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Sunday, 15 August 2010

Review. The Doro PhoneEasy 420gsm

Whenever searching in the past for a suitable mobile phone for my Down’s Syndrome daughter to use, I have always been annoyed at the fact that there simply wasn’t all that much choice around for a simple to use handset complete with a very large text display that she can easily see and use. As mobile phones become more and more like portable PC’s, mobile manufacturers need to be reminded that there are some mobile users who simply don’t need all these fancy features, instead requiring a simple to use mobile phone with which to make calls or send texts. Orange have now begun to stock the Dora PhoneEasy 410gsm mobile on Pay as you Go and soon to be available on contract. Although the phone is aimed at the more elderly user, its also ideal for someone with special needs as well.


Currently Orange are only stocking the phone is black but it is also available in the other colours and sim free from other outlets such as  It comes in Black, Pearl White and Burgundy. In appearance its a clam shell phone which is useful for keeping the phone tucked into a pocket without being worried about the keys being accidentally pressed as you move around.  The phone comes complete with a battery charger, earphones, a handy neck strap, a Quick Start Guide with instructions for enabling the Emergency Call key and an instruction book which is very clear to follow and has been printed in a handy large typeface for those with less than perfect eyesight.

The phone has a very attractive appearance. It feels nice and comfortable to hold in the hand, and the outside surface on the front and back has a nice ‘velvety’ feel to it. It looks as if it could take some bangs and bashes without mishap. Our version is the black one. A green line runs across the front and around the sides of the clamshell itself. Also at the front of the phone are two warning light areas which flash whenever a text has been received or the battery is running low. On the left hand side is the volume up and down control and on the right hand side, the headphones and battery charger connections. At the rear of the phone is the Emergency Call key, more of which later.

On opening the phone, the interior is white with black buttons and a largish screen display. The opening mechanism of the phone appears very sturdy and well made, which is important if buying this phone for someone with Special Needs who might be constantly opening and closing it. Setting the phone up for use is an absolute doddle for any user, even someone who has not owned a mobile phone before. The instruction book has been well thought out and is very easy to follow, with helpful icons to illustrate each instruction. The instruction book works through setting up the phone systematically and in a logical order in easy to read large type, beginning with Installing the SIM card and battery to the Security settings, Safely instructions and Care and maintenance.

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The phones Menu  contains the following,  Phonebook, Messages, Call Log, Alarm, Calendar, Calculator, FM Radio, Settings and Games.  Adding a person to the Phonebook can include their mobile number, home number or office number. You can also set up a Top Ten entry for your 10 most used numbers if you have quite a few entries. These top ten entries are then always displayed first in the list when scrolling through the phonebook.


In order to personalise the phone, the user can choose the sounds for their ringtones, messages, the opening tone closing tone and a keypad tone. the volume and the alert type, either ring.vibrate or both. You can also set up error tones and warning tones as well. You can of course choose to set the phone to silent if you wish or this can also be set by simply pressing the # button.   In settings you can also change the wallpaper displayed, which information you prefer to be displayed either just the clock or All Info, and you can set up the time of the display backlight  before it turns off.

One of the most useful features of this mobile phone for anyone who lives on their own and might be particularly worried about what would happen if they had a fall or accident and needed to let others know of their plight is the added Emergency Call key. This key can include up to five separate numbers that the phone will automatically call one by one until one is answered when the user presses the Emergency Call button and holds it for three seconds. If the first person called does not answer within 25 seconds, the phone will then dial the second number in the list and so on until someone answers. The phone also sends out an emergency SMS text message to all the phone numbers included in the Emergency numbers list. When an emergency call is activated, the phone is pre-set to operate in handsfree mode. (In case the user is hurt and can only shout out.) NOTE. This feature has to be turned on in the settings and can either be set to be enabled by the user with  a long hold of the key for 3 seconds, or alternatively be pressed three times within one second in order to avoid accidental use.



For any user who simply needs a mobile phone without all the ‘bells and whistles’ of many of today's modern phones, or for someone who is hard of hearing or who’s eyesight is poor, this phone is ideal. For anyone with an elderly relative who lives on their own and who worries about how they would be able to contact relatives if they were to have an accident again, this phone is the perfect answer to all those concerns. For anyone with a relative who has special needs but who needs a phone to keep in touch, then look no further than this phone.  And even if you don’t fall into these categories but simply want an fuss free phone that looks attractive and lets you make calls, send texts and is easy to use into the bargain, then this phone is the perfect answer. I might get one of these myself!


Other Reviews.


  1. Looks easy and simple! I still love my TracFone, though--even though it's just used as a phone. I don't care about all those bells and whistles anyway!

  2. TracFone? I will have to look into that. Haven't heard of it. (mind you, hadn't heard of the Doro either until this week) Thanks for your comment Sue

  3. You are so right. We spent a lot of time in the classroom teaching our special needs kids their addresses and phone numbers and earlier this year it became required to use the area code, even for local calls. And sometimes you have to dial a 1 before the area code and sometimes not...even I can't figure out when it's a non-long distance (no 1 required) or a long distrance (1 required) call. Our special needs kids have to learn how to dial home all over again. Frustrating!

    Every time I get a new phone I always take it with me when I substitute teach at the high school...the kids show me how to use it.

  4. Great job on this review TG. I still think that flip-phones are the best when it comes to just making phone calls, and are the least hassle to deal with. I have to carry a company one at work and I don't have to worry about keys getting pushed when I'm not using it.

  5. thanks #1Nana and Gerry for your comments. My daughter loves her new phone and she can easily keep in touch. I will get the burgundy one if I buy one. I have a Samsung Tocco Lite at the moment but I never use half of the features so its a waste.

  6. I too just use the tracfone without all the bells and whistles when I am in the states. That is only where it can be used and is a prepay cell. I get the 1 year package with bonuses off the internet for about 100.00 us and get 800 minute for a full year of use. It works great for when we spend our winters in the states. The minutes are carried over if you keep the phone activated. Also I often make small trips to the states so always have a phone ready for use any time i am there. It doesn't work in Canada and I have no phone or cell in Canada where I live. But I like those with everything is bigger. I know I don't need all the bells and whistles but would love something easier to read and bigger buttons. My hubby with his big stubby fingers really has a hard time with those little buttons. Thanks for sharing this review I know so many older people that would love this phone for sure.

  7. I now have abandoned my Samsung and own the Doro in Burgundy. (got the unlocked 'any network' one from Amazon.
    I am thrilled to bits with it. It meets all of my needs, I don't need to access the internet, just need a basic phone with nice big buttons and text on the screen that I can read without needing my glasses, nice loud ring and can text. That's all.


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