The handset’s rear speaker broadcasts loud and clear and there is plenty of ringer volume available. The stock Android 2.2 dialler is a bit basic but there are dozens of alternatives in the Market including my personal favourite Go Contacts EX.
The domestic dialler catches up with the 21st century
For something that will spend its life indoors and sat in a charging cradle, battery life is not as important as it is with a mobile phone but a full 24 hours was easily achievable including well over an hours talk time. Thanks to the micro USB port, you can use the handset while charging which is not the case with most DECT phones that typically have to be in seated in the cradle to recharge.
The Archos Home Phone has a price tag of £140 but shop around and you should be able to find it for around the £125, which I’d say is reasonable value.
As a fully-fledged smartphone the Archos Smart Home Phone leaves a bit to be desired but as an everyday DECT phone with the option of Skype calling, it’s altogether more successful. Indeed, the video calling delivered a crisp image at both ends, easily matching the performance of swankier smartphones I've tested. So if you've a Skype habit at home, having this Android around the house looks like a smart call. ®
More Android Reviews
the iPhone 4S
Archos 35 Smart Home Phone
- capacitive screen
- Vanilla Gingerbread (with it's built in VOIP)
- native Market support (not through ArcTools please..)
and I'll take it.
Lack of BT
Lack of Bluetooth seems a missed opportunity as the Dect incumbents tend to charge through the nose for it.
I presume its due to BT usally being provided by the radio chip, and dect chips with BT are few and far between.
OK, so, why have a phone that uses DECT to make voice calls to PSTN, and has WiFi? Why doesn't somebody just make a simple plug-in that goes from PSTN to WiFi - e.g. Asterisk-in-a-box? Then I could use my normal smartphone, or my tablets, or my desktop, or my laptop, or ...
I could understand if this phone somehow ran data over DECT, so that you might have more range than WiFi, but it doesn't.
I just don't see the use case here.
If more TVs, set-top boxes, streamers and players support remote control by WiFi, not to mention music playback to your main soundsystem over the same or bluetooth, this Archos makes sense. A landline handset + TV remote is a more natural pairing than mobile phone + TV remote. One less uncomfortable object on the sofa!
In a limited way, Bang and Olufsen did this- their dect handset would have Beocentre audio controls, and IIRC would tune down the tv volume if you took a call.
Obviously having DECT on mobile handsets could be handy, too.
I'm struggling to see the point of this device.
Most people under a certain age - probably as much as 30+ - don't have or want a landline.
Then there's the 40 somethings considering giving up the landline, or having already done so, opting for VOIP instead.
At the cost of £140 most people in the market price bracket would have a smart phone (if they wanted one) already.
That leaves my Mother. She may like one.
Ultimately, this device is just an expensive home phone that is complete overkill for pretty much anyone who would actually need one.
Then again, it's probably more useful than an android touch screen built into my fridge...