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Emporia bringing simplified mobile phones to North America


January 16, 2012

North American availability of the emporiaCLICK (left) and emporiaSOLIDplus (right) has been announced at CES

North American availability of the emporiaCLICK (left) and emporiaSOLIDplus (right) has been announced at CES

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Although it can't be denied that smartphones are ... well, that they're really smart, the fact is that not everyone wants to play games, shoot and watch videos, surf the web or use apps every time they step out their door. For many people, the ability to make and receive phone calls is all that really matters. It was for minimalists like these that Austrian electronics company emporia designed its very basic, large-keyed mobile phones. While they were previously not available to North American consumers, that changed with an announcement last week at CES.

There are two phones scheduled for release in the new market - the emporiaCLICK and the emporiaSOLIDplus.

The CLICK has a clamshell design, and incorporates features such as:

  • Digital camera
  • One-touch Call for Care emergency function - push to dial emergency services or up to five stored numbers until someone picks up
  • SMS and MMS texts
  • LED flashlight
  • Incoming call alert with LED light, high-powered vibration motors, and very high-volume ringtone capability
  • Bluetooth and hands-free function
  • Alarm clock and calculator
  • Hearing aid-compatible speakers
  • Three dedicated speed dial keys

A full charge of its battery should provide 240 minutes of talk time, or 320 hours on stand-by. It will sell for under US$100.

While some of the CLICK's features suggest that it's aimed at seniors, the SOLIDplus appears to be more of a "chuck it in your backpack/tool box and go" phone. It meets MIL-STD-810F military specifications, which means that it can withstand exposure to dust, shock, vibration, rain, humidity, altitude and extreme temperatures. Some of its other features include:

  • Extra-hard display glass
  • Call for Care function
  • Bluetooth and hands-free function
  • LED flashlight
  • Incoming call alert with LED light
  • Alarm clock and calculator
  • Extra-loud speakerphone
  • Splash-proof

It also offers 240 minutes of talk time, or up to 25 days on stand-by. It will be priced somewhere under $150.

Both of the emporia phones should be available in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, as of this spring.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Sometimes you just want a phone with a battery that doesn\'t flash red within an hour of charging.. I like this.

Anthony Rice

Gee, a smart phone that\'s actually a good telephone! It seems that iphone folks were so focused on making a computer out of it they forgot the focus on simply making a good phone. My iphone is the worst cell phone I\'ve ever owned. Poor speaker, microphone, and no indicator that a call was missed (like a simple flashing led) Try cleaning dust off the screen while talking will probably get you disconnected. At least a headset/microphone makes it usable for me... after the panic to get it plugged into the phone, and my ears, in time to answer a call. A 3.5\" screen to use the Internet is also not very useful. (however, 19\" screen is a good starter for me)


I miss my sony ericcson stoopid phone, and do love my palm pre 3 yes hacked to work on tmobile

Bill Bennett

Where and when will I be able to buy one of these phones? I am unhappy with the choices that are currently available.

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