This offering is a partnership between Emporia and RNIB. So while it can be used by a sighted person, most of those using it will either have severely limited sight or be registered as blind. While most of us take our phones with us to stay in contact and indeed I know of people who run their lives from their phones, for a blind or partially sighted person being in contact can be much more important than that.
Once the SIM and battery are installed this becomes an easy phone to use. The right corner of the back allows a fingernail to slip under to insert the SIM and then the battery the three contacts on the end of the battery line up with three contacts in the battery bay so it will only fit one way. Fitting the SIM is a little more tricky not least because being Nano it’s very small. This is a Flip Phone small enough to fit easily in the palm of your hand when closed. It is 9.5x5x1.
In past years I have reviewed a number of Doro phones for both house and their specialist mobile phones for those with sight and hearing problems. Here it’s the former category with the accent on connecting other units to the base station.
Why may you ask well I have been contacted by several people who say it’s not as easy as it should be. Doro have made their name on ease of use and while in the past I have just reviewed base units often people want to attach other units to the same line with remote phones. Normally the Doro instructions are ‘bullet proof’ and also clear and easy to read.
Do you want a land line phone or a VOIP type connection? This next DECT phone provides both options.
Whether offering to “help” with PPI, repairing a computer with a non-existing problem or enquiring about an accident that has never happened, nuisance calls can be both extremely annoying and worrying especially for those of a nervous disposition. Offering to help provide some protection from these unwanted intrusions is the Gigaset SL450A GO Eco DECT phone.
Offering DECT phone functionality, plus both waterproof and dustproof features, is a handset from BT.
The BT Elements 1K is a DECT phone but not your ordinary common or garden device. On second thoughts the “common or garden” reference could be descriptive of where this phone might well be used. This is, after all, a rugged handset designed for use in the outdoors such as playing on the common or working in the garden where the products promised range of one kilometre would be a distinct advantage.
Nuisance call blocking, Android apps and Internet access are all supported by this next phone.
I can remember, in the dim and distant past, when households with a phone were the exception rather than the rule with just BT providing both the kit and telephony service. Those were the days when, having just left home attracted by the bright city lights, I would have to ring the one neighbour with a phone to pass on a message to my parents.
Whether you refer to them as Cold Calls or, probably more appropriately, Nuisance Calls, they are unwanted interruptions to your daily living routine. While some of these calls are merely annoying, to say the least, others are more criminal orientated in that they are designed to relieve you of your hard earned cash by illegal methods.
Recently I took a look at BT’s solution for dealing with these Cold Calls and now it is the turn of Gigaset, a German manufacturer of telephones, tablets and baby monitors, with the company’s C620A Duo product. As the “Duo” part of the product’s title indicates, this kit consists of two DECT phones each with its own base station.
Working from home, I regularly find myself having to put up with unwanted calls from companies wanting to provide a so-called service I do not want or have asked for. Maybe this next product could help.
A fairly recent modern phenomenon concerns the numerous cold calls we have to put up with from companies who have so little concern for the general public and think we have nothing better to do than listening to their marketing spiel. There are also those calls asking for our opinions so that the data can be sold on to others or claiming we have been involved in an accident.
Not everybody wants or needs a smartphone with all its bells and whistles. There are many users, especially those often referred to as silver surfers, who are more than happy to find their mobile communication needs adequately covered by a feature phone such as the latest addition to Doros growing 3G feature handset portfolio. This new addition to the Doro catalogue is the PhoneEasy 624 model.
With dimensions of 102 x 52 x 19mm and weighing 104g (800 mAh Li-ion battery included), the PhoneEasy 624 is a clamshell unit with a metallic red outer casing featuring white trimmings. A charging stand, micro-to-standard USB lead, three-pin power plug, earphones with mute control, lanyard and User Manual are included in the box.
Two items that are both connected with telecommunications, the first a rather patriotic telephone that I can see being popular is places like Notting Hill and the Leef Bridge 3.0 a high speed USB 3 flash drive offering a standard USB connector at one end and micro-USB at the other for Android devices.
This is a very conventional well-made push button telephone. Maybe it will find its market in posh stores for its decoration as it is tastefully decorated with the union jack, while the red, white and blue are all correct the finish is matt. It is 23x21x12cm these are maximum dimensions as it is less than 3cm at the front. The shape is one that was favoured by BT in their later years and it bears the GPO label which is not to convey that they are old stock but the current owner of the GPO brand.
Doro have long been the company to look after those who have limited hearing and or sight. Here is what even for Doro is an entry level product. However for not that much money it could for a vulnerable person be a real lifesaver.
One thing that often bothers those less able is the abundance of extras that often confuse. Here most of those are already stripped out but even some basics can be removed from the setup menu so you just have little more than a phone. One thing Doro never remove is the emergency button which can be linked to a relative, neighbour or the emergency services once setup this is a real lifeline for those who do not have regular contacts.
Sticking with the same name followed by a unique number does provide a manufacturer with an easy choice of options when it comes to naming its various products. One company that has taken this approach is Doro with its range of handsets designed with simplicity in mind. The latest of these products to come my way is the PhoneEasy 622 which adopts a clamshell style of appearance.
Available in a choice of burgundy and white or black and grey, the PhoneEasy 622 is certainly not going to be confused with any of the numerous smartphones that are appearing by the bucket load for use by the fashion conscious members of society (and yes I do have a smart phone despite being a total stranger with regards to fashion).
Doro are the biggest UK name in phones for the hard or hearing or those with limited sight. I have looked at at several designs and shapes over the years. So when one arrives with a new feature it immediately gets my interest.
The Doro PhoneEasy 520X measures 11.5x5x1cm and weights 93grams. Things you now expect and get from Doro, are different colour schemes for those sight is poor, very loud ring tones for those who hearing is poor, big buttons for ease of use for those who have difficulty in being precise with movements and now a back that is simple to remove using a coin twist mechanism to easily remove the back by turning a screw through 90 degrees. A simple thing that I am sure others will soon follow with.
Twin or Combo both names to denote two and both supplied by Binatone. The first called the Twin Solo Plus which also has an answering machine. The second the Carrera Combo a cordless and a corded phone using one phone line.
The iDect Solo L1i twin measutes 19x5x2cm and slightly curved so that it fits between ear and mouth – unlike most DECT phones that tend to be straight. The technology is a revamp of DECT that Binatone have called iDECT. It is stated to work up to 50 metres indoors and up to 300 metres outside. They certainly worked from one side of my property to the other. Outside I was able to go to the bottom of my garden and down the road by around 60metres before the signal broke up. It has a 3.2x2.
Despite the Solo connotation of its title, this product is available in single, twin, triple or quad offerings depending upon your telephonic needs.
Binatone has added to its range of iDECT phones with the release of its Solo product. There is a choice of glossy red, white or black units that combine docking stations and handsets. This review is based on the twin version of the product. As you would expect there are two handsets, each with a curved shape and a detachable back which gives access to a compartment to hold a pair a pair of AAA rechargeable batteries that are supplied.
While long-established company Binatone is well known for its phones and related products, not many people are familiar with its designer brand, iDECT. With its recently introduced iDECT Solo Plus the company has taken a fresh look at the way things were done in the past and has produced a versatile and easy to use DECT phone with built-in answering machine.
These phones are available in black, white or red and the curved 19.5cm long handset is of a comfortable size and shape. Whereas most DECT phones are designed so that handsets stand vertically on their docking/charging stations, with the Solo Plus it lies neatly on top of it. Consequently, just like a traditional phone, it is a natural fit in one’s hand when picked up.
The Doro Comfort 1015 is an attractive DECT cordless phone that incorporates an answerphone and other features, such as hands-free operation, that a user will find useful. It is convenient to use and is available in a number of variants. As well as the single handset option, there are the two, three and 4-handset packages listed which also provide paging and intercom around the house.
Handsets are 165 x 50 x 25mm approx. and fit comfortably in one’s hand. They are black in colour and the white characters on the keys are easy to read. The matt rear surface of the handset makes them easy to grip. Doro has taken a very practical approach in the design of these phones with the handset using two standard AAA rechargeable batteries rather than specials. The claimed standby and talk times are respectively 100 and 10 hours.
The Doro wired Comfort 3005 phone, with built-in answering machine, is easy to use and has the features needed by the mature people who form a large portion of the Doro target market. It has an extra-loud facility, is hearing aid-compatible and is a hands-free speakerphone as well as having an easy to read high-contrast display.
It is an attractive desk feature phone and does not advertise the fact that it aimed at meeting the needs of those whose hearing and sight are not quite as good as the rest of us. It has a footprint of roughly 190 x 170 mm, it is matt black in colour with numbers and symbols in white that stand out clearly. There is a vertical green line on the body of the instrument which is a Doro style feature.
This is designed by Stefano Giovannoni. It looks very swish and is a high quality DECT product. When on the charging base it looks elegant away from the base it still looks smart, even lying on the sofa or the kitchen table.
This DECT phone from Alessi measures 18.5x5.5x5cm when base and handset are paired together. Individually only the last figure changes and that becomes a maximum of 3cm with the base unit and 3cm for the handset. It is a very stylish matt black colour. Even the User Manual has an air of quality about it. In Italian, English, French, German and Dutch. Not like a lot of such offerings each are in there own section and has its own numbering and of course is very easy to follow.
As part of its Home initiative, Archos has developed a DECT handset that uses Android software.
In an attempt to add some French flair to a handset, Archos (better known for its Portable Media Players (PMP)), has launched its 3 Smart Home Phone. This is a DECT device that is powered by the Android operating system. As with the Binatone Android device I reported on recently, this Archos model uses 2.2 (FROYO) rather than a more up-to-date version of the Google software. As its title indicates, this is a home phone rather than your constant companion when out and about.
There cannot be many users of power-hungry portable devices such as iPads and smartphones, who have not seen a warning message that their battery is getting very low or have even had it stop working when the battery dies on them. The Proporta TurboCharger 7000, which is not much larger than a smartphone, can make this a thing of the past.
The TurboCharger 7000 is an external rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that, when fully charged, has a capacity of 7,000mAh. This is well over four times the capacity of many smart phones. Just connect it to your phone and, as well as recharging, it provides instant power so you are back on-air without delay. It is roughly 120 x 70 x 15mm and sits comfortably in one’s hand and weighs just 240g when stowed in its draw-string bag with its accessory connectors.