大耳朵英语  2007-11-14 10:04:46  【打印
It's fair to say that cellphones can induce laziness. They enable effortless directory assistance, mobile Web access and the ever-important luxury of calling someone in the next room so you don't need to get up. But this laziness can be reversed in an instant: Just misplace your cellphone at home, hear it ring and note how quickly you move -- running, climbing stairs or flipping couch cushions -- to find the phone before a caller hangs up.

VTech Communications wants to put an end to this mad phone dash with its new $150 Expandable Cordless Phone System with Bluetooth, the LS5145. This device synchronizes with your cellphone and redirects incoming cell calls to ring wherever the VTech phones are placed in the house. It works with your landline and up to two Bluetooth-linked cellphones, and can be expanded using additional handsets that cost $80 each.

The concept of a cellphone extender isn't new, but not many of them have caught on. Another popular add-on to cellphones at home is the repeater, which focuses on boosting a phone's signal in a place with poor coverage. The VTech 5145 could work as a repeater, assuming you put it and the finicky cellphone in a place with good coverage. But if your entire house has lousy cell coverage, it won't work as a repeater.

AT&T licenses its corded and cordless phones through VTech, which sells a less-expensive product similar to the 5145 called the AT&T EP5632. It costs $100 and has the same basic functions as the 5145, but is clunky and much less stylish. Its additional handhelds cost $60 each.

This week, I put my feet up and tried the VTech 5145 and one of its accessory handsets, the LS5105. These phones are stylishly thin and have bright color display screens, which can be set to one of 27 still color wallpaper images or four animated designs. It took me only a minute to pair cellphones with the system using Bluetooth, a wireless technology that connects devices that are within about 30 feet of one another. And the VTech's primary function -- extending the cellphone throughout a house to make it more convenient to answer -- worked well, ringing much louder than my cellphone.

But the 5145 didn't display the numerous names and numbers stored on my cellphone's contact list. Unless I wanted to painstakingly enter the data into the VTech, incoming calls were only identified with phone numbers, so I rarely knew who was calling. And I could only call the handful of numbers that I know by heart.

Bluetooth technology isn't incapable of transmitting data: My BlackBerry Curve even tried to transfer its contacts to the 5145, but couldn't. VTech chose to use headset Bluetooth synchronization on the 5145 rather than hands-free synchronization. Hands-free is the same technology used in most Bluetooth-equipped cars; it provides more access to the Bluetooth device, such as phone-book integration.

I also missed other features on my cellphone when it wasn't by my side, such as text messaging and voice mail. Incoming text messages were sent to my cellphone unbeknownst to me since I wasn't near it, and when I didn't answer incoming calls through the VTech, I had no way of knowing if the caller left a voice mail on my cellphone.

The 5145 includes a base station and primary phone; the 5105 additional handset includes a small stand just big enough to hold it upright. I set up the base station near where I drop my work bag after coming home each night. After the initial pairing during setup, phones automatically link to the VTech, meaning I never had to take my cellphone out of my bag.

I paired the 5145 with two phones at once: a Motorola Razr using Verizon and a BlackBerry Curve with AT&T service. I also tested pairing a third phone with the system, the HTC Pocket PC 6800 from Sprint, though only two cellphones can be paired simultaneously. Just one of the Bluetooth phones can be used at a time, in addition to the landline. As long as the two paired phones stayed within about 30 feet of the base station, they automatically started routing calls through the VTech.

Call waiting worked like using my actual cellphone, except I pressed different buttons on the 5145 to 'swap' calls. If you're chatting on a landline call, you can answer an incoming cellphone call by placing the landline call on hold. If each line -- landline and cellular -- has call waiting, a total of four callers could potentially be linked to the VTech system at once.

In my house, we gave up our landline years ago, so I tested the system using only cellphones. I saved myself a few trips racing up and down the stairs to find where I had left my cellphone, instead placing the base station on one floor and the additional handset on the other. Using cordless phones for the first time in years reminded me of the issues that accompany this system. The line became fuzzy when I moved too far away from a phone's base station, though VTech says a connection can stay clear for up to about 900 feet.

I almost forgot that cordless phones can't be taken out of the house. While on a phone call, I had to stop myself from heading out the front door and continuing my chat as I walked to the corner store. Cellular calls that are in progress on VTech handsets can be continued on the cell by adjusting a setting on the cellphone, or by walking far enough away from the base station to receive a cellphone prompt to disconnect from the system.

I made calls from the handsets by first choosing which of the paired cellphones to use. My calls were received by friends and family just as if I was calling on my cellphone, though a couple of people told me that the connection didn't sound quite as good.

Each handset is equipped with a speakerphone, and missed calls are noted on the color screen and in a call log, along with the date and time. A built-in intercom system lets handsets communicate with the other or the base station. Users can choose from one of 23 ringtone-like melodies; I chose a steel drum tune for one handset.

If you're looking for an easier way to answer your cellphone whenever and wherever it rings, VTech's system might be a good solution for you. But if you rely on your cellphone's address book to identify callers and aren't up for inputting these data again, it might be worth waiting for a Bluetooth cordless phone system that will automatically copy data from your cellphone.


VTech Communications想结束这种混乱的状况,最近,它推出了采用蓝牙技术的无绳电话系统LS5145,售价为150美元。该设备能与用户的手机实现同步,并把打进来的电话转接到家里的VTech电话上,不论VTech可放在家里的任意位置。它采用固定电话线路,最多能与两部蓝牙手机相连。用户也可增加连接手机的数量,不过每增加一部需另付80美元。

让手机与电话相连并不是什么新鲜事,不过吸引人的产品并不多。另一个与手机相关的家用产品是转发器,它能增强手机的信号,适用于电信信号较弱的地方。你也可以把VTech 5145当作转发器,前提是把它和娇贵的手机放在电信信号比较强的地方。如果你家里的电信信号很糟,它就无能为力了。

AT&T的有线电话和无绳电话采用了VTech技术,推出了功能与VTech类似、但价格相对便宜的AT&T EP5632型电话。该产品的售价为100美元,具有5145的基本功能,不过外形比较笨重,也没那么新潮。此外,每多连接一部手机的收费为60美元。

本周,我抽空闲时间对VTech 5145和它所配的LS5105无绳电话听筒进行了测试。它们都轻薄小巧,显示屏色彩明亮,可设置27种静态彩色壁纸以及4种动画图案。我只花了一会工夫就把手机与蓝牙无绳电话连接好了。蓝牙是一种无线通讯技术,能联接约30英尺以内的设备。VTech的主要功能是在家里转接手机来电,方便手机用户,测试下来的效果很好,比我的手机铃声响亮多了。


蓝牙技术并不能传输数据:我的BlackBerry Curve曾试图把通讯名录传输到5145上,但没有成功。VTech则在5145电话上选择使用蓝牙耳机同步技术,而非免提同步技术。免提同步技术与大多数安装了蓝牙设备的汽车上采用的技术是一样的,它能接入更多的蓝牙设备,比如电话本一体化功能。



我将5145与两部手机连接起来:一部是接入Verizon网络的摩托罗拉 Razr手机,另一部是接入AT&T网络的BlackBerry Curve。虽然5145只能同时有两部手机相连,我还是尝试着将采用Sprint服务的型号为HTC Pocket PC 6800的手机与5145连接上了。除了固定电话线路之外,每次只能使用一部蓝牙手机。只要连接好的一对设备离基站的距离不超过30英尺,5145就会自动转接手机来电。