What about AG Mobile devices?

It is hard to imagine that just ten years ago, we were struggling to find an accessible phone for the blind. yes, there were the Nokias running on Symbian but, that was basically what you had to deal with.

Today, thanks to innovation from Google, Microsoft and Apple, we have a choice between Android, Windows mobile and iOS. We also have a number of manufacturers giving us options in the hardware space. Huawei, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, HTC, Nokia, etc.

However, as you know, we do not always know if the software works so nicely with the hardware as many network operators and manufacturers modifies the operating system features.

In this light, I have been asked how accessible this phone or that phone might be for a person here in South Africa who might be considering a new contract with one of the operators or who might be due for an upgrade on an existing one.

It is difficult to recommend phones if I have not worked with them myself. On paper, things might look (okay) but, many times, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

AG Mobile is a new local mobile phone manufacturer on the SA landscape and I have been asked specifically about the accessibility of these devices for blind and visually impaired persons.

It would appear that this phone is primarily available from Cell C but, I might be wrong.

At this point, I cannot recommend any of the AG Mobile devices to any person who is blind or visually impaired, as I have not been able to test any of these devices thus far.

There are a number of really good phones and if you don’t have the funds to waste, don’t spend it on something that is not going to work for you.

I was very sad when I learned of a fellow blind person who was promised by a salesperson that this AG Mobile device would be perfect for her and that it is exactly the same as Samsung, if not better.

It is not exactly the same as Samsung, or Huawei, or HTC, or whatever other phone’s name you want to mention. It is exactly as the AG Mobile device it is supposed to be.

Be careful, guys and girls. Do not just sign up and believe the sales blabber that you hear. Their job is to sell to whoever they can. They don’t give a damn about the fact that you don’t earn a lot of money or that you are blind or visually impaired.

If you find that it works for you, please let us know. Let’s empower one another by sharing info.

UPDATE 9 May, 2016

I’ve had the chance to play with three of the devices and all I can say is: STAY FAR AWAY FROM THEM IF YOU ARE USING TALKBACK.

The phones were buggy, crashed, hanged, restarted on its own and generally didn’t perform well at all.

Samsung Galaxy A5 – First impression

Samsung Mobile South Africa recently delivered the Samsung Galaxy A5 SM-A500F for testing and evaluation.

I will be putting this little beauty through its paces for the next 2 weeks or so; I’m just waiting for a nano-sim as the one I usually use got feet somehow.

The box comes with the usual items; nothing spectacular or strange. Charger, headset with microphone, USB charger and the obligotory booklets.

I must say that I love the feel of the phone. It feels solid and well-build. I like that.

However, turning Talkback on was a bit of an ordeal. (Note that this may be specific to the South African model.)

I had to get sighted asistance to turn talkback on in settings. Everything in the settings menu is vertically arranged so, the person must just scroll down in settings, find accessibility and go in; then find vision and tap on it. Talkback is the first item in vision.

After this, you can enable the triple click option and allocate it to Talkback or whatever you prefer.

The screen is responsive to touch and thus far, I was able to setup my Google account, even though I haven’t inserted my sim yet.

It is running Android V4.4.4 KitKat and I’m not sure if we will see an upgrade to v5 or not.

Excuse me while I get ready for some fun times.

Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 now in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 29 January, 2015 – Samsung Electronics South Africa has confirmed the local availability of the GALAXY A3 and GALAXY A5.

The devices feature refined full metal body designs that are 6.9mm and 6.7mm thin, respectively. Both the GALAXY A5 and GALAXY A3 will come in a variety of colours, including Pearl White, Midnight Black and Champagne Gold, to accommodate the personal style and preference of their diverse users.

Review

We have been promised that a review unit will be provided as soon as possible.

I must admit that I am rather excited although I am somewhat skeptical as to why it is running on an older version of Android.. That for me might be a deal breaker.

Availability

The devices are available through Samsung Experience stores, leading retailers and local mobile operators.

How much does it cost?

Continue reading Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 now in South Africa

The Accessible Phones mailing list for South African visually impaired and blind persons

If you are a South African visually impaired or blind person interested in accessible phones in a local context, feel free to join the Accessible phones mailing list.

 

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit the list info page. or, via email, send a message with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject or message body to: accessiblephones-request@accesstech.co.za

 

Once subscribed, you can send your submissions to: accessiblephones@accesstech.co.za

 

And should you run into any trouble, you can reach the person managing the list at accessiblephones-owner@accesstech.co.za

Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S III and S III Mini in South Africa

Yet another price comparison.

 

Admittedly the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is out of the range of many users.  For this reason, I have decided to check out how much it would cost to get either the Samsung Galaxy S III or the little brother, S III Mini on contract or cash. Continue reading Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S III and S III Mini in South Africa