Liberto® 820 Mini 

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This next mobile handset is smart enough to act as a clock while it is being charged or not used for other purposes.

Doro Liberto 820 Mini
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Described as being “Small size, Big heart” by Doro, the Liberto® 820 Mini is a smartphone.  It is relatively compact by modern day standards of such devices, hence the “Mini” part of its title.  Available in a choice of Silver, White or Red (my review sample), the Liberto 820 Mini has dimensions of 126 x 66 x 11mm (H x W x D) and weighs 132g (including the rechargeable Li-ion 3.7v 1500 mAh battery pack) which means you should have little trouble slipping the handset in a pocket or bag when not being used.

Dominating the front of this handset is a 4-inch colour touch screen.  With a display area of 52 x 87mm (H x W) the screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.  While well down on the quality of display you get from bigger models, this display will be fine for the elderly and those looking for a basic first-time entry into the smartphone type of environment which is the product’s targeted market sector.  You get adjustable font size with a big text display plus brightness and contrast settings that can be customised to suit individual users.

Conveniently positioned, for right-handed users, on the left side of the handset are the power and volume adjustment controls.  The right side of the handset holds a specific camera key and a micro USB port for charging the phone.  Positioned on the top of the unit is a socket for the supplied in-the-ear headset.  The Liberto 820 Mini has front and rear mounted cameras with the latter 5MP model accompanied by a flash module.

Arranged beneath the bottom of the screen are three buttons.  These perform the standard operations found on Android powered devices.  There are button for Menu, Home and Back.  Unlike most other Android devices which tend to be touch-sensitive, the Doro buttons are physical button which need to be firmly pressed to activate the required function.

The rear of the handset features, along with the main camera, a compartment that holds the battery pack, SIM card and optional micro SD card.  To access this compartment you need to run a fingernail around the back cover in order to ease it away from the body of the handset.  A small indentation in the lower left corner of the back cover helps get you started with the removal process.  The SIM card will need to be inserted before the battery while the optional micro SD card will allow you to increase the default offering of 4GB of which around 40% will already be consumed by the Android 4.2.2 operating system and various pre-installed apps.

Prior to using this handset, and at appropriate intervals, you have a choice of methods fir charging the 1500 mAh Li-ion battery.  You can either make the necessary connection, using the supplied micro-to-standard USB lead to the right side of the handset or place the handset on the supplied docking station which can use the same lead to connect to a power source.  The use of the docking station does also help by providing a central location for the handset when it is not being used and can also result in this smartphone acting as a clock with charging backgrounds.

When initially setting up the Liberto 820 Mini, a Startup Guide will lead you through the necessary steps as you select the appropriate language and decide on either the Easy or Normal display modes which give you a choice of 2 x 3 or 3 x 4 layouts of the apps stored on the handset.  You can then set up a Wi-Fi connection which allows you to decide whether data traffic for some features is disabled when not connected to Wi-Fi.  A walkthrough of the handset’s features is available or can be accessed later.  This handset will need to be linked to a Google account.

A fairly standard collection of pre-installed apps arrive with the handset.  An initial home screen gives you phone, messages and camera quick link icons with space to add three others.  Buttons for Google and Menu listings bring up the appropriate offerings.  In the case of Google Apps, there are two screens of apps including the Play Store, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Play Music, Play Movies, Photo Calendar, etc.  Selecting Menu brings up the 27 pre-installed apps featuring offerings such as Gallery, Notes, FM Radio, Torch, Settings and My Doro Manager.

This last item allows Helpers (friends and family members) to provide assistance based on the level of permission granted to them.  They can share content with you, provide assistance and configure settings for the handset such as selecting an appropriate image for the lock and other screens.

As mentioned, Doro does tend to target the older generation with its range of products.  The large style icons certainly help in this respect as does the large size text and a loud ring volume setting.  There is support for ICE (In Case of Emergence) and an Assistance Button on the rear of the handset.  A contact list can be set up for this latter feature so that an automatic message is sent to recipients when this button is held depressed for three seconds or pressed twice with a second.  This feature is turned off my default.

The Doro Liberto 820 Mini kit consists of the handset (Silver, White or Red), docking station, micro-to-standard USB lead and three pin adapter plug.  You also get a small Quick Start Guide included in the box.  Currently is listing this product at £108.99.

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