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just5When Alex Petrov of Just5 asked me to review a Just5 mobile phone I felt honoured. I’d recently seen an article by Engadget that Just5 were at MWC2011 with a brand new model the CP11 and it looked very interesting.

The phone that I received in the post – however, was the cell phone Just5 J509, both utilize the same design scheme, large buttons, loudspeaker and the SOS button, but the CP11 has a  slide out screen.

This is a mobile phone for maybe your mum, dad, grandparents, someone that is hard of hearing, with poor eyesight, or even someone special needs.  With its huge numbers and basic features, its very easy to use. The non tech savvy people who say, I just want a phone that makes calls, will love it.
This phone feels very light, its a comfortable size, and its very sturdy.

Just5 Five basic features

1. Big Buttons
These big buttons really do make a difference. Easy to dial even without putting on glasses.
2. Ease of Operation
Removed unnecessary functions, to make this the easiest phone ever.
3. Amplified Sound
Very loud and clear.
4. Long Lasting Battery
The phone features 100 minutes of talk time and will stay charged for up to 6 days in standby mode.
5Personal Emergency Response System
This button can be a life saver! It can automatically call your emergency contacts! (This feature is completely FREE of monthly charge)
My absolute favourite part is the SOS emergency button, the button is sunk into the phone so that it cannot be pressed by accident. Users can preset up to five numbers for emergency, family, friends, doctors etc.  When a user presses the button the phone will text an urgent message to these five numbers, and then dial them in prioritised order.  Also when it’s dialing the phone will sound an alert siren to attract others attention.  The phone automatically switches to loudspeaker when someone answers the phone to make it easier for the user, in case they cannot hold the phone.

There are buttons on the side, which makes using the phone much easier.

A) Radio – on and off
B) Sound – up and down
C) Torch – on and off
D) Keyboard lock – and unlock

Keyboard lock can be confusing to the elderly,  this is much easier.

The top middle button is your main menu – there you have:
Phone Book
Settings
Sms
Call history

Just5 J509 also has a speaking keypad, that confirms the numbers that you have pressed, in English or Spanish. (Brilliant!)
The display is lit up and big enough, very clear.

Just5 for pensioners

Basically, I think these phones are fantastic for our oldies!   You know the type, they want a mobile phone so they can stay in touch at all times, but they don’t use it as they forget how or are frightened of it.  My dad, (sad because he was the one in our family with all the newest gadgets) used to ask me every week how to use his mobile phone. Now it just sits in the corner not even charged up. I guess a lot of people have this story.  The just5 would suit him better – if I could just convince him it was the latest thing on the market.

I would have like for my father to try this phone for a week to let you know how he got on but sadly Just5’s unlocked GSM 850/1900 band phones only enable users to connect to any U.S. or Canadian GSM service provider. (AT&T and T-Mobile)

Just5 for young children?

Just5 also suggested that they are targeting young children that need a starter phone.  I’m not sure as in my experience, once kids are old enough for a mobile phone, they want the most up to date Smartphone, and can use it better than you. Conversely, you may not want or be able to afford little Johnny to have the most expensive Smartphone. It might just be that you may just want to be able to contact him, then this could be the answer. Although I am informed that there is a J510 called the Spacephone by Just5 that might be more suitable.

There definitely is a market for these, and right now is the time.  I do know individuals that would use this phone, those users that always want the simplest phone on the market.
This is that phone.

UPDATE – 3 years later, I notice that just5 now have a few more mobile phones available.  Some have possibly been renamed as the CP09 looks like the one that I tested 3 years ago.  And they now have a Just5 EUROPE site so you can buy them in England!  Please check their site for prices and availability. 

Please look at the http://www.just5.com/home.php website for prices, specs, contracts and dealers.