When Lari Numminen and Jukka Kel¤l¤inen set out on their original quest – to take the complexities of our modern smartphone and make it easy for older users – they never imagined this project would culminate into an entirely new phone. They initially thought they were setting out to build an Android App that others could purchase and download to their current device. By using their App, older users could bypass the confusing architecture of Android and simply go to the areas of most interest, such as, Contacts, Email, Photos, Messages and Google. However, they found that the pre-installed apps of both Android and the manufacturer were still getting in the way and confusing to the user. Their conclusion was that they must design their own device, run Android 4.4 KitKat as the core OS and use their overlay – eliminating all of the unwanted programs. This new smartphone is named Zilta and will be available in December for â‚¬139 (about $189) in Europe.
Zilta is the simpler smartphone designed for those that are either less comfortable with technology, such as a first-time user or the very young or very old – although they discovered that even people in their 50's enjoyed using Zilta – anybody that is seeking simplicity in a smartphone. Their users realize that the world is changing, and whether they like it or not, they need to embrace the modern mobile era. If grandparents want to see or chat with their grandchildren they will have to use a smartphone (or tablet or computer) – an all-in-one device that can allow them to make a simple phone call or receive the latest vacation photos. It is just like a commercial where the three older ladies are sitting around talking and one says how she saved so much money by "posting everything to her wall," but the only problem is, she posted them by taping them to her living room wall – the other lady is arguing that is not how it works! Unfortunately, that is what some people think of when someone talks about their "wall." If you think this way, then Zilta may be the smartphone for you.
When you first look at the phone, you see nothing but six big icons – easy to see – and easy to navigate. Numminen says, "One of our role models is the old Nokia phones from the '90s that only did a handful of things, but they did them very well. In fact, quite a few people use their classic Nokia phones today." The icons are labeled: Email – Photos – Contacts – Google – Messages – and Applications, which gives you access to all of the other applications you may want on your phone. "This is the reason Zilta's home display has only six buttons, which users can configure to suit 80% of their demands." When you think about it, this all makes perfect sense and should be extremely easy for first-timers or technology challenged individuals…some people just do not like to read the instructions, but want to jump right in – then, Zilta seems made for those individuals.
Zilta delivers your experience on a 5-inch qHD (960 x 540) IPS display, powered by a Mediatek MTK6582 Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and a Mali-400 MP GPU. It's sporting 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, which they say is expandable, but do not tell us how they are allowing it. They gave it a 5MP main camera and a 2MP front-facing camera for video chatting and selfies. It has a Dual-SIM card, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM Radio built-in and you can download Apps from the Google Play Store. The Zilta is powered by an 1800mAh battery, which should give it all day availability. The device is 145 x 72.5 x 9.4 mm and weighs in at 152 grams and comes in White only at this time. Connectivity: WCDMA/GSM//GPRS/EDGE/HSPA/HSPA+
Pre-orders are being taken now and will initially cover their homeland of Ireland and parts of Europe, as supplies and distribution are available. It would be nice to see something like this end up in the U.S market, as I know many people that should be using a Zilta – it would make their life, as well as mine, a whole lot easier. Samsung has tried to help these people with their "Easy Mode," that takes a lot of the visual clutter away and narrows down the user's choices, but Zilta takes it to a whole new level. Simple and with just enough options to satisfy their target audience. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you know anybody that would benefit from a device such as Zilta…as always, we would love to hear from you.