I’ve recently been looking at technology to make life easier for disabled and elderly users, not because I’m elderly or disabled but more because I’m interested to see how the technology we love and use on a daily basis differs from the technology available for users who find the smartphone just a step too far.
This whole week I’ll be taking a look at The Doro Experience and how it gained the number 1 spot in the senior mobile market.
Today we will look at a mobile phone which takes us back to times when flip phones were cool and 2G was the only option available.
Are they affordable and classy or are they providing cheap tech for a cheap price?
Price & Where From
£69.95 from Carphone Warehouse (HERE)
In The Box
- Doro PhoneEasy 612
- 800 mAh Battery
- Charge Dock
- GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz
- Bluetooth 3.0
- MicroSD Slot
- 533 Standby Time
- 12 Hours Talk Time
- Weight: 103g
- Dimensions: 101 x 52 x 20
- 2MP Camera
Doro PhoneEasy® 612 is a stylish and durable clamshell phone for answering and ending calls with a simple flip. The easy to use camera lets you take and send photos in a snap, and design features such as raised edges, soft touch coating and widely spaced, concave keys provide excellent handling. Other features include direct memories and SMS button, charging cradle, the ability to use with a Bluetooth™ headset or hearing aid, plus emergency dialling and SMS alerts.
The Doro PhoneEasy 612 uses it’s own software which is proprietary to the Doro brand.
These images were taken with the 2MP Device Camera
The handset has FM radio which requires the user to use the headphones as an antenna
The display is 49 x 36 mm and has a 320 x 240 resolution.
- Charge Dock
- Small Ports (MicroUSB and 3.5mm Headphone)
When I first looked at this phone I had to remember it’s purpose and target market. Aimed quite clearly at the elderly an disabled I was taken back to the early 2000’s and very late 90’s when phones were little more than a necessity and internet on them was something few people could have even imagined let alone playing games, uploading photo’s to share with friends or anything else that today’s smartphones offer.
The first thing that struck me was the colour on the box. Listed as Aubergine I thought the phone was going to look hideous when in fact, the phone looked amazing. The colour variants for the handset are Aubergine and Black and to be honest, the Aubergine looks way better than the black despite how it may sound.
I was taken back a bit by how stylish this phone looked, even in today’s hi-tech market. It has a great feel to it and it’s also notably very light which is surprising as I seem to remember phones feeling a little heavier back when this phone would have been the norm for most people.
Now in the mindset of a pensioner I powered on the phone to find a very simplistic menu system with large icons an audible keypad touch tones. The buttons themselves are very soft to touch and don’t feel harsh and plastic like at all though the one thing I really didn’t like was the button press itself. Perhaps I was looking for a button that would almost feel effortless to press but instead I got a button that felt very much like you had to press it (the touchscreen yuppie coming through in me).
I loved the fact that Doro thought ahead on this phone, the ICE (In Case of Emergency) menu item was ingenious and suited the users of this phone perfectly.
Staying with the menu items there is a setting called block (which you can see more of in the video below) that offers users the ability to remove menu items from the main menu structure and I found it quite strange that there was a setting to remove the ICE menu item from the main menu knowing how important this option is to the phone and the user.
This phone is geared at ease of use and one of the easiest parts is the ability to set 3 static numbers to the A, B and C keys on the handset and the ability to pre-define a text message that can be sent to someone using the text key also located on the phone’s main keypad.
The rear of the phone features a large speaker button that instantly transfers the phone sound output from in ear to loudspeaker without having to use a menu system or anything else.
I mentioned above how I thought that the ports were a bad point however after using the phone a little I realised that unless you were transferring media from the device, it’s really not a problem thanks to the charging dock that allows the user to simply drop the phone into the cradle and not need to worry about alignment or cables.
This phone is without a doubt amazing. Yeah it’s not for us geeks that love smartphones however for the market it’s aimed at you simply can’t get better. The build, the design, the UI and pretty much everything that goes with it was thought out well and gives little room for confusion.
If you have an elderly friend or relative that you worry about, a disabled friend or relative that you worry about or even just know someone who simply wouldn’t be able to cope with the confusion that comes with modern phones then this is the type of phone you want to be getting them.
Not only are the phones low cost but they also offer a fantastic build quality along with a much needed peace of mind.