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Pick up a new phone for Mum this Mother's Day!

  • iPhone always good, not always appropriate
  • Optus, Virgin and Vodafone have some good models
  • Amaysim and Dodo monthly plans a good option if you already have a handset
Written by Adam Wajnberg

This is an unscientific estimate, but I would say 104% of our enquiries come from people looking for a phone, plan or advice for their mum. It’s part of the Circle of Life; as we become adults, our parents devolve to gibbering children in the face of technological change.

Click here to check out the best deals on iPhones, or call Optus on 1300 137 897!

       best phones for mum

        Photo credit: flickr

As digital natives, it is the role of us children to make enquiries and narrow down mum’s options from the dozens and dozens of choices. Here’s a quick breakdown depending on the type of mum you have:

For the mum "who doesn’t want anything fancy”

Assuming your mum actually is frugal and not just guilt tripping you, you may want to look at a solid featurephone (the polite way now of referring to a dumbphone). There’s a good chance you have one of these lying around already; but there are some very cheap options available right now that bring a handful of smartphone-like easy functions to an otherwise cheap, durable handset.

Optus Doro PhoneEasy  (Click here to read our original article)

              doro phoneeasy


The Doro Phone Easy has been specifically designed with seniors in mind. It’s a clamshell flip phone, which is not terribly fashionable now, but will allow Mum to feel like she lives in a futuristic wonderland. More seriously, the phone includes a big sweep of features – bluetooth, medications reminder, 3.2 MP camera…but that’s not what Mum’s gonna love about it.

The PhoneEasy comes with a big, bright display, a flashlight (actually the camera flash) that can be quickly engaged, and extra loud speakers that can be directly attuned to most hearing aids. The Phone Easy can be purchased outright for $165.

Buying this phone on a cap plan is not worth it- cap plans are tricky to monitor, and have a lot of traps that seniors can fall into. Best to buy outright and hook Mum up with Amaysim’s $40 Unlimited Plan (Call 1300 302 942) or Dodo’s $39.90 Magic SIM (Call 1300 136 793). Both of these plans offer month-to-month contracts and Unlimited call and text to any number in Australia. The Dodo plan offers 100 international minutes as well, to over 50 destinations.

For the Mum who knows what’s she’s doing

Not all mums are seniors (‘seniors’ is often a by-word for ‘technologically impatient’). But even then, there are several mums, senior or otherwise, who aren’t afraid of something like learning how to use a stupid phone, after raising you and your no-good brother for 20-odd years. Let’s graduate to something a little sharper.

iPhone 4 8GB through Vodafone - $5 a month on the $39 Cap plan

iphone samsung galaxy note comparison

What else? The iPhone might have a reputation as the slickest and bestest phone there is, but that’s missing the point. It’s not the best phone because it has the best features and specifications, it’s the best because it’s the easiest to use. It’s a pleasure to use. And for Mums and Dads, it’s particularly suitable thanks to its ‘just works’ qualities.

Even without 3rd party apps, the iPhone is packed with great features. The camera is fantastic, and pictures are easy to browse. Email is decent, though it could use some improvements (particularly its Gmail integration). The Maps function is great for getting out a jam, its easy to record voice messages, and for music, it’s also an iPod.

But no, the real killer app of the iPhone is how easy it is to make calls and send messages. We’re all familiar by now with the way Messages works on the iPhone – alternating bubbles, easily scrollable history, software keyboard – I’m 31, and a technology writer, and I can’t use the old number-button approach with T9 predictive texting anymore. It’s like trying to go back to using two sticks to make a fire, instead of an Automatic Fire Machine.

Fun Fact - T9 predictive texting is so 90's, that merely writing about it will cause whatever you're wearing to spontaneously turn into a purple Hypercolor T-Shirt.

Anyway, with iPhones getting ubiquitous, the other big draw is iMessage, which is built right into the Messages app. iMessage is a form of free texting between Apple devices running iOS 5 and above. Your phone will automagically detect if the target is using a compatible device, and will colour your conversations blue and white, instead of green and white.

Comme ca:

     iPhone messaging           imessage

The iPhone 4, despite being 18 months old now is fast enough to last for a few more seasons, especially for non-power users. Vodafone’s $39 cap comes with $300 credit and 500MB of data. Text messages are free anyway, so all you pay for is calls. And if you’re an iPhone user yourself, you’ll have a bit more control over Mum’s phone for when things go wrong – you can back up her phone to your own iTunes, for example.

For Mum’s who aren’t interested in touch screens


                                                      huawei g6600 qwerty


Blackberry’s demise not withstanding, the QWERTY keyboard is still tres popular with business types and people who still press down hard on a touchscreen, or smash it with their forefinger when you tell them you just have to tap it. That’s a lot of Mums.

While a BlackBerry is still a pretty good phone, it’s also full of features that inflate the price- and none of those features are there for their user-friendliness. Might we recommend a decent little prepaid phone?

Virgin Huawei G6600 - $39 Prepaid handset

Here we go. This will do fine. With a surprisingly sturdy build and good tactile response, the Huawei handset will do the job- and comes with FM Radio, a 2MP camera and music player onboard. It also has easy access to Facebook and Twitter, for those with Mums who like to LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT SHE’LL HAPPILY DO YOUR LAUNDRY, IN CAPS, AND IN A WAY THAT SUGGESTS SHE THINKS SHE’S WRITING YOU A PERSONAL MESSAGE.  Bless her.

Paired up with the $29 Virgin cap, Mum will get $300 call credit, 1GB of data, free voicemail and $200 Bonus credit if she recharges before May 31.


plans for mum


Buying a good phone for your mum isn’t that different a proposition than buying a phone for yourself. But it’s important to consider how she’ll use the phone, and when looking at handsets, see if there’s a way to eliminate big bills that will upset her – most smartphones will allow you to lock down certain features. As always, we recommend Amaysim or Dodo’s plans if you otherwise own the handset outright, as a good way of eliminating bill shock.

Call us on 1300 850 518 for more assistance!


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