Doro PhoneEasy 341gsm in-depth review -

Look and feel

Due to its plastic shell, the phone feels flimsy but on the plus side impressively light

Ease of use

Designed with ease of use in mind, the lack of features contributes, but the 341gsm is one of the easiest phones to get to grips with

Features

A calculator, emergency button and alarm make up this bare feature set.

Performance

It may be lacking in features, but what it does do it does efficiently

Battery life

A below average battery life, though the lack of features mean you won’t be running on empty too often

 Doro PhoneEasy 341gsm Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 4:00:10 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

4

out of 5

Look and feel

10

out of 5

Ease of use

2

out of 5

Features

4

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The phone is well equipped to suit those who are hard of hearing or visually impaired

Cons:

Though never intended as a feature-heavy handset, we lament the omission of a torch and calendar found in previous Doro handsets

Doro is the master of the no frills, no thrills, back to basics handset. Initially targeted at the “silver generation”, or to be blunt, OAP’s, the manufacturer has since changed its stance somewhat, and while ultimately this demographic remains their core target, the idea is that their phones have a broader appeal that includes those that want a phone that can simply make calls, and at a stretch text. In order for us to give phones of this calibre a fair review, it’s important to keep this in mind, which is why we awarded the Doro PhoneEasy 332gsm a deserved four stars. The Doro PhoneEasy 341gsm shaves off even more features, but does it maintain that same minimalist appeal?

Look and feel

One of the things that warmed us to the 332gsm was the retro design. The 341gsm is certainly an improvement on previous Doro phones, which often resembled something akin to a TV remote control, but it lacks the gravitas of the 332gsm, feeling plastic and a little brittle. Of course, this choice of material has its advantages in that it’s particularly light – barely noticeable in a bag or pocket. The keys are also slightly smaller, with Doro opting for square numeric keys with a degree of space between them. But they’re still big enough that accidental key pushes should be kept to a minimum. The other immediate difference between the two handsets is the lack of speed dial buttons, symbolised on the 332gsm as A-C. You needn’t worry though, as Doro has included a speed dial option on the 341gsm. Hold down any of the 10 numeric keys and assign a number to each, or alternatively go through the settings menu. Of course, this means you’ll have to remember which of your contacts relates to which number, but hey-ho.

LCD display

The display only measures 27x37mm, but the text is large enough that even visually impaired users should be able to read it without too much trouble. That said,  the absence of a text magnifying option, a trait we’ve seen on previous Doro incarnations is a curious omission. The LCD screen consists of a white background, while text is predominantly black intertwined with some shades of grey. Visually it works, and you can even choose how long the backlight remains on (15 or 30 seconds) to help preserve battery life. To be honest, you needn’t worry too much about the battery life, largely due to the lack of features to run it down. Doro has opted to omit a torch, a feature we were particularly enamoured with in the 332gsm and there’s no calendar either. However, there is a calculator, SMS facility and alarm, all of which can be (temporarily) removed from the menu via the block function.

A Doro phone wouldn’t be a Doro phone without the, now whisper this, ‘emergency’ button.  Found on the back of the handset, it’s no longer the garish red button we used to find in phones of this calibre. Now it’s a far more subtle black and Doro is also keen to move away from the term ‘emergency’ button, for it immediately draws negative connotations. Whatever you want to call it, it proves a useful feature. Press it and you automatically call a pre-set number(s) while also sending them a pre-set text. A piercing alarm will also alert any passersby.

Conclusion

The Doro PhoneEasy 341gsm achieves its goal of being a no-nonsense back to basics phone that is also well kitted out, though not exclusive, to older folk or those who may be hard of hearing or visually impaired. It’s not designed for the feature-seeking, early adopter, so should be judged accordingly. We just preferred the more appealing form factor of the 332gsm, while the inclusion of a calendar and torch would have been welcome.

Danny Brogan