Burnside Easy Answer review

Both landline and mobile phones have their advantages and disadvantages. The Burnside Easy Answer may look a lot like a typical office desktop phone, but that aerial at the back is a give-away that it's something rather different.

The Easy Answer is basically a mobile phone that's not designed to go anywhere. This may seem a rather strange idea, but the benefits are actually massive. Setting up a new mobile phone is far easier than a new landline. If you want a new phone in your home or office, then simply get a pay-as-you-go SIM and plug it into the Easy Answer. Far simpler than running cables and talking to BT.

Of course you could just use a standard mobile phone, but desktop designs do have their advantages. The power supply means it will never run out of juice; and though you can leave a mobile plugged in, it's not designed to be used with a cable dangling from it. The Easy Answer also has a built-in battery, should you need to wander away from the mains for a while.

Best of all, it has a proper receiever, that you can tuck up against your shoulder while typing - try that with a mobile without getting a crick in your neck.

Call quality was excellent, we can't be sure if that's down to the no-compromise design of the receiver, or if it's just good internal electronics - but it's great nonetheless.

It has all the features that most desk phones now provide, and a few from mobiles too. Hands-free operation works well, and you can even set 'VIP' numbers to answer automatically in this mode. There's a phonebook (stored in either your SIM or the phone's internal memory) and you can even send text messages - though without dictionary based text prediction this is pretty painful.

At £167 inc VAT, the Easy Answer is rather expensive. Burnside says it has higher-quality components than similar devices and is built in Britain. This is all well and good, but we've seen other GSM desk phones for half this amount online. Still, we'd advise only buying from a retailer with a good reputation and returns policy if you're hunting for a cheaper version.

We were happy with the Easy Answer, but it doesn't do anything outstanding to justify its rather high price, which has left it with an average three-star score.






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