The Colombo Two is more Kubrick phone than kitchen phone. Is this piece of retro-futurism the first DECT icon?
When was the last time someone complemented you on your choice of DECT phone? Seeing as most are anonymous slabs of black or grey plastic, we’re guessing it’s been a while.
But finally we’ve discovered something of a DECT icon. The Colombo from Magic Box sports some charming retro-futuristic curves and, with a vibrant orangey-red paint job, certainly won’t go unnoticed in your hall.
While we love the colour, it’s not until you flip the Colombo Two over that you really see what this phone is about.
The glossy black finish on the business side of the phone contrasts nicely with the bright, matt body, while the keypad is also sunk nicely into the body.
The keys give lovely positive clicks when pressed, and the white-on-black LCD display deserves an honourable mention too.
What a waist
The Colombo Two’s shape is a modern take on the classic phone handset shape, and the most interesting result of this is that it has a waist. Rather than holding it between your fingertips, you’ll get drawn to its middle.
For a style icon, the Colombo Two has plenty of features. It packs a digital answerphone, speakerphone, 100-name phone book, alarm and paging functions. You can run up to five handsets from the one base, and run an intercom between handsets.
Unusually, there’s also an Eco-mode, the trade-off being that while the power consumption is reduced, so is the phone’s range. In practice we found no noticeable change in signal strength, even at opposite ends of a house.
Unfortunately, when the phone actually rings, its stylish image is instantly shattered. The selection of 10 polyphonic ring tones doesn’t do much for the phone, and we ended up with the one that most resembled a ringing bell. Seeing as it would look at home in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, we think Strauss’ Blue Danube Walktz would be more fitting.