The Best Phones for People with Bad Eyesight

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on July 2, 2014, Buying Guides

If you’re visually impaired then using some of today’s smart phone can be a pain, and sometimes downright impossible. With small text, fiddly buttons and tiny icons, many phones today just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to those that don’t have 20/20 vision. Fortunately, there are some great options available.

You’re going to be looking for either a phone that has a large screen that’s easily visible, or one that has decent voice recognition software so that seeing the screen isn’t essential. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best phones that fall into one of these two categories. Whether you’re looking for a phone to use every day, or just something that you can read in bed without your glasses on, you might want to check out some of these models…

The iPhone 5S or 5C

The iPhone 5S and 5C

The iPhone 5S and 5C

Okay, you might not expect to see an iPhone, with its notoriously small screen, at the top of this list, but bear with us. The iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C both have one saving grace when it comes to visually impaired users: Siri. Siri is the iOS assistant, and in the newest iPhone’s her voice recognition software has been vastly improved. This means no more typing, no more searching for icons, all you need to do is get Siri switched on and in voice recognition mode, and you’ll be all set. You’ll be able to use all the regular iPhone features through Siri and you’ll never need to read a thing, pretty sweet, right?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - Large Screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Large Screen

If you want something that you can really read then you might want to consider heading into the phablet section of the market. A phablet is a cross between a smart phone and a tablet, it’s bigger than a phone but smaller than a tablet. For you, that means a big screen that’s easy to read. The king of phablets at the moment (at least until the release of its successor later this year) is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. With its massive 5.7 inch screen and super high specs, the Note 3 is a high end phone that just happens to be perfect for those with less than perfect vision. You’ll spend a pretty penny, but it might be worth it to get a large screen that’s easily visible.

The Huawei Ascend Mate

Huawei Ascend Mate

Huawei Ascend Mate

Fancy an easy to read phablet, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a bit out of your price range? Then check out the Huawei Ascend Mate. This phablet from the Chinese company that’s famed for producing solid quality phones at rock bottom prices has an enormous 6.1 inch display. That means that there’s plenty of room for reading and zooming in to make text sizes bigger. The Ascend Mate doesn’t quite have the specs of the Galaxy Note 3, but it’s still a pretty decent phone with some good processing power and a decent camera. All in all the Ascend Mate is a great compromise of features and cost, and that 6.1 inch screen is tough to beat.

The Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Android’s new operating system version, 4.4 Kit Kat, has hugely improved voice recognition software. You can now use an Android in much the same way that you can use iPhone’s Siri, which is, of course, fantastic for the visually impaired. You don’t need the Samsung Galaxy S5 to run Android 4.4, but you will be getting a top end phone, and one that has a 5.1 inch screen to boot. Plus, Samsung’s S Voice software makes implementing Android’s voice recognition ability easy as pie. You can even turn S Voice on and off with your voice, meaning that you can use the programme whenever you wish.

The LG G Flex

LG G Flex - Curved Screen

LG G Flex – Curved Screen

The LG G Flex is a relatively new release on the UK market, but it’s got some impressive benefits for the visually impaired. This is a phablet, with a huge six inch screen, but not only that, the display on the LG G Flex is curved. This curve is designed to mimic the curve of your eye, and therefore reduce glare which can make smart phone screen’s difficult to read. The combination of the curve and the large screen should make this a great choice for customers with not so perfect eyesight… As an added bonus the LG G Flex has a huge battery and great battery life, which is uncommon in a large screen phone.

The Samsung Galaxy Round

Samsung Galaxy Round

Samsung Galaxy Round

The Samsung Galaxy Round is similar to the LG G Flex, with a concave screen to reduce glare and make it easier to read. The display this time is only 5.7 inches, but that’s still firmly in phablet territory, and the Galaxy Round does have slightly better performance specs than the LG model. You also get a newer version of Android’s operating system on the Galaxy Round, which means better voice recognition software…

The Sony Z Ultra

Sony Z Ultra

The Sony Z Ultra really pushes the limits of a phablet and is very close indeed to becoming a tablet with its 6.7 inch screen. You do get full phone functionality, though carrying the Z Ultra around in your pocket is a bit of a nightmare. On top of that monstrous screen though, the Z Ultra is running Android 4.4 Kit Kat, so you’ve got the best in Android voice recognition software. When it comes to the combination of screen size and voice recognition, the Sony Z Ultra is as good as it gets.

The Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia Lumia 1520

Let’s finish up the list with a phone for those that don’t want an Android. The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a Windows phablet, and has an impressive six inch screen, which is obviously a good thing for those who are visually impaired. However, a Windows phone might just be a good choice in general, with its large, brightly coloured icons that are easy to see. Windows is a simple to use and easy to see operating system, and is well worth considering if you don’t have perfect eyesight. Sadly, voice recognition software isn’t great on the Lumia 1520, but the rest of the specs are solid, and you’ll get good performance as well as a great camera.

Photo Credit for images 2,4,5,6 & 7. Photo Credit for image 3. Photo Credit for featured image.