Doro PhoneEasy 508
Easy mobile phone with emergency assistance
The Doro PhoneEasy 508 is more than just a mobile phone that has been designed to be easy to use. This phone is a player in a niche sector of the market and has built-in emergency assistance features that potentially have life saving applications.
A recent experience of having an elderly relative falling to the floor and being unable to move for hours was enough for me to be convinced that the Doro PhoneEasy 508 has a critical role to play. This is particularly true for anyone with aging relatives who do not yet have or will not accept professional care or are receiving part time professional care.
There is an extremely large demographic here which includes 11 million people who are aged 65 or over in the UK. Doro has been tailoring phones to this segment for many years and you can view the Doro phone range here.
This mobile phone of course does not fit into our ranking format which has been created to bring order to the smartphone ranks but it is truly worth a review and something we should all consider purchasing be that on behalf of or as a gift to an elderly family member or friend.
I simply loved the look of the Doro PhoneEasy 508 with those widely spaced keys and as the shell of the phone curves over from the sides to the front it sits extremely well in the hand and feels completely secure.
The sizing of the phone seems to be just right and measures 118 x 53 x 13mm and at 81 grams it is as light as a feather. Without even switching the phone on it is easy to recognise the functions of the buttons which include dedicated keys for the built-in torch, two speed dial numbers and a shortcut to go to the text messaging menu.
The build includes a handy speakerphone and a colour display that measures 28 x 35mm with a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels which is more than enough for this phone to achieve the goals for which it was designed.
Phone Set Up
When you press the power button for the first time you are greeted by the Startup Wizard and whilst you can run this feature at anytime I see no reason why you wouldn’t spend 60 seconds entering the time, date, language, ring tone, ring tone volume and desired font size (normal or large).
If you do leave this for later then you will find the Startup Wizard in the setting next to the Block Function feature. I actually love this little bit of ingenuity that allows you to block functions from appearing in the menu. This means that the phone can be completely setup for the individual user and you could shrink the menu down to just one or two features if you wish.
The first feature that we will look at here is the one that I thought made the Doro PhoneEasy 508 a must-purchase.
On the rear of the phone there is a well-sized assistance button but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just a simple speed dial. The assistance button goes well beyond this!
To activate the assistance feature of this Doro phone you simply need to press and hold the assistance button for 3 seconds or press it twice within 1 second. After this an alarm will sound on the phone for 5 seconds so that if you have activated the feature by mistake you can cancel it.
The PhoneEasy 508 gets clever then and sends a text message, which you can predefine, to up to 5 emergency numbers that you can save within this feature. After this the phone immediately calls the first emergency number in your list. After 25 seconds if the call isn’t answered the phone then calls the next number in the list.
Within the settings of this feature you can also select to have these calls loop until someone answers or limit the feature to attempting to contact each number to just 3 tries.
As you can see this feature alone can bring peace of mind to anyone who has a relative living alone.
The next feature that makes the Doro PhoneEasy 508 a lifesaver is ICE (In Case of Emergency). This feature can be found in the menu and will allow you to store all of your medical information in one place for first responders in case of an emergency or trauma.
The information you can store in ICE includes your condition, allergies, medication, doctors details, emergency contact numbers and blood type along with anything else that you feel might be relevant should a medical emergency occur.
There is a set of basic features to compliment these specialised services and these include daily reminders, a calendar, calculator, FM radio, Bluetooth for wireless accessories, the option to mute the microphone and the choice of standard or predictive text messaging.
Once again tailoring the phone to the older end of the market we find extra loud and clear sound with a maximum ringer volume of >83 dB(A).
Camera & Video
As this phone is neither feature heavy or powering an over-sized screen a super-lightweight battery (800mAh) is included. This can be charged quickly using the mains charger in the box via the Micro USB port. This of course means that if the user owns a laptop or PC and a USB to Micro USB cable then the phone can be charged this way.
The standby time of up to 370 hours and a talk time of up to 14 hours seems perfectly adequate for any situation and after using the phone for several days I can confirm that these look realistic as the battery indicator still shows that the battery is fully charged.
The Doro PhoneEasy 508 can be picked up from a little over £7 per month on a contract or for only £20 when you buy a £20 top-up making this one of the best value deals for anyone looking for a simple to use phone with emergency features built-in.
Written by: Michael Brown