A new smartphone for people with hearing problems

A new smartphone for people with hearing problems

Don't let hearing difficulties get in your way with the new PowerTel M9000 smartphone

Yours Verdict

Product: Amplicomms PowerTel M9000
Price: £139.99
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

What it says it does:

The PowerTel M9000 is the first touch screen smartphone that’s specially designed for those with a hearing loss. An impressive (up to) 40dB of incoming speech amplification means that above all else the ability to use it for phone conversations will be significantly better than the mainstream smart phones. Of course, this benefit will only be useful if you can hear the phone ring and to ensure that you never miss a call has a ringer volume of up to 90dB.

Like any other smart phone the Amplicomms PowerTel M9000 can connect to Wi-Fi to search the internet or help you keep in touch by email. There’s a high-resolution 4-inch colour screen and high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. Using the Android 4.2 operating system you can download numerous Apps too.

In a nutshell everything you’d expect form a smartphone but enabled to compensate for those with a hearing loss.

Available from: www.hearingdirect.com  tel: 0800 032 1301

What our tester said:

I was keen to test this phone for my husband who has hearing difficulties and struggles with conversations on a conventional mobile phone.

The M9000 was incredibly easy to set up – with large, clear touch-screen icons taking you straight to make a call or send a text message. Setting up email and internet takes a little longer but isn’t at all difficult (especially if you already have experience of a smart phone).

The ring volume is indeed very loud – my husband could hear it easily even without his hearing aids. When it came to having a conversation he was really impressed not only with the volume (in fact he found it too loud and had to turn it down) but also the clarity – he could really confidently and easily hear everything I said.

For elderly or frail relatives living on their own there’s the extra peace of mind with the useful addition of an SOS button on the back. This enable you to pre-program the device to call a particular number (for example a relative or neighbour) and sound a (very) loud alarm when pressed in an emergency.

On the downside we found the touchscreen keyboard a little unresponsive – if you tried to type quickly it didn’t quite keep up. The camera shutter seemed slow too. I found that I kept accidently moving the phone before the shutter closed so I’ve only managed to take blurry pictures so far – but I’m sure with practice I’ll master it!

Overall this is a great little phone that does everything you need it to. The clarity of speech is a huge advantage and, for anyone with hearing problems, this would far outweigh any little niggles with the keyboard or camera.

Facts and figures:

  • Extra-loud receiver volume
  • Hearing aid compatibility M4/T4
  • Handset volume up to approx. 40 dB
  • Music player support WAV, WMA, AAC and MP3
  • Extra-loud ring tone adjustable to approx. 90 dB
  • Wireless connection to Bluetooth devices including computers, headsets, induction loops or in-car systems. Transfer of phonebook entries (dependant on Bluetooth® protocol)
  • Talking Caller ID for up to 10 numbers (on or off)
  • Headset socket (3.5 mm Jack)
  • High resolution 4" TFT-LCD colour display
  • Front camera 300 K Pixel, back camera 5 M Pixel Autozoom
  • Send/receive SMS/MMS messages and emails