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This is a nice looking phone. However, it lets the user down in one fundamental area: its sound quality.
Having owned a Panasonic KX-TCA151 for over 5 years, which has an acceptable (but not brilliant) quality outgoing message and incoming caller messages, I thought it was time to upgrade. After all, DECT technology must have matured significantly in 5 years, right? Wrong. I listened with disbelief as the pre-recorded announcement played - stuffy and muffled. My own recorded message was no better. Wondering if it was the phone's internal speaker that was the problem, I rang the phone from my mobile and listened to my message. It was the same quality again, not something that I would be happy with if friends or business clients were to hear it - it made me look unprofessional.
The message that I left from my mobile was also of poor quality - imagine a cheap foreign toy with a pull-string. I could honestly hardly make out my own message.
There is also a background hissing noise when listening to the polyphonic ring tones, again not acceptable.
In use, the menu is good, although there are no "tactile" keys on this machine, just a flat polished silver keypad, which means you must look carefully at what you are keying. Beauty, after all, is only skin deep.
Just to put the sound quality in perspective: I still think the old fixed phones had the best sound quality, let's give them a 7 compared to FM radio which would get a 9, and hi-fi a 10. My old Panasonic would rate 6, and this Siemens model gets a 3.
I didn't get as far as trying out the Bluetooth function to copy telephone numbers from my PC to the phone, but this is one new feature that first attracted me to the Siemens SL785, along with its claims of long-range reception and large phone book capacity.
If I ever buy another cordless answering machine, I certainly won't include Siemens on my shortlist.
I have bought the SL785 and a supplementary SL78h.
I've created a video review of the Siemens Gigaset SL785/SL78h which I've posted on youtube. Here is a direct link to the video: http://krz.ch/498279
Summary: the first cordless phone that resembles a a mobile smart phone. Not as classy nor functional as an iPhone, but a huge step up from your typical cordless phone.
The user interface (i.e. menu) is easy to use. The screen is fantastic; sharp, bright, large. The build quality is exemplary and the handset feels sturdy in my hand.
Sound quality is better than my previous cordless phone, but the iPhone still beats it. There is a slight background hiss.
My main negative point is the missing syncronisation of contacts between the phone and an Apple Mac computer or a Linux computer. The software is for PCs running Microsoft Windows only. Firmware updates can only be made through a PC.