The screen on the PhoneEasy 612 relatively large for a clamshell handset, as it measures 49x36mm. The resolution isn’t amazing at 320×240 pixels, but it’s more than enough for this type of phone as there are no internet features and the menu system only really shows one large icon on the screen at a time. The display is very bright too, and unlike a lot of cheaper phones it’s easy to read even when you’re looking at it from an angle.
The phone’s menu system is very straight forward and reminds us of older Nokia handsets. The main menu is a series of pages that you scroll through with the up and down buttons on the keypad. Each page shows just a single large icon related to its function, so they’re very easy to read and navigate around. You can also increase the size of the text, which is neat.
The ear piece is a tad louder than a normal phone, although not excessively so. What is different, though, is that at full volume it remains very crisp and clear with none of the distortion that typically affects cheaper phones when they’re set to full volume. Battery life is also top notch. Doro quotes a talk time of 12 hours and standby time of around three weeks and these figures seemed pretty accurate from our experience with the handset.
The three quick-dial buttons on the keypad are fairly easy to program and it’s also relatively straight forward to set up the assistance button. The latter allows you to assign up to five numbers to the button so when it’s held down it repeatedly dials each one on the list until it gets an answer. You can also set it up to send an emergency text as well in case nobody picks up for the emergency call.
In other respects the PhoneEasy 612’s specification is pretty modest. There are no internet or social media features, but you do get a calendar function and it has a built-in FM radio that you can use when the headset is attached. This has good reception and although it doesn’t have RDS it does allow you to save stations as presets and assign names to them.
Unlike the more basic Doro models, this one has a camera onboard. However, it’s a very basic snapper with a two-megapixel resolution. Shots look pretty decent on the phone’s screen, but when you transfer them to a computer via the handset’s microUSB port they tend to look very soft and blurry and colours aren’t very accurate either. It also struggles in low light, especially as it lacks an LED flash to help it out in darker conditions. For storing pictures there is 8MB of memory built in, but you can boost this as there’s a microSD slot for adding memory card.
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Unlike a lot of handsets aimed at seniors, the Doro PhoneEasy 612 is more than just a very basic mobile phone. Instead this handset has been properly crafted from the ground up to make it as easy as possible to use. Its menu system is very straight forward, the keypad is big and roomy and there are some good features such as the emergency assistance button on the rear. As such, we think it’s a good choice for those who, for one reason or another, just can’t get on with many of today’s more advanced mobile phones.