a good, flexible smartphone that isn’t just for older people – The Irish Times

Where To Buy: Emporia Mobile

Think of the things you do daily on a smartphone almost instinctively. Now imagine you have less day-to-day experience with smartphones, and throw in some other obstacles to using a small device such as additional visual needs, or hearing loss. While most phones do a good job of supporting these additional needs, some companies have made a business out of focusing more keenly on the needs of this growing group.

Emporia is best known for its range of smartphones aimed at older users, making what has become essential technology available to an audience that may otherwise have been left behind.

But its latest device, the Emporia ME.6, changes things slightly. It still has all the features you would expect from an Emporia phone – an easy user interface option that cuts things down to the essential apps and features, an emergency button for contacting relatives or friends should you need it and compatibility with hearing aids. But it also acknowledges that its target market is growing and is now more comfortable with technology than before.

That emergency SOS button, while handy for walking alone late at night, can be reprogrammed to control quick access to certain functions – the camera, for example – which makes it a more widely accessible feature.

The design is also more like the standard smartphone you will see out there. It has a 6.5 inch screen and weighs in at just over 200g, so it doesn’t feel like a brick in your pocket.

It includes NFC [near field communications] for contactless payments – an essential these days – and biometric security features such as a fingerprint reader in the side button, which makes it easier to log into your phone and bypass passwords and access codes when needed.

Emporia has put a lot of thought into this device. It has a better camera than you would usually expect on a more budget-friendly phone, with a triple camera on the rear that includes a 50-megapixel lens and decent low-light support. The resulting photographs were sharp and detailed, even in less than ideal environments.

On the front, the selfie camera offers 8 megapixels, which will suffice for photos and video calls. Again, the quality here is decent and it doesn’t struggle much in lower light, although the rear camera is superior in that regard.

Powered by a 2.2ghz octa core processor, the ME.6 comes with 128GB capacity for its software, your media and anything else you like to add to it, and has 6GB of RAM. You can expand the storage with a Micro SD card, or take advantage of cloud storage options to keep your phone free of clutter.

All of this comes on a 5G compatible phone that ships with Android 13 as standard.

You can switch between the familiar Android interface and Emporia’s cut-down, tile-based interface that allows you to simplify the system down to the most essential elements – phone, email, text, internet access.

If you are using the phone because you want a low-cost handset that is easy to use and doesn’t scrimp on many of the features we now see as essential, you can stick with the regular Android option you get out of the box. If you are giving the phone to someone less comfortable with technology – regardless of age – you can set it to the simple mode that will offer up the essentials in an easy to access presentation with just a few adjustments to the settings.

It doesn’t require much tech expertise to do it, and the switch can be made back and forth multiple times.

The best news? The Emporia ME.6 costs less than €300 for the phone sim-free, making it a decent bargain for those who want a few extras in a phone that isn’t committed to one network, but don’t plan on parting with a mortgage payment for the privilege.


If you want an easier to use 5G smartphone without having to sacrifice functionality, the Emporia ME6 is it. The simple user interface is ideal for users who are less comfortable with technology, but for those who are comfortable, you can disable it in a few seconds. The phone also has more advanced features for those who want them, including a fingerprint reader in the side button, a triple rear camera and NFC.

It is also one of the less expensive phones out there, at under €300.


The storage is a little on the small side at 128GB and RAM is only 6GB. That may cause an issue if you want to run a particularly memory intensive app, but for most people it won’t present a problem. It also ditches the headphone jack.

Everything else

It supports Micro SD cards, so you can expand the capacity of the phone’s storage yourself. It also supports protocols such as Asha, which is Google’s answer to audio streaming for hearing aids. Expect to see further health-focused tech on this device in the future.


A good, flexible smartphone option that isn’t just for older people. And it won’t be too hard on your pocket.

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