Given that most home telephones look like they were designed by Fred Flintstone (with Barney Rubble perhaps consulting on the documentation) it’s surprising that it’s taken this long to see something you plug into a landline that looks like a smartphone and has some smartphone-style features – most impressively a full colour touch screen.
The Gigaset SLS910A has the kind of slimline look normally associated with HTC or Samsung, a bright full colour 3.2″ touch screen (320 x 480 pixels) stores 500 contacts (each with up eight numbers and a photograph) includes an integrated answering machine which stores a generous 55 minutes of messages, room monitoring (so a pair can double as a baby monitor) as well as support for Bluetooth and mini USB; there’s no operating system as such of course, so Angry Birds fans will have to make do with talking to people rather than dive bombing them. The basic model ships with a single handset and base station (you can run up six handsets off this) and the phone feels great and has a good heft without being bulky.
Getting contact photos onto the phone via Bluetooth or mini USB is a fag, but adds to the overall experience and is worth the effort if you want that real smartphone feel; Outlook users can also synch their contacts list via the included mini USB connection.
Voice quality – the most important thing – is impressive, and don’t underestimate the impact of a decent colour screen on a home phone, which makes navigating and using it more intuitive; the touch screen does seem to have a tiny lag though, but you soon get used to it.
- The large and lovely 3.2" full colour touch screen
- Additional handsets are pricey
With its svelte looks, that lovely big touch colour screen, a claimed 14 hours of talktime and a whopping 200 on standby, the Gigaset SL910A is in the vanguard of home phones that are dragging the category into the 21 century; there's a premium price for that pizazz (especially in the cost of extra handsets) but it's one that style-conscious users may be willing to pay.