for now" - I guess until whenever they start shutting down the 3G networks too.
ezTWO vs ezTWO3G
Aside from adding 3G to network connectivity, what are the other differences between the old ezTWO and the new ezTWO3G? I tried finding an explanation online, but could not find much detail at this time (maybe Snapfon will post something later). Here is a summary based on reviewing the manuals.
Comparing physical body, both models look the same. Same dimensions and weight. Same buttons. Same battery, compatible with Nokia BL-5C. However, the circuit boards (inside the phones, beneath the battery) look different - the SIM slot and microSD slot were moved. I also see the SIM slot is labelled "SIM2", which is interesting because that usually means there is another SIM slot, "SIM1". Looks like (and feels like) they covered the SIM1 slot with the IMEI sticker, but I'm not peeling the sticker to confirm. I do wonder though if they also disabled the SIM1 slot in firmware, or if the phone can be used with two SIM cards. Perhaps someone more adventurous or knowledgeable is able to find out and share with us?
Comparing menus, the 3G model has some new features:
* Settings > Phone Settings > Call Volume
This is a major fix. On the old model, you could only adjust call volume during a phone conversation. Furthermore, it was easy to mistakenly press the Volume +/- buttons while holding the side of the phone, potentially lowering the call volume until it was completely silent. Not just really quiet, but absolutely no sound at all. This confused my grandpa several times, and he thought the phone was broken when he could not hear anything. I had to "fix" it by calling the phone, and adjusting the volume back up again. But now on the 3G model, you can set the volume in Settings. In addition, you can LOCK it, which solves the problem for my grandpa.
* Settings > Phone Settings > Speakerphone Answer
On the old model, you could access speakerphone after you answered the call and pressed the right option button for "H-Free". Now on the 3G model, you can set the phone to switch to speakerphone automatically, and it applies to both outgoing and incoming calls.
* Settings > Phone Settings > Time Display Color
On the old model, the home screen shows the current time using green numbers. Now on the 3G model, you can switch the color to white. I suppose white has better contrast so is easier to read.
* Settings > Secured Calling
On the old model, this option did not exist. Now on the 3G model, you can limit outgoing calls and texts to contacts saved in the phonebook. But the phone can still receive any incoming call or text. I suppose this may be useful in reducing misdials, since sometimes my grandpa forgets how to access the phonebook, so tries to dial numbers from memory. But I think I'll leave this feature off for now to avoid any complications.
Some other minor changes per the manuals:
* Settings > Carrier Info
Now you can display some custom text (instead of the cell phone company name) on the home screen. I suppose you can write the user's name or phone number.
* Settings > Low Battery
Contacts increased from 4 to 5.
* SOS Settings
Contacts increased from 4 to 5. There are also some instructions specific to subscribers of the optional "sosPlus Mobile Monitoring Service".
Alarm times increased from 4 to 5.
Comparing the fine print at the end of the manuals:
On the old model, the phone was warranted for 1 year, accessories for 90 days, and the battery for 30 days. Now on the 3G model, the phone and accessories still have the same warranties, but the battery has no warranty. I suppose this means they have a high failure rate for batteries (which seems to be a common complaint in the reviews).
* FCC RF Exposure Information
On the old model, the manual has a whole page and a half of FCC details, including this text:
"The SAR limit allowed by the FCC (USA) is 1.6 W/kg (watts per kilogram) averaged over one gram of tissue. The Snapfon ezTWO (FCC ID: ZXL-EZTWOB) has been tested against this SAR limit. The highest SAR value reported under this standard during product certification for use at the ear is 0.749 W/kg and when properly worn on the body is 1.071 W/kg."
Now on the 3G model, my printed manual omits this information. But the manual on the website may be more up to date, and it says: "The Snapfon EZ TWO-B1 (FCC ID: ZXL-EZTWOB1) has also been tested against this SAR limit. The highest SAR value reported under this standard during product certification for use at the ear is 0.796W/kg and when properly worn on the body is 0.721W/kg."
If you find any other differences between the ezTWO and the ezTWO3G, please add on in the comments.
Volume controls took me a while to figure out, especially since some were adjustable only in the Settings menu, some only via the +/- buttons, and some both. So let me summarize my findings.
There are 6 different volume controls.
1. Ringer volume. Only adjustable under Settings > Tone Settings.
2. New voicemail alert volume. Only adjustable under Settings > Tone Settings. My grandpa does not use voicemail, so I turned it off entirely.
3. New text message alert volume. Only adjustable under Settings > Tone Settings. My grandpa does not text, so I turned this off as well. I like that I can turn these alerts off because sometimes it is just spam text and he does not need to be bothered.
4. Keypad button volume. This controls both the beeping noise every time you press a button, as well as the woman's voice speaking numbers when you dial a phone number. The keypad volume is controlled via the Settings menu, but it is ALSO controlled when you press the Volume + and - buttons when the phone is in standby. This is confusing because when you max out the volume in this way, the screen shows the message "Ring volume maximum", but you are not actually controlling the ringer volume, just the keypad volume. On a side note, I wish there were a way to adjust the keypad beep volume separately from the woman's voice volume that speaks numbers.
5. In Call handset volume. Previously, you could only see and adjust the In Call volume using the Volume +/- buttons, and only during live phone calls. If you tried the buttons any other time, you ended up adjusting the keypad volume as mentioned in #4. Thankfully, there is now a way to adjust In Call volume via Settings > Phone Settings > Call Volume.
6. In Call speakerphone volume. This is still only accessible during a live phone call, and after you press the "H-Free" option. It seems to be separate from the In Call handset volume.
The Settings > Phone Settings > Call Volume setting applies to the In Call handset volume only, not speakerphone. However, the Call Volume Lock setting applies to both.
If you are going to use the Call Volume lock, be sure you check the In Call volume for both handset and speakerphone during a live phone call, before locking.
My grandpa wanted a phone with a big screen and big buttons. He only needed a phone for phone calls. The other features were nice add-ons, but in some cases too confusing.
For example, the SOS button is a great idea I thought would be useful. But it turned out my grandpa would end up pressing it on accident all the time. I had to disable it.
I also wish I could disable or hide the other buttons: flashlight, camera, and unlock. My grandpa does not use them, and he keeps asking for a "simpler" phone that is "easier to use".
But this phone seemed to be the best senior phone I could find that worked with GSM networks (T-Mobile, AT&T, and their various MVNOs). I had it set up and tested with T-Mobile Prepaid, Lycamobile, and Ultra Mobile.
During my testing, phone calls seemed normal most of the time, but I did run into a few problems: once the phone did not ring and it went straight to voicemail, once the phone hung up mid conversation, and once the phone had no sound (neither incoming nor outgoing sound was working). These were intermittent problems because when I tried again immediately, the phone was fine again.
Over the past year, I have had to buy several Snapfon phones for various reasons, so got the chance to do the comparisons above.
The first Snapfon I bought was an ezTWO in November 2013. But it was returned during the return window. I don't remember exactly anymore, but I think it had a problem charging.
The second one was an ezTWO from January 2014, and seemed okay for a while, but stopped working after 9 months. It was after the return window, but still within the warranty period. The phone would only turn on for a few seconds then shut off completely. I thought the battery was low, so charged it, but it would never finish charging (even after 4-6 hours, or overnight). So then I thought the battery was bad, and tried a known good Nokia BL-5C replacement, but the phone was still not working. Snapfon support had me try turning on the flashlight with the battery removed but the USB cable plugged into the wall, and the flashlight worked fine. Eventually, they had me mail them everything. Then they said there was water damage and the warranty does not cover that. I asked my grandpa if he got it wet, but he said he did not know.
Oh well. I took another look around online for any newer alternatives, but it seemed like Snapfon was still the best choice. So I bought my third phone as the replacement. It was an ezTWO from October 2014.
Then I thought it would be good to have a backup phone ready on hand in case his regular phone broke again. So I bought my fourth phone, which turned out to be the new model, the ezTWO3G in December 2014. So, okay, the 3G is a better model. Let's keep that one as the primary phone, and return the third phone because it is the older model.
Still in need of a backup phone, I decided to buy a fifth phone, also in December 2014. I expected to get the new 3G model again, but got the old 2G model instead! I guess old stock is mixed in with new stock? Another reason to keep separate stock numbers and Amazon pages for different phone models. After all this confusion, I returned it and gave up trying to get a backup phone with the right model number.
Final score: Bought 5 phones, returned 3, kept 2. One broke after 9 months but was denied repair due to water damage. One is 7 months old and still working so far.
I do like this ezTWO and ezTWO3G family of phones. The phones seem to have the best form factor, nice features, and the right specs. But due to my experiences above, I feel uncertain about the build quality and reliability - since one stopped turning on, and the others have had intermittent issues. I am not sure how much blame goes to the phone, the network, or user error, but overall, I just don't feel as confident as I would like.
One thing I would improve would be the phone book. Currently, the screen shows "Phonebook" on the top line, "Add new contact" on the second line, two lines for names, a white search bar line, and then "Add" and "Back" options on the bottom line. Between all the black backgrounds and white backgrounds, it can be confusing which name is currently highlighted. Maybe there could be a separate setup mode and user mode, but I would remove the "Phonebook" title, the "Add new contact" line, and the white search bar line. That way, the screen would only have names, and only one highlight bar. I would also tie this to the up and down arrow buttons when on the home screen. That way, it is the same button to access the names as it is to scroll.
Having said all that, the Snapfon still seems to be the best option for a simplified, big button cell phone that works on GSM. If anyone knows of better alternatives, please reply in the comments!
My mom contacted support and they told her that:
-The battery warranty is 30 days - that should be a red flag right there because manufacturing defects can manifest much later than that in batteries
- The puffed up battery is safe but should be replaced - Puffy lithium ion batteries are *Never* safe. There are not extremely volatile, but saying that they are safe is unbelievably irresponsible
My mom is older and she had a good experience with the phone up until this point, but I cannot recommend this phone to anyone until this company sources better batteries and learns to treat situations where lithium ion batteries fail with the appropriate seriousness.