Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 4:01:33 PM
Streamlined functions and a menu system that is simple to navigate
If you need mobile internet access, this is not the phone for you
The frustrated war cry of anyone over a certain age looking to buy a new phone is a familiar one: ‘I just want it to make calls!’ Smart design helps, and a clean user interface – so long as it hits those key marks you can’t really go wrong. The Doro PhoneEasy 615 is a great handset for anyone looking for a back to basics phone without all the whistles and bells or indeed complications of a smartphone. It’s a simple phone for a simple purpose – to make and receive calls and text messages, all wrapped up in an easy to use package.
The look of the Doro PhoneEasy 615 is probably a bit of a throwback for any under 30s who might pick one up - harking back to the flip phones of the early 2000s that made us feel like a Star Trek cast member for about five minutes. This clamshell handset has a curvaceous design and feels quite substantial in hand, without being too unwieldy. A 3.2-megapixel camera and built-in flash can be found on the front, as well as a mini screen that displays the time and caller ID. On the right side you’ll find a volume rocker, while to the left there’s a USB port and headphone jack. Flip the phone open and you’ll see a near two-inch display and a keypad of large, well-spaced keys including dedicated camera and SMS buttons that take you right into those features with one click. Big and friendly seems to be a running theme.
The Doro is clearly targeted at the older mobile user. Its settings have been optimised to make the user experience as streamlined as the design. Simple menu options cover contacts, camera, and messages – really basic functions that a younger user might’ve welcomed ten years ago but now seem a little too plain. However, if want to keep things nice and easy, you’ll love it. Making calls and sending texts is a breeze – a few clicks to make a call, and messages and calendar reminders both have fairly loud notification sounds. The hard of hearing can crank up the volume if they need to and the handset is hearing aid compatible. Those with poor eyesight can even make the display font size larger. The camera can be accessed via the dedicated button on the keypad. One click brings the camera function up, another takes a photo. There aren’t any special settings other than red eye reduction or turning the flash on or off, but it’s a doddle to operate. The 3.2-megapixel camera is nothing to write home about, but for quick snaps of the family that you can save to your contacts book, wallpaper or export via Bluetooth, it’s pretty handy. The PhoneEasy 615 also has a useful ICE (in case of emergency) function built into the menu and saved as a contact slot in your phonebook. Enter your name, date of birth, blood type and allergies as well as two emergency contacts – again, pretty useful functions for older users.
While it’s not a spectacular phone, it never really set out to be one. The Doro PhoneEasy 615 is targeted squarely at a senior audience and shapes its features to meet their immediate needs. And while iPhone owners of the world may wrinkle their noses, this simple handset does exactly what it needs to.