The Gigaset A420A is basic entry-level DECT phone and answering machine, which offers style, sound quality, and value for money at only £24.99 for a single, and £39.99 for the twin set. The nice clear display, intuitive user interface, and some practical features has made it a popular choice with some of our customers so we decided to put it to the liGo test:

Design & build

For a budget phone the Gigaset A420A looks and feels well made; especially when compared to similarly priced models. It boasts a large bright backlit display in black and white (similar to Panasonic’s KX-TG6821), which makes it clear and easy to read and looks good. The handset stands fairly tall at just over 15cm, but this gives ample room for larger sized buttons that don’t look out of place. The keypad has rubberised buttons, which do feel cheap when compared to some of the other models we’ve reviewed (eg. S795, BT 8500) but are good for the price you pay.
Overall the handset and base look and feel well made, and are backed by Gigaset’s 2 year warranty.

Ease of use & set-up

The instructions included with the A420A are easy enough to follow, and the phone would be simple enough to set up without them. Navigating through the menus is straightforward; the screen is very clear and you can adjust the contrast to suit your eyesight and/or preferences. The keypad is well laid out and the buttons are not too small so shouldn’t be a hindrance to users with larger fingers and/or impaired dexterity. The amber backlight for the keypad is quite dim but would be enough so that you could use in poor light.

Features

Whilst the A420A is quite basic (ideal if you’re looking for a no-frills home phone just to make and receive calls) there are a few useful extras to take advantage of, should you wish.  There is anonymous call silencing (which will switch off the ringer for calls from anonymous numbers) to deal with nuisance calls, and a time control function to silence the phone at inconvenient times; both of which are very easy to use and work well.
You can increase the size of the dialling font, which might prove useful if you’ve got poor eyesight or left your specs in another room. However, if the larger size is on then the full number won’t all fit onto the screen.
The integrated answering machine on the base only has a 25 minutes recording capacity; and I say ‘only’ in relative terms as if all you’re after is a basic phone then this should be more than sufficient.

Sound quality

For a budget phone the sound quality of the A420A is fantastic, and on a par with more expensive models such as the S795. The clarity both through the ear-piece and the loudspeaker was very good and we experienced no distortions on either end during our tests. However, as with other Gigaset phones we’ve reviewed the maximum volume settings (for the ringtone, loudspeaker, and earpiece) problem for us; we did notice that the volume (even on the maximum setting) was not very loud and neither was the ringer, so would advise against the A420 if you have problems with hearing.

Range & battery life

In our tests the range of the A420A was good; not quite comparable with the S795 or the BT 8500 but excellent for being half the price. The handset didn’t quite make the full length of our office building with the sound beginning to break up at around the 40m mark. Outside, it was about 200 metres down the street before it went kaput. The base is repeater compatible, so it is possible to extend the range if necessary.
Each handset comes with 2x AAA 750 mAh NimH rechargeable batteries, which offers substantial amount of use on a single charge.

Verdict

The Gigaset A420A is an excellent basic cordless phone; easy to use, great sound, and well made. It can be used for nothing more than to make and receive landline calls (and will do so well), but offers a good range of features that make this phone excellent value for money. If you’re looking for a reliable home phone that delivers on all fronts at a great price then this is it.

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