Siemens’ mobile phones were always simple to use, efficient and likeable. That sadly wasn’t enough to stop them being merged into BenQ Siemens, then quickly disappearing. But fans of those handsets can at least find solace in the Gigaset E455 – a DECT landline that feels very much like a mobile.
The screen savers, menus, layouts and keypad will all be familiar to Siemens loyalists, and its features are often more like a mobile than a home phone.
As the name suggests, there’s a SIM-card reader and writer so you can easily save the contacts on your mobile to your landline. You shouldn’t have a problem with capacity either - the E455 SIM holds a decent 150 names and numbers.
There’s a plasticky feel to this handset, but that’s its worst fault. It’s splash- and dust-proof, making it resistant to minor shocks, and maybe the finish contributes to this.
Although it has a large, full-colour screen, which is traditionally a battery-sapper, the Gigaset manages impressively long battery life – if you leave it off the charging station and only make a few calls it goes on for days.
What’s more, its range is impressive – you can take the dog for a walk of up to 150 metres before it cuts out, though the dog may not be ready to turn back so soon.
The clicky keys are easy to use and backlit in bright orange to make dialling or texting in the dark easy. A separate VoIP adaptor is available if you want to add the capability to make calls routed through the internet.
The phone comes in pieces and assembling it was unnecessarily complex, but at least you only have to do this once.
The answerphone has recording time of up to 35 minutes and has neat tricks, too. Not only does it play back messages on the handset, you can even listen in to messages as they’re being left – screening calls is always useful if you’re dodging your boss, editor or mistress.
Other features include a room monitoring function to listen to children in the next room – you either need an extra handset to use this, or else set it to make a call to you on your mobile or other phone.
On the whole, it’s hard to fault the Gigaset E455 SIM – it’s fairly hardy, looks good and will go down well with anyone who can’t stand to use anything but a mobile.