Raz Mobility has a new smartphone designed for the visually impaired

In a hybrid of new and old cell phone technology, the SmartVision 3 brings accessibility to a new level.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
SmartVision3 phone with a green background.
Raz Mobility

A smartphone is a near necessity in today's society, but for a large portion of the population, this technology has remained inaccessible. 

Raz Mobility is out to change that with the introduction of the SmartVision 3, a smartphone designed specifically for the visually impaired. As the name implies, this isn't Raz's first foray into an accessible smartphone. But it is probably the best.

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The SmartVision 3 starts with small things. It does have a touchscreen like most modern smartphones, but it also has a physical T9 keypad -- something that's a bit of an abnormality these days -- to help users navigate. The phone also has a dedicated button that can be pressed to turn on Talkback, a screen reader feature that most people only see when they accidentally activate it on their Androids. 

And in a hybrid of phone technology from across the decades, it combines that tactile keyboard with wireless charging. There's also the addition of a 3.5mm headphone port, something else missing from most modern phones.

But that's where the normal Android features stop. The SmartVision 3 adds a host of tools for the visually impaired like currency recognition, color detection, screen magnifier, pedestrian GPS navigation, Optical Character Recognition, object detection with NFC tags, and braille display compatibility.

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As far as technical specifications, the phone is firmly middle of the pack, boasting 4G connectivity, a 3.5-inch screen, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. The price though, is decidedly not mid-range, coming in at $539 for the base version and a $599 version that comes with a wireless charging pad, phone cover, and screen protector.

All things considered, this is a fairly unique phone. Bringing traditional accessibility features to the forefront, bringing back useful features that technology has left behind, and adding new features for improved access make for a phone that sets a new standard for making life easier for the visually impaired. 

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