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Doro 6820 review: Premium feature phone for older users

Our Rating :
£82.50 from
Price when reviewed : £100
inc VAT

Doro hones in on the twin essentials of calling and messaging with the utmost ease of use


  • Excellent build quality
  • Intuitive UI and buttons
  • Bundled in charging dock


  • No web facility
  • Poor camera
  • Relatively expensive

The Doro 6820 is a feature flip phone built for older people that doesn’t require all the bells and whistles normally associated with smartphone ownership. It handles the bare essentials of texting and calling with minimal fuss and expense.

There’s no fiddly touchscreen to be found here; just large physical buttons, an intuitive UI and even a dedicated emergency assistance button on the phone’s rear. In all these respects it’s quite similar to the Nokia 2660 then, yet it costs quite a bit more money. 

So is the Doro 6820 as simple and pleasant to use as it purports to be? And does that justify the extra expense over the Nokia rival? Let’s find out.

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Doro 6820 review: What do you get for the money?

With an asking price of £100, the Doro 6820 isn’t expensive by smartphone standards; but it’s one of the pricier feature phones on the market. For example, the aforementioned Nokia 2660, which focuses on a similar delivery of features, costs £65.

However, hold these two ostensibly similar flip phones side by side and the extra expense at least becomes understandable, if not obvious. The Doro 6820 presents a higher-quality feel, with a plush soft-touch plastic finish to the bottom section and a warm faux leather finish up top.

At 117g, it’s only about 5g lighter than its rival, and with a similar folded size of 107 x 56 x 20mm, it will slip unassumingly into your pocket.

Flip open the phone and you’ll find a familiar physical numerical keyboard on the lower half, with pleasingly tactile and nicely distinguished buttons. It feels nicer to type on than the Nokia, which is another indicator of where that extra money has been spent.

Doro also includes a pair of buttons dedicated to the camera and messaging functions, which is useful. These flank a standard directional pad and an OK button, which form the core of the navigation experience here, along with a pair of context-sensitive menu buttons. Colour-coded call and answer buttons are a welcome intuitive touch, too.

The top half of the phone houses a 2.8in 320 x 240 non-touchscreen display. It’s neither particularly big nor sharp in the grand scheme of things, but it gets brighter than some other flip phones (though more than just the three settings present would have been welcome).

There’s no external display for heads-up information when the phone is closed, unlike the Nokia 2660. All you get on the outside is a 2-megapixel camera and an assistance button. 

The latter requires activating in the Settings menu, but once done you can quickly call an emergency number by either pressing and holding, or quickly double-pressing. The phone will cycle through several emergency numbers until one picks up, and you can also set up an automated text message to be sent on such an occasion.

As with many other feature phones, there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity; but then you won’t be doing any web browsing on the Doro 6820. This is a strictly offline device.

The left side of the phone is home to some nicely tactile volume buttons, while the right edge contains a 3.5mm headphone port (for physical headphones) and the micro-USB port. The latter is primarily used for charging, though you can also use it to hook up to a PC if you want to transfer any pictures you’ve taken.

As for charging, one of the most interesting provisions here is a special charging dock. Plug this into a wall, and you’ll be able to charge the Doro 6820 simply by slotting it in. It works rather like a modern wireless home phone, and is far more intuitive than fiddling around with the micro-USB port. You can expect multiple days of battery life from a single charge.

One slight negative that’s worth noting is that the Doro 6820 supports the outdated micro SIM standard, where most phones these days (even feature phones such as the Nokia 2660) go with the smaller nano SIM. It isn’t a huge problem, though: you can ask your operator to supply you with a compatible SIM, or even use a cheap plastic adapter if you already have a nano SIM.

A microSD slot sits alongside that SIM slot, right underneath the removable battery. This is handy given that the phone itself only features a relatively paltry 17.3MB of internal storage.

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Doro 6820 review: What’s it like to use?

The Doro 6820 is a true blast from the past, cutting through the complexity of modern smartphones and reverting to a simpler time. Its Mocor OS UI is beautifully straightforward to navigate.

Hit OK from the main screen, and you’ll be able to scroll through a series of app-like functions including Contacts, Messages and Weather.

Typing out messages and other text is through the T9 system, which might take some getting used to if you’re accustomed to pressing a key multiple times to scroll through the relevant letters. Still, once familiar, T9 involves far fewer button presses, which is a good thing to shoot for with older users.

I particularly appreciated the provision of dedicated shortcut keys to the camera and messaging functions. The former, in particular, will ensure that you don’t miss those key shots while you’re fumbling through the menus, which can be an issue in Nokia feature phones.

Performance is swift, as you’d expect given the inherent simplicity of the interface. I didn’t notice any major delays when flicking through the menus. Typically, where such a smooth experience comes unstuck on this sort of phone is when you fire up the web browser; but the Doro 6820 doesn’t have such a thing.

On the one hand, browsing the web on a limited flip phone such as this is invariably an awful experience – just see the Nokia 2660 for evidence. On the other hand, it would be nice to at least have the option to get online in a pinch. We’re a little conflicted on this one; but the point is that the Doro 6820 isn’t intended for extensive online use, and you have to admire the sense of focus.

The charging dock is one of the best things about the phone. Being able to slot it in and out at will can transform using the Doro 6820 into a home phone-like experience, if you so wish. Alternatively, it simply makes for a fiddle-free bedside charger, which is similarly valuable.

Doro 6820 review: What isn’t it good for?

As we’ve already mentioned, the Doro 6820 isn’t the phone for you if you wish to perform any sort of online task. With a lack of Wi-Fi and no web browser, it simply isn’t cut out for the modern world in that way. 

Even with that understood, the lack of WhatsApp access feels like a bit of a shame. It’s the go-to messaging service in many parts of the world (the UK included), so using the Doro 6820 will mean instant exclusion from family group chats. You won’t be able to access Facebook, Instagram or any other social network either.

Elsewhere, the phone’s 2-megapixel camera, while capturing sharper shots than the Nokia 2660, isn’t very good at all. You’ll need to capture shots in good natural lighting, and even then they’re only really good enough to be viewed back on Doro 6820’s own limited screen.

If you like to use your phone as a clock to tell the time, it’s worth reiterating that there’s no external screen here. You’ll need to flip it open every time, which can prove a little annoying.

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Doro 6820 review: Should I buy it?

Older users looking for a well-built, simple mobile phone for making calls and messaging should place the Doro 6820 near the top of the list. It’s incredibly easy to use, from its large and well-laid-out buttons to its simple UI and bundled-in charging dock.

However, it isn’t the cheapest phone of its kind, and it certainly isn’t a viable option if you wish to perform any sort of online task, nor if you plan to take a lot of pictures.

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