Test: The senior mobile Doro 8110 – Most misleading

Loud and clear sound, a screen with clear detail and high contrast and of course easy-to-use and logical functions that do not make daily use more complicated than necessary. In short, this is what you can expect from a phone that is senior-adapted, in my opinion.

If you as a senior are to choose a phone, you are faced with the choice of either choosing a pronounced senior mobile like this from Doro or you get stuck instead of a “regular” mobile.

Doro’s answer to the question of what a senior needs in a mobile, and which is manifested through, for example, the Doro 8110 that we test here, is the alarm button on the back, the ability for relatives and friends to control the phone’s settings remotely and grip-friendly ergonomics. Doro and I agree that loud and clear sound should be a priority in a mobile for seniors.

That Doro has the senior’s best in mind, I’m convinced, but I’m not as convinced that the result will be so good. An example of this is the alarm button located on the back of the Doro 8110. The phone as a whole has a rubberized back that makes it firm to hold. You hold the phone with one hand and use the touch screen with the fingers of the other hand. However, that alarm button on the back can not be said to be ergonomically placed. With weak force in the hands, it can be difficult to press, especially as it must be held for several seconds before the function is activated. That the result of the pressure is displayed on the screen on the other side of the phone is another aberration. What the alarm button does is that, if you hold it down and before it configures the function, it makes sure that the phone sends a message to an emergency contact and attaches your position. After I triggered the alarm, as a result, the volume on the phone also changes from silent to sound on. The feature is simply neither unique nor particularly innovative. Not well done either. In the Doro 8110, it feels as if the Doro is making an effort to get around Android’s limitations and rarely succeeds.

Simplifies and confuses

Doro is making an effort to simplify by adding its own interface, but at the same time they let the more complex parts of Android shine through. If we look at basic functions such as taking a photo, looking at the photos you have taken, making a call, Doro’s interface acts as an intermediate step. For example, when I look at the photos I have taken, I still end up in the non-senior app Google Images Go, after the detour via Doro’s own interface. It is not a clear simplification, quite the opposite. Same thing when I’m making a call. Then I choose from the home screen to just call. I then first get to Doro’s simplified middle menu and the first thing I have to do there is answer if I “want to give Doro Eva permission to make and handle phone calls”. So this is Android’s usual app access box and the problem is that Doro does not get past much of the complexity that exists in Android. For example, notices come at the top as usual, as on any Android and there I can read that “Response has access to my place in the background”. Doro thus has no possibility to hide this complexity from the user.

The alternative to buying a senior mobile like Doros is to instead take a completely ordinary mobile and adapt it as best as possible to the senior’s needs, preferably with the help of a reasonably knowledgeable acquaintance or family member. The problem here is that even the Doromobile requires quite a lot of hand-laying to function logically and easily and not even with hand-laying we get away from the complexity.

Ancient remains under the shell

Under the shell, the Doro 8110 differs from most we’ve seen. It does so because in terms of performance it is several years behind most of what we see in stores today. The system chip that drives the phone reaches in some cases about a tenth of the performance we get in a modern mobile phone. This is not a big problem for a senior who does not play demanding games or switch between many other demanding apps, so I can understand that. Even with this limited performance, you can log in to your internet bank, use Swish, even play music in Spotify, watch a video on Youtube or respond to a message in Facebook Messenger without major problems. It does not go fast, but it does.

Doro’s priorities in other areas are more difficult to understand.

Battery life, for example, is on the low side even though the performance is lousy and the screen is worse than most we see on phones today, even in the same price range as the Doro 8110. When I then compare cameras, this phone underperforms even there compared to regular phones in the same price range. Doro says that the cameras in the Doro 8110 are especially good in the dark. The cameras, because yes there are several in the Doro 8110, consist of three on the back and then a selfie camera in a small teardrop-shaped sensor panel at the top of the screen. However, those three cameras do not do much extra because in addition to the main camera, it is a macro camera that does not take pictures closer to the subject than 7-8 centimeters and a depth sensor. The main camera itself is capable, but not much more than that and it does not impress. In the dark, I get much sharper images with clearly better color reproduction from, for example, the Nokia G50 which costs as much as the Doro 8110. There is simply a big class difference to Doro’s disadvantage and then we should add that the Nokia G50 is not even close to the better in class.

Only signal policy

A lot of what Doro does in this and other senior phones feels like signal politics without much practical benefit. It is aimed at those who do not know much about the alternatives and can not assess the value. The alarm button on the back is an example. It has no other phone. It means that a selected emergency contact receives a notice and a message where the senior’s latest position is visible. However, one can ask what extra benefit it adds when positioning is easy via both apps and directly in the system in all smartphones, both Iphone and Android. You can share position automatically and constantly in, among other things, Apple’s Find function and in Google Maps, and contacting a close relative in an emergency is also possible.

One may also ask what benefit the ability to remotely control the phone’s settings actually entails in practice. With the Doro 8110, I can let a more tech-savvy relative change the text size, brightness, volume and how long it will take before the screen goes out. These are just a few of all the settings and the question is how often a senior can even be thought to go in and accidentally, for example, change the text size in the system. These are not settings you come across just like that, but really have to look for. I want to argue that a regular Android or Iphone with custom settings is the best choice. So what you need is not a senior mobile but half an hour’s help from a tech-savvy relative or friend who puts only the most important things easily accessible on the home screen, stows away the rest. It’s easy in both Iphone and Android for those who are just a little used to it.

Questions and answers

Is the charger included in the package?
Yes, not only a charger but also a table stand that you can use to charge the phone but without the hassle of dotting the cord in the hole in the bottom of the phone.

But if senior mobiles are so unnecessary, what should I have instead?
Set up any Iphone or Android with a few apps, shortcuts to important functions and large text and you get a better phone for a cheaper price.

How useful is the remote control of the phone available to relatives?
Not. On the contrary, I get a series of error messages when I set it up and once it is up and running, the function is very limited.

An alternative:

Iphone

The best alternative that I see for a senior mobile is an Iphone of older model year, with physical home button and with unnecessary apps removed, as well as large text size and good contrast set.

Test image

The camera handles daylight well, but is significantly worse in the dark than other phones in the same price range.


Source: Mobil by www.mobil.se.

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