30
Jul
Panasonic-Thumb

Panasonic's KX-PRX120, besides having a sexy name, is quite the handset. It runs Ice Cream Sandwich, has access to the Play Store, and sports a 3.5 inch touch-screen that would not look out on place on display next to any other budget smartphone. The thing is, buyers won't want to tote it around town. This digital cordless phone is too timid for that lifestyle and works best within the confines of its own home.

Panasonic1 Panasonic2

Consider this a premium cordless phone for people who still, well, need dedicated landlines and perhaps lack access to a smartphone with the same functionality. It's a smartphone for people who don't need, like, or want smartphones. It straddles the line somewhere between a Samsung Galaxy Player and a Galaxy S4. The former gives consumers the fun of Android without the burden of a wireless plan, while the latter provides the full freedom to use it anywhere. Panasonic's offering doesn't have the range of a smartphone, but it does bring media consumption and video phone capability to a dedicated landline. Here are the specs:

• 3.5 inch TFT colour LCD (HVGA) with capacitive multi touch screen
• Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
• 0.3M pixel Front Camera
• 1450mAh Li-ion Battery
• microSD / microSDHC Card Slot on Handset
• micro USB Charging Port
• Incoming/Outgoing Call Barring to help minimize unwanted or nuisance calls
• Caller ID, Caller ID memory
• Answering Machine (40min)
• Key Finder accessory (Optional)
• Up to 6 handsets (Optional handset or GAP supported DECT handset) can be registered

It's a sign of the times that it takes a deal of effort to understand who this phone is actually for. In a parallel universe, this, rather than mobile phones, would be the natural evolution of the telephone. Now it's simply kind of quaint.

Source: Panasonic

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    Still, a better smartphone than the iPhone.

    • Sergey Ushakov

      i see what u did there

    • Matt

      > Implying the iPhone IS a smartphone...

  • Michael Pahl

    I had to Google "landlines". Now I understand this article.

    • Greyhame

      Literally laughed out loud.

    • ins0mn1a

      to be honest, i have difficulties understanding not just the landline but the whole "phone" thing. it's like a voice chat without internet, right?

      • Major_Pita

        I wonder how long it will take before we have a generation where someone hears a reference to phone calls, laughs, and says - people actually did that??

        • Mike Reid

          Once upon a time:

          - There were no telemarketers.
          - Long distance was operator handled and created excitement.
          - Bell came to your house at their cost to fix your one permanently wired Bell phone.

          Some of use still have landlines. Some of us with young kids, phone ringing half the time, and a need for reliable access to 911.

          Some of us who only pay $10 per month for pay as you go and rarely use or need mobile.

    • TornZero

      I'm not even 20 and you're making me feel old.

  • Thomas Anders

    Doesn't look very ergo but it's an interesting shift. My daughter would feel like a big girl using it, since she can't have her own smart phone till she's 18.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      18 seems a touch Draconian in this day and age...

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        Well, it always is an arbitrary number, but nowadays this is more evident than ever, I guess...

        • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

          Well, 18 doesn't sound entirely arbitrary to me, it sounds like, "until you're a legal adult." Which implies that somehow it's such a massive level of responsibility that it justifies needing age of majority to handle. That's the part I don't agree with. I think teenagers pretty much rely on this tech now, and for good reason.

          • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

            Yeah, sure, there's a reason right now for 18, but I meant that even in "you're a legal adult when you are xx" the number is arbitrary.

          • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

            Oh, definitely. The base figures for maturity and adulthood (16 for driving, 18 for adulthood and smoking and sex with your choice of partner, 21 for drinking, etc.) are quite silly because they ignore variation in humans. I know 40-year-olds who aren't ready for any of that, and some 13-year-olds who make me feel like a child.

            But that DOES inform the comment I was making, too: as a parent, it's our job to evaluate our kids individually and see what their actual maturity level is, outside of what perceived standards are. In which case, arbitrarily picking age of majority seems silly. At that point I'd be more likely to assume the parent just doesn't want to pay for it themselves. Then again, what's to prevent a teenager from doing so?

          • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

            I'm with you there :)

      • Thomas Anders

        I suppose I've got 10 years to augment my stance but, as it is, she's stuck with me. I keep telling her she's lucky to be able to watch cartoons in HD (I tried explaining the annoyance of rabbit-ears), and have netflix in her room.

        • mechapathy

          "In my day we had to stand like this, uphill both ways, just to watch Captain Kangaroo!"

        • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

          Yeah, I just realize that the standards and needs shift rather quickly. 10 years ago it was insane to assume a minor needed a cell phone at all. Now I can't imagine denying my 11-year-old daughter one (with very, very limited usage, obviously). I personally can't imagine her going past 15 without a smartphone, and I think that age is just going to shift further and further downward.

          • Thomas Anders

            I was joking w/ my Wife that we'll get her a jitterbug phone when she's of driving age. http://bit.ly/13vJq9m

          • HA99

            So your wife is younger than 16?

          • Thomas Anders

            Yeah, and we have 3 kids; can you believe it?

      • Rob Cook

        Don't have kids do you?

        • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

          Two of them, which is exactly why I have perspective on the fact that they'll likely need smart phones before they reach the age of majority.

          • Rob Cook

            I've got a 16yr old and she doesn't need a smart phone at all. Cell phone sure, smart phone with data, no not at all. We tried giving her an old iPhone with a limited data plan with the understanding that she was not to abuse the plan. We had overages 4 months straight. She got a dumb phone the next month. Smart girl too, advanced placement IB classes, speaks 2 languages etc. Tumblr was just too damn addictive...

          • Baleeted

            This is why unlimited data should be free, as standard. don't mobile contracts cost enough as it is?

          • Rob Cook

            Agreed! Where is our WhiteSpace WiFi already?

          • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

            I don't deal with post-paid, limited data plans anymore. I have $45 unlimited data for myself. I'd do similar for my kids when the time comes. As it is, with her dumb phone, my daughter gets 750 minutes a month and on the last day she goes crazy calling everyone she can to try not to waste the unused ones. By the time she needs a smartphone I expect major shifts in carrier billing standards, anyway.

  • Andrew

    What it has GPS for?

    • mav

      GPS is included in the SoC

      • Andrew

        Yes, but it can be disabled by software. I mean there FM radio receiver in most radio chips, but is it enabled?
        Actually, there is much more obvious example: LTE and Nexus 4.

    • RedPandaAlex

      I wouldn't be surprised if GPS is required by Google for play store access. All tablets I know of have it, even those that are wi-fi only.

      • Andrew

        It may be the case. But even wi-fi only tablets are considered mobile devices, that you will take outside. But landline phone, I'm not so sure.

      • Zhuowei

        Kobo Arc doesn't have GPS and can access Play.

    • ins0mn1a

      in-house navigation? now seriously, it is conceivable to pre-load maps to it and take it out. it would behave exactly the same like a small wifi only tablet. hopefully there is nobody left at home though, because you just took away the landline phone ;).

      • Andrew

        Well, given zombie apocalypse can start any time, it must be nice to have backup GPS navigator.

        • ins0mn1a

          just remember to download the maps before the network goes down.

  • Robert Macri

    Why not just get a tablet or use someone's old smartphone around the house?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Because it can't answer your landlines calls?

      • qu4ttro

        If your landline is skype, viber or google voice it can...Nobody really has a landline anymore.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Sure, nobody.

        • Mark

          Just every single household in the UK (for example)

        • Mike Harris

          My parents – who are not what I would call technologically-challenged – have multiple landlines in their house. I believe there are still LOTS of people who still use landlines.

          I've been on my own since about 2001 and have never actually had anything other than a cell phone, so I understand the trend and even follow it myself, but I think this is one of those generational things.

        • Leonardo Baez

          you need to stop thinking that you situtation make sense for the entire world. Landline are still most used in most countries

      • Robert Macri

        touche.

  • wolfkabal

    Pair this with an OBi or something for gVoice, and I can see it being a great "home" phone.

  • atlouiedog

    I'd rather see a base station that interfaces with an app over wifi so one could use any device they want.

    My parents live in the middle of nowhere and can't use cell service at home. Their internet access is also a bit too spotty for voip or an airave like device.

    • Robert Alex Kibler

      That's... a really good idea.

  • Bill Joyce

    I have a niece who uses her iPod Touch similarly and would be thrilled if it would also do voice. There is a market, remember many families will not allow their kids to have smartphones since they can't or won't handle the data charges, especially data overage charges. They also want to control their kids interactions to a degree, so only being able to use it at home has appeal. I also see it as an option for people who want to experiment with smartphone capabilities but don't want a cell phone, mainly seniors.

  • Mandeep Singh

    What the hell man

  • siypion

    I can see this product being used as a business phone for an office it would allow the user to take call around the office transfer files check email and voice/video chat with others to coordinate with each other, my only complaint is that there is no sim card slot so that out of office work can be conducted, and linked back. To the landline.

  • Major_Pita

    Actually, you could probably run a VOIP app like Viber and use the phone when you're out and about using somebody's free WiFi. It would be sort of the like current form of 'finding a payphone' to make a call, only over WiFi instead. Ah, the nostalgia...

    • Mike Harris

      The current line of Audis (at least some, if not all) come with a wi-fi hotspot. If you had one of these, you could easily use a VOIP app to make calls while away from home.

      Then again, if you're driving an Audi, you probably already have your cell phone situation squared away.

      • James

        In order to use the WiFi for internet the car needs a sim card and signal....

        • Mike Harris

          The sim card is provided when you buy the car and you get 3 months of free service. Even though the service is through T-mobile, I almost always have a 3G signal in my car.

          I'm not entirely sure I understand your point, since you could have these same issues with a standard cell phone.

  • midnightwest

    This is either ten years too late to be relevant or 10 years too early to be retro interior design sheek.

    • qu4ttro

      chic

  • EliasAlucard

    People still use ordinary landline phones at home? That's like stone-age stuff. I only smartphones.

  • qu4ttro

    Why buy this... I use my old smartphones for exactly the same thing...

  • Owen Finn

    Man - all I want is a landline phone that let's me use my Bluetooth earpiece with it.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    Why do people still want a landline? I have 400 minutes voice plan -- for the whole family. My VoIP line only costs me $8.99 a month. Both my wife and I work at home, so voice call originates from within my home most of the times. Having a landline allows me to save money by picking the cheapest voice plan.

  • Jeremy Martin

    Time for CyanogenMod for this phone :)

  • Topi Baz

    Have people gone crazy on the comments pages or is it me. It's only a phone. What did I do wrong? I was only reading an innocent article. Now I'm full of guilt realising the harm unleashed by this poor poor innocent child–like, babe in arms. Oh forgive me, I am a sinner..

  • Jaime

    Galaxy Ace is that you?

  • Ursula

    VERY Cool Idea. ICan See This Shooting Off Once The Budgets Come In

  • Duncan_J

    Great, now release the base station as a standalone and an app for any phone

  • WhyWai

    It's actually quite ok idea. I will use one if the price is acceptable. only thing seem clueless is the GPS. what is it for if this is a home phone?

    • Michael Pahl

      might have to do with 911 or something?