5 May 2013

REVIEW: Gigaset SL910A Touchscreen Home Phone

Why should mobile phones have all the fun?

Everything has a touchscreen these days. It's gotten to the point where the sight of an actual button on a piece of tech is a bit like seeing a desktop computer with one of those old cathode ray monitors. Buttons are part of the reason that home landline phones seem dated and behind the times, as we've become accustomed to jabbing away at smooth glass screens, not chiming touch-tone phones. Enter the Gigaset SL910A Touchscreen Home Phone.

At first glance this pretty chunk of gadgetry seems to be the next in a long line of slab-like mobile phones. But on closer inspection this telephone is something else.

There are so many advantages to using a mobile phone, without even counting the fact that they are, as the moniker would suggest, mobile. On a very basic level there is photo ID of the caller, stored contacts, voice mail, a choice of ring tones and the ability to control volume levels. Our dear mobiles have enjoyed such functionality since the 90s, but our home phones have not. That is why the SL910A is a welcome addition to a market flooded with boring and obsolete phones.

In our house the Gigaset SL910A looks gorgeous. The handset and charging base are moulded in shiny metal resulting, in terms of the phone itself, in a comfortable and reassuring weighted gadget. The base station (the bit that actually plugs into your phone line socket) is black, plastic and completely unremarkable - as well it should be as this can be connected up, tucked away and forgotten about. Leaving you to play with the phone itself.

Unlike most modern mobiles the SL910A Touchscreen Home Phone doesn't run third party operating systems such as Android, instead being powered by Gigaset's own programming. They've done a pretty good job at producing something nice and slick, with large and convenient "app" icons which ironically (but not unhappily) reminded us of the old Nokia user interface from the early 00s.

On the 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen you'll find everything you could possibly want from a home phone in 2013, excluding perhaps the ability to make steaming cups of espresso. You can assign different ring tones to different saved contacts (handily uploading their details and photo via the built-in Bluetooth and mini USB port) and even change the phone's screen saver. It also offers support for Bluetooth headsets, which is very impressive.

Just like a mobile the SL910A includes an answer phone service, which can store up to 55 minutes of your friends and family asking where you are. There is also a calendar, an alarm clock and the ability to use the handset as a room/baby monitor. There's a good sized battery in there as well, supplying three days of power to the handset without the need to charge. Pretty handy if you want it laying around the house, waiting for an important call.

It feels natural to use the touchscreen, and we found that more than once we placed it unconsciously into our pockets and left the house. Call quality is clear and crisp and just as good as it would be if it were a wired phone.

There will always be the debate on whether you actually need a landline phone in these times of increasing mobile phone effectiveness. Your mum will always be happy if you do have one though, as mums tend to dislike ringing mobiles. Its true that running a home phone is always cheaper than a mobile, and you usually need a landline to have broadband internet So if its already there... That's why we love the SL910A from Gigaset. It takes an outdated piece of conventional home technology, one we are all have reason to possess, and drapes on touches of modernity.

A great alternative to the usual boring rubbish, the Gigaset SL910A Touchscreen Home Phone is pretty, well built and finds itself perfectly placed in the modern home.


Visit www.gigaset.com/uk
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