If you have a loved one who is aging-at-home, currently in assisted living, or otherwise at your home alone, you may have tried multiple solutions to stay in touch.
Even though most boomers and seniors are more tech-friendly than ever, for those older than 80, hard of hearing, or sight-impaired, all the features on today’s smartphones are built by 30-year-olds for 30-year-olds.
The founder Scott Lien created the GrandPad for older people after his mother-in-law struggled with smartphones and computers.
The device is a highly customized Android software on an Acer tablet, about the size of an Amazon Fire, with an 8-inch HD screen, two gigs of RAM, and 32 gigabytes of storage for apps and files. It has both front and rear cameras.
It’s easy to set up right out of the box; after plugging in the wireless-charging cradle, you place the GrandPad on the cradle, and it initiates on its own. It shocked me at first that the help button connected to a live agent; that’s when I discovered the 4G T-mobile service was active immediately.
At the push of a button, your loved one can get help 24 hours daily. I used the service to configure our wi-fi for testing; this only took less than 5 minutes. Every customer is assigned an agent who on-boards the family or administrators and the user – separately. This call was beneficial; they explained the many carefully curated features:
Front Facing Speakers – Play videos, voice messages, internet, and music channels
Wireless Charging – Don’t worry about finding the cord to charge or fumbling with cables if you have arthritis or a condition.
Cradle – When the GrandPad sits on the cradle, it plays images on a slideshow and can double as a digital photo frame.
Video Calls – With the push of a button, keep your loved ones in the loop; the user can interact with any approved contacts and the companion mobile phone app.
Can replace mobile phone – Each GrandPad subscription comes with its own phone number, email address, and unlimited data cloud storage for pictures and videos.
Take GrandPad on the go! – As long as you can get a 4G LTE connection, you don’t need wi-fi, and you can take it with you all the time, even at the doctor’s office! So sit in on your loved ones’ appointments!
Sturdy and at 9 x 5.1 inches and weighing only 1.9 lbs, you can carry it everywhere, but when placed on the cradle, it has a large enough display for entertainment and utility. It comes with a protective case that won’t slip off, it also has a headphone jack and microphone at the top of the device.
The GradPad has a port for a USB Type-C for charging on the go, but it’s not included; it has a jack for headphones but does not come with any. The SIM card slot is on the bottom.
You may be surprised by the bright 1920 x 1200-pixel 8-inch display while watching videos and YouTube.
The audio may not be stereo sound, but the speakers are loud enough to be heard in another room.
Since the device is made for people who may have poor eyesight, the user menu is nothing but large colorful circles that are easy to push and engage with. The family administrator controls which websites are approved. They can search but cannot navigate to any web address unless it’s been previously authorized.
An image gallery that the user and family members can add to and leave comments on the images; the camera app allows the user to take pictures of themselves and other things and record videos they can share with the family.
The GrandPad has dual 5-megapixel cameras and comes with the Zoom app, an excellent feature; with one click or typing the meeting ID, you can instantly join a Zoom meeting and stay connected!
The GrandPad has a desktop interface that you can log in and control every aspect of the device, including:
- Reading Articles
- Various notifications
One of the best features is that you won’t get shipped this device and be expected to figure it out on your own, you are fully instructed on its use, and they invite the administrators or users to reach out anytime or as much as they want.
Since this is a controlled and invite-only environment, you don’t have to worry about phishing scams and viruses. Instead, there is no App store.
The cost is similar to some data plans at $65/month when prepaid for the year, the price of the unit on Amazon is $399, or they have a monthly plan at $89/month + $29 for setup and shipping. They have different plans if you order on the website versus Amazon.
The price would be worth it if you wanted to provide this device for someone to keep in touch with, enjoy video calls, and share pictures and videos.
The unit will work without the subscription; however, it loses most features and 24/7 support.
You can buy it on Amazon here.
- Simple user interface
- Fun games
- Quality family interactions
- 24-hour phone service
- No user settings
- Decent audio quality
- Microphone cuts out
We love that there is a unique device for seniors, perfect if you have a loved one with dementia or other disorders. This could be a great option to keep their mind active, entertained, and connected with the family even if they live in another state or country.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes works for friends and family, they can dial from a picture of the person, and they are limited to what they can do, you control what they are allowed to do
The price for the monthly subscription after the 3-month trial is $59 a month
GrandPad® is designed with seniors in mind—the innovative device comes with features for connecting with loved ones without the complicated features of other tablets. The large buttons and intuitive interface make the GrandPad a simple tablet for seniors who are ready to start video chatting and sharing memories with family and friends around the world