For each handset you can define the default SIP account to use when making outbound calls. You can specify when account to use when dialing by appending #x to the number you are dialing, where x is the account number you wish to use. You can also save numbers to the contact list using this syntax. In this way you can preset which account to use when dialing each specific contact.
In a similar fashion you can define which handset rings in response to incoming calls for each SIP account. Since my system is used for a mix of personal and business uses this is very handy. Our home line rings handsets in the house, while various other accounts only ring handsets in my office. It’s easy to see how a family with children could give each their own private line. Well, up to six kids at least.
Speaking of “ring” the A58H handset sports a number of ring-tones. Fancy melodic ring-tones are one of the features that betray the systems’ consumer electronics roots. We settled upon the first and most basic ring tone, which is called simply “Telephone.”
Here’s a recording of all the built-in ring tones.
The handset itself has a black plastic case. It seems reasonably durable, having suffered one or two accidental drops in recent weeks. The keys are raised and separate, which my wife prefers since it keeps her from misdialing like she did with our older snom m3 handsets.
The 1.5” monochrome LCD display is backlit in amber. While not especially high resolution is bright and very readable, even at a distance.
When the screen-saver is enabled the LCD display will show a large digital clock and crawling text along with the contents of a data source selected using the Gigaset.Net web portal for the phone. The available data sources include; local weather forecasts, news headlines, a biorhythm display, horoscope or your choice of RSS feed.
It’s very novel that Gigaset allows you to display information on the LCD when the phone is at rest. However, this is probably more useful on the higher-end handsets where the color displays and larger screen sizes have more impact.
One quirk about the screen-saver is that I found it interrupted dialing in an slightly unexpected manner. That is, if the screen saver is engaged the first keystroke entered takes the handset out of screen saver mode. That first keystroke is discarded, and does not remain in the buffer as the first key of the number that you are dialing. I had to make an effort to remember to hit a key and not just start dialing or I’d miss the first digit of the number I meant to call. In the end I simply disabled the screen saver feature and dialed as per my habit.