First Look: Gigaset C610A & L410

Gigaset C610AL410_TR_whi_300 Some weeks ago Gigaset sent me a a couple of their newer US offerings to try. The first of these that I’ve unboxed is the new C610A Cordless DECT phone with the L410 Hands-free Clip.

Unlike the various Gigaset systems I’ve considered in the past, the C610A is not an IP-capable system. It sports just one old school analog line interface. Normally I wouldn’t even trouble myself to take such a phone out of the box.

The C610A itself is a pretty basic phone. The DECT base includes voicemail capability, with a small speaker on the base so that you can listen to voice messages at the base even if the handset is elsewhere. The VM system can also be used to record a call in progress.

Gigaset C610A_WHITE_INT_TL_600

The C61H handset is the very same one that has been sold in the US as part of the C610IP system for the past year. The handset features a wired headset jack and the usual Gigaset speakerphone.

What makes the C610A interesting is the little L410 Hands-free Clip that is included with the system. The L410 is basically a second handset, but lacking a display or keypad. It it just three buttons; volume up, volume down and a big multi-function button to answer, end or transfer a call.

L410 trio 600

The large clip on the back of the L410 gives away its purpose. It’s a cordless speakerphone badge designed to be worn clipped to your clothing.

The L410 is small enough to be clipped onto a shirt pocket or collar. From such a location on the user it’s well positioned to pickup the user voice clearly. It can also to be heard clearly.

As I have described previously, my wife really likes the speakerphone function of our A58H handsets. When I’m traveling it’s not unusual for her to take my call, engage the speakerphone, then put the handset down on the desk or counter as she goes about her evening.

The trouble with this is that, if I should call as she’s preparing dinner, the act of chopping veggies (or whatever she’s doing) on the counter is conveyed to me like thunderclaps in my ear. Similar things can happen at her desk. This is because the phone is sitting on the very surface where she’s working. The L410 seemed like it might improve that situation considerably.

In order to try the C610A/L410 combination I needed to rig an analog phone line. Burrowing into a closet I was able to find an old Linksys SPA-2002. That allowed me to register the C610A to one of my OnSIP extensions.

With the SPA-2002 plugged into the C610A base I was able to make calls from the C61H handset. Once a call was in progress tapping the large button on the L410 caused the call to be transferred from the handset to the L410.

When that happened the C61H handset showed a menu option offering to fetch the call back from the L410. Click YES and the call returned to the handset. Click NO and the handset abandoned the call to the L410, leaving only a “Line in use” message on the handset.

Once the handset had completely released the call to the L410 the only thing left to do was hang up by once again tapping the large button on the badge.

The one-click transfer to and from the L410 badge is pretty slick. I suspect that it will be well received around here.

The battery life of the Gigaset handsets has always been great. The L410 has a removable back that reveals a 3.7 v 240 mAh Li-Ion battery. Since the L410 doesn’t have a display its battery life should be considerable. It comes with its own little charging stand.

While the C610A/L410 combination are certainly attractive from the standpoint of one-button transfers, the lack of IP capability could pose a problem. That means no opportunity for HDVoice calls except between extensions. It also means only one ongoing call at a time. Happily, these are not deal breakers for our home line.

I’m told that the C610A has a special firmware load that supports close integration with the L410. That firmware is not presently available in any system that supports IP/SIP connectivity. That’s something of a pity as the C610A IP model replaced the aged S675 IP model a year ago.

While some of the content at the Gigaset web site indicates that the L410 may be available standalone, making it possible to add it to an existing DECT installation, Amazon shows only the C610A+L410 combination as being offered in North America.

I have registered a couple of additional C61H handsets with the C610A base so that we can try this phone on our home line for the next month or two. I’ll certainly report back on how it’s received by the powers-that-be.

The C610A+L410 combination is just becoming available in the US. As in the past, initial availability will be through Amazon, where I see that it’s offered for $99.