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Doro 5860 review: Calls, messages, and a handy charging dock

Our Rating :
£69.99 from
Price when reviewed : £85
inc VAT

A solid feature phone for older users who don’t want to flip out


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


  • No web facility
  • Poor camera
  • No WhatsApp

The Doro brand specialises in making simple, robust feature phones for older users, and the Doro 5860 might be its most intuitive device yet.

Not only does it eschew all the complications of a smartphone, focusing on calling and messaging via a solid set of physical buttons, but it does so in a straightforward “candy bar” form factor. It will be familiar to anyone who’s ever used a wireless home phone before.

For those with limited hand mobility, it could be the ideal alternative to flip phones such as Doro’s own 6820 and the Nokia 2660.

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Doro 5860 review: What do you get for the money?

At a price of £85, the Doro 5860 falls between the Doro 6820 (£100) and the Nokia 2660 (£65) flip phones. In terms of a feature phone, it isn’t exactly what you would call cheap.

This is a well-built phone with full-sized numerical keys taking up the bottom two thirds of the device. The top third is home to a 2.4in 320 x 240 LCD – which is a little smaller but much wider than the kind you would get with a flip phone.

The removable rear cover of the phone is covered in a grippy, soft-touch plastic material that makes it both pleasant and secure to hold. It’s here that you’ll also find the phone’s 2-megapixel camera with flash, as well as a dedicated assistance button.

The latter doesn’t do anything straight out of the box; it requires activating in the dedicated Assistance section of the UI. Once active, it will work through a list of emergency numbers via a press and hold or a quick double-press. You can also set up an automated text message to be sent out.

Charging of this handset can be handled in one of two ways. There’s a micro-USB port along the top edge, but far more intuitive is the charging dock that Doro bundles with the phone. Plug this in and you simply need to slot the 5860 into place, bottom-first. Not that charging will be much of a pressing matter – this is a phone that will last days on a single charge.

The 5860 is an extremely lightweight phone at just 112g, while a minimal footprint of 66 x 13 x 128mm will see it slipping comfortably into pockets and compact bags alike with minimal fuss.

The width of the phone, combined with its solid, clicky keys make typing messages and phone numbers a breeze. You also get a standard directional pad with an OK button at its core, as well as a pair of context-sensitive menu buttons. Colour-coded call and answer buttons are clearly marked, and are also concave rather than convex like the rest of the buttons, which is a welcome bit of tactile differentiation.

However, you don’t get the dedicated messaging and camera buttons of the Doro 6820, which is a shame.

There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity here, which is fairly common among modern feature phones. Given that neither is there a web browser nor an email application, it isn’t really much of an issue. Some feature phones, such as those from Nokia, do include a web browser; but given that the online experience is invariably terrible on such devices, I’m not sure of its value.

It’s worth arranging a small data plan, at least, if you wish to take advantage of the Weather application; but this really won’t consume much.

Like other Doro phones, the 5860 uses the dated micro-SIM standard, which slots in under the removable battery. The vast majority of phones these days use the smaller nano-SIM standard. It’s worth taking note of if you’re coming from another phone, even then you can buy a simple plastic adapter extremely cheaply.

Right alongside that SIM slot you’ll find a microSD slot, which might prove useful if you’re taking a lot of photos. The Doro 5860 comes with an extremely scant 17.3MB of internal storage.

READ NEXT: Best simple phones for older people

Doro 5860 review: What’s it like to use?

Unlike modern smartphones and their convoluted interfaces, the Doro 5860 uses a highly streamlined UI called Mocor OS. It sees you scrolling through one application at a time using the D-pad and OK buttons.

There are dedicated icons for key functions such as Contacts, Messages and Weather. There are also dedicated icons for Organiser (containing a Calendar, Calculation and File browser), a Torch (utilising the camera flash) and an Alarm clock function.

Flitting between these simple functions is nice and snappy. The Doro 5860 doesn’t have a hugely powerful processor, but it’s more than up to the job of handling this lightweight OS – especially in the absence of a web browser or anything else that might demand more oomph.

When it comes to typing out text, the Doro 5860 uses the T9 system. This takes some getting used to if you’re more accustomed to the old Nokia way of doing things, where you pressed the same button multiple times to scroll through the assigned letters.

Here, there’s a predictive element that simply requires you to press the relevant button once. Ultimately, it leads to far fewer button presses, which is better for older users; but there might be a bit of a learning phase.

It’s the dedicated charging dock that really is a potential game changer, though. Plugging in phones can be a fiddly process, even for the most nimble-fingered among us – especially with the infuriatingly asymmetrical micro-USB standard. This simply isn’t an issue with Doro’s proprietary dock, which instantly transforms the 5860 into a home phone-like experience.

Doro 5860 review: What isn’t it good for?

It’s worth repeating that the Doro 5860 isn’t a phone for anyone wishing to get online. There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, no web browser, no email app and no access to the usual social media services.

We doubt this will be a huge issue for most older users, but there is one major app omission that could prove consequential. In many countries – the UK included – WhatsApp is the go to messaging app for multi-generational families who wish to keep in touch. With no way to access the service on the Doro 5860, it will leave older users feeling isolated and out of the loop.

If you think this is an unreasonable thing to expect from a limited feature phone, WhatsApp compatibility isn’t unheard of in the feature phone world. Indeed, Doro itself has supplied some of these phones (such as the Doro 7030) in the past, as has Nokia and other manufacturers selling phones that run on KaiOS.

You shouldn’t be buying the Doro 5860 if you’re intent on taking good pictures, either. That 2-megapixel camera really isn’t up to much at all. Even in strong natural lighting, there’s plenty of noise, poor exposure and very little in the way of dynamic range. 

While you can hook up the 5860 to your computer and import your shots, these images really are only suitable to be viewed back on the phone’s own tiny display.

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Doro 5860 review: Should I buy it?

If you’re an older person looking for a phone that handles the bare essentials of calling and text messaging, the Doro 5860 is a solid choice. It doesn’t need to be flipped open, its physical buttons are large and easy to manipulate and there’s a useful assistance button on the back for emergency situations. You’ll even get a convenient charging dock.

However, it isn’t suitable for anyone looking for even the barest hint of online connectivity, nor for those who value a decent camera.

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