While many manufacturers are putting all their effort into creating the most feature-packed touchscreen phones, Swedish firm Doro takes a different approach by focussing on ease-of-use for elderly phone users.
The PhoneEasy 612 is its latest flip-phone and offers a durable and easy way for less tech-savvy people to make calls, send texts and take photos. But at £125 SIM-free the price is arguably high for what you get.
The compact handset is built to last and is very comfortable to carry and use. Crafted from a mix of hard and soft scratch-resistant plastics it can easily take all the knocks of daily use and shrugs off scuffs with ease.
At just 103g it is a light phone and feels great in the hand. Its curved edges and textured finish make it very comfortable to hold and ensure a firm grip so the device won’t be dropped.
As with all clamshell phones it is not the slimmest device and the chassis measures a whopping 20mm thick when closed. This extra bulk adds more resilience, however, to what is already a pleasingly tough device.
When you flip the phone open, the first thing you notice is how startlingly clear the user interface is. With the keypad featuring large black keys on a bright white background, it is very easy to see what you’re doing.
The keypad is even fully backlit and features a range of quick-launch hotkeys for fast access to commonly used features, such as the camera, favourite contacts, text messaging and voicemail.
The screen is equally clear and vibrant. As well as being stunningly bright, it uses huge fonts on a choice of bright backgrounds, making it easy to use for anyone that suffers from poor eyesight.
The phone’s menus add to its usability and are clear and easy to navigate, helping even the most technophobic user feel right at home and browse and customise the phone with speed and ease.
Where this phone really excels, however, is its call quality. Doro has worked hard to ensure it delivers clarity and volume that far exceed the levels found on other clamshell phones on the market.
We found voices came through loud and clear when making and receiving calls. And Doro has ensured this extra volume results in no sound distortion, with clear audio delivered at all times.
The phone is also fully hearing aid compatible, so it’s easy for anyone with hearing difficulties to enjoy clear calls through their hearing device, adding to the excellent call quality.
Aimed at its target audience of older users, a large button on the rear of the device can be used to text and call a preset list of emergency numbers with just one press of the button, should they need help. Providing a great tool for older people that live alone, a lanyard is included for keeping the phone close to hand at all times.
To make charging the battery easy you also get a handy charging cradle included, so you can drop the phone into the cradle to start the battery charging without having to connect the phone via cable.
And if you ever do want to charge the device via Micro USB, the charging port is handily marked out by a triangular depression, making it very easy for anyone with restricted vision to easily locate it simply by touch.
One of the only areas where this phone falls flat is its low-quality camera. Photos lack detail and provide results which are as basic as it gets.
Another sticking point is its price. While the excellent quality and carefully designed features can’t be ignored, the £125 price tag might be a bit steep for its core audience of elderly users.
Otherwise, this is a great phone for older phone buyers to enjoy. And the careful attention to detail and handy features help it effortlessly stand out from rival devices on the market.
If you can live with the price, this is a fantastic and useful flip-phone, ideal for anyone looking to pick up a specialist device which older family members can use to easily keep in touch.