This Aussie Smartphone for Seniors Aims to Make Video Calls With Nan a Little Less Painful

This Aussie Smartphone for Seniors Aims to Make Video Calls With Nan a Little Less Painful
Image: BigPurplePhone

An Australian company has launched a new smartphone made for seniors, called the BigPurplePhone.

The BigPurplePhone is specifically designed for older people struggling with technology, and its creators (James and Libby Henderson) say it’s simple enough to be used by dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers.

The Hendersons say BigPurplePhone was the result of being separated from their parents during COVID-19 lockdowns. Libby’s 85-year-old mother Janette couldn’t quite navigate video calling and options for a phone that she could use were limited.

“That was the catalyst that inspired us to create the BigPurplePhone,” Libby said.

Despite its pitch as a phone for those wanting a smartphone without the bells and whistles, the BigPurplePhone still comes with a smartphone price tag – $699 outright.

The phone gets its name from the large purple digits on the screen. For the $700, you’ll actually get a tonne of features. The phone has an emergency call button that dials Triple Zero and also notifies families of an emergency situation. The BigPurplePhone stores contacts with pictures, boasts an instant video call feature, offers voice to text, comes with pre-set music and radio options and responds to tap, not just touch.

It has a 3.5mm headphone jack for plugging in corded headphones (it comes with a pair, too).

It also operates on a “secure family and friends network” (this is controlled via an app on a family or friend’s smartphone) and as it’s a closed network, it means that scammers or unwanted callers cannot call the phone – only trusted contacts which have been added by family and friends can. That means The BigPurplePhone does not connect to Wi-Fi, but it will use the data included in your plan. The closed network also means that family and friends can securely share photos.

If you’re interested in a BigPurplePhone and don’t want to spend the $700 up front, you can instead opt for a monthly subscription for a cost of