What is the KISA Phone (and who is it best for?)

KISA Phone

Image source: KISA Phone

//Everything Australians need to know about the popular Seniors phone.
Alex Kidman
Dec 11, 2023
Icon Time To Read2 min read

Published on December 11, 2023

There are nearly endless options when it comes to buying a mobile phone these days, with everything from fancy folding smartphones through to old-school feature phones and flip phones to pick from.

However, there are people for whom either a smartphone or feature phone isn’t an ideal match. That’s where the Australian company KISA (Keep It Simple Always) comes in. Their core product is the KISA phone, a mobile phone with a big difference – and that big difference is the key to why it’s potentially a good match for the elderly, people with disabilities and small children.

KISA Phone: Display

Look Ma, No Screen

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The key difference with the KISA phone is that it does not have a screen in any way. There’s no requirement for touchscreen capability, so people who find touchscreen precision difficult if not impossible can still make and take phone calls.

Instead, it has a selection of mechanical buttons, which can either have the names of call recipients or optionally printed pictures of those people on them. Calling to that person is as simple as pressing the button, and the use of images means that you’re not reliant on the phone’s owner being able to read or discern a particular script. For vision impaired users, it’s also possible to have braille imprinted onto the buttons for selection purposes. On the rear of the phone, you can have specific details printed, such as the owner’s name and an emergency contact number.

Keeping with that “keeping it simple” spirit, the KISA phone uses a simple mechanical switch at the rear, near an SOS button that can be used to sound an alarm and call emergency services if required. When that call is made, the phone switches to speaker mode, so there’s no need for the caller to hold the phone up to their ear. The phone itself also acts as a GPS tracker, making it a potentially appealing prospect for parents who might want a very simple calls-only phone for their young children.

All of this does mean that each KISA phone is a made-to-order prospect, very specific to its user and their needs. KISA is also NDIS approved, which means that it’s possible to acquire a KISA phone as part of your NDIS support package – subject of course to the specifics of your NDIS plan and its goals.

KISA Phone: Price and plans

KISA itself can act as a plan provider for the phone, and it will drop the price of the phone to $389 if you do so; as a standalone device it costs $579.

KISA has a variety of plans with either fixed minutes or unlimited minutes depending on your monthly spend. KISA’s plans use either Vodafone or parts of the Telstra network, and while the phones are impressive, the plan structures… are not.

Red Essential
Red Unlimited
Blue Essential
Blue Unlimited
Cost per month$15$35$20$40
KISA to KISA CallsFreeFreeFreeFree
Calling minutes to other phones50 minutes per monthUnlimited50 minutes per monthUnlimited
Excess call charge30c/minute over included callsN/A40c/minute over included callsN/A

While you do get a discount on the phone handset if you opt for a KISA plan with the phone, it’s worth considering other plan options at those prices, because many other SIM-only plans, including plans for seniors can provide better calling value, even if the nature of the KISA phone means you can’t actually use data or SMS services on the device.

Simply looking for a low-cost prepaid SIM plan? Take a look at some of the most popular choices in Australia below. 

Alex Kidman
Written by
Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is some kind of word-generating AI from the future that somehow worked out how to sneak back in time to 1998 to start its journalism career. Across that time, including editorial stints at ZDNet, CNET, Gizmodo, PC Mag and Finder, as well as contributions to every major tech masthead, nobody has quite managed to figure out this deeply held secret. Let’s keep it between us, OK?

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