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Interface and Performance

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams


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Review Price £59.99

The Doro 409s uses the same basic interface as previous Doro mobiles. It's very simple - like the phone itself it's designed for those who have never owned a smartphone, or even used a touchscreen phone for that matter.

A home screen displays the time and date, along with icons for the signal strength and remaining battery at the top. The two top-most keys on the keypad change function depending on what's on screen (soft keys, as they're called) with them defaulting to the phone book (called "Name" for the sake of the technologically uninitiated) and the main menu on the home screen.

Doro Phone Easy 409s 1

The menu offers the remaining smattering of features, scrolled through one-by-one - each filling the screen. You do this with the two-button navigational rocker that naturally falls under your thumb when holding the phone. While those looking for an extremely basic option may not use this much, the placement of this rocker is wonderfully convenient and comfortable.

At default, the main menu houses the Calendar, Alarm, Games, Phonebook, Messages, Call Log, Calculator and Settings. However, these can be cut down further within the settings menu. Don't want Games? Just remove that option, to make the 409s's menu system even simpler. The only features you have to keep in the menu are Phonebook, Call Log and Settings. If you have an elderly relative who still doesn't get texting (or thinks it's the work of the devil), this could be a useful feature.

For all its simplicity, there is a quick setup process to go through to get the Doro 409s set up perfectly. This won't matter if the prospective owner is simply someone who says "bah humbug" to touchscreen phones, but if it's intended for an elderly person with arthritis, for example, it's worth considering getting someone else to fine-tune the phone beforehand.

The emergency button is a far more important part of this initial setup than the menu customisation. This button on the back makes the phone call and text up-to five pre-selected numbers, when it is held down for several seconds. The body of the text, and the numbers, are stored in the Settings menu.

Doro Phone Easy 409s 5

It is of course easy to accidentally depress the large emergency button when it's in a pocket, but there are several settings to avoid such embarrassing - and worrying for the friends and relatives - incidents. It can be turned off, or require three presses of the button rather than one. It's hardly fool-proof, but you are able to cancel the feature before it kicks-in fully.

Once the emergency button has been pressed in the requisite way, an ear-piercing alarm sounds. It can then be cancelled with a press of a soft key. Let this emergency function do its thing though and it'll sequentially call the pre-defined numbers until it connects to one, although the phone will still believe it has connected if it reaches an answer phone. It will also send each of the numbers an SMS message. The Doro 409s may be a niche device, but its features make a lot of sense within that niche.

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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.


June 1, 2011, 4:18 pm

but you can always remove SMS from the menu!


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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