8 Dec 2008
Comfortably Connected(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2008)
A myriad of functions combine with sleek looks in a new generation of cordless phones
Technological advances are ringing in major changes to the market for cordless phones, which boast increasingly sophisticated features and stylish designs that add a trendy touch to the home.
A classic example is digital cordless phone model LS5145 from VTech Holdings Ltd. "This phone has the most comprehensive features in the cordless phone category," explains spokeswoman Reon Wong. "It has all the bells and whistles - everything that you would expect of a cordless phone."
Besides, she adds, the phone incorporates some unusual functions. "It has a Bluetooth-enabled feature that pairs the phone with your mobile phone once you are at home, and it is expandable up to 12 handsets and requires only one phone jack."
By transmitting on a 5.8GHz frequency and applying Digital Spread Spectrum Technology, this model offers a high range, clarity and security. "The technology makes it nearly impossible for someone to eavesdrop," claims Ms Wong.
There is a high-resolution 65K colour display with animated wallpaper, and a menu with tri-lingual prompts in English, Spanish, or French. Other features include a memory of up to 100 incoming calls, a voicemail-waiting indicator, a phonebook that stores up to 100 names and numbers, a choice of pre-set musical or user-recorded ring tones, and a blue-backlit keypad.
Ms Wong notes that the line between a mobile phone and a cordless phone is becoming blurred. "We believe that mobile convergence is going to be a key product trend for cordless phones in the next two years."
VTech takes pride not only in its products, but also its marketing strategies. "Designed to fit your home, and your life, is what we say about our products," Ms Wong says. "We do a lot of placement in Hollywood films and TV dramas as part of our product marketing campaign to associate our phones with consumers' everyday life."
The ability to continually introduce new products with new features is among the competitive advantages for A. Team Technology Ltd, according to General Manager Edmond Leung, citing its new model AD9500R, a Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) phone with an Internet radio function.
"This unique Internet radio function makes it stand out from other cordless phones," claims Mr Leung. "The user simply needs to connect the base unit to a computer with a USB cable, and then use the setup program to activate the Internet radio function."
The menu-driven phone also features a phone book with a capacity of 40 entries (each with up to 32 digits and 16 characters), redialling functions (with 20 memories of up to 32 digits each), a caller record list (with 30 records of up to 20 digits and 16 characters each), and a PABX memory.
There is also a speakerphone on the handset and a four-language selection on the display. The user can program three barred numbers into the phone, which is available in either black or white.
Also focusing on trends is Elite Century Ltd, which recently launched two new products - model GE-21870 taps into the trend for a user-friendly, large-button phone in demand by older users, and model GE-21877 focuses on the demand for smart and modern designs. "These phones have been well received by our customers, especially large, chain retail stores," says Assistant Sales Manager Eric Chow.
Featuring call waiting and caller ID display functions, a speakerphone on headset and a backlit LCD, both phones are 1.8GHz DECT and available in either black or white. In addition, model GE-21870 has volume control and a 25-phone-number memory, while model GE-21877 is equipped with a phone book, an alarm clock, and a caller ID memory.
"DECT phones are a growing trend, especially with prices dropping in recent years," notes Mr Chow.
User-friendly cordless phones are also available from Ko Tech Electronics Co, such as model KCW88 with caller ID display (in FSK/DTMF/ETSI), 10-channel 46/49MHz auto scan, a memory of 60 caller IDs, ringer volume control and tone selection, and a backlit LCD. "This is our best-selling cordless model because it is easy to use and has a good price," notes Marketing Manager Sophia Kao.
Clearly in touch with the latest design and technology trends, Hong Kong manufacturers always make sure their cordless phones keep users well connected in their homes.
TEXT BY VICKI WILLIAMS