We have tested the SPC Harmony terminal analyzing how it solves the most common needs among the elderly group.
Physical appearance, buttons and modes
First of all, it is important to review the disposition of the terminal in a collapsible way. The fact of having the hinged lid allows you to avoid unwanted key presses and having an external viewer to be aware of the time, or the record of missed calls or the name of the person calling.
Once the lid is open, we find a numeric keypad with a certain relief that has large keys with "5jkl" layout with high contrast and backlighting.
The terminal, without becoming a Smartphone like those that incorporate the Android operating system or IOS for general use, includes numerous features that make it halfway between a basic phone and the most advanced models for a reasonable price.
The terminal has side buttons for volume control and also has a side button to turn on and off the LED flashlight that incorporates.
It would be advisable to improve the identification of certain buttons such as "ok" and "back" for correct differentiation at first sight.
The predictive keyboard mode activated by default is quite confusing when entering text on the screen. There is the possibility to change it in Messages / write / options / writing mode and then select ES or is (lowercase letters) instead of Smart ES which is the predictive mode. We have not found a way for the new configuration to be saved by default so we do not have to change it every time we want to write again.
You can create shortcuts using certain keys to functionalities such as the camera or others in case this is useful to the user.
The volume of keys can not be lowered to the total silence only with the buttons, it is necessary to place silence profile inside the configuration menu in the profile section, which may not be so intuitive.
You can also activate the vibration in the key press, this option is initially disabled by default.
Menu and text size
Texts and icons within the menu are relatively large and with contrast, but are not adjustable in size.
The menu has a multitude of options and can be confusing, so a certain learning period is required to get access to some features.
Pressing the SOS button allows you to make a call and send an SMS of help to the different contacts previously selected as recipients
For its use, it is necessary to activate it first in the configuration and indicate the list of receiver numbers.
You can activate the sending of an additional SOS alert message to the call, configurable and a warning tone.
The warning tone is good for alerting people from the environment as it is heard through the speaker.
The pulsation must be at least 1 second and after activating you have 5 seconds to be able to cancel in false that the user considers that it is a false alarm by involuntary pulsation.
The operation of the SOS button is reliable and is one of the strengths of this product.
The volume of call without resorting to the loudspeaker is very acceptable. The speaker for hands free allows the use without having the terminal near the ear.
The terminal does not incorporate compatibility for HAC hearing aids.
There are three memory buttons M1, M2, and M3 to memorize common contacts to make a call quickly.
The photos do not have a great resolution, but it can be useful to immortalize some moment. In the case of videos it is necessary to insert an SD card (not included in the product) to be able to store them.
One of the most obvious points to improve is the fact of incorporating a simple manual that allows orientation in the different functionalities that the phone incorporates. Without this manual it is difficult to decipher some menus and options.
FM radio and audio
The phone incorporates the functionality of FM radio and mp3 audio playback but does not incorporate headphones so it is necessary to acquire a few. During the time that we have used the radio we have appreciated background noise.
The telephone comes with a charging base on which the terminal must be placed in vertical position. This base should have only one possible position instead of two to avoid its placement in the opposite direction. In addition, the coupling between base and terminal should be improved since sometimes it does not fit quite well and therefore it remains uncharged.
The phone has a battery of 800mAh that can be translated into a range of 4 to 5 days depending on the use.
Magnifying glass, flashlight, calendar, alarm and calculator
The phone has another series of interesting functions.
The magnifying glass does its function, it is done by the terminal's own camera and works correctly to enlarge small texts.
The lantern is activated and deactivated by means of a lateral button destined for such purpose. The flashlight consists of an LED located next to the camera that can be very useful in low light conditions.
The alarm, calendar and calculator are managed from the "Organizer" menu.
The alarm has a very simple configuration allowing to place up to 5 different activations.
The calendar allows you to visualize the different days of the month, and in turn allows you to generate events for reminders on specific days.
The calculator also has a very simple use.
All these add-ons are what make this terminal, without having the complexity of a Smartphone, cover many very useful aspects for any elderly person.
The phone has texts and icons moderately large and with contrast what makes it possible to be used by people who begin to have some vision difficulties. In any case, the terminal can not be used by people with a very low percentage of vision because they do not have voice prompts.
In future versions it would be good if the terminal incorporated the HAC hearing aid compatibility.
The SPC Harmony is an economic terminal that has been designed with many of the needs of the elderly in mind, without actually jumping into a Smartphone they can use some interesting functionality. The most important thing is that the important things work, that is, the calls are heard correctly, the SOS button is reliable and the battery has a certain autonomy so that you do not have to recharge every day.
- Appropriate size, folding and robust
- Good audio quality on calls
- Many features flashlight, magnifying glass, audio and FM radio, alarm, calendar ...
- The SOS Button: simple and reliable
- The 3 buttons with memory for direct call to contacts
- It is necessary to attach a simple manual explaining the operation of the terminal
- The predictive keyboard generates confusion and is not easy to deactivate
- The charging station could be improved by providing a single way to fit the load connectors tightly