Battery life is a common concern with cordless phones, and especially Wifi SIP handsets. The A58H handsets shipped with a pair of 900 mAh AAA sized NiMH batteries. The manufacturer claims up to 200 hours of stand-by time and 8 hour of talk-time on a charge. In our home the handsets ran for literally days without being returned to the charging stand. While I never spent 8 hours on the phone continuously, I see no reason to doubt the battery life claims.
The cordless range of system was also excellent. With the base mounted in a closet central to our house I was able to wander outside all over the property and even across the street without call quality suffering. I did notice that enabling the energy saving Eco Mode and Eco Mode+ settings seemed to reduce the useful range, but not enough to cause me concern.
Some might be inclined to compare the A580IP to a traditional DECT cordless phone used in combination with a ATA. Here the A580IP is a far better solution, even if it costs a few dollars more. It can sustain more concurrent calls (3 vs 1 or 2) and access more SIP accounts (6 vs 2). Finally, it supports wideband calling, which an ATA simply can’t touch.
We’ve been using the A580IP for just over three months in our home and home office. It’s considerably better than the system it replaced. Moreover, the ability to integrate wideband calling into more of our daily life has proven addictive.
To truly appreciate the A580IP you have to keep reminding yourself that it’s really an inexpensive consumer product. Cast in this light it excels in many areas. It does such a good job that you might start to expect more business oriented features, which is where it falls short.
The Gigaset A580IP is a fine phone system for use around the house, and even in some home offices. While it might lack some business class features it’s still an outstanding value, and an excellent way to get started using wideband telephony.
- Good call quality
- Scalable from 1 to 6 handsets
- Supports 6 SIP accounts and one analog line
- Supports wideband calling over IP
- Contact list can be uploaded from a vcard file
- Very good battery life
- Very good cordless range
- No support for SIP URIs in contact list*
- No support for a headset
- Screen-saver discards initial keystroke in dialing sequence
- Limited business class features
|Note: As of June 1, 2011 Gigaset now offers the C610A IP model in the US. Offered at the same price as the S675IP but with more features and better hardware performance this model is now my baseline recommendation. Many have felt that the A580IP system was simply too spartan in feature set. While it remains the least expensive Gigaset model offered in the US, I believe that the C610A IP is the best value overall.
* August 2011 – a new release of firmware for the C610IP now supports the use of SIP URI in the contact list. Thus the C610 system can dial by SIP URI where prior models could not.