iDect iHome from Binatone
The phone is 15x5x2cm it has a cradle that is circular at 14cm and 3cm tall it has a small stand to allow leads etc to emerge and this raises the height by another 2cm at the rear of the unit, both the phone and the cradle are shiny black.
The viewable screen on the phone is 4.3x5.8cm. Below the screen are the green answer button and the red end call button above these a back button and another between these is the ubiquitous five position joystick control.
The left side has a micro SD slot a flip open cover hiding 3.5mm jack and a phone lock button. The top of the right side has a stylus; on the back are five inset pins that fit onto the five male pins onto the base station to charge.
The base station has a call button to help you locate the phone when it hides down the back of a sofa, on the front edge are two LED’s to denote charging and phone or message. The only other connections are on the base with two similar looking connectors for power and wall socket connections, they are slightly different so cannot be fitted wrongly. The back edge of the base station has two small but quite powerful speakers for hands free use.
While most Android phones are mobile this makes an attempt to do the same with DECT. While most do not turn off a home phone if you do then it takes two minutes to return you to the home screen. This you can tap the Dialler button in order to make phone calls. The other two buttons are Contacts and Browser. Below this a grey strip opens the sort of menu options that you normally get with a mobile phone with Alarm Clock, Answer Machine, Browser, Calendar, Contacts, Dialler, Email, ES File Explorer, ES Task, FB Reader, Gallery, Music, RSS Feeds, Settings, Stock, TuneIn Radio and Weather. All in all nearly a very basic computer.
So how does it access the outside world apart from your standard phone line, it connects to any Wireless access point so if you have wireless then you can do all the things I have described. Browsing on such a small screen is not exactly fun but it is possible. However the Internet Radio feature works well when you have trawled through a few screens to get to the station you want to listen two and in the dock the sound is quite acceptable.
Where I am less happy is with receiving phone calls in that the sound volume on the sample I used was poor until you either placed it in the dock – it will not let you answer without removing it from the dock – or fiddle with the controls to up the volume, this latter task does not seem to be available from the settings when not on a call.
There is a comprehensive User Guide going to 108 pages, lots of detail and information, but even if you read it from cover to cover I found that I still had questions.
In theory this is a great idea in practice certain things are not right, perhaps version two will get them sorted out.
Doing my Internet searches found the Binatone iHomePhone for £99.99 from the link below.
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