01.Doro PhoneEasy 615
Price: $165 prepaid
The average smartphone can organise appointments, play music, take photos or HD video and even tell you where to go while driving. However, this versatility can sometimes hamper the more mundane tasks of making and taking phone calls.
So if you think smartphones are too clever for their own good, you may find the Doro PhoneEasy 615 to be made for you. It’s an unspectacular looking clamshell mobile that does the simple things well. However it also delivers some unique security features that should appeal to seniors as well as parents wanting to stay in contact with their children.
Unlike most other basic or senior phones which work on the GSM (2G) band, the Doro PhoneEasy 615 also supports the widely available 3G band, working on the 900/2100MHz 3G bands as well as the 900/1800/1900 GSM bands.
Features and functions
Keypad and controls
When you flip the phone open, you are presented with large easy to read numbers on a clearly laid out keypad, putting even the most technology-averse person at ease. The clearly marked buttons make it very easy for sight impaired users to turn the phone on/off, change the volume or lock the keypad. Volume controls are easy to find and select and the loudness levels for the ring tones and speaker volume are very high.
The menu displays large, easily recognisable icons for phonebook, alarm, calendar, radio etc.
Hearing aid support
While a headphone/mic connection and support for a Bluetooth headset are to be expected on a modern mobile, Telecoil (hearing aid) support is a welcome feature for hearing aid users as the phone signal connects directly to the hearing aid, providing a much clearer audio experience. The Doro claims a T-coil rating of 4 which means it should suit most of the latest hearing aid devices.
The ability to automatically call or SMS a series of numbers in an emergency through the pressing of a ‘panic button’ should appeal to anyone caught out in a vulnerable situation. Simply store up to five numbers and either a recorded audio or SMS message will be sent to the recipients once a button on the back of the phone is held down for a few seconds.
Our trial user found this feature very useful when in use, but required some help in establishing the initial contact list and enabling the feature.
An In Case of Emergency (ICE) section allows the user to save valuable information in their contacts list such as allergies, blood type, vaccinations and any other information that may be of use to health care staff.
The 3.2 MP camera with flash is basic yet effective, taking good quality photos that can be easily sent via MMS or saved onto a microSD card.
The charging cradle also comes in handy for users not wanting to fiddle around with small USB cables.
The move to provide a simple yet effective mobile phone for users, both young and old, who do not require a smartphone, is to be commended. The Doro PhoneEasy 615 pushes all the right buttons at a reasonable price.
You can choose either Vodafone or Optus on a prepaid plan with $30 phone credit included in the price. Optus will unlock the phone once you complete an extra recharge and the 6-month time frame for using prepaid credit is a welcome change over the standard one month.
For more information about mobile phones, see Phones and mobile devices.