Gigaset Phone Home! (The E495 – A Review)

I have always had very inexpensive handsets for my land line phones. I’m not particularly technological and on the one occasion when I was given an old phone which was a little bit super from my Uncle, I ruined it within weeks by replacing the battery for a normal AA one and effectively killing it dead… I hadn’t realised you had to use the special AA rechargeable batteries that came with the phone… From then and coupled with the fact I just didn’t really think too deeply into it I’ve always bought the cheapest in the shop and made do with it. That statement shows that I have had more than one over the years… In fact, I think the number is three in the last 5 so perhaps I wasn’t actually doing myself any favours and should have taken the plunge and spent a little bit more; I may have ended up not having to keep buying phones had I done so! The last one we had was on its way out for ages and crackled unless you held it in the exact right way… I kept losing it in the house and it would run out of charge within minutes meaning we’d never find it and frankly it was a bit of an eye sore! This time I was very prepared to try a phone worth more than around the ten pound mark and see if it was any better. I decided any future battery changes would be well looked into and a new phone would be just the ticket.

I’d never heard of Gigaset before, not having been a technology shop browser, but once I started looking at the German designed brand they did seem to stand out from the crowds. We, being a family of four with two little ones, have certain needs for our phone and the Gigaset ones seem to have very specific details on all of their hand sets which appeal to different types of shoppers. They make a phone for everyone and indeed they make one which sounded just right for us. The Gigaset E495 appealed initially because it has a high resistence to shocks, water splashes and dust. Well, I have a three-year old who likes to answer the phone, a baby who likes to suck on the phone whenever he gets near it and as for dusting, my stand is that life is too short! The other great benefit from the off is that although more expensive than the basic bargain bucket ones it wasn’t wildly out of our price range. With an RRP of £74.99 it is what I call a bargain if it works and expensive if it doesn’t do what it says on the tin. I’m happy to report that after using this phone for a few weeks it’s firmly in the former camp!

Gigaset E495

So, we were excited that it was billed to be hardy and it definitely formed the main selling point for us but when we got it out of the box and started reading the features (I’m using the royal we here, I don’t read instructions but Jonny did), we realised it actually has a lot more to offer families and is way more handy than just a land line phone! Over the past few weeks my husband has tried out things (from the instructions) and I have discovered things (from randomly pressing buttons) that mean we like this phone very much indeed! As advertised, it IS hardy! It’s been dropped on the kitchen floor numerous times and Jimmy has got his little mitts on it and given it a jolly good suck! It’s not too chunky though, not at all and is very nice to hold.

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As soon as he sees a phone or remote control he’s after it, the little monkey!

It also has a lovely feel to it and the keys are extremely easy to use with a really satisfying press to them if you know what I mean? The first thing which I immediately liked about it is the gentleness of the ring tones and the fact you can adjust the volume for EVERYTHING; the volume for the ear piece can be different to the volume of the ring etc which is just fab! I can’t stand it when you dial a number, put the phone to your ear and as it dials each digit it sends a loud beep into your ear – with this one it can be muted so that it’s very gentle indeed yet you can still hear the person talking to you when they answer and the ring can be as loud as it’ll go if you want it to! There are lots of different ring tones and melodies to choose from and we have opted for ‘carousel’ which is a very gentle and inoffensive tune, just right for us to be able to hear it but for it not to disturb should anyone be asleep (although that is very unlikely in this house). If you are worried about the phone waking little ones then the vibrate option can be turned on and off very simply which is a nice touch even if we personally won’t be using it!

Florence is at that age now where she wants to answer the phone which can be great in the middle of the day when cold callers are trying to sell me something. A few minutes of Florence saying ‘Hello, NO! TALK TO ME, NOT MUMMY’ and they’re soon off! Sometimes however and I do want to talk to whoever’s calling so I’ve taught her to answer the phone by picking it up (straight from the cradle without having to press a button – although you can choose the option where a button is pressed if desired) and then pressing the button for ‘loud-speaker’. This way I get to hear who is on the other end, it’s brilliant! I also use the loud speaker when I’m doing other things and have been attaching the phone to my clothes with the belt clip. If someone calls and I’m feeding Jimmy or even cleaning the oven (not likely) then I can talk and walk at the same time so to speak. It’s a brilliant function that I wasn’t sure I’d use but has actually been on of the best things about it!

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I love that Florence answers the phone by pressing the ‘loud speaker’ button and then we can all hear who she’s talking to!
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We store ours like this but if you don’t want little ones to get hold of it then it can also be wall mounted.

I guess what this phone does which any other land line I’ve had before hasn’t, is to act like a mobile phone. We all get use to using our mobiles and kind of have an expectation for our phones which land lines just don’t deliver on mostly. With this one however and it can do very similar things from the ‘loud speaker’ option to the way it stores numbers in the directory; it can be used to send SMS messages and more. You can put someone on hold, see who is calling from the colour display (which can be customised as you wish with colours and pictures), leave it off the cradle for 250 hours and talk for 12 before the battery runs out and use it as an alarm, a very good and very effective alarm! Really there is so much to this phone that I haven’t even found everything out yet myself. Every day something pops up when I have a play with it and I realise it can do yet more! And still, as a parent of babies the best feature is to come…

The phone can be used as a baby monitor!  I know, unbelievable! Now, I have a baby monitor which I use for the night so I suspected this feature may not be terribly useful to me but I have found myself using it for small things like when I pop to put the bin out or if I go to another room to hang the washing out to dry. If you have multiple handsets you can set it so that another land line phone rings when there is a noise in the room but you can also, as I have done, set it so that it rings your mobile phone. Basically, you leave the phone near the baby and when the baby makes a noise the phone rings you – it’s so easy to just flip that mode on that instead of going to the nursery to get the monitor in the day time I’ve just been using the phone! It’s fab! Obviously if the phone rings it doesn’t ring through the phone you are using as a monitor! Because of the enormous amount of talk and standby time I’d definitely not worry about it not working!

DSCF2392Just leave the phone by the baby and it’ll call you on another handset or mobile phone to alert you when the baby is making a noise.

So, like I said, I’m finding new things out about this phone all the time and I always like what I find! I’m always losing things and when I lose my mobile I have to call it from the land line! When I lose the land line all I have to do is press the button on the base station and it calls the phone for me… This phone isn’t just a gadget but a little friend! I’m very impressed, very impressed indeed! I’ve been reading up on all things Gigaset and I like the sound of lots of their phones, there’s even one with a digital photo frame for the display! The E495 is a great family phone which I expect will last us a great deal of time! I’m so pleased we haven’t just got another cheapy – this one is SO much better!