The Emporia Click is a phone which has been designed with basic functionality in mind. Aimed at novice mobile users and those with poor eyesight and bad hearing, the phone has a very limited set of specifications. There’s no 3G, no Wi-Fi and only a very basic camera. Bluetooth is included though, allowing you to connect peripherals such as cordless headphones.
The Emporia Click is currently available on Amazon for around £90.
Should I buy the Emporia Click?
Do you have poor eyesight? Is your hearing quite poor? Do you get easily confused by modern-day smart phones, with their new-fangled email, Internet connections and app stores? If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, then the Emporia Click is quite possibly the phone of your dreams.
The buttons are big and bold, the speaker is loud enough to be heard in a crowd and the list of features is so basic that almost anyone can pick up this device and make a call or send a text.
If you consider yourself to be a seasoned mobile veteran however, then you’re going to be very disappointed with this phone The total absence of what many would deem to be essential mobile features is sure to upset those who have already embraced the smart phone revolution with open arms. Simplicity is certainly something to be applauded, but the Emporia Click possibly goes a little too far for most users.
Ultimately, the Emporia Click is aimed at a certain type of consumer, and if you don’t fit into that category, there’s little point in considering it. If you’re buying for an elderly relative however, then it might find favour.
Design and display
Compared to the boxy Emporia RL1, the Click is a far more attractive proposition. Although clamshell handsets have arguably had their day, there’s something intrinsically appealing about closing this device after making a call. The design is also sleek and eye-catching -- something which can’t really be said about the RL1.
The Emporia Click is made almost entirely from plastic, and features a rubberised coating to aid grip. The metallic plastic which runs around the top end of the device is intended to add a dash of class, but it ends up looking tacky and unnecessary.
In fact, there’s a whiff of cheapness to the entire phone. When you pick it up it feels like a child’s toy, and at 110g lacks the weight you’d expect from this kind of product. The massive keypad is designed to make it easy for older mobile users to see which buttons they’re pressing, but it feels lumpy and imprecise, this is especially true of the directional keys and “OK” and “Back” buttons, which are used navigate around the Emporia Click’s simplistic menu system.
The phone’s screen is 2.2-inch TFT display with a resolution of 176x220 pixels. While it’s hardly likely to impress mobile users accustomed to the eye-popping HD panels of devices like the Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3, it's bright and has decent viewing angles. You can choose to have enlarged text to make it even easier to read.
Finally, the addition of an LED flashlight is a nice touch, and the phone's ringer is so loud it could wake the dead -- something which come prove especially handy if you have poor hearing or have to work in a noisy environment.
Software, connectivity and camera
The Emporia Click’s user interface is so basic it would have seemed rudimentary a decade ago. Compared to modern standards, it’s positively archaic, but then that’s the intention. The phone has been designed with elderly users in mind and as a result is as simple to operate as possible. All of the key options are rarely more than two button presses away, and it’s only when you get into the settings menu that things become anything close to complicated.
The biggest technological advancement made by the Emporia Click over its predecessors is the inclusion of a camera, which in turns means the addition of MMS messaging. Before you get too excited, it’s worth pointing out that the camera is limited to capturing 640x480-pixel snaps, and the quality is predictably poor. Presumably Emporia feels that older mobile users are now ready for picture messaging, ten years after everyone else got totally bored of it.
Bluetooth is another new trick, and can be used to connect the phone to various compatible accessories.
The Emergency button on the back of the device is something that featured on the Emporia RL1 as well, and allows you to quickly dial a designated number in the event of a mishap. You can also assign numbers to three hot keys on the keypad, allowing you to quickly call up your most regular contacts.
One of the positives of having such humble hardware is prolonged battery life. With no 3G, Wi-Fi and email sync to sip your juice every hour of the day, the Emporia Click is capable of outlasting almost any smart phone you could care to mention.
The only annoyance is that when you do eventually need to top up that 1000 mAh battery you have to use the proprietary charger, as the Emporia Click sadly doesn’t use the industry-standard micro-USB charging port.
The Emporia Click’s specifications look almost laughable when compared to most modern phones, but to complain about that is almost missing the point. This is a mobile which has been created with supreme usability in mind, and is aimed at consumers who just want to talk, text and possibly send a picture message when they’re feeling particularly adventurous.
That all makes sense, but it’s somewhat harder to stomach the phone’s lofty retail price. It's currently available for around £90 - around the same price as phones like the Android-based Vodafone Smart 2, which offers much better specs, but without the OAP-friendly design features.
It really boils down to who is going to be using this phone. If you’re buying it for your short-sighted and stone-deaf grandparent so they can keep in touch over long distances, then it will suit its purpose perfectly. The additional security features -- such as the ability to dial emergency services just by pressing the button on the back of the device -- could also offer peace of mind for frail relatives.
It’s great that companies such as Emporia are thinking about some of the mobile sector’s marginalised consumers, but for most users the Emporia Click is simply going to offer too little for too much cash.