While early mobile development has been primarily aimed at the youth and business markets, manufacturers are now turning their attention to the needs of the under-served older audience – whether that be sight or hearing impaired.
Smart phones such as the iPhone, Windows Phone and Android based handsets have made giant strides in terms of usability and interface, but even they have been unable or unwilling to grasp the nettle and make their devices accessible (at an affordable price) to audiences with specific needs.
Doro has launched its own smart phone, Doro PhoneEasy 740 (with Doro Experience interface); which boasts a tabbed interface and fuss free functionality – but we'll take a look at that in the future.
For those folk for whom a phone's principle purpose is to be a phone, here is what we thought of the Doro PhoneEasy 614.
Doro PhoneEasy 614 getting started
The set-up is not complicated: the rear cover slides off to reveal an easily accessible battery. Remove the battery cell and slide in your sim card and you are ready to go!
Self-detects and installs on computers running Windows XP and above. With easy connectivity via USB cable; allowing you to charge your device while you catch up with your day to day business online.
Ease of use is the benchmark Doro aimed for and it is achieved. If you are used to more sophisticated devices you may cringe at some of the ring tones, but all other aspects of this phone are good. The interface can be changed to suit your sight needs, while audio ringtones, alerts, alarms etc are changed with no fuss.
I custom set my handset to 30-second LCD backlight – beyond that the device adjusts to power save mode and level 3 brightness.
The keypad, from the perspective of someone with manually dexterity challenges, is a very welcome user friendly feature – the keys are easily defined and well spaced.
Radio – it's not DAB but it will put some smarter handsets to shame with its tuner. Great signal quality and sound through the standard earphones (supplied with the device) – though use of this feature is likely to have a detrimental effect on your battery life.
The earpieces also allow for hands free phone use while using the radio.
Battery life is bordering on immortal. For any regular user of a smart phone, you will no doubt be prone to battery rage, whereby every 10 hours you must engage in a frantic search for a compatible power supply before you lose your lifeline to the digital world.
The PhoneEasy 614 holds a charge for upwards of 48 hours (at time of writing)
The inner styling could be better. I found it too high contrast and utilitarian, but I'm not among the audience Doro is catering for with this particular model.
50connect reader verdict
This phone was very easy to use and had the advantage of clear signage and good screen illumination. Battery life was considerably better than competitor models and I had no issues with accidentally dialling numbers when I had the handset in my pocket.
The clam shell casing means the screen is protected at all times when not in use. It has easy to set up memory systems for family members and frequently dialled numbers and the text is very clear. This phone was tested on both O2 and Virgin networks and worked extremely well.
Mr G Hall, Surrey
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For more information about mobile devices for older users broadbandgenie editor Chris Marling has written a blog post senior smartphones for over50s mobile market.Last modified: June 10, 2021