Intex’s mobile phone for people who are visually impaired, called the IN 2020 VISION, was designed and launched in collaboration with The National Association for the Blind. We earlier posted an un-boxing video of the device, and as we promised earlier, here’s our review.
A very basic handset including features like dual-SIM capability (both GSM), a 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio, audio player expandable memory support of up to 2GB, torch light, and a mobile tracker. It has a big keypad and a small mono black and white display. The packaged accessories include a charger, and a headset.
Here’s a quick video review of the handset.
The handset has an all plastic body and gives a very dummy-ish feel to the handset. The 1.6 inch display seems pretty small, has an orange backlight and has a mono black and white display.
However, the first thing you’ll notice is the large keypad. The keys cover almost 85% of the handset’s front and are Braille enabled. A visually impaired person can easily touch and identify the number keys and the call and end keys. Other than that there is an up-down directional key which opens the menu and lets you scroll through it. On the sides there are some useful slider keys which help the user access features like FM radio, the torch light, and locking the phone. The left side has keys for volume control and a slider key that activates and deactivates the FM radio. The right side has two sliders, one activates and deactivates the torch, and the second slider locks and unlocks the keypad.
On the top there is an LED torch light which can be useful for signaling people. The bottom has a charging pin, a microUSB connector (which also charges the phone) and a 3.5mm audio jack. A very useful addition is the SOS button which is at the back. By pressing this button, a user can directly call any of the 4 stored emergency numbers.
The battery has a capacity of 800mAH which seems enough keeping in mind that it is a basic entry level handset. After a full charge, the handset was still running after 7 days of standby.
The user interface is pretty simple, and an effort has been made to make it as simple as possible. The standby screen shows the time, date, battery status and network signal status. The menu has your basic phonebook, messaging, multimedia, and a settings option. The phone has a capacity of 1000 phonebook entries and 250 SMS memory which seem pretty good. The settings for both SIMs can be changed as the user requires. Messaging is pretty simple as the big keys allow you type easily. There also an option for typing in Hindi.
To be honest, using the phone is pretty simple; however it might get a little cumbersome for someone who can’t see properly. Features like calling, accessing the FM radio and torch light, are all pretty easy. But typing texts and personalising the phone’s settings may take a little effort for people who can’t see.
There is an Audio player which plays your basic MP3s and ringtone formats and it has options like repeat and shuffle as well. The built is speaker is pretty loud and provides ample sound to fill in the whole room. However you cannot minimise or run the audio player in the background.
The FM Radio is pretty clear and loud. A built in traditional antenna at the bottom of the phone comes out and provides access to all radio stations available in the area. The slide key on the left gives quick access to the radio and allows you to play music even in the background.
Priced at Rs. 2500 it isn’t a very good looker, nor does it feel very sturdy in your hands. But the design surely solves the main purpose, which is catering to people who cannot see properly or cannot see at all.
By adding features like a microSD card slot, FM Radio, and an audio player has made the phone quite attractive even though the display is black and white. But from the point of view of a visually impaired person, the handset seems a very good option as there aren’t many phones out there that are specifically built for visually challenged community.