AVM, makers of the excellent Friz!Box range of routers, have released the Friz!Fon C6 DECT telephone, but is it the perfect companion for AVM routers with telephone functions?
The C6 is a lovely looking DECT phone, the version I have in for review is white with a matching white charging base. The buttons are well spaced and the screen is a good resolution, much clearer than my existing landline phones.
It has charging points on the base, a headphone jack on one side and a volume control rocker on the other side.
The charging cradles power cable is a decent length and has recently been updated to include a UK plug, originally it was an EU plug only.
To make use of the Fritz!Fon C6 you’ll need a DECT base station, it can’t be plugged in to a standard phone line. Fortunately I happen to have the Fritz!Box 7530 which I’ve previously reviewed and it has a DECT feature built in.
Power up the phone for the first time and you’re presented with setup instructions. It’s very simple, press a button on the phone, press the DECT button on the 7530 and the two pair up. The Fritz!Box then automatically set up the C6 with a download that includes the language I had set, date, time and access to my 7530s contact list.
There are also excellent answer machine options with the 7530 (scheduled on/off times, multiple answering machines that can be assigned to specific numbers etc) and when a message is left the C6 has a flashing red button and will let you know a message is available on the display screen. Press the button and you instantly hear the recorded message.
The process didn’t take long and once completed the phone is ready to use. As it doesn’t need to be plugged in to the router you’re free to position it wherever you like and it looks smart be it on a desk, bookshelf or table.
- Dimension (L x W x H): 47 x 21 x 152 mm
- Weight: 111g
- Display resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
- Max indoor range: 40 meters
- Max outdoor range: 300 meters
- HD voice quality
- Email, RSS feeds, web radio
There are some unusual features included that are usually associated with mobiles. If using with a Fritz!Box you can access your emails, RSS feeds and web radio via the C6. These aren’t features I’ve tried, I’ve got all that set up on my mobile, but it’s interesting to see the options there if you want them.
The great thing about pairing with a Fritz!Box router is all the setting can be configured using your computer rather than trying to enter details using the phone keypad. This makes managing the various settings and contacts a breeze.
C6 as a VoIP phone
To test out the phone I set up a VoIP number from Sipgate.co.uk (which offers a free VoIP service for incoming calls, outgoing calls are chargeable) on the Fritz!Box and assigned it to the C6 handset. The beauty of the Fritz!Box is it can manage multiple numbers, so you could have a home number and a business number, or a customer service number and a sales number, all controlled by the same system.
Once added any calls made to the number immediately rang through on the C6. If you’ve called ID on your line the number will be displayed, if that number is stored as a contact the contact name will be shown.
Call quality was good, but remember call quality depends on a number of factors including your providers support of HD calls and your caller being set up on HD calls, so you may find some calls sound better than others.
With so many people working from home this gives you the opportunity to have a very professional set up for not a huge investment. You can get VoIP numbers for all over the world, you can have local numbers in different areas of the UK, have another for different areas in America, they’re very flexible.
The Fritz!Box 7530 is a full telephone system so you’ve access to features such as Call Diversion, Call Block, Call Through, and Dialling Rules that will often cost you money to set up with your phone provider.
I found the user interface to be easy to use and really clear on the display. Compared to mobiles a 240 x 320 pixel screen might sound small but it’s still much better resolution than my existing home phone. The text is crisp and clear and there was no lag when navigating around the various options.
As mentioned, many of the options are better controlled from the Fritz!Box control panel, it’s just easier to enter contact details using the browser control panel and a keyboard for example, but there are several C6 specific functions you’ll manage on the handset.
For example, you can change the start screen from the standard information screen (which shows date/time/calls/message) to a simple analogue clock. Thanks to the screen resolution these are all very clear and look great.
In theory, you can control elements of a smart home from the handset as well, something I haven’t tried as AVM don’t currently have smart home products in the UK.
Telephone functions such as the telephone book, answering machine and call list can all be accessed on the handset.
The Fritz!Fon C6 packs in a lot of features, although it’s fair to say with the huge advancements in mobile technology a lot of them, such as accessing emails, are rather redundant now. I wouldn’t want to try and read my emails on a 240 x 320 pixel screen any more!
At the time of review the C6 was £81.34 on Amazon, plus you’ll need to get a plug adapter if you don’t have one. That’s a lot of money for a single handset that requires a specific router to really get the best out of it.
Is the Fritz!Fon C6 worth getting?
If you don’t have a Fritz!Box router then you’ll be paying a lot of money without being able to make full use of the wide range of additional features the C6 has over traditional phones.
If you do have a Fritz!Box with DECT base station in then the C6 is the perfect companion, VoIP setup was really easy, sound quality is very good, and control you have (e.g. setting times of day for certain features) can’t be matched by a regular phone.
It’s great at the simple stuff, such as taking landline calls or VoIP calls, but it excels when paired with a Fritz!Box, it becomes a feature rich telephone system.