Review by Sunetra Chakravati,4/27/2015 12:24:21 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Easy to use interface | My Doro Manager app is excellent | Charging dock
Tiny keypad | Low-res screen | poor battery life
- By Sunetra Chakravarti
It is refreshing to find manufacturers spending time and energy for the over-65s to make them feel more connected. Doro is one of those companies.
We really liked the Doro Liberto 820 when it launched end-2014 and so when they said a more affordable and smaller version of the phone had been released, we immediately wanted to review it.
The Doro Liberto series is not made to be compared to the S6 Edge and the One M9, it is a range of phones for those with special needs or those who have mobility issues and we have reviewed the smartphone keeping those details in mind.
The phone feels sturdy in hand. A plastic body and a slightly recessed-in screen make sure that it is very difficult to smash whilst carrying it around.
There are three physical buttons at the bottom and you would need to press them quite hard for them to respond. The front-facing camera lens is on the top left and the power button and the volume rockers are on the left.
The recess for charging is on the right side and the phone comes with a very handy docking station that it slots into, converting it into digital photo frame to sit on the bedside with revolving set of pictures on the background and a large clock face.
On the back, the ‘panic button’ again makes an appearance. It can be set up to store upto five contacts that the phone will ring one by one once the panic button is activated at ‘home’, a pre-defined location that uses GPS coordinates to place you.
The My Doro Manager app is absolutely fantastic. Easy to set up and run, you will never get disgruntled phone calls from your Nan about the phone being broken because it doesn't ring only to find that the ringer has been switched off. Use the app on your Android or iOS smartphone to adjust all aspects of the 820 Mini- from screen brightness, volume and email addresses to seeing when the phone was last used and at what time.
The UI is a very very watered-down and simplifed version of Android 4.4 and comes replete with giant homescreen icons and
The battery life is abysmal. While setting up the panic button, the battery dropped from 19 percent to 1 percent and then switched off in a matter of 3 minutes. A half-hour charge juiced up the handset by a mere 11 percent. The 1500mAH battery is just not enough to power the phone through the day, but then it does come with a charging cradle so it can be used as a home phone.
Also, for the tiny battery, it is probably aimed at over-65s who dont work in an office and dont have to suffer long commutes home. So for them, to charge the phone often or keep it on the charging cradle is not such a big deal.
The other aspect that we didn't like was the tiny keyboard. Yes, the phone can be held in a landscape mode to type better, but it is again something that we don't usually do and for someone with mobility issues, it can be a deal-breaker.
The simple interface is well-thought out to those cautious and unsure with their way around smartphones and the volume on it is soul-jarring enough to rouse the dead.
The phone does everything it sets out to be: a smartphone with all the features that someone with special needs or a silver surfer with limited knowledge of tech will need. However, it falls down on two aspects that are crucial for the said groups.
Chances are these blips will not affect your decision to buy the device. You can either see it as a slightly low-spec budget Android device or a lifeline to those who have never owned a mobile phone but would like to own one.
Our review is based on the latter and we think its heart is in the right place and an almost no-brainer for under-£100.