- Remote access
- Streamlined interface
- Useful tutorials
- Basic camera
Doro Liberto 825 Review: We test out the Doro Liberto 825, an easy-to-use Android smartphone that’s aimed at older or infirmed users with a smart, simplified interface, emergency functions and remote access for relatives to take control.
Doro is the baron of easy-use mobiles, with years of experience and dozens of devices behind it, so it’s no surprise that the Liberto 825 is an excellent choice for anyone after a no-hassle smartphone for themselves or a family member.
In terms of hardware, the Liberto 825 is on familiar territory. It’s a 5-inch phone sporting a crisp 720p resolution, so text and images are nice and sharp. The rubbery back helps to aid grip and it’s possible to use the phone one-handed without too much fiddling, despite its chunky build. Even if you were to drop it, the Liberto 825 feels solid enough to endure a fair bit of everyday punishment, thanks to a tough and rounded plastic shell.
Buttons on the right edge of the phone are clearly marked and even have braille-style bumps on them, so you won’t accidentally bump up the volume when you’re trying to take a photo. And you also get three large physical buttons beneath the screen for home, back and recent apps, which replace the usual dinky on-screen buttons.
Read next: Best phones for elderly or infirmed users
Setup and interface
The Liberto 825’s main selling point is its ease of use, so we’re pleased to see a comprehensive tutorial when you first boot up the mobile. You can skip it if desired, but this tutorial is perfect for anyone who hasn’t used a smartphone before. You can get accustomed to touchscreen control and set up the Liberto so it’s suited to your individual needs, with clear instructions throughout.
You can adjust the size of the phone’s text so it’s easy to read, even if your near sight isn’t very good. And of course the Liberto 825 is hearing aid compatible, with a high top volume for users with impaired hearing.
Read next: Doro Liberto 820 review
This phone runs Android like previous Doro smartphones, but the latest version of Doro’s own custom interface sits on top, changing the look and feel. And while Android is quite a complex OS, the version you’ll see on the Liberto 825 is nicely streamlined and removes that layer of complexity.
Your apps and features are now organised into different, easy-to-understand groups, rather than simply thrown together in a single apps tray. For instance, tap ‘send’ and you’ll be presented with a list of choices: send a text message, or an email, or a photo, or some other forms of media to one of your contacts. Likewise, tap ‘view’ and you can check out your messages, the photos and videos you’ve shot, notes you’ve taken and so on.
The notifications bar has also been tweaked slightly, to make it easier to use. Tug it down by dragging a finger from the top of the screen and you’ll see your latest unread messages, plus handy switches that can be used to toggle WiFi, mobile data, Bluetooth and the phone’s aeroplane mode, as well as switch on the ‘torch’ (which turns on the rear camera flash).
As the Liberto 825 is Google-approved, you also have full access to the Play Store to download new apps – but there are plenty of great pre-installed features to get stuck into first.
As with all Doro phones, you get an Assistance button on the rear of the phone. This is designed to be used in case of emergency, for example a sudden fall. A quick push (or three quick pushes if desired) will automatically ring a pre-set list of contacts, to warn them that assistance is required – and can also send out text messages with your GPS location, in case you aren’t able to speak.
My Doro Manager is another unique and well-designed feature, which allows a chosen contact to remotely access the Liberto 825 and help to set it up, add contacts and send photos and other bits directly to the phone via the internet. Just head into the My Doro Manager app and you can message your contact, which sends instructions on how to proceed via email or text.
It’s a great new addition to Doro’s mobiles and gives peace of mind to family members who might live a distance away. I had no troubles using My Doro Manager, which is perfectly intuitive and simple to understand at both ends, while functions like transferring photos worked every time. The only issue I noticed was the My Doro Manager’s battery report, which said that the Liberto 825 was low on power when it actually had 71 percent remaining.
Performance and battery life
This phone isn’t exactly made for gamers or anyone looking for a super-powered mobile experience, but the basic Snapdragon processor keeps things ticking over. Everyday performance is perfectly fine and you won’t be hanging around waiting for apps to open. The very latest action games run with a janky frame rate, but I can’t see that being an issue and the phone is well up to the task of simple casual games.
The Liberto 825 comes bundled with a handy dock, which the phone can be quickly and easily slotted into. This automatically starts to charge the phone, while the screen changes to become a photo frame, clock or whatever else you prefer.
Charging takes a while, but the good news is that the Liberto 825 has decent battery life. If you use it purely to make and accept calls then it will survive for days between charges, while more frequent use still gives a couple of days of life.
The Doro Liberto 825’s 8-megapixel camera isn’t a match for other cameras at this price point, with the likes of the Motorola Moto X Play proving much more capable in a range of situations. Still, the Liberto 825’s snapper is very easy to use and perfectly fine for shooting family pics.
You can also record video up to 1080p resolution, while the front-facing HD camera is well up to the task of snapping selfies.
Doro’s Liberto 825 is a solid choice for older users who are apprehensive about making the jump to smartphones. It’s easy to use in every way, with detailed tutorials and a clear, well-organised interface, while the remote management tool is a seriously strong feature.
|Bonus features||HAC, Emergency assistance (ICE), remote access|