Review – Doro PhoneEasy 610 (one out of three ain’t bad)

Review   Doro PhoneEasy 610 (one out of three aint bad)

Okay, it’s not cool, it’s not smart, but the Doro PhoneEasy 610 is a phone at least! A phone which deserves a mention because of what it achieves by not being cool or smart.

Why am I reviewing a feature phone?
Despite his age, my elderly father has always been pretty tech savvy; an amateur radio and electronics enthusiast who was always striving to keep up to date and often knew more than me about the latest industry developments. Unfortunately he recently had two brain haemorrhages which put him in hospital for a month and, unsurprisingly, has affected his vision and cognitive abilities.
As he started his recovery he realised that he was finding it difficult to operate his mobile phone, and needed something with bigger buttons and a clearer display, and as such he asked my advice. My first reaction was to get one of the large screen Android phones and put it into accessibility mode, but I soon realised a touchscreen wouldn’t be usable for him. I also realised that after ten years of Smartphone use, I knew nothing about feature phones!

I took a trundle around the manifold mobile phone shops in Bath, only to find that very few of them had anything suitable, until I reached the Carphone Warehouse, where I found the Doro PhoneEasy 610. Despite its grammatically challenged name, the specifications looked good and a short while later I was happy to part with £70 for it.

Both dad and I have now had a while to play with it, and I’m pleased to say it suits him perfectly.

The Review
The clam shell design is ideal for this type of phone, as it protects against accidental key presses, screen scratching, etc. and I have to say that when closed it looks like a genuinely stylish standard flip phone. It’s only when opened that you see the large backlit buttons set on a white background for high contrast, and bright colour display, that you realise this phone is for the visually impaired.

In use, the buttons are positive, with the menu and action buttons feeling intuitive and easy to use without looking at. There are four additional buttons above the number pad which can be programmed to dial or text specific numbers. One extra button can be found on the back of the phone, which is specifically designed as an emergency call button that can be set to dial various numbers and send pre-programmed text messages.

The screen can be set to several colour themes, and the font size is adjustable to the point of being ridiculously big. If I were to fault it, I would have to say that setting up the more advanced features is a bit laborious, but being as they’re ‘set and forget’ it’s only annoying once!

I’ve listed the full features below, but the main highlights beyond what I’ve already said are the extra loud volume settings, hearing aid compatibility, and the multitude of emergency and panic settings.
Nice touches also include an FM radio, a desktop charger and a reported 490 hours of standby battery time (remember those days?!).

The only real failing for me is the lack of camera and MMS support, which is understandable, but disappointing.

In conclusion
Should you find yourself in the same situation as me or my father, then I wholeheartedly recommend the Doro PhoneEasy 610, but if you’re after a cool smartphone, shop elsewhere!

Main features
Backlit keypad
Dial up safety alarm
Key tone
Calendar with reminder
Wake up alarm
ICE (In Case of Emergency)
Remote programming (OTA)
Call log positions 60
One touch memories 3
Phonebook positions 300
Multiple numbers per contact
List top 10 contacts first
Handset unit display
Colour display
Big display text
Optional display modes optimised for visually impaired users
Adjustable font size
Sounds & Signals
Polyphonic ringtones 20
Visual ring indicator
Vibrating ringer
Ringer volume settings except off 7
Ringer off setting
Receiving maximum level (dB RLR) -35
Maximum receiving amplification (dB) 35
Hearing Aid Compatibility Rating M3/T4
Maximum ringer volume (dB(A) at 1 meter 85
Microphone mute
Broadcast message
SMS key
Predictive text
Adjustable multi-tap timing
Hide unwanted functions
Separated keys
Handset size (mm) 100*52*22
Handset weight including batteries (g) 103
Soft touch coating for better grip
Cables & Connections
Headset outlet (2.5mm)
Standby time (up to hours) 490
Talk time (up to hours) 8,7
Battery included (type) Li-ion 800mA
Universal Charging solution (UCS)
GSM (band) 850/900/1800/1900
VCard support
Charging cradle included
Headset included
Lanyard included

If the PhoneEasy 610 is just too basic for you, then Doro does provide a half way house solution that we reported on in March, which actually runs a heavily skinned version of Android, the PhoneEasy 740.

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  • guest

    Doro have a good reputation -I have a friend with hearing problems who gets on fine with hers where other mobiles have failed.

    One question begs though if you’d wanted a camera and MMS support, why not buy the Doro 615 as it has both of these features

    • We don’t need either, I just think that it would be a nice feature for others that could have easily been included at the £70 price-point. Let’s face it, it’s not cheap for a feature phone these days.

      • guest

        I’m not trying to be rude or start an argument. But Doro targets these
        phones at people who have difficulties using a regular handset, on this
        particular model those features have been specifically omitted to avoid
        complications for the user. Doro have induction loops in for hearing aid
        use along with other specially designed features not included in a
        regular phone, they will also sell in much smaller numbers than the
        basic Samsung and Alcatel handsets which pushes the price up. in much smaller numbers than the
        basic Samsung and Alcatel handsets which pushes the price up.

        • Point taken, and I don’t think you’re being rude or starting an argument. This is what the comments section is for, after all.

          • Gramps

            I picked up one of these brand new today for only $50 Australian dollars bargain. Keypad is brilliant, only thing i wish it had was a FB app i do like that lol, do they do software updates by any chance. I’m not senior either I am 45, nokia has gone down hill sick of their style and well i want a easy to use phone. I was going to go the Nokia 208 got tired of waiting, and the doro gives me an alert light i love that, I am obsessed to Ronnie lol.

          • Sounds like you got a bargain there! Nice one.

            I don’t know of any software updates. I bought my Mother a 615 this year, which is the replacement model, and apart from having a camera it’s the same software.

          • AdamBoy64

            It’s a sad state of affairs, really.
            Nokia featurephones used to have notification lights – and for some reason – they just stopped putting them in phones.
            I just can’t understand it. A lot of things Nokia are doing recently are hard to understand.

          • Gramps

            I agree Adam it pushes people away from them, if enough people say to Nokia bring back older features like lighting effects, who wants people ding ding late at night, so the alert light is handy..I still like Nokia hope they will make a come back.

  • Peter

    As “guest” suggests every Doro phone has a specific group of users in mind.
    The 610 is for users who does not want to fiddle with a camera and MMS.

    Thats what other Doro phones are for.

    I think that the 610 fits right into the segement it was targeted for :)

    Im the head of a danish site that focuses on Doro phones. Its goal is pure information about the phone and the aim is to guide the users to the Doro phone that fits their needs.

    if you are keen on using google translate we made a small article about the Doro 610: