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BT Granite

BT Granite slimline DECT cordless phone

Making a cordless more like a mobile

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Review BT's new DECT handset, the Granite, introduced us to a genuinely new experience. Opening the box, it wasn't the phone that took pride of place under the lid, but its stand. The Granite itself was tucked away under a fold of card right at the back. Unbox the product too hastily and you might miss it.

BT Granite

BT's Granite: slimline

The DECT phone has always been the Ugly Sister to the cellphone's Cinders, lacking the grace, elegance and - more to the point - functionality of their less stay-at-home siblings. BT clearly hopes the Granite will change that, and while the handset isn't bad looking for a DECT phone - and is a lot slimmer than most - it feels depressingly cheap.

Out of the box, it weighs next to nothing, and inserting the slim lozenge of a lithium-polymer battery makes no appreciable difference. Now, not weighing a ton is generally a good thing, but here it only serves to reinforce the flimsy, plasticky feel of the handset.

That sensation is reinforced by the chrome-coloured sides and metal-hued back, the latter with a glossy veneer that does the exact opposite of what we think its designers intended. The (equally glossy) black front looks better, and at least the handset's dimensions have a candybar cellphone comfortable-in-your-hand size.

But back to the battery. BT's quick-start guide and the interior of the battery bay contain dire warnings that the power pack needs to be charged for whopping 24 hours before you can use it - or "YOUR PHONE MAY NOT WORK".

BT Granite

Do not touch for 24 hours... or else

Actually, the capitals are ours, but you still get the feeling this is not a warning you should ignore. Which is odd, given how 90 per cent of phone batteries require only a quick charge before they're ready. And this is a Lithium-polymer cell - not one of your old NiCads or NiMHs that you really did need to leave connected long after the charge light indicated they were good to go.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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