Doro PhoneEasy 409gsm review: Doro PhoneEasy 409gsm

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The Good Extremely simple to use; Useful emergency button; lightweight.

The Bad Doesn't look so great.

The Bottom Line The Doro PhoneEasy 409gsm packs some neat features for the hard of hearing and the elderly, and it's incredibly simple to use.

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7.5 Overall

Review Sections

Anyone on the hunt for a bleeding-edge smart phone rammed to the gills with the latest technological innovations might want to point their cursor elsewhere, because the Doro PhoneEasy 409gsm takes simplification to new extremes. Simple isn't bad however -- this mobile is aimed at the elderly, and it's designed to be as easy to use as humanly possible.

At a cost of around £90, has Doro succeeded in its goal of making a truly accessible mobile?

Exploring Doro

Visually, the Doro 409 isn't too impressive. A bulky clamshell design measuring 98 by 50 by 19mm frames the 409, which is matte black all over apart from a strip of green plastic on the front and around the emergency button on the back.

Basic functions call for basic design with the Doro PhoneEasy 409, which certainly doesn't take home any prizes for most-attractive mobile.

While it's not particularly slender, this phone is light. It tips the scales at 110g, and it doesn't feel heavy at all. Two LEDS on the front of the handset will flash intermittently to let you know the battery is low, or that you have a new text message waiting.

Flipping the phone open, the first thing you'll notice is the 409's absolutely massive buttons. You'll have a hard time missing your mark with this phone, so it's perfect if your eyesight's a little wobbly, or you find the tiny buttons on other mobiles too fiddly. Above the alphanumeric keypad, there are 'call' and 'call end' buttons, up and down arrow keys for cycling through menus and two more navigation buttons, primarily used as 'confirm' and 'back' keys.

Small but mighty

The 51mm (2-inch) screen is really quite small considering how much space is available, which is surely a missed opportunity. With a resolution of 176x220 pixels, it does look pretty sharp, and it's bright, too, which is somewhat redeeming.

The menu system really couldn't be simpler. Bring up the menu by tapping the left button from the home screen, then scroll up and down using the arrow keys. Every icon is pleasingly chunky and the interface is extremely snappy and responsive. We'd expect nothing less -- with such low functionality and pared-down graphics, you'd be highly disappointed if you couldn't browse the phone's menus at a fair old lick.