1 - Writeup & Photos
If you're looking for a simple, easy-to-use flip phone that also looks good, the Consumer Cellular Doro 410 may be the one for you. With the Doro phone you don't have to worry about the keypad or screen being too small. The features are easy to use, and you can turn unnecessary features off if you want. There's even an SOS button on the back for dialing an emergency contact number of your choice.
The Doro Phoneasy 618 is now available. This new handset adds an autofocus camera with flash to the 410's features.
On the outside, it looks just like a regular flip phone.
You can order the Doro Phoneasy 410 direct online or by phone. If you are not already a customer, ordering it online is fastest. If you’re already a customer (as I was), it was easier for me to call and tell them I wanted to replace my phone I had (WX345). You can choose whether you want the replacement phone to arrive pre-activated.
If this is your first phone from Consumer Cellular, it should arrive pre-activated, so you can start using it immediately.
These phones made by Swedish startup company, are simple but of high quality.
When you open the phone you see that the keypad is well-spaced. You don’t have to worry about accidentally pressing the wrong button, and having to apologize for dialing the wrong number. The keys are lighted as well, making them easy to read in low-light. The navigation keys and function keys are also easy to identify and use.
The screen is well-lit with the information presented in a large easy-to-read font. The menu is presented as a set of single options that you scroll through via the up/down navigation keys.
Otherwise, the menus and options are pretty standard with a twist you'll see at the end.
I made a few calls one weekend to check out the phone. The volume was high enough (you can adjust this during the call) and the quality was good. Officially the phone has a 35 dB range.
For example, I chatted for about ten minutes with my Dad about the results of a tennis match, in the process reminiscing a bit about matches we watched together when I was a kid. After the call, I saw that the minutes had flown by.
Speaking of minutes, if you want to check your usage so far in the billing cycle, you can call a special toll-free number that you'll find in your phonebook.
While the large keys make dialing easy, eventually you’ll want to enter most of the people you call into the phone’s addressbook, i.e., the phonebook. For each contact in the phonebook, you can store up to three numbers: Mobile, Home and Office.
When you receive the phone, there are two numbers already entered in the phonebook. The first is the number to call to check your minutes usage. The other is the Consumer Cellular support numbers. Calls to both those numbers are free – they do not count against your plan’s allotment of minutes.
On the back of the Consumer Cellular Doro 410 phone there is an SOS button for "emergency" calls. When you press the SOS button thrice, the Doro phone dials the emergency number that you have assigned. The requirement to press it three times in a row is to prevent accidental dials. Even after you press the button three times, you get an alert asking if you want to cancel the call. If you don’t choose cancel, it starts the call.
The emergency dial feature has to be activated in the settings first, and you can leave it off if you don’t plan to use it. Once activated, you can choose the emergency number from one of the contacts in the phonebook or enter it manually. Therefore, it can be any number – you don’t have to set it to an official emergency number like 911.
You can send and receive text messages from your Consumer Cellular Doro phone. The cost varies depending on your plan. When you compose a message, the keys are in “ABC” mode, meaning they appears in all CAPS as you enter them – presumably because those are easier to read. You can switch to lower case (“abc” mode) or numbers (“123” mode) by pressing the # key.
Most of the additional tools you find on other phones are also present on this phone including an Alarm, Calendar and Calculator.
You can set one alarm to go off once or on certain days of the week – you check off the particular days. If you need multiple recurring alarms, you’ll have to use another phone or your computer or alarm clock.
For one-time alerts however, you can use the Calendar function. These are entered as tasks and you choose the day and time for the reminder. If you want recurring reminders, you can still sort of do it, but you have to set them up manually one-by-one for each recurrence.
There is a basic arithmetic calculator function that you can use to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers. You choose the operation using the up down keys and pressing OK. It’s a little awkward at first but you get used to it after a couple of uses.
Do you listen to the radio? You can listen to your favorite FM radio stations through your phone once you plug in the earphone and mic hands-free kit that is included in your package. Note: the phone has a 2.5 mm jack so you can’t use regular stereo earphones that you would use in iPods or MP3 players.
You can use the up/down keys to search for stations or use the Options key to enter them manually. Once you’ve found the stations you like you can store up to nine of them in a Channel List.
Once you turn the radio on, you can close the phone shut and keep listening. When there is an incoming call, the radio stops until your call is completed.
Believe it or not, there are actually two games on this phone.
There is a jumping game called Robot and a shooter game called UFO. They're not very sophisticated but you can enjoy them as you wish. Research suggest that seniors who exercise and play video games may lead to a lower risk of cognitive decline.
In addition to the handsfree kit, the other accessory included is a lanyard strap. In order to attach the lanyard, you have to remove the battery cover which can be a little difficult.
The package for the phone from Consumer Cellular includes a wired
handsfree and lanyard. This is great because the Doro phone has what
looks like a 2.5 mm jack for the headset. Handsfree headsets with 2.5 mm
used to be the standard, and a frustrating one at that since most
people had 3.5 mm stereo earphones which they could not use with the
phone to do things like listen to the radio.
Anyway, the headset has a both earpieces (stereo I guess) and a microphone as shown in the photo.
So, even this simple little phone does quite a lot. However, if you don’t want any of these additional features and just want a very basic, easy-to-use phone, you can use the Blocking function to turn any of these features off!
If you go to the Settings and select Block Function, you can choose whether you want to turn off any of the following functions: Messages, Alarm, Calendar, FM radio, Calculator, Games and Silent Mode.
Personally, I can attest, that the last one can be useful, as people do accidentally put their phone is silent/vibrate mode by accident and don't know how to get out of it. Blocking Silent mode forces the phone to always ring for incoming calls.
The Doro 410 has been ranked the best phone for seniors in countries like Germany, Denmark and the UK. Now it's available in the USA.
You can get the Consumer Cellular Doro phone for $60 with free activation and free shipping.