Binatone IHomePhone 3 - A Cordless Dect Phone For Use Around The Home

8/30/2013 9:07:59 AM

A cordless Android phone for the home

The Binatone iHomePhone 3 is an Android phone with a difference. It's not a mobile phone, but a cordless Dect phone for use around the home. Even more oddly it runs an old version of Android (2.3. called Gingerbread), which is no longer used by most other Android smartphones. The low price means the iHomePhone 3 is made out of chunky plastic, but an attractive circular cradle is included for recharging the battery.

Binatone iHomePhone 3

Binatone iHomePhone 3

The phone has a large speaker at the back, so the speakerphone and the ring for incoming calls is very loud if also rather shrill. Voices sounded quiet and muffled through the built-in earpiece though. Voicemail is built-in, although it holds just 14 minutes or recordings.

The 3.2in screen has a resolution of 400x240 pixels. It’s large enough to view photos, but portrait mode is too small for web browsing or typing emails. These tasks are easier when the handset is help horizontally, which makes the onscreen keyboard larger and gives more space for webpages.

iHomePhone 3

iHomePhone 3

Contacts can be added to the phone by tapping them in or importing them from a mobile SIM card. Up to 300 contacts can be stored on the phone. Only older full-size SIM cards can be inserted, so you can't import contacts from newer and smaller micro or nano SIM cards, unless you have a SIM card adapter. Bizarrely for an Android phone, you can't import contacts from your Google account.

The iHomePhone 3 accesses the internet using Wi-Fi, but it doesn't have access to the Google Play store for downloading apps. Some useful apps, such as those for checking email and RSS feeds, come preloaded. To add more apps you have to download them on a computer, copy them onto a micro SD memory card and plug that into the phone. This is a huge hassle. You'll have to buy a micro SD card if you want to use apps and play media files because the phone doesn't have any usable built-in storage.

There’s a forward-facing camera for video calling, but you can't use Skype because it's only available from Google Play. You have to instead set up a SIP-based app, which isn't worth bothering with as the limited screen resolution isn't good enough for viewing video.

The handset's battery life is very poor. When left on standby but disconnected from the charging cradle, the fully charged battery ran out after two hours. You need to be wary of the phone being active after you finish a call too. Even if the person on the other end hangs up, you need to press the red phone button on the handset to end the call.

The handset's battery life is very poor

The handset's battery life is very poor

An Android cordless phone for the home isn't a bad idea, but the Binatone iHomePhone 3 is too flawed to recommend. Although it's not bad as a cordless phone, the phone and Android features are poorly integrated and. while it may be cheap, the underpowered hardware and the old version of the Android operating system makes using the internet and apps a clunky experience.

If you don't already have a smartphone and want an inexpensive Android device for use around the home, the Asus Nexus 7 costs more but is much better designed. Paired with a separate Dect phone, it's better value than the iHomePhone 3.


·         Manufacturer: Binatone

·         Type: Cordless Phone with Answering Machine

·         Recording System: Digital Announcement

·         Cordless Phone Standard: DECT

·         Operating: Android 2.3

·         Connection: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

·         Screen: 3.2”/8.1cmWQVGA diagonal touchscreen (400 x 240 pixel)

·         Memory Card: Micro SD

·         Internet Browser: HTML, WAP

·         Battery: up to 30 hours standby time, up to 4 hours talk time

·         Other: Alarm, Clock, Calendar, Headphone connection, Widgets, RSS feeds

·         Pricing: $113.5


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