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Doro PhoneEasy 345 review: Doro PhoneEasy 345

Doro PhoneEasy 345

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Nicole Lee
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Nicole Lee Former Editor

Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.

4 min read

The Samsung Jitterbug J may be the most well-known senior-friendly cell phone, but it is far from the only handset designed with the elderly in mind. The hallmark of a senior-friendly phone is one that is easy to use, with a bright legible display, an uncomplicated menu and feature set, and large keys. Several non-Jitterbug phones have met these criteria, like the Pantech Breeze, the Verizon Wireless Coupe, and the Clarity ClarityLife C900.

doro-phone-easy-345gsm-cellular-phone-gsm-cstn-black.jpg
7.3

Doro PhoneEasy 345

The Good

The Doro PhoneEasy 345 has a bright legible display, a large display font, a roomy keypad with big keys, a flashlight, text messaging, Bluetooth, and an FM radio. It has great call quality as well.

The Bad

The Doro PhoneEasy345 has a low-resolution display and a rather staid design.

The Bottom Line

The Doro PhoneEasy 345 is an easy-to-use and affordable choice for seniors, and it boasts a few unexpected goodies, too.

Now Consumer Cellular, an MVNO that also happens to be the exclusive wireless carrier for the AARP, has joined in the handset game. It has introduced two new senior-friendly handsets, both of which are made by Doro, a Swedish company specializing in user-friendly consumer electronics for seniors. One of them is the Doro PhoneEasy 345, a candy bar phone that is as basic as most cell phones get these days. There's no camera, no music player, and you can't surf the Web on it. However, even though it's billed as a phone made for seniors, you still get a few basic features like text messaging, Bluetooth, an FM radio, a calculator, and even rudimentary games.

Perhaps the best thing about the Doro PhoneEasy 345 is its price. It is only $45, and that's without any contract. Consumer Cellular rates start at $10 a month for no minutes to $60 a month for 2,000 minutes (additional minutes are 25 cents each). There's also an activation fee of $35. Compare this to the Jitterbug J, which costs you $147 upfront along with slightly pricier monthly rates. Sure the Doro PhoneEasy 345 might not have Jitterbug's telltale dial tone or its operator services, but the monetary savings make up for it.

Design
The Doro PhoneEasy 345 doesn't have much in the way of design. It's a boring black slab of a rectangular phone, and looks like a cross between a cordless handset and a TV remote control. Measuring 4.92 inches long by 2.04 inches wide by 0.59 inch thick, the PhoneEasy 345 is actually quite lightweight at 3.5 ounces. It has curved corners and it is covered in a soft touch plastic that gives it a nice comfortable grip in the hand.


The Doro PhoneEasy 345 has a bland rectangular design.

On the front of it is a 1.8-inch color display with 128x96 pixel resolution. It's not the most colorful or sharpest display we've seen, but it is still very bright, and the text is legible. You can adjust the backlight time, the clock and date format, but not the font size. The font is already so big that there's little need to change it, however. The menu style is very simple--you just scroll up and down to go through the various functions and applications.

Underneath the display are two soft keys, a Talk button, two up-and-down arrow keys, the End button, and of course the number keypad. The keypad is very roomy and each key is quite large and hard to miss. All the keys are raised above the surface and arranged like individual tiles. The keys are also covered in a soft touch rubbery material and yield easily to pressure.

On the top of the phone is the power button plus an LED flashbulb. The left spine is home to the volume rocker and flashlight key while the headset and charger jacks are on the right. On the back of the phone are the external speaker and a large one-touch emergency call button.

Features
The Doro PhoneEasy 345 has very basic features, which is fitting for its target demographic. It has a 100-entry phonebook with room in each entry for three numbers. Though you can't personalize a contact with a ringtone, you do get 20 polyphonic ringtones with the phone. You can also add up to five contacts to an emergency call list. When you press the emergency call button on the back, the phone will automatically dial those five numbers.


The Doro PhoneEasy345 has an emergency call button on the back.

You also get vibrate mode, voice mail, caller ID, nine speed dial memories, a speakerphone, a flashlight, an alarm clock, a calculator, and even an FM radio. If you're a little more tech savvy, you also get basic text messaging plus Bluetooth. You can either type out messages in ABC mode, meaning you have to spell out the word letter by letter, or "spell correct" mode, which is essentially T9 auto word completion. You can also deactivate the SMS function if you don't see yourself ever using it.

We're also happy to see simple games included in the phone. There are only two--Snake and Smash--but they're still quite fun. You can customize the display with one of eight included wallpaper backgrounds, and you can have the menu in 14 languages.

Performance
We tested the Doro PhoneEasy 345 in San Francisco using the Consumer Cellular network, which rides on top of the AT&T network. We received full signal most of the time. We were very impressed with the call quality overall. On our end, we heard our callers loud and clear with little distortion. There was plenty of volume and the voices sounded natural, as if on a landline.

On their end, callers said we sounded great. They did report a bit of fuzziness, but it was nothing distracting. Voice sounded natural and volume was good too. When we turned on the speakerphone, they heard a tiny bit of echo, but that's nothing too unusual. On our end, we thought they sounded fine via the speakerphone. The voice was a little harsher and less natural, but they still sounded quite loud and clear.

The Doro PhoneEasy 345 has a rated battery life of 3 hours talk time and a standby time of 11.7 days. It has a tested talk time of 3 hours and 40 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 0.62 watts per kilogram.

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7.3

Doro PhoneEasy 345

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8
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