Before I begin this review I would just like to say that I am one of the few people left who think that mobile phones should be used for making and receiving texts and calls - end of! I have no desire to be connecting to the internet when I am out and about - I do enough of that at home thank you - so what I needed was a good, basis mobile phone for a good price.
My previous phone was a Sagem VS1 from Vodaphone on the Pay as You Go tariff and it had lasted me for many years but was gradually getting less and less reliable so I began to do some research.
I decided to change to a pay monthly tariff as, when my husband is working away, we exchange a lot of texts and I was putting at £10 per month on my VS1. I found that Tesco do a £7.50 per month tariff giving me 250 minutes of calling time and 5,000 texts which is more than enough for me. This contract lasts for 24 months and, as you can see, is already saving me money and I get Clubcard points too.
On to the phone itself....................
There was a choice of a few phones which were available on this tariff and I chose the Doro 611. The phone itself is a clam shell design with a graphite coloured exterior. It comes in a sturdy box together with a charger, a set of earphones and a 'quick start guide'. This is plenty to get you going but for a really detailed set of instructions you need to visit the website and download the user manual. www.doro.co.uk/ProductManuals
My phone was free as I had taken out a contract with Tesco Mobile but they currently cost between £50 and £80 depending on where you buy them.
When I had my Doro 611 from Tesco the gentleman serving me took the sim card from my old phone and put it into the new one thus carrying over not only my mobile phone number but all the numbers that I had stored in the memory too which was very useful.
As I said earlier the phone is a basic one and will make and receive phone calls and texts but also has a basic camera, organiser, alarm, emergency button, calculator and FM radio access too.
When the clam shell is opened there is a display featuring a picture of your choice - I have uploaded one of my cat, Mew - and the date and time. At the top of the screen there is the usual icon showing how much of the battery remains - I find that, even leaving the phone on 24 hours a day, I only need to charge it about once a week. There is also an icon showing the strength of the signal, a little bell showing me that my alarm is set and a musical notation showing me that the sound is set to 'on'. As with all phones it can be turned to silent mode if needs be and this is very simple to do.
At the bottom of the screen there is the word 'menu' on the left hand side and the word 'name' on the right. On the keypad there are the ten digits 0 to 9, the hash key, the star key, two telephone keys (one green and one red), a key with an up and a down arrow on it, a key with a camera on it and two keys - one either side - with straight lines across them. These last two are used to direct the phone - for example if you press the one on the right under the word name you will be taken directly to the phone book.
If you press the one under the word menu you are then taken to the first of the menu screens which is Phonebook. You can then either press the key under the word OK or use the up and down arrows to work through the other menu screens which are Settings, Games, Ice, FM Radio, Calculator, Organiser, Alarm, Image Viewer, Camera, Call Log and Messages. I will now work through these one by one telling you a little bit about them but I won't go into too much detail as you'll be here all day reading this review!
This one is fairly obvious and the numbers are listed with Ice (more about that later) at the top and then the rest in alphabetical order although it is easy to move the ones that you use most frequently to the top so that you don't have to scroll through every time you want to text someone.
This is where you have the options to set the display on your phone together with the sound, the time and date, the language you will be using, favourite numbers, speed dial, predictive text if you want it, assistance (more about that later), Bluetooth, security and file manager to show you how much memory you have used.
The phone has just two games - Tetris and Boxman. They are pretty basic but good enough to while away a bit of time if you are sitting waiting for an appointment.
I have to confess that, before I purchased this phone, I had never heard of Ice. What it stands for is 'In Case of Emergency' and it where you can out all your personal information - name, date of birth, height, weight, doctors number, 2 numbers to contact if you have an accident, the language that you speak, any known conditions, any medication, any allergies and your blood type. You can fill in as much or as little as you like and it provides help to those who would come to your assistance in case of emergency. Clever eh?
This can only be turned on if the earphones are connected. I have to say that I am not really bothered about listening to the radio and so haven't tried this on my phone.
Again this is pretty basic with just addition, subtraction, multiplication and division but could prove useful.
This is a calendar where you can leave reminders and then set the phone to ring in a certain way to let you know about the tasks. You can also set a daily reminder to go off at the same time every day - useful if you need to take medication at a certain time every day.
This can be set on a daily basis so, to give you the idea of it, I have set mine for 7am but only set it to go off on Weekdays and remain silent on Saturday and Sunday. I find that it works perfectly.
This is where you go to look at the photographs that yopu have taken with the camera on your phone.
Again it is fairly basic and there is no flash available, but it works well, It can be accessed via the menus or, for immediate access, you can just press the button on the keypad that has a camera on it. This is ideal if you see something happening and you want to take a photograph straight away.
This is simply a list of the calls made and received.
This is a list of text messages sent and received. When this gets full a little envelope appears on the main screen to remind you to empty it!
The only other thing that I will tell you about is the assistance button. This is a square button located on the back of the phone and can be pressed to summon assistance. You can set it up to dial up to five numbers and send a pre written text message to alert them that you need help. You can have this switched on or off on the phone. I have switched mine off as I find that I inadvertently press the button when I am holding the phone. The alert can also be set so that you have to confirm your need for assistance by pressing 0. As I say I don't use this but I can see that it would be very useful for some people.
The buttons on the keypad are a decent size so, even if you have larger fingers, you don't end up pressing two or three at a time. If you miss a text or a call coming in a green light will flash on the front of the closed phone to alert you to this fact.
Overall I am VERY impressed with this little phone. It is robust which is great for a clumsy soul like me! It is easy to use, intuitive and it is saving me money. I would recommend it with any hesitation at all! I have had mine for over six months now and am very pleased with my choice.