The BT Home SmartPhone certainly had the potential to be deserving of the accolade ‘Best Cordless Phone’. With a 3.5” capacitive touch screen, range of features and stylish-design we had high hopes for this smart Android home phone….but after reviewing this product ourselves, we think this feature-rich home phone from BT falls somewhat short of the mark.
As a DECT phone it performs brilliantly – the clarity of calls is superb, and whilst it only comes with a Quick Start guide we found the set-up to be pretty straightforward and the full user manual is easily available online. Packed with all the normal features you would expect from a cordless phone: answering machine, good range, caller display, large phonebook…this phone compares well against its competitors. The menu layout is clear and the large touchscreen makes navigating through the features and customising the phone very easy. All in all we were fairly impressed.
However, it was really its Smartphone credentials, which set it apart and disappointingly, this is where it lets itself down. Whilst it comes pre-installed with certain apps such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the Opera Mini Application has limitations and without access to GooglePlay, downloading new apps onto the BT Home SmartPhone can be problematic. There are workarounds to this but it can cause the handset to crash, and you’ll miss out on auto-updates. We were also disappointed to discover that the Skype app is not compatible. On the plus side: browsing on the web was as easy as on any mobile, and listening to digital radio via the TuneIn app worked well, but our overall experience of this phone left us underwhelmed.
It is a little pricey at £154.99, for which you could get you the much classier Gigaset SL910A. However, whilst the Smartphone functionality doesn’t quite match that of a Smartphone for the same price, the BT Home SmartPhone is currently the best Android DECT offering on the market.
We will be keen to see how it measures up against the Gigaset SL930A , which we have high hopes for, when it is released later this year. But if you can’t wait until then for a pretty smart home phone with Wi-Fi and apps, then you can order your new BT Home SmartPhone now.