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Feeling at home with a cellphone
Dock-N-Talk device can make using mobile more comfortable
June 4, 2005

By Crayton Harrison
The Dallas Morning News

The gadget allows you to make and receive cellphone calls using your home phone, whether you pay for a home phone line or not.

The Dock-N-Talk connects, via an everyday phone cord, to a home phone or to a phone jack on the wall. It also connects to a cellphone via a special adapter cord or a Bluetooth wireless connection.

When everything's linked properly, incoming calls to the cellphone will ring on the connected home phone. If the Dock-N-Talk is connected to a phone jack, the incoming call will travel through the jack on the wall to phones that are connected to the same line. Outgoing calls work the same way.

If you have a home phone line, it's a little more complicated to connect the Dock-N-Talk to the wiring in your house. You'll have go to an electronics store and pick up some simple adapters to split your phone jacks, then put some phones on a second line.

I have a home phone line and didn't have that extra equipment, so I just tried the gadget's most basic feature, plugging my cordless home phone directly into it. I also synced it to my Bluetooth-capable phone, which recognized the device as if it were a wireless headset.

I picked up my home phone and pressed the on button. After a second, a dial tone came on. I dialed a friend's number, then pressed the pound key, which simulates the send key on the cellphone.

The call went through just as if I had dialed it on my cellphone. My friend said my voice sounded muffled, but that may have been the fault of my cordless phone, which is several years old. Her voice sounded as clear as it normally does on my cellphone.

The Dock-N-Talk was certainly handy. I found it far more comfortable to have long conversations with friends and family using my home phone instead of my tiny cellphone or an earbud. And I was still able to take advantage of the free long-distance minutes in my wireless plan.

Pros: Allows you to put the cellphone in a spot with reception, leave it there, and wander the house with a cordless land-line phone.

Cons: Setting the device up to work on a second line requires extra equipment.

Bottom line: If you're on the fence about cutting the cord, this might push you over.


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