The BC5C and 505 shown to scale

A lot of people have asked me about the merits of the Doro 505 over the Bluechip World BC5C, why is the Doro 50% more expensive than the Bluechip?

One thing no photograph can tell you is build quality. All mobile phones are built to a price, even the most expensive smartphones have some element of compromise. It’s always a difficult balancing act for the companies choosing which components to use. Do you go for more expensive plastics, metals and materials which show in the shop or spend more money on the electronics – particularly a part called the Power Amplifier and have a phone which works better with longer battery life.

At the super-cheap end of the market everything is compromised. The Bluechip BC5C uses a cheap (albeit solid) chipset from the manufacturer MTK, and is built to a design for senior phones that wasn’t terribly well researched. It’s fine if you want something which is a budget phone for occasional use but Doro understands the senior market very much better, it’s what they specialise in.

No-where is that more obvious than in the buttons. The photograph here shows both phones at the same comparative size with a pound coin. You’ll see that the coin covers two rows of buttons on the Doro and three rows on the Bluechip, but it’s easy to look at both phones and think that the Bluechip will be easier to use because it has bigger, or at least wider buttons. The Bluechip buttons are 1.5cm across and the Doro ones are 1cm across. The actual button size however isn’t the most important thing in how easy it is to make sure you press the right one. The distance between button centres is what matters and here the two are exactly the same on width and the Doro is better on height. If you have big or inaccurate fingers you are going to find the Doro easier.

Another important factor is separation and shape. The Doro has gaps between the keys making it much easier to feel the edge of a key and a lot harder to accidentally press two keys at once. The Doro keys are also subtly concave while the Bluechip ones are convex. If you are not very accurate in pressing a key the Doro will gently help you slide your finger towards the centre of the key while the Bluechip will slide your finger away.

In conclusion the Bluechip is a good phone in that it has a good enough display and big enough buttons to help people who find the vast majority of phones too small and fiddly, but the Doro really does justify the price difference. Indeed it should be a lot greater as the ones here are special purchase which has helped keep the price down.