Doro Arc 9 +2 

This is a DECT phone (well three DECT phones actually) and the base station unit is also an answering machine. As I have found with all the Doro units I have looked at there are lots of bits individually wrapped in a single box.

doro arc 9r
click image to enlarge

Setting up the base station means finding a power adapter (it always seems to be the one with the smallest end. The base station itself is easier as that is the biggest one and the handset. This is hardest as all three are the same wrapped side by side in tissue paper and only by unwrapping and installing the two ‘AAA’ rechargeable batteries and fitting the cover will you see the number you want DORO 1.

Each handset is 15.5x4.5x2cm and weigh 115grams. Each has a 3x2cm colour display not as good as the

Doro TH80 but a lot better than most if a little let down by the slightly crudely drawn graphics. However what they all do is obvious.

There is a manual the first twelve pages are in English and talk you through setting everything up in clear easy to follow language.

Your first job will be to set time and date as the answering machine cannot be used without this. However this has one huge drawback if power is lost so is the internal phone book and even your messages. This to me makes this a less than perfect unit. Even if power is lost for a few seconds the date and time etc are lost and need to be reset. I realise this would require a battery in the base station as well as the phone but something to save settings and messages is to me anyway essential.

Messages can be played back on the handset – for privacy – or through the base station. You can setup two messages (one for answer only) or just use the default offering.

The handsets themselves have 24 keys including the ubiquitous five position joystick. The display is clear and easy to read. Do not just think of this as a landline phone as it is more like a mobile as of course providing there is power in the two ‘AA’ batteries it can work a good distance from the base station. I walked around 40 metres down the road while holding a conversation and it was still clear and easy to follow. The stated range is 50-300 metres depending on what the unit has to work through. I assume that the 300metres would be in a fallow field in Norfolk.

In fact if your remote stations are say twenty metres away and twenty metres away again you could probably easily get 100metres in most house/office environments no matter how many concrete beams etc were in the way. You can of course page the remote stations so it becomes very useful if say one is in a greenhouse at the bottom of a long garden providing of course it has power to charge the phone.

The handsets have four rows of icons and even a background scene (changeable) so even when the unit is away from the charger it is easily readable and thus a single line can have multiple uses and users.

Providing of course the power is not lost to the base station you can save up to 100 names and numbers in the inbuilt phone book. The incoming number shows who is calling and the last 30 missed calls. You can even set an alarm. Briefly the changeable items are Tone Setup, Language, Rename Handset, Background Wallpaper, Colour Theme, Contrast, Auto Answer (default is no), Call Barring, SOS numbers, Select Base and finally great if you have young children Reset Defaults.

It is possible to access the answering machine remotely and this could be useful for the SOHO worker. I know it is possible to buy the unit Doro Arc 9 (without the +2 element) as currently I can only find this unit on sale in the UK.

With the one drawback of possibly losing power on the base station and thereby your settings this is a decent quality DECT phone, the quality of sound from the recording – even those left in a noisy environment – is good so if you do not suffer from power cuts of fluctuations then this is certainly worth considering.

Available from the link below at £39.99 including free delivery.

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Comment by Rod, 26 Jan 2010 11:48

Doro telephones are basically crap.
Where are they designed. What is the parent Company. Not German or Japanese for certain.
There support is useless.
The one I bought went from English Language on the Base Unit to French.
Yes I obviously pressed the wrong button sequence.
I scoured the book - then the Net - nothing - I rang Doro - got the normal run around about setting the Written Language - finally got through it was the Auto Spoken Language that had changed.
Finally they admitted they did not know. You will have to send it to a service centre. My cost. Emailed support - no reply. Rang again to send it to a repair centre.
Free under Warranty - No - I had caused the damage.

I am not sure it does save all the settings. For the month or so it did work I always seemed to be losing settings.
Two handsets is all it was worth to me.

Not worth the money at any cost.


Comment by Loretta, 20 Nov 2009 1:36

I have just bought one of these from Ebay but it didn't come with a manual, can anyone tell me where I could get one or view one on line?  Thanks

Comment by Scott, 6 Aug 2009 23:18

To correct some inaccuracies in this review (for the benefit of anyone else who like me was almost put off buying this phone because of its misdescription here).

The review makes the phone setup sound difficult: "lots of bits in a single box ... finding a power adapter... handset.  This is hardest..."

The setup was easy.  The power adapters are easy to "find" - they're in the box, with everything else; just plug them in to the base stations.  The box packaging is excellent, with the items individually wrapped and in sensible separate compartments in the main box (one for power adapterts, one for base stations, one for handsets).

There is nothing "hard" about setting up the handsets.  There is no need to find a particular handset to do the setup, contrary to this review's implication.  All the handsets are identical and all can do any and every function.  Just put the batteries in and they work.

But the biggest error in the review is the statement, repeated several times, that the phone will lose all settings, stored numbers, saved messages, etc, if there is a mains power failure.  This is simply incorrect.  You can unplug the phone completely, for any length of time, and all the stored data is preserved.  There is no need for a battery in the base station, the phone stores everything in "NVRAM" - the same as the memory card in a digital camera, for example.

This is a great phone, at a bargain price: currently (Aug 2009) £25 for the three handset version, if you can find it (it's now end-of-line).  The closest equivalent models from Siemens, BT, etc, cost £80 to £100 or more, and usually have much shorter recording times: the Arc 9r has an impressive 30 minutes; most BT phones are 15 minutes or less.

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