| Login
 
 

Published on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Doro PhoneEasy 515 review

Mark Bridge writes:

This was going to be my best-ever mobile phone review... and I wasn’t even going to use the handset. But all my plans fell apart because my mother wouldn’t let me do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t planned an elaborate ‘theatre-not-journalism’ piece of creative writing and I’m not tied to anyone’s apron strings. I was going to give mum a mobile phone to test.

Doro PhoneEasy 515 phonebookI’d been sent the Doro PhoneEasy 515. Doro develops telecom products “specially adapted to the growing worldwide population of seniors” - and this particular product was, according to the packaging, an “easy mobile phone with camera”.

Now, let me offer a few words about my mother. Mrs Bridge is, as you’d expect, a little older than me. She insists that age is just a number, albeit a number she’d rather not reveal. I think it’s safe for me to say she retired a few years ago. Any more detail and I’d be in trouble.

Anyway, mum has a background in telecommunications, having left school to work for ‘Post Office Telephones’ before it became BT. I thought she’d be the perfect reviewer. So I asked if she’d like to try my easy mobile phone.

“No way!”, she said, before muttering something about ‘old people’ and warning me that I wasn’t too big for a clip round the ear.

And that, I think, is one of the biggest challenges facing the Doro PhoneEasy 515 (along with its PhoneEasy 505 and 510 siblings). Rather like booking Saga holidays or buying an aluminium walking stick, choosing a phone that’s designed to give you a helping hand can remind some people about an aging process they don’t want to admit.

Mum wouldn’t admit to suffering anything age-related. She’s never watched “Dickinson's Real Deal”. Heck, she doesn’t even own a Daihatsu Charade.

With mother declining the opportunity to review the phone, I turned to her eldest son. Me. I made myself a nice cup of tea, buttered a scone and sat down at the kitchen table. Next, I whipped the SIM out of my Nexus S smartphone and slipped it into the PhoneEasy; the battery was around three-quarters charged, which would do me nicely.

That was five days ago. My SIM is still in the phone and the battery charge hasn’t dropped below half.

Of course, it’s easy to gloat about battery life when your phone Doro PhoneEasy 515 text messageisn’t doing much. No Angry Birds. No Foursquare. In fact, no internet browser. But mum’s never bothered with that stuff anyway. She checks her email on the PC at home.

What this phone does offer is a simple start-up wizard, a colour display (with text/background combinations that are especially good to read), a 2-megapixel camera, a couple of quick-dial buttons, an FM radio, a torch and an emergency button on the back.

Text and picture messages are supported - and you’ll also find ‘voice messages’ as an option for those who don’t like using the keypad to write. A ‘voice message’ is simply sending an audio file as a multimedia message; something possible on many phones but rarely a standalone function. Yes, the PhoneEasy lives up to its name.

For those who fancy getting a little techy - no, not tetchy, mother - a USB cable offers drag-and-drop photo, video and music transfer (into 11.9MB of built-in memory or an optional microSD card). And authorised friends or family can even update the phonebook remotely by sending specially-coded text messages. The hard work is done by them, not by the person with the phone!

The emergency function does exactly what you’d hope it would. First, you store a telephone number - maybe your eldest son, assuming you’ve not disinherited him - or perhaps a combination of friends, relatives and Phillip Schofield.

Fantastic VoyageWhen the button is pressed it’ll send a text message to all the numbers in your emergency list. It’ll then call them in sequence, having automatically activated the loudspeaker on the phone. There are various options for setting up the button and the list of emergency numbers but I’m sure you get the basic idea.

Other features that mum really wouldn’t like include the ability to choose above-average volume levels for calls and an ‘In Case of Emergency’ memory to store your medical details for the paramedics.

Best of all, it doesn’t have the look of a fogeyphone. Sure, it’s a clean, straightforward design but it doesn’t shout ‘vision impaired’ at you. (Not that shouting ‘vision impaired’ would make much sense).

My only real grumble was when using the phone’s file manager, which is the route to any music, videos and pictures you add. The menu system has bright, obvious icons for almost everything except your files, which are tucked away under ‘settings’. Still, that’s hardly a deal-breaker. I imagine most users won’t be bothered.

Ultimately, I really liked the phone. I’d like mum to have one. And I’m convinced that she would appreciate it, too.

Perhaps I’ll have another go at persuading her to give it a try. All I need to do is hide the box.

I spoke to Chris Millington, Doro’s MD for UK & Ireland, earlier this year at Mobile World Congress. You can listen to the interview (which starts at 3:35) via the built-in audio player on our website or by downloading the MP3 file.
Rate this article:
No rating
Comments (0)Number of views (2147)
Print

Leave a comment

Name:
Email:
Comment:
CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add comment
Opinion Articles

Friday, October 24, 2014

Philips Voice Tracer DVT6000 review

Is a dedicated voice recorder better than a smartphone app?

Mark Bridge writes:

If I'm interviewing someone for a podcast, I'll generally use my Zoom H4N recorder and a separate microphone or two. But I don't need the same level of high-quality kit if I'm interviewing someone for a written interview. Why carry an expensive recording device when your mobile phone can do the same job?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Barclaycard bPay: wearable payment technology

Mark Bridge pays with a flick of the wrist

Mark Bridge writes:

Contactless payments. They're catching on, aren't they?

But mobile contactless payments haven't proved so popular.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

iPhone 6 journal

Spending a few days with the newest Apple handset

Mark Bridge writes:

I open the iPhone 6 box and discover a phone that feels substantial. Well engineered. Practical. Despite being just 6.9mm deep, it doesn't seem unreasonably delicate.

RSS
 
Recent Podcasts

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The latest UK mobile industry podcast, including new devices from Apple, Google and will.i.am

Podcast - 22nd October 2014

The new Apple iPad tablets, Google's latest Nexus devices, Android Lollipop, wearable tech from will.i.am and the world's slimmest smartphone all feature in this week's podcast.

We're also talking about free mobile data for Christmas, 4.5G technology being rolled out in the UK, 5G technology being tested in South Korea, the end of an era for webOS and video messages that self-destruct.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The new HTC camera, EE TV, an ethical smartphone, Ofcom complaints, mobile payments and M2M

Podcast - 15th October 2014

This week's podcast begins with news about the new 'quad play' television service offered in the UK by EE.

We also talk about HTC's new camera, an ethical smartphone, a complaint from Ofcom, mobile payments, machine-to-machine connections and yet another online security breach.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A split for HP, a separation for eBay and a billion dollar disagreement for Samsung

Podcast - 8th October 2014

We begin this week's podcast with stories that go beyond the mobile industry, as HP plans to split into two companies and eBay prepares to separate itself from PayPal.

We're also talking about the Microsoft/Samsung legal case, a new Tesco tablet, BT's updated text relay service, a new way to avoid buying a stolen iPhone... and #Hairgate.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

We talk about Phones 4u, the BlackBerry Passport, Bendgate and much more mobile news

Podcast - 1st October 2014

In this week's podcast we begin with more news about Phones 4u, as Carphone Warehouse steps in to help iPhone 6 buyers.

We also talk about problems at Apple, a brand new handset from BlackBerry, mobile payments, phones on planes and a device that promises to stop people from texting while driving.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Seven days of mobile industry news: new products, an acquisition, a break-up and a security update

Podcast - 24th September 2014

This week's podcast begins with the latest news from Phones 4u, where hundreds of jobs have been saved but there are a large number of redundancies as well.

Iain, James and Mark then talk about new products from Amazon, BlackBerry and Panasonic, mobile payment innovation from Indonesia and the UK, the acquisition of IoT specialist Neul and Apple's updated privacy policy.

RSS