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First Else: New Smartphone With an Interface That Hates Left-Handed People

by Lambert Varias

Else – formerly Emblaze Mobile – is the latest company to challenge Apple and the iPhone’s domination among smartphones with their curiously-named device, the First Else. The phone is apparently bursting with “revolutionary” and “game-changing” technology and design, including the sPlay, “a right-thumb-controlled, sci-fi-like fan menu interface.” What’s that? You’re left-handed? Screw you, is what Else seems to be saying.


On one hand, we can easily dismiss my complaint about the right-hand centric UI, because left-handed people are quite uncommon, and even then it wouldn’t be impossible for them to learn to use this phone. It’s just that in the unveiling of the First Else (video below), Else CEO Amir Kupervas claims that they wanted to design a device that adapts to the way users use it, and not the other way around. So yeah, that’s a bit ironic. Also false, because there is no device on earth that doesn’t require users to learn and adapt in some way.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

I’m not an Apple fanboy – I own a MacBook but I don’t have an iPhone and have no plans of buying one – or a fanboy of anything else for that matter. Actually there are a couple of features of the First Else that I really like, including Silent Interaction, which lets users interact with a caller without actually answering the phone, as shown in the video above. And look at this brief demo, and you’ll see how freakin’ easy it is to copy-paste on the First Else.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

But even after watching the demo I’m not impressed with the sPlay, and here’s why:


Look at how tiny the items get the more you have on the screen, and those are what, 10, 11? I have about 1,900 text messages in my inbox right now. Obviously the First Else will have a maximum number of items on display, but I just think that on a fully loaded phone – lots of contacts, messages, emails etc – the interface will be messy and a pain to navigate. Look at how tiny the names are on the picture above and think of how hard it will be for your thumb to highlight one of those.


Then again these are just my impressions from pics and videos of what’s most likely an early build of the First Else. Check out Pocket-lint for more pics and Engadget for more info. Smartphone users, what do you think?

Comments (5):

  1. void says:

    I don’t have interest for smartphones as they are not that smart, they’re just a lot of things clumped together.

    But I’m really interested in this Else. I actually want to try it.

  2. James says:

    Firstly it is not an Apple,which great as all the Apple products I have owned broke.
    Secondly it looks like finally someone has come up with a phone that might be smart.
    Where can I buy one?

  3. notme says:

    Why not make a version that’s tiltable, so you turn it 180 degrees and you can then use it with your left hand?

    • Israel says:

      In the Hebrew posts they said a left handed version is planned in the future – so lefties were not really forgotten, just not included as yet…

  4. Ludo says:

    And for the lefthander?

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