In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
DualSim BlueSIM desktop phone
DualSim's BlueSIM is a mobile phone accessory that looks like a regular desktop phone
- Can be connected to eight mobile phones, good call quality, easy to pair and use, auto-connect, can store up to 250 contacts
- No backlight on screen or buttons, expensive, speaker is poor for music playback, microphone for speakerphone calls doesn't have a long range
Though the idea of a desktop-style phone as an accessory for your mobile phone does have some merit, we think the BlueSIM phone is a little too expensive for what it does.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
It looks like a regular desktop phone, but the DualSim BlueSIM phone actually allows the connection of up to eight Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones instead of plugging in to a landline. Apparently designed to make calls with a mobile phone from a fixed location (such as the home or office) more comfortable, the BlueSIM phone works reasonably well, but is a little too expensive to wholeheartedly recommend.
The idea of a desktop phone as a mobile phone accessory may sound strange at first, but we think the idea does have its merits. One of the situations it's most likely to prove useful is in a shared house — ditching the landline in favour of using a mobile would save you money on line rental, and you can share the BlueSIM phone (while still using individual mobiles). BlueSIM also claims the phone will decrease the risk cause by mobile phone radiation, though most evidence suggests this risk is extremely low.
The BlueSIM phone looks like a rather dull standard office phone. It's finished in a dark grey plastic, with a large silver jog dial handling most menu navigation. Like a regular office phone, it has keys to transfer the call to its built-in speakerphone, as well as basic mute and redial functions. The small LCD screen is easy enough to read, though it only shows four lines of text, and the lack of a backlight (either on the display or the dialling keys themselves) means late night calls will require the aid of a light or lamp.
Pairing the BlueSIM with your mobile is a straightforward process. Simply plug in the included AC adapter, use the menu to put it in pairing mode and connect it to your mobile. We tested the BlueSIM phone with an iPhone 3GS, but it will work with most Bluetooth-enabled mobiles. Once your phone is connected, the BlueSIM has an option to auto-connect, meaning every time you come within Bluetooth range of the phone (usually 10 metres), it will automatically connect to your mobile. It will also keep track of any missed and received calls and dialled numbers.
Making a call is as easy as picking up the BlueSIM handset and dialling a phone number. The lack of dial tone seems odd at first, but calls are relatively loud and crisp, provided your mobile phone has good coverage. Outgoing audio is also loud and clear, with our callers offering no complaints on our voice quality or volume during test calls. The built-in speakerphone is less than impressive though — the microphone didn't manage to pick up our voice from a reasonable length away, with outgoing audio sounding distant standing a mere metre from the BlueSIM phone.
A nifty feature is the ability to copy the contacts from your mobile phone into the BlueSIM phone. However, the built-in memory can only store 250 contacts, and these contacts are available to all users of the BlueSIM phone. A not so useful feature is the ability to play music stored on your mobile phone through the BlueSIM's speaker. Though the speaker works reasonably well for phone calls, it sounds distorted when used for music playback.
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