The Gigaset GL390 phone is a terminal designed for the elderly thanks to simplified functionality that offers only the most necessary features.
When opening the phone box for the first time, we see that it contains the device itself, a fixed charging station, a charging cable that can be connected to the phone or to the station, the instruction manual and the separate battery.
The first aspect that we have found when interacting with the terminal is, some difficulty when trying to open the back cover of the phone to place the SIM card and the battery. This is due to the fact that some force is necessary and also because the design of the opening slot does not facilitate the process.
Buttons and physical appearance
The phone features an alphanumeric keypad with large, high-contrast, backlit keys. It is also important to note the separation between most of the buttons, except for two keys (labels 1 and 2) in which their function changes depending on whether they are pressed on the top or bottom of them.
These two keys have the drawback that they share the function of interacting through the menus, if the upper part is pressed, and of picking up (label 1) or hanging up/turning on (label 2) the telephone if the lower part is pressed. The first button is located on the left side of the phone just above the alphanumeric keyboard and the second at the same height but on the right side.
However, to clarify possible problems, both buttons have a very intuitive visual separation thanks to the use of colors to delimit where it is necessary to press. On the one hand, for the first button there is the green color to pick up and on the other, red to hang up.
As for specific buttons designed to facilitate the use of the phone for the elderly, we have three direct dial keys on the front and an SOS button on the back. In addition, on the side we have a button to turn the flashlight on or off and another button to lock or unlock the keyboard and thus avoid unwanted keystrokes when carrying the phone in your bag or pocket.
Menu and texts
The format of the menu is in the form of a vertical list. The font size is large and the titles of the sections and the chosen icons allow us to identify most of the menu sections. However, some people may be confused by the icons chosen for the multimedia and extras sections, as they are not very representative of the features they contain.
On the other hand, although the first impression may be that the menu is intuitive, this vision changes when trying to carry out some operations and when opening some of the sub-menus. This is because some sub-section titles are too generic and not very intuitive, especially in the settings section. Also, some operations can be a bit confusing if you haven't read the entire manual beforehand. Other negative aspects of the operation of the menu is that not all the operations are saved in the phone by carrying out the same procedure and also, since the terminal does not have a volume button, it is necessary to carry out many operations to configure the levels.
The mobile has an orange SOS button which can be found on the back of the phone.
This phone functionality allows you to save up to five contacts or phone numbers. Once the button is pressed, one saved number is dialed after another until someone answers for as long as necessary and the "hands-free" functionality is activated. There is also the possibility of configuring it to send personalized SMS instead of calls. In addition to dialing and sending SMS, it also sounds an alarm tone to try to attract the attention of people around you.
The configuration of the SOS button is simple since it has a dedicated section in the main menu, making access quite easy.
speed dial buttons
As mentioned before, the Gigaset GL390 has three speed dial keys, buttons A, B and C. For its operation, it is only necessary to keep the key pressed until the desired contact is dialed.
Compared to the SOS button, these buttons do not have their own section in the menu. To access its configuration it is necessary to access the settings first, and press the direct call keys section. An inconvenience that has been seen is the fact that, since the name is so long, the entire name does not appear on the screen and it can create confusion when accessing its configuration.
Calls and SMS
The sound quality is good and the maximum volume is acceptable. As there is no side volume button, its levels can be configured from the device settings or from the call options menu that appears on the screen every time a call is made. One drawback of this menu is that the option to modify the volume is at the end of the list of possible options, which can cause some difficulty in carrying out the process since it is not visible to the naked eye.
In the options menu during the call, you can activate the hands-free mode using the loudspeaker on the back of the terminal.
An improvable aspect that has been noticed during the tests carried out is the time it takes from when a number has been dialed until the other phone receives the call. This time is somewhat higher than other phones that have been tested.
Sending SMS with this phone is simple and it is notified correctly both on the screen and by sound.
The phone is dual SIM, that is, there are slots to place 2 different SIM cards. This aspect can come in handy in the case of wanting to use SIM from different operators or use an additional SIM for when we travel to other places.
On the other hand, the terminal does not have connectivity via WiFi or mobile data or Bluetooth.
The phone has a 0,3 Megapixel camera, a relatively low quality but sufficient for a device with these characteristics. In addition, within the different functionalities of the camera, it has the possibility of zooming or applying visual filters. On the other hand, it only allows you to take photos, but not record videos.
The operation of the camera is simple in itself, although there is no indication of which key to press to take photos or zoom on the screen itself or the manual that comes in the box. In the case of this device, to take photos it is necessary to press the number 5 and to zoom press the navigation keys.
The phone includes a printed manual in three languages that briefly explains some of the most basic features of the terminal. The functionalities that are not explained are the multimedia ones, such as the use of the camera or the radio.
The font size of the explanations within the manual is small and that of the safety recommendations is even larger. However, one positive aspect is the use of icons that represent the keys for prompts.
Furthermore, both this manual and a longer one are available on the manufacturer's website as mentioned above. In case you want more information, it is recommended to read the complete version of the manual since it includes all the operations that can be carried out by the practitioner.
FM radio and audio playback
An important aspect to highlight is the lack of a headphone jack type audio output.
However, this does not mean that the radio can be heard well through the loudspeaker and that the tuning is correct during the tests carried out. On the other hand, a negative aspect of the radio is the small size of the icons that appear on the screen that indicate which buttons to press to use it. Another problem that has been found, which is very recurrent in this type of model, is that it is somewhat complex to turn it off and modify the volume because it is necessary to re-enter the radio menu and press the corresponding buttons.
The terminal's audio player has the same problems as the radio and, since there is no volume button of its own, the level of both is controlled with the * and # keys.
The phone also includes the ability to record audio via microphone and store it using an external SD card.
The phone comes with a micro USB charger and a fixed charging station. This charging base has a single position and has a good fit for the terminal. In addition, to make sure that the phone has been placed correctly and that it is charging, make sure that the text “charger connected” appears on the screen and that a confirmation signal sounds.
The battery has a capacity of 800 mAh and according to the manufacturer, this means that the autonomy of the phone is 550 hours on standby, 10 hours on calls or up to 8 hours on multimedia.
The phone has the possibility of including additional storage via SD card up to 32 GB. This card is necessary to record audio and can be set so that the pictures taken are stored on it.
Flashlight, calendar, alarm, calculator and magnifying glass
All these features are accessible from the extras section except the magnifying glass and the flashlight.
The flashlight light is sufficient and can be easily activated by an external button.
The magnifying glass, although this specific function does not exist, its operation can be simulated by using the camera's zoom. Although the idea may be fine in some specific case, since the camera does not have a high quality, it is not recommended to use the phone for that.
The use of the calendar and the alarm are very intuitive. Thanks to the numeric keypad you can program events on the calendar and enter alarms.
The phone does not have the ability to download games of any kind.
The text size of the phone is large and the contrast of the words is correct, but these options cannot be changed in any way.
A positive point of the Gigaset GL390 compared to other similar terminals are the voice announcement options that it includes. These prompts read the numbers being dialed and the phone number of incoming calls by voice. However, there are times when the reader of the numbers being dialed deactivates itself. Also, in case a contact that we have saved is calling us, it reads the phone number and not the name of the contact.
The phone is compatible with hearing aids.
The Gigaset GL390 mobile phone is a low-cost model that has a series of very interesting features for the elderly. It is a terminal with a simple numeric keypad that is easy to identify thanks to the size of the keys and their good contrast. In addition, it has speed dial keys that make it quite easy to use. Other features included in the phone such as the SOS button, the hands-free function, the FM radio or the charging base reinforce the terminal as a possible option.
Generally speaking, the most basic phone functions are easy to perform. However, this facility can be complicated when trying to configure some aspects of the phone or use some extra functions and it is necessary to open some submenus.
One property of the Gigaset GL390 that may work against it is the fact that the screen size is somewhat smaller than similar phones.
Finally, it should be noted that, although it is a good purchase option, the maximum volume of the phone's speaker and ringtone is somewhat lower than that of other similar terminals. Therefore, if you have hearing difficulties, it may not be so recommended.
- The size of the buttons is large and most of them are independent.
- It includes a very easy to recognize SOS button and very reliable operation.
- Speed dial buttons make it quite easy to use.
- The various voice prompt functions.
- The base charges in a single position, easy fit and sound alerts to ensure that the phone is charging.
- The font size is not configurable.
- There is no side button to control the volume. In addition, in the different volume settings of the phone we find different methods to level it.
- The voice reader of numbers when dialing a phone number can be disabled by itself.
- There is no Jack connector to listen to the radio or audio with headphones.
- The maximum volume level offered by the phone should be higher as it is not at the level of other similar models.
- There is a time delay between when the number is dialed until the other phone receives the call