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New 'Grandroid' smartphone designed for silver surfers

As increasing numbers of government and other services go online, internet access becomes more important and mobile devices play a big part in that.

Yet according to charity Age UK there are 10.8 million people aged 65 or over in the UK but only three per cent of them own a smartphone which could mean they're missing out on 'digital inclusion'. In order to make smartphones more accessible to older users, the new Amplicomms M9000 has all the benefits of an Android touch screen phone but with hardware and software specially adapted for the less technically adept.

Users of the phone can opt to use the standard Android 4.2 operating system or the Amplicomms operating system which features extra-large icons, intuitive menus and large, easy-to-read text along with built-in apps including a music player, calendar, email and internet browser. It's easy to switch between the two operating systems in the phone's menu.

The phone's hardware also has features geared to the needs of elderly users. It has a speaker volume of up to 40Db and a ringer volume of 90Db, it's also hearing aid compatible. On the back is an SOS button which can be programmed to call or text selected numbers in an emergency.

Standard phone features include 300K front and 5MP rear cameras, a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 256MB of RAM, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. It also has dual SIM slots to make it easy to switch networks. The M9000 is available now in the UK from Hearing It's SIM free so you can use any network and costs £139.99.

If you're wondering what your elderly relatives might use a smartphone for there's a handy infographic guide to suitable apps from HomeCare Technologies reproduced below.