Have we travelled back in time? After all, this is – as the name suggests – only a GSM phone. No GPRS OR HSDPA for superquick access? That’s not the point of this Doro handset…
Everything about the Doro HandlePlus 334gsm has been designed to make it easy for someone who’s not familiar with a mobile to use one. And the built in emergency features make it an ideal phone for older relatives to give you peace of mind that they can reach you no matter what the circumstances.
Oddly, the phone didn’t work with either of the 3 test Sim cards we put into it. However, it did respond to an O2 pay-as-you-go Sim, which allowed us to fully test it.
The thoughtfully constructed mobile phone begins with the charger. This can either be plugged directly into the phone, or it can be used to power a charging base. That makes it easy for the phone to be dropped into for charging, without dealing with fiddly connections.
It might be a very basic mobile phone but it still retains the essentials. That includes a handsfree headset (used by pressing the appropriate key), volume buttons on the side, a key-lock button so it can live happily in your pocket and an onscreen display to show the functions.
What it’s lacking is a traditional keypad to make calls. As this is designed to be used by someone who might have trouble hitting small number keys or who’s eyesight is not so good, the phone comes with four dialing buttons. Numbers can be programmed into these and the names of the person they call written in next to them. Press the A, B, C or D button and you automatically ring the associated number.
Naturally, having no keypad means it is a bit tricky to input those numbers. It’s done using the up and down buttons to move through a list from zero to nine. Names of the people to call are also input using the same system – which can take a while to enter up to 16 characters. While this is time consuming at first, once you’ve input the speed dial choices they’re unlikely to change that often. A few different pieces of paper cut to fit the front of the phone are provided to change the names should your four speed dial choices change.
There are also two buttons in case of emergency. That’s an SOS button on the front and an Emergency Call Key on the back. As long as the phone is switched on it’s possible to place an SOS call by pressing that key, as most networks now allow calls to 112 even without a Sim card being present.
The Emergency Call Key works slightly differently. As with the speed dial keys, numbers can be input for the Emergency Call Key. Press and hold it for three seconds (or press it twice very quickly) and it’ll send an emergency text message to all those numbers. It then also starts ringing them in order, moving down the list if the call isn’t answered within 30 seconds. It has to be activated before use, giving you the option to edit the emergency message. You can add five numbers and the manual warns against adding numbers that are automatically answered because an answer stops the sequence and ends the emergency.
We’ve given the phone our own rating (see below) but we’ve also placed the handset into the home of the kind of user it’s aimed at. We’ll update the review once we get some feedback.