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Well that time of year had come again - our house phone had been dropped in the bath which is quite a common occurrence in our household. Our old phone which was a Philips had done us very well over the years but the bath ended up killing it in the end, we decided to try a new brand for a change and that was when we spotted this delightful looking cordless house phone in Tesco for only £19.99, in the basket it went!
This Siemens A140 cordless phone is built by Siemens themselves who have a great reputation of supplying reliable electronics throughout the world. The handset features the latest DECT digital technology that ensures clear phone calls all around the house and up to 300 metres of range from the base station. Gone are the days of crackly cordless phones that sound as if a steam train is passing on occasions, we've had a few like that! It also boasts rather good looks being mainly black with a silver face and very nice angled buttons.
***Opening the Box***
*Charging station with the charger lead
*Telephone Line Cable
* 2 x AAA Rechargeable batteries
* The instruction manual.
Setting the phone up was an absolute breeze. Once the box is open you simply insert the batteries in the back and replace the back cover resulting in the phone coming to life. The hardest part is finding a suitable location for the base station to sit; Siemens recommend that the station is put upstairs in the home to provide the best overall coverage. We did not want to keep the phone upstairs so we installed it in the centre of the downstairs and it works absolutely fine. Once plugged in you sit the phone in the cradle for 24 hours for the first charge and after that you are good to go! We never bother following the manufacturer's instructions with regards to the first battery charge but I recommend that you do, it's probably for the best even though we have had no problems at all!
***Time for the first phone call***
This phone impressed us from the moment we picked it up. The handset feels very light but sturdy in the hand and it does not feel cheap at all, it feels very well built. We instantly noticed how clear the phone call was and the phone is definitely clearer than our older Philips handset that we were perfectly happy with before its life came to an end. As I walked around the house testing the range of the handset I was very impressed, there was not one weak signal spot around the whole house and I even took it for a quick walk down the garden and up the street with no problems at all, thumbs up to Siemens for their range!
This phone has a built in phonebook that can store both names and numbers, this is very handy and if you have caller display the phone will display the person's name on the screen rather than just the number like many phones. The names and numbers are very easy to input and the instructions are very helpful with this, it only holds up to 20 names and numbers which is not that many but usually enough for us as we mainly use our mobiles for this. The numbers are very easy to find in the phonebook and you simply press the 'down' button on the keypad to open them. The names and numbers are displayed very clearly on the screen however they do appear rather small so if you have poor close up vision you may have trouble reading them.
The handset has a very long battery life and it can apparently give roughly 10 hours of talk time - Unfortunately I am unable to comment on this as I never speak for 10 hours! The longest I have used this phone nonstop was roughly two and a half hours and the battery indicator did not go down at all so I do not doubt the claims of the battery life at all. We often leave it off charge accidentally and it has never let us down.
The phone has a very loud ringtone that is quite uncommon with most cordless phones these days; most phones that we have owned in the past have come pre-loaded with absolutely disgusting ringtones that sound like me trying to play a piano! Not good, the Siemens however has nice ringtones that actually go 'ring-ring' so we now know exactly when the phone is ringing, very handy indeed. There are also 10 versions of these 'ring-ring' type tones on there so there are plenty to choose from. If you happen to lose this handset around the house it is often easily found by pressing the search button on the base station, this will make the phone ring and it can be located with ease.
The most loved thing about this phone is that the base station does not ring when you have an incoming phone call. All of our other phones have had a ring tone from the base as well as the handset, if the handset is not on the base station and you run to pick up the phone resulting in a huge disappointment and usually a missed phone call when you discover that the phone has not be put back on the base station. This is a great design that enables you to find the handset every time that it rings, unless it's been left outside or somewhere far!
The earpiece on the phone has many sound levels that can be adjusted by pressing the arrows when in a phone call; I can confirm that it goes LOUD! I accidentally held this button down while chatting to a friend and I almost deafened myself, oops! The sound quality is also very good even on the top level.
This phone from Siemens proudly uses the Siemens Eco - DECT technology. Basically normal DECT phones pump out radiation all day and all night long even when the phone is off, there is no need for this and there are also health concerns (Apparently say the experts but they have no proof) Siemens however reduces the signal output when the phone is off to as little as 10% that of a phone call, this saves energy and also health if there are any concerns to using one of these devices. This phone could very well save a few pounds on the electricity bill every year, every little helps as they say.
The phones screen is backlit so it can be seen easily in the dark; there is nothing more annoying than not being able to see a phone number in the dark on a dark and small screen. The Siemens makes this easy and on one click of a button the screen lights up orange and it is very easy on the eyes.
***Any Downfalls? ***
The only slight thing that I can put this phone down for is the number buttons, they are rather small and they are slightly hard to press. Everyone in the house soon got used to it but they are not the best, they are however very well-spaced so I shall not knock a star off just for that little picky remark.
***My overall opinion***
I think this is a fabulous house phone for the cost; it is well built and gives an exceptionally clear connection. The signal from the base station is fantastic and it cannot be faulted. From about two years of use I'm happy to say that it is a very reliable house phone that we have dropped many times and it has survived, luckily this one has not ended up in the bath yet but I'm very sure that it will eventually and I will update this review to whether it survived or not in the very near future.
Would I recommend this to a friend? If they wanted a good quality and honest house phone at a reasonable cost I certainly would, yes!
Thanks for reading
We have had this cordless phone for a few years. It really is what it is advertised to be: easy to operate & reliable.
Overall, we've been quite satisfied with it, especially considering the price (it was one of the cheapest at the time). Basically I wanted some privacy when making calls & this phone affords it. My Mom was against cordless phones at the time, as she heard they "emit radiation" and are health-adverse. After I bought it she now almost never uses the "ordinary phone" (that is inconveniently placed in the hall) anymore. So you can see it's really easy to use. Adding names and phone numbers to the name directory is really easy too.. And finding them there is even easier!
/The menu isn't very easy to navigate, but in real life you only need little use of it anyway!/
I also like the fact that if it's docked/recharging on the stand and the phone rings, you don't have to press any buttons to take the call. That is, if you remember to look at the caller ID in time. If not, that function can be somewhat of a disadvantage, as you can't screen the call after you picked it up.
That only applies to the phone being recharged on the stand, mostly we have it lying around anyway. (Tip: assign a designated place for the phone to find it easily!)
The only nitpick would be its screen and size & form of letters: numbers and names are a bit difficult to read for the elderly, who no longer see well up close, e.g. my Dad! (who doesn't want to use his glasses..)
If you are buying a phone for the elderly to use, make sure they see it & try to use it before you decide whether to keep it! (Ideally, they could test & try to use the phone before buying..)
Also, the phone's outlook/appearance isn't the latest 'scream of fashion'. If you are not terribly fashion-conscious, this phone will do.
Pros of the form: the phone is light & easily fits in the hand, as it has rounded edges (oval shape). Really pleasant to hold...
Another nitpick would be details of missed calls... You see who called you, but not when (no date or hour). I am not sure if this is the fault of the phone company that is the ID caller service provider or the phone (it happens on another phone too), just a tiny warning: you may see all calls, even those from the previous day... But if you have the philosophy that if it's urgent they will call again soon, that will not be a problem.
The specs say that Phone Directory Capacity is 20 names & numbers - if you need more, you might consider getting another phone with more memory capacity.
It used to be enough for us, but since Mom has joined a charity organization & lots of people call her, we've been wishing for a phone with more memory... She keeps asking us, "Do you know who this number belongs to?"
Dialed Calls Memory is 5 and Call Log Capacity is 30 numbers which is quite enough for ordinary users... It is really easy to redial...
Battery is rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride. Personally, I find it adequate. (Sis complains it sometimes fails in 'the most inconvenient moments'!) We usually recharge overnight anyway... There is a battery life display on the LED screen, & if it looks down & the phone call is important, I just use the ordinary phone instead. Otherwise, I warn the caller that the battery might go down, & there's a warning for that too.
Siemens Gigaset A140 does not have such pretty melodies as some phones, but they are adequate & easily heard even by the elderly. (While some of the prettier ones on other phones aren't.) If your ears are very sensitive or you want prettier melodies, another phone might be better.
I like it that call duration is displayed on the phone. (Makes some really long phone calls easier to end! :) - You just mention how long you've been talking!)
It does not have the option of hands-free conversations, so you can't really chop carrots or do laundry while you talk on the phone from afar (you always need to have it close to your ear), but personally I mostly prefer to focus on one task anyway, & prefer it if not the whole room hears who I'm talking to anyway.. Sometimes that option might come handy, & if you suspect you will really need it, then consider another phone...
I have a friend who does all her housework while on the phone, & it drives me crazy that she is able to do all these things while talking, & I can't! So probably if buying another cordless phone, I would go for one with the option of hands-free talking.. Some have poor voice quality if the hands-free option is used (see my later review of Granny's cordless phone) so this is another factor to consider.
The voice quality of Siemens Gigaset A140 is really good.
Another plus: There is a manual online in multiple languages, so if you lose the original instructions, you can find them easily on the Siemens website (simply by Googling)!