Friday, October 26, 2012

Bluetooth phone channels a modern Ma Bell


Call me old fashioned, but I often miss the old Ma Bell telephones, the ones with a handset where the speaker and microphone actually lined up with your ear and mouth. Sure the handset was bigger than mobile phone, but it felt solid in your hand and you could tuck it between your shoulder and ear. And if it slipped out and fell to  the floor, so what? The darn things were bulletproof.

That's why I was eager to try the Swissvoice ePure handset. This is a device that merges the traditional phone handset with a mobile phone in a design that's both retro and modern.

Here's how it works: Using Bluetooth, you pair the ePure with your mobile phone. Now calls to your mobile phone ring through to the ePure handset. Swissvoice says using the ePure doubles the range of Bluetooth to about 60 feet. A navigation strip on he handset controls functions like pairing and speakerphone and a pair of buttons on the side control the volume.

With the ePure on my desk, I can keep my mobile phone connected to its charging cable. Income calls arrive with their assigned ringtones and I can make outbound calls using going it on my desk to answer incoming calls and make outgoing calls using voice controls.

The ePure also makes a pretty fair wireless speaker. That's handy for Skype or Facetime video sessions or for playing music or podcasts stored on the mobile phone. Swissvoice says the handset will deliver about 3.5 hours of listening time before it needs a recharge.

The ePure costs about $140 at A version with a pop-out 30-pin iPhone charging platform costs $10 more.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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