Doro 8030 review
Thinks and acts like you
The Doro 8030 is a smartphone that has been designed to work in a more natural and understandable way. Although we go into further detail later on in this review, the intuitive interface is centred on three simple ‘I want to’ buttons.
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Designed for the elderly and those with hearing or visual impairments, the Doro 8030 is a new kind of smartphone that breaks barriers and makes the complex simple.
Screen - Optimised display modes
The 4.5” display certainly isn’t the largest on the market and the resolution is slightly limited a 854 x 480 pixels. Having said this, seniors are less likely to be playing 3D games and instead will desire a display that makes written text clear.
The Doro 8030 does this with big and adjustable font sizes, but it also goes well beyond. The optimised display modes, designed for visually impaired users with colour vision deficiencies, can be switched into monochromacy, deuteranomaly and tritanomely modes or their associated negatives.
This effectively means that the barriers colour blind people encounter when using technologies, has been broken down.
Design - Physical optimisations
The dimensions of the Doro 8030 are pretty standard at 10.1mm thick and at 142 grams, but a soft touch coating makes the phone easy to grip. Three physical soft keys have also been built into the design and their physical nature makes them find-able by touch, something which is lost when virtual keys are used.
A loud and clear speaker has been integrated and this produces a 91dB ring volume, at a distance of one metre. Further more, the 35dB HD voice certified earphone can be switched into speakerphone mode, for ease of use.
The Doro 8030 has a visual ring indicator and is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible), with hearing aid wearers only needing to switch their hearing aid into T4, M3 or M4 mode.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Set up
The set up process has in itself been made as simple as possible, on the Doro 8030. When powered on, the Doro 8030 says hello with a start-up wizard. There are no technical questions, so it is easy for any owner to get up and running in just a few minutes.
During the set up, owners may which to enter information for ICE (In Case of Emergency). ICE is designed to give first responders fast can access to information such as medications, next of kin, medical conditions, blood type, allergies and vaccinations.
Doro 8030 owners may also want to set up the special assistance button. The assistance button is located on the back and is activated by pressing and holding it for 3 seconds or by pressing it twice within 1 second.
After a 5 seconds pause, that allows the user to cancel the feature if it has been mistakenly activated, a call is made to the first contact entered in the emergency contacts list during set up. This call will ring for 25 seconds and if unanswered, it will then ring the next emergency contact and so on, until the call is answered.
In addition to this, an assistance SMS is sent out to the owner’s emergency contacts, along with the GPS position of the phone.
Beyond getting started, Doro 8030 owners can use the pre-loaded step-by-step tutorial and built-in coach, in order to get more familiar with the phone’s features.
Interface - I want to
We touched on the interface earlier and here we take a more in-depth look at how Doro has simplified, what can be, a daunting and app heavy smartphone experience.
The home screen shows three virtual buttons, labeled as Call, View and Send. When pressed, each of these move through a logical process, towards what the user may want to do. Typically the next screen will show a prompt of ‘What?’ or ‘To whom?’.
As an example, a press on ‘Call’ will prompt the user with ‘To whom?’, followed by a list of contacts. A tap on ‘Send’ will prompt the user with ‘What?’, follow by a list of things like photos or music files.
A press on ‘View’ will also prompt the user with ‘What?’followed by items such as messages, pictures, videos, emails, something on the internet, calendar and alarms.
Above these three action buttons, photos of favourite contacts can be pinned, for quick calling.
Features - Beyond the basics
The Doro 8030 has a wide range of features that the average user may find useful. Some of these includes a photo phone book with the top 10 contacts listed at the top, a weather feature, calendar and daily reminder feature.
Furthermore, the Doro 8030 has GPS, Bluetooth for connecting to wireless headsets and 4G & Wi-Fi for access to the internet with bookmarks. The Android 5.1 operating system allows the owner to download new apps from Google Play and it is possible to see apps recommended by Doro.
The Google Now box is visible at the top of the home screen, although this can be removed, if desired. Tapping the microphone icon, will enable the Google voice assistant, which can do things like save reminders or conduct Google voice searches.
Many will find the Code Safe password manager useful. This feature keeps track of passwords and sensitive personal data, meaning that the owner need only remember one 3-digit password, going forward.
Help - My Doro Manager
My Doro Manager is a unique piece of software that allows the Doro 8030 owner to get help from a trusted helper. The My Doro Manager software is already pre-loaded on the Doro 8030 and the Android or Apple phone helper will need to download the free software onto their phone as well.
Once set up, remote help can be given by a trusted friend or family member, from their smart device. Permission can be given so that they can remotely read what is on the Doro 8030 screen or permission can be given so that the helper can make changes.
In addition to remote assistance, helpers can recommend apps that the Doro 8030 owner should download. To download one of these app recommendations, the Doro 8030 owner needs to only accept the recommendation, with the app download taking place automatically.
Camera & Video
Photography - Uncomplicated
Photography is uncomplicated on this Doro smartphone and the 5MP camera has autofocus, an image viewer, magnifier function, countdown timer and post-shot editing with crop and rotate.
Photographs can also be captured at lower resolutions, which can be handy for saving space on the 8GB internal memory. For those who want to store everything at the highest resolution, the memory can be expanded upon with a 32GB microSD card, which simply slots into the phone.
The camera can record video at a quality of 720p, while a second VGA (0.3MP) camera can be used for making video calls.
Power - Battery, charging and dock
The 2,000mAh battery will give Doro 8030 owners up to 15 hours of talk time or up to 600 hours of standby. Battery saver mode can be switched on to get more from the last remaining battery reserves.
When switched on, the battery saver mode is activated at the user’s choice of 5 percent or 15 percent of battery remaining. When the battery dips below the chosen level, the Doro 8030 will save power by limiting background operations and app syncing.
|Best phones for the elderly|
The Doro 8030 can be charged from a laptop, using the cable provided, or by inserting it into the included charging dock. Dock mode it pretty handy and turns the Doro 8030 into a bedside clock, slideshow photo frame and music player. When docked, the owner can set a sleep timer and fall asleep to music or switch the phone into do not disturb mode, where notifications and calls are muted.
Final thoughts: With Doro claiming that more than 60 percent of over 65s will be purchasing a new phone this year, the Doro 8030 is primed to do well with those who are not fully tech savvy or have visual or hearing impairments.
Written by: Michael Brown