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Doro Phone Easy 409s review

Andrew Williams

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Pros

  • Simple UI
  • Affordable
  • Large, comfy buttons

Cons

  • No camera

Key Features

  • Clamshell design
  • Ultra-simple interface
  • 2in 176x220 pixel colour display
  • Emergency button
  • Large rubberised buttons
  • Manufacturer: Doro
  • Review Price: £59.99

We tend to rate phones by features and performance over almost anything else, but not every phone plays that way. The Doro Phone Easy 409s takes the opposite approach. It's designed to be easy to use above all else, making it a sound choice for technophobes, the elderly or those who just don't like today's new-fangled fiddly gadgets.

The Doro 409s is a clamshell phone. They used to be almost as popular as touchscreen phones are now, but for the most part their day has passed. Doro isn't ready to let this old form factor ride off into the sunset yet though. The inside of the handset is white, with black trimmings in the shape of buttons and the screen surround. The outside reverses this scheme, with white ornamentation on plain black.

Doro Phone Easy 409s

Although not exactly a stylish device, it's one of Doro's best-looking phones yet. Previous handsets have used a very similar design, but in dumping superfluous bits of colour used before the 409s manages to look respectably tasteful.

The keypad uses a traditional T9-style layout, with large rubberised buttons that positively dwarf the tiny keys used in most small phones available around the same price - £60 on a pre-pay deal. The other key accessibility feature of this phone is the emergency call button on its back. Like the numerical keys, it's large and rubberised, and is also contoured slightly so your thumb can find it without getting your peepers involved.

Doro Phone Easy 409s 3

The Doro 409s's conservative design may not scream high-quality craftsmanship, but it's a well-made phone. A soft-touch finish covers the entire outside of the phone, giving it that comfy - almost cuddly - feel in-hand. The white insides are made of more conventional plastics, but your thumb will almost always be hovering over the high-friction rubber keys of the keypad anyway.

There is one oddity in the build though. Two little rubber buffers sit just above the screen, to soften the impact of the clamshell snapping shut, but they simply pop out if you dig a nail underneath them even slightly. We managed to do this accidentally, leaving the screw underneath completely visible. Function-wise it's not a tragedy if these rubber blips are lost, but like removing a model's makeup, it does rather spoil the intended look.

Doro Phone Easy 409s 2

Two little lights sit on the front of the phone, acting as indicators for SMS messages and low battery. They're much less subtle than you'd find on a similarly-priced phone like the Sony Ericsson Zylo, but then the Doro 409s is all about simple ease of use and intuitiveness - concessions to fashion don't rank highly here. The keypad lights-up too. The spread of light isn't even across the keys, but it does the job of making all the internal keys easily visible at night-time.

Features, aside from the basics of texting and call-making, are laid-on thinly. There's no web browser, no email functionality and no app store. Connectivity is also very limited with no Bluetooth, no GPS and no SD card slots. Volume controls and a 3.5mm headphone jack feature on the phone's sides but internally everything's kept conspicuously, deliberately bare-bones.

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TrustedPhrontis

May 28, 2011, 3:18 pm

You almost miss the point with this one! Its too complicated for my mother in law. It has text, she wont use it doesn't want it, so wont buy it (the phone), even though it would be perfect for her. Not having a camera is not a con its a very big, big positive. There is calling for a very basic mobile with good reception, loud speakers, big buttons easy to press and nothing other than the ability to make and receive calls.
You recently reviewed the Galaxy S II i9100 and one of the cons was "Poor call quality", then gave it nine out of ten! Surely the main prerequisite of a phone must be good quality phone connections and being able to hear what is going on.
I am not being technophobic on this one, I have had a succession of HTC smart phones from before HTC were known as HTC. The only reason I don't have the latest WM7 HD 7 is due to WM7, I will stick to 6.5 on my Touch Pro 2 until such time as I can use a memory card and they have sorted out some of the other issues.

Andrew_TR

June 1, 2011, 4:18 pm

but you can always remove SMS from the menu!

jope

June 28, 2012, 4:27 am

As marketed in Canada with Rogers, big issue with this phone, currently no replacement chargers are available. If you loose the charger the only way to get another charger is to get another doro phone, is to make a 3 year commitment with this company which, if you are unable to do so, means you can not use the phone...As well the emergency button is too easy to push - thus the number linked to this is too easily bothered....It is confusing why to create a simple cell phone of the old fashioned variety Rogers had to go to a european phone model which is why the charger is such an issue

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