While Doro may not be a brand you’ve heard of before, the Swedish firm has been building a name for itself for many years, crafting thoughtfully-designed phones aimed at less tech-savvy elderly phone users.
The PhoneEasy 715 is its latest creation and with its sturdy build, great ease-of-use and well thought-out design, it provides a good way for seniors to keep in touch with friends and family.
While its compact slider design looks slightly dated compared to the latest touchscreen smartphones, it helps keep the device suitably portable, while also allowing room for a 2.4-inch screen, as well as a full alphanumeric keypad.
At 17mm thick it isn’t the slimmest device around. But at 103g the phone is comfortable to hold and carry, while the ergonomically curved design makes it a pleasure to hold and operate.
The chassis is also well made throughout. The firm plastics ensure it can take the constant knocks of daily use, while the textured rubber rear panel provides a comfortably firm grip in the hand during use.
Sliding the phone open reveals a bright and clear user interface. With its large backlit black keys placed on a white background, it is designed to be easy-to-use for anyone with poor eyesight.
As well as the standard alphanumeric keys, a row of hotkeys along the top of the keypad allows fast access to favourite contacts, as well as the camera and text messaging app.
The phone can even be fully controlled when it is slid closed, unless you need to dial a number or enter text. All main navigation buttons are placed on the outside of the device, again aiding usability and letting you access the core features at all times.
The 2.4-inch screen is designed to be equally easy to use. Its striking brightness and large, clearly-defined fonts make the interface easy to read and navigate, regardless of your expertise.
The interface can also be tweaked for even clearer visibility, if required. A choice of brightly-coloured, high-contrast themes and larger fonts are available if you need a more defined UI.
Audio performance has been just as carefully thought out. Sound quality is excellent, whether making or receiving calls, and we found voices always came through loud and crystal clear.
And while the sheer volume of the phone will be unbearable for anyone with perfect hearing, it is fantastic for anyone that suffers from hearing problems; especially as the extra volume is delivered without causing any sound distortion.
The phone is also fully hearing aid compatible. And with Bluetooth 3.0 technology included as standard, it’s easy to wirelessly connect Bluetooth headsets for hands-free use.
Maybe the most unique feature, however, is the emergency button on the rear of the device. This lets you contact a preset list of emergency numbers at the touch of a button, if you need help.
Once set up with the required contacts, a press of the button sends a text to all the numbers. Priority numbers will also be called until someone answers.
This feature alone makes the phone perfect for elderly people that live alone. And a lanyard is included, so the phone can always be kept close to hand so that it’s available in case of an emergency.
You can even enter important information such as blood type, doctor’s name and details of existing medical conditions, so that first responders can be better equipped to administer first aid.
The only disappointing features of the phone are the low-quality camera and limited 256MB of storage. But its target audience is unlikely to mind about either, so they’re not a deal-breaker.
Add the handy charging dock, which makes it easy to charge the battery, as well as the great 12 hour talk time and 533 hour standby time and you’ve got a fantastic phone for elderly users.
While it could be argued that the price is steep for what seems to be a simple slider-phone, the sheer quality and attention to detail on display here justify the cost, making this a great device for older family members to stay connected.