Panasonic announced a DECT-compatible digital cordless landline phone that runs Android 4.0 with Google Play access. The KX-PRX120 is equipped with a 3.5-inch, HVGA screen on the handset, which offers a front-facing camera for Skype calls, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS for mobile Android use, but lacks cellular technology.
Sometimes a landline is still the best solution, especially if voice quality and low latency trump other concerns; and in some rural areas, it’s still the only viable solution unless you want to climb to the top of the barn whenever you make a call.
Panasonic’s KX-PRX120 cordless “landline” phone
(click either image for a large photo)
When away from its dock, the Panasonic KX-PRX120 digital cordless phone looks and feels like an Android cell phone, albeit one that seems about five years out of date. To be fair, the device runs a reasonably up-to-date Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), and users can access Google Play to download Skype for a digital communication alternative.
This is not the first DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication) landline to run Android. While some have placed the Android touchscreen on the docking device, Panasonic integrates the Android display and computer into the handset itself for greater portability, much like the Archos 3s Smart Home Phone (pictured at right; click to enlarge). Unfortunately, like the Archos device, the capacitive touchscreen is a modest 3.5-inches, albeit at a slightly higher 480 x 320-pixel resolution. While we applaud Google/Motorola in resisting the screen inflation wars by dialing back the Moto X display to 4.7 inches, 3.5 inches seems downright claustrophobic.
Processor and memory specs were not specified, but Panasonic informs us that the KX-PRX120 supplies a microSD slot, a micro-USB charging port, and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. Also included are WiFi, Bluetooth, and even GPS, although the latter won’t do you much good within DECT’s range, which is usually less than 200 meters. Of course, you’re free to browse the web, make Skype calls, and use the other Android apps and features whenever you’re within range of WiFi, and as far as the 1450mAh battery takes you. All these capabilities appear to be located directly within the handset — the landline dock and stylish DECT basestation are pretty spare.
The device’s DECT telephony features include incoming/outgoing call barring, Caller ID, and Caller ID memory. The answering machine can hold up to 40 minutes of voice messages, and there’s an optional key finder accessory. Customers can attach up to six KX-PRX120 or other GAP-supported DECT handsets per station, says Panasonic.
No pricing or availability information was supplied on the KX-PRX120. More information may be found at the KX-PRX120 announcement page.