Using a smartphone can be tough for seniors, so Fujitsu and Orange have teamed up to make the Stylistic S01, an Android smartphone that respects its elders.
Sold by the France Telecom-Orange network, the 4-inch, water- and dust-resistant S01 is Fujitsu's first major smartphone to go on sale outside Japan. It's loaded with features designed to make things easier for older users borrowed from the Fujitsu Raku-Raku series of phones, on sale to seniors in Japan for more than a decade.
The touch screen is as easy to use as a keypad with physical buttons, using a "unique screen technology" that avoids accidental presses by requiring you to press as hard on an icon on the touch screen as you would on a button on a keypad.
The phone also adjusts the sound of phone calls to help you hear better. Tell the S01 your age and it adjusts the frequency range of sound given out to make it easier to hear the voice on the other end of the line. And it claims it can slow down the speech of fast-talking callers in real time without lowering the pitch of their voice or delaying the conversation.
There's also a loud personal security alarm that sounds to alert people nearby if you've fallen, or if any feckless youths go on the attack.
The Stylistic S01 runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and also includes the usual local Orange apps. Orange et Moi is an app that lets you monitor your account, and Orange Cineday gets you a free cinema ticket every Tuesday, the French equivalent of the 2-for-1 Orange Wednesday offer in the UK.
Powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255 1.4GHz processor, the S01 also boasts an 8.1-megapixel camera and a second camera at the front for video calls to the grandkids.
The Stylistic S01 will arrive on Orange in France in June. In the meantime it'll be on show at MWC, the annual mobile phone show in Barcelona, Spain, next week. Keep it on CNET for all the first news, previews, and videos of the coolest new phones and tablets -- for all ages.