We have tested the SPC Harmony terminal by analyzing how it solves the most common needs among the elderly group.
Physical appearance, buttons and modes
In the first place, it is important to review the disposition of the terminal itself in a folding way. The fact of having the hinged cover allows you to avoid unwanted keystrokes and by having an external display to keep track of the time, or the record of missed calls or the name of the person who is calling.
Once the lid is opened, we find a numeric keypad with a certain relief that has large keys with a “5jkl” layout with high contrast and backlighting.
The terminal, without becoming a Smartphone like those that incorporate Android or IOS operating systems for general use, includes numerous functionalities that make it halfway between a basic phone and the most advanced models for a fairly reasonable price.
The terminal has side buttons for volume control and it also has a side button to turn on and off the LED flashlight that it incorporates.
It would be advisable to improve the identification of certain buttons such as "ok" and "back" for their correct differentiation at first glance.
The predictive keyboard mode enabled by default is quite confusing when it comes to entering text on the screen. There is the possibility to change it in Messages / write / options / writing mode and there select ES or es (uppercase lowercase) instead of Smart ES which is predictive mode. We have not found a way for the new configuration to be recorded by default so that we do not have to change it every time we want to write again.
You can create shortcuts using certain keys to functionalities such as the camera or others in case this is useful to the user.
The volume of the keys cannot be lowered to total silence only with the buttons, you have to place a silence profile in the configuration menu in the profiles section, which may not be so intuitive.
You can also activate the vibration when pressing the keys, this option is initially deactivated by default.
Menu and texts
The texts and icons within the menu are relatively large and with contrast, but they are not adjustable in size.
The menu has a multitude of options and can be confusing, requiring a certain learning period to access some features.
Pressing the SOS button allows you to make a call and send a help SMS to the different contacts previously selected as recipients
To use it, it is first necessary to activate it in the configuration and indicate the list of receiver numbers.
You can activate the sending of an additional SOS alert message to the call, configurable and a warning tone.
The alert tone is fine to alert people around you as it is heard through the speaker.
The pulse must be at least 1 second and after being activated you have 5 seconds to be able to falsely cancel that the user considers it to be a false alarm due to involuntary pulsation.
The operation of the SOS button is reliable and is one of the strengths of this product.
The call volume without resorting to the loudspeaker is very acceptable. The hands-free loudspeaker allows use without holding the terminal close to your ear.
The terminal does not incorporate HAC hearing aid compatibility.
There are three memory buttons M1, M2, and M3 to store common contacts to quickly make a call.
The photos do not have a high resolution, but it can be useful to immortalize a moment. In the case of videos, it is necessary to insert an SD card (not included in the product) to be able to store them.
One of the most obvious points to improve is the fact of incorporating a simple manual that allows you to orient yourself in the different functionalities that the phone incorporates. Without this manual it is difficult to decipher some menus and options.
FM radio and audio playback
The phone incorporates the functionality of FM radio and mp3 audio playback but does not incorporate headphones so it is necessary to purchase a separate one. During the time that we have used the radio we have appreciated background noise.
The phone comes with a charging base on which the terminal must be placed in a vertical position. This base should have only one possible position instead of two to avoid placing it in the opposite direction. In addition, the coupling between base and terminal should be improved since sometimes it does not fit quite well and therefore remains uncharged.
The phone has an 800mAh battery that can translate into a range of 4 to 5 days depending on use.
Magnifying glass, flashlight, calendar, alarm and calculator
The phone has a number of other cool features.
The magnifying glass does its job, it is done by the terminal's own camera and works correctly to enlarge small texts.
The flashlight is activated and deactivated by a button on the side designed for this purpose. The flashlight consists of an LED located next to the camera that can be very useful in low light conditions.
The alarm, calendar and calculator are managed from the "Organizer" menu.
The alarm has a very simple configuration allowing to place up to 5 different activations.
The calendar allows you to view the different days of the month, and in turn allows you to generate reminder events on specific days.
The calculator is also very easy to use.
All these accessories are what make this terminal, without having the complexity of a Smartphone, cover many very useful aspects for any elderly person.
The phone has medium-large texts and icons with contrast, which means that it can be used by people who are beginning to have some vision difficulties. In any case, the terminal cannot be used by people with a very low percentage of vision as it does not have voice prompts.
In future versions it would be good if the terminal incorporated HAC hearing aid compatibility.
The SPC Harmony is an inexpensive terminal that has been designed thinking about many of the needs of the elderly who, without making the leap to a Smartphone, can make use of some interesting functionality. The most important thing is that the important things work, that is, calls are heard correctly, the SOS button is reliable and the battery has a certain autonomy so that you do not have to recharge every day.
- Properly sized, foldable and robust
- Good audio quality on calls
- Many functionalities flashlight, magnifying glass, audio and FM radio, alarm, calendar ...
- The SOS Button: simple and reliable
- The 3 buttons with memory for direct call to contacts
- It is necessary to attach a simple manual that explains the operation of the terminal
- Predictive keyboard is confusing and not easy to disable
- The charging station could be improved by providing a single way to fit the charging connectors snugly