The E630A is Gigaset’s latest ruggedised DECT phone, engineered to withstand shocks, water splashes, and dust. Aimed at families with small children or workshops, the E630A is as robust a landline phone as they come, but at a starting price of £79.99 just for the single we decided to put it to the liGo test to find out if it’s worth it’s premium price tag.
Design & Build
The handset is solidly built, and constructed from tough plastic with rubberised keypad and battery cover. There is a decent 1.8” colour display, volume rocker along the right-handside and a spotlight LED on the top. We put it through the same drop tests as its predecessor – the E495 – dropping it from heights of about 2 metres and throwing it across the office. I also braved the winter elements and took it outside for a test call in the rain, which went well for the phone but unfortunately, I am not water resistant.
The handset feels heavier than the E495 and is less brick like in its style, which I thought might have made it less robust but there was no discernible difference between them when we compared how durable they were.
As with all Gigaset phones the E630A performed very well for sound quality. The clarity on calls was excellent both through the earpiece and loudspeaker, however, the volume settings for the earpiece could be louder but the speakerphone is good.
The E630A performed very well for sound quality.
The quality of messages recorded on the answering machine is OK; you can adjust the record quality between “Long Play” and “Excellent”.
Range & battery life
We compared the range of the E630A with that of the E495, and the performance of both was like for like. We managed to maintain a clear signal throughout the length of our office, which is just short of the 50 metres Gigaset claims the phone will provide indoors. Outside, while I was getting drenched by the bitingly cold winter showers the handset managed well over 200 metres down the street before the connection from the base was lost. Overall, I would say the range of the E630A is very good and the base is repeater compatible, which means you can extend it even further.
The E630A uses 2x AAA 700 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries per handset. On a single charge you should expect about two days of continuous use (up to 8 hours per day) before you need to re-charge, and left on standby and out of the charging cradle the handset will last easily more than a week.
Ease of use & set-up
The user manual included with the E630A is very detailed and is probably better used as reference when you need to look up how to use specific features. Setting up the phone is very easy – just a simple case of connecting the included cables and setting the date and time. Numbers can be easily stored in the phonebook, and if using more than one handset can be conveniently transferred from one to the others. The large colour display is clear and easy to read, and the menu interface is laid out logically, however, the font size is not especially large so if you need glasses then you’ll struggle if you’ve forgotten them. The display and keypad are both backlit, which means you can use the E630A easily in low light conditions.
In addition to the basics, such as phonebook (for up to 200 entries), integrated answering machine (with an impressive 55mins recording time), Caller ID, and call lists; there is a whole host of features to take advantage of. You can quickly and easily select between 3 sound profiles (Loud, Silent & Personal) to suit the settings to your environment. There is also a vibracall function to alert you to calls.
There is basic call blocking features with Anonymous Call Silencing, which will prevent the E630A ringing when there is an incoming call from an unknown or withheld number (Caller ID is needed in order for this feature to work). You can also use time controlled call silencing to prevent your phone from ringing at inconvenient times (ie. during the night, meal times etc).
The E630A also has a baby monitor feature, which when activated and left in baby’s room call your stored number (can be internal if using more than one handset or external) when a defined noise level is exceeded within the vicinity of the handset.
I like the Gigaset E630A. I think it is well made and believe in its robust capabilities to withstand water splashes, bumps, knocks, and dust. The sound quality is good, and the range is excellent. However, I do think that it is rather expensive. If it is the durable build that appeals then you can pick up the Gigaset E495 at almost half the price (£59.99 for the single) without much loss in functionality. And if the price doesn’t bother you then there are better phones you could spend your money on; I’d much rather a Gigaset SL400A for the same price.