The Gigaset E390A is the latest big button cordless phone from the German giants of telecoms. It's the direct replacement of the popular E370A. But does it live up to its predecessor? We put it to the test in another of our in-depth reviews. Read on to find out what we thought of it!
Related: Top 3 Big Button Cordless Phones
Design & build
The Gigaset E390A is mostly the same design as its predecessor, the E370A. Like that older model, the handset is built to a very high standard, with a much sleeker design than the average corded handset. The key difference is that it doesn't feature the standalone base station from the E370A. That could be a positive or a negative, depending on how you look at it. It does mean you'll need to keep one handset by your phone point, but on the other hand, it means they only take up one plug socket together.
Other than this, though, the E390A comes with all of the design features that we loved about the E370A. A large keypad with backlit buttons makes the E390A easy to use for those with poor vision. What's more, there's also the option to increase the font size on the large full-colour screen, too.
Setting up the Gigaset E390A is nice and straightforward; in fact, it's pretty much plug-and-play. Just connect the base to a power socket and your phone line, put the included rechargeable batteries into the handset, and you can start using the basic features of the phone right away. If you're buying a set with multiple handsets, then you may need to register these with the base. However, this process is very easy, with on-screen instructions to guide you through it.
As you'd expect, the phone's more advanced features, like SOS calling, do require a little more set-up. That being said, these are still straightforward, as they have been designed with elderly users in mind.
Here at liGo, we've always found Gigaset phones to have excellent sound quality. We're pleased to say that the E390A is no different, providing the same level of performance as their most expensive models. This is important for a phone designed to be used by elderly people, whose hearing may not be quite what it used to be. It's equally good on loudspeaker mode, thanks to its full-duplex sound, which cancels out any annoying echo.
The Gigaset E390A also has an extra-loud mode to double the handset's sound. This can be activated with just one press of a button, so it's very easy to use. Even on extra-loud mode, the sound quality remains nice and clear. The phone also has twin acoustic profiles that you can choose from. As you get older, you tend to lose some of the higher-range of your hearing. So, having this adjustable sound profile means that older users can hear the phone a bit clearer.
As with all DECT phones, the Gigaset E390A offers up to 50m range indoors, and up to 300m outdoors. In practise, though, this can be affected by things like thick walls or other electronic devices interfering with the signal. In addition, many cheaper handsets don't offer anywhere near this maximum range before they start to cut out.
We carried out our own tests on the E390A to see how it really performs in practise. As with many other Gigaset phones, it achieved close to that maximum range without any audible distortion on either end of the call. That's good news if you're planning on purchasing multiple handsets, since you're free to put them a fair distance away from your phone line. If you need some extra range, then you'll be pleased to learn that the E390A is repeater-compatible, too!
The Gigaset E390A includes a built-in answering machine, which can be accessed from both the base and the handsets. The base also has a message counter, so you can see if you've missed a call at-a-glance.
At its heart, the E390A is a big-button phone, and therefore includes a number of useful extra features that are specially designed for older users. As we mentioned earlier, these include backlit buttons, jumbo font, and the extra-loud mode. But one that we haven't mentioned is the SOS calling feature. This allows you to set four emergency contacts. When activated, the E390A will then call those numbers one after another until one of them picks up.
Gigaset E390A: The Verdict
A worthy replacement for the E370A, the Gigaset E390A is a superb choice for elderly users or those with hearing loss. It doesn't compromise on design or sound, though, with the same sleek style and top-notch audio performance that you'll find in Gigaset's premium models.