- Disabilities & the Disabled
Cochlear Implant & Cell Phones Update With Samsung
- Cochlear Implant and Cell Phones
The first hub on this. It addresses how the cochlear implant works and what you should look for. This is the update with a new review of a phone.
Oh, LG Scoop! (Wow, Bad Reviews?)
The Death of LG Scoop
My LG Scoop was dying. After almost two years of good use, it was
dying a peaceful death in my hands during the last week of July. I
continued to keep it alive until one day, strolling through the mall,
my gentleman suggested we take a look in the Verizon store we were
passing by. I balked, muttering, as I was taken by the hand and tugged
through the doorways.
The smiling man at the counter asked us what we were looking for. I explained that my dearest phone was dying. It was orange, shiny, with great texting capabilities, and worked semi-well with my hearing impairment. I almost didn't bother explaining my cochlear implant until he mentioned he recognized what it was and said according to my descriptions he had something for me. Yes, surprising, considering that with most sellers you must list your specifications and explain how it the bionic ear works.
Bear with me, this list is quite obvious. Many cell phones have these capabilities now. However, just keep them in mind to have the salesperson go over these with you.
- High-quality sound. You would want something that helps you to hear better with the cochlear implant or any assistant listening technology.
- Bluetooth technology. Cochlear implant products have many accessories that work with bluetooth technology.
- Texting capabilities and services. This one is fairly obvious. It's really useful to have a good service like this for any person that enjoys texting over phone calls, particularly for the hearing impaired and cochlear implant users.
- Telecoil compatibility. I would ask the
sales representative or seller of the cell phones about the
compatibility with telecoils that helps reduce interferences. (Cochlear
Implant industry provides telecoils for the products).
- Flip-flop/Clamshell designs are actually better at reducing frequency than slider phones, but there are a few exceptions ( like my LG Scoop ;) ).
antennas. Cochlearamericas.com recommend that the cochlear implant
users find a phone that lets you point the antenna away from the ear to
- Auxiliary port (headset port). Most cell phones have this, but I'd check anyway. There are many different styles of ports so you can find one that is compatible. I'd also check by using the auxiliary audio earhook or other implant products that can hook into the auxiliary port.
Intense Hearing For The Rest of Us
How Are You Feeling? Pretty Intense, Right?
He also mentioned that this phone had just come out this particular last week of July, so I'd be one of the first at their store. So, what is it?
Samsung Intensity II U460. It's a follow-up to Samsung Intensity U450.
- Not the color I wanted. (Picky, picky!)
- The QWERTY keyboard in the opposite direction from the LG Scoop.
- It had a good, solid, slightly hefty weight in my hand.
- Neat texture on the back.
- No video, just pictures.
- No flash, but good quality pictures.
- Night vision is an interesting bonus.
- Financially, I couldn't afford something neat like Droid (which I feel would be totally incompatible with my disability anyway). This phone was up to my standards AND affordable.
- Electronically, it was definitely an upgrade from my previous phone.
What I came to find out, though, was that the sound quality for my ear was absolutely amazing! There was rarely an interference and I have never lost a call yet at 4 weeks of Samsung Intensity II ownership. I tested it constantly by putting it very close against my ear and talking to the caller on the other side.
Another thing that really pleased me was what I discovered in my recent two-hour trip to my hometown in NC. Can you guess? In this particular travel between the border, especially in climbing (and occasionally breathtakingly declining) altitude and passing through what are usually no-signal areas, my Samsung rarely lost a signal that I've noticed. My navigator, my best friend SognoPiccolo, next to me would exclaim at losing signal and I would pick up mine to check the how mine was. Granted, it would lose some bars but I've never seen it lose all signal completely during the no-signal ranges. It provided me a feeling of safety that, if nothing else, I would be able to text or call my gentleman should anything happen. Even with the fantastic clarity and sounds that my cochlear implant provides me for my one ear, I still feel absolutely vulnerable outside of my home.
- Samsung Intensity II (Phone Arena)
Samsung Intensity II specs and features, in-depth review with ratings including user reviews and photos. Medium details.
Not a Smart Phone
No, but it certainly seems to be living up to its name. The quality of sound really is distinct. Perhaps it is the way it works with my cochlear as opposed to other phones. I particularly enjoy setting it down while it is on speakerphone and the person I'm talking with still understands me clearly. Likewise, I still understand my caller!
The cons of this phone does not directly affect my hearing or my communications with the other callers or texters. It is, however, worth considering. This list is a personal view on what can be considered cons with this phone.
- Complications with vibration mode. I can't get it to work quite the way I want it to. That may be a user issue, though. Others have complained of similar issue.
- Texting is difficult when incoming texts interrupt and saves your message to draft. Usually, though, this is bypassed with clicking the CLR button. Sometimes, this doesn't always work with me. Again, another user issue.
- The QWERTY keyboard is difficult to use sometimes for obvious reasons. It is crammed onto a small plate and I sometimes use my nails to hit at some keys.
I have a feeling that my readers who are cochlear implanted have different preferences. In particular, this phone is not a smart phone. I would like to hear from smart phone users!