Not everyone loves gadgets. For some phone users the flood of smartphones onto the market has become something of a chore, not a pleasure. They include older people as well as those who don’t feel at home around complex technology.
For these users the priority isn’t a phone that doubles up as just about everything from a games console to an MP3 player. Radical though it might seem, there are still many customers out there who believe that a phone should be exactly that.
That’s where the Doro PhoneEasy 615 comes in. Although manufacturers Doro specialise in creating phones that are more suitable for the needs of senior users, this model will also appeal if you’re looking for a phone that gets back to the basics of what a phone is for – making and receiving calls with comfort, convenience and just a few added extras.
What are the Doro PhoneEasy’s key features?
Because it’s designed for an older marketplace the 615 takes the specific needs of senior citizens into account. It’s well constructed with an easy to hold rubber grip and flip case design.
When the phone is closed, an external display shows the incoming caller ID (handy for avoiding nuisance calls and not missing your loved ones) as well as alerting the user to any messages or missed calls. Open the phone up and you’ll find a layout that’s reassuringly familiar and echoes the Nokias and Sony Ericssons of the early to mid-noughties. Crucially, it’s easy to find your way around with a simple menu and large raised backlit buttons. There is also a large icon display for those whose eyesight might not be what it was.
Unlike many models these days, when you use the Doro PhoneEasy 615 it’s easy to work out what’s what. The “call” and “end call” buttons actually look like what they are. There are a couple of shortcuts for the phone’s camera and messaging functions. These are nice touches, but without adding anything that’s fussy, unnecessary or potentially confusing.
The phone also offers great call quality and, importantly for this market, is hearing aid compatible.
What about more advanced features?
The whole point of the PhoneEasy 615 is to keep things simple – however Doro haven’t shied away from technology that can add value for the user. That includes 3G capability, Bluetooth connectivity, an FM Radio, alarm clock, calculator and 3.2 mega pixel camera. It also builds on its predecessor, the 410, by now offering MMS messages with predictive text.
The phone book is more than up to the job too – with the capacity to store up to 300 contacts and up to 3 numbers per contact.
Emergency response features in the Doro PhoneEasy 615
Emergency response is a particularly relevant and useful feature for Doro’s senior target market. A dedicated emergency button (easily accessible on the back of the phone) will sound an alarm and send a text to 5 pre-inputted numbers if the user finds themselves in difficulties. It will then repeatedly call those numbers in turn until one of them responds.
That’s complemented by an “in case of emergency” function. This allows the user to input important personal and medical information into their phone such as next of kin, blood type, allergies, doctor’s information and the like. It does occur to us that the validity of this function depends on the person caring for the user in trouble actually realising they can access the information via their mobile – but in any case it’s a nice touch for a specific target market.
What are the disadvantages of the Doro PhoneEasy 615?
There are a few little glitches with this model that perhaps could have been ironed out. The talk time of 3 hours isn’t exactly ground breaking by today’s standards. Horizontal viewing angles are not all that great (although we can’t really fault the vertical view) and opening the phone is a two handed job. The LED display light that displays when the case is closed can’t be turned off – an oversight that’s little irritating and surely won’t help when it comes to talk time and battery life.