Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Doro PhoneEasy (Easy mobile phone) review

Sometimes you write a review and have a Eureka moment that changes everything. The Doro PhoneEasy gave me one such moment. At first I reviewed it like a normal phone, noting the flaws and ticking off the features one by one.

But then I found a feature that changed my view completely, on the back of every model is an emergency call key.




The emergency call key is one of the most interesting features of the phone. It’s perfect if the phone is for children, the elderly or those in need of care. You hold down a button on the back for three seconds or press it twice within 1 second and an SMS is sent to people on your emergency contact list. The phone then dials the first number on the list and then moves on to the next if no answer.

So if you need help fast this is the best way. Whilst you can’t add 999 to the list, you can add security companies, or anyone else that could help you out (such as a nurse depending on circumstance). The phones goes in to handsfree mode and a louder volume too so you don’t have to open the phone in order to have the conversation.

As long as you can press the button your call will be made.



It’s here where I can start to see a lot of uses for the phone. At first glance it’s a big phone with big keys. But when you look at it with this feature suddenly the larger font and bigger keys become ideal for those with poor eyesight. Likewise the ease in which you can press the keys is good for those whose hands are not as strong.


Alternatively it’s a good “my first phone” for children. In this case the big numbers make learning your way around the phone simple. It doesn’t distract with flash interfaces, because it’s designed to be simple enough for a child to understand it. The emergency button gives you piece of mind they’ll be safe, and doesn’t every parent give their child their first mobile phone because they want to check they’re ok?

Looking at the phone in this way it’s easy to forgive what it can’t do, or how it doesn’t have a specific feature or graphical touch. The layers of complexity we have added to modern phones are great.

They make our lives better, but let’s not forget that we started out with simple mobiles and stepped up to the phones we use now.

 

Children need to make the same leap, so need a simple phone to start out (just like we used). The Doro PhoneEasy is a good way of helping them make that first leap without having to explain how to Wirelessly sync the phone, or other technical things we’ve gotten used to.

It might seem crazy also to have a phone with no app store. But children and those in care don’t need it. They need to be able to make calls, tell people they’re safe and that’s it. No one wants to have an unexpected bill for £1,000 of Smurf berries or downloaded Justin Bieber ring tones so not having the app store removes any temptation.

What the phone does have is everything we wanted back in 1999. A Built in FM radio, calculator, calendar and alarm. Oh and headphones are included for hands free and the radio so you don’t have to shell out for anything else.

So yes, the Doro PhoneEasy is – emergency call key aside – a technological back step. But it’s not one without justification. Yes, you could just buy an old phone, but there’s the risk of a lack of responsiveness when you need it most. Buying a Doro at gives some guaranteed reliability, and peace of mind. In a crisis I’ve never seen a simpler phone for getting help, and for a lot of people, or concerned parents that is far better than some shiny pieces of tech.

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).