01.The perfect phone?
On first impression, the Panasonic KX-PRX150 appears to be nothing more than a standard Android smartphone. Similar in size to an Apple iPhone 3GS, it comes with a 3.5-inch capacitive screen that would be seen as small compared to the current crop of super-sized smartphones. You may also consider the asking price of $330 to be quite expensive for what appears to be an entry-level smartphone.
But here’s the kicker – once you walk inside the front door of your home, it transforms into a cordless phone (check out how it performed in our cordless phones report) with a standard telephone number allowing you to make and receive untimed local calls.
This handy hybrid feature makes you wonder why nobody came up with the idea sooner, as it seems to be the perfect phone. And for some people, it will be.
No joy for Telstra users
One important caveat is that the Panasonic KX-PRX150 only supports the 900MHz/2100MHz 3G mobile network band. This means it’s no good for anyone on Telstra, Aldi or Vodafone (in the city) using the 850MHz band. This phone is, however, suitable for using the Optus network. If you use one of the smaller mobile providers such as Amaysim, Dodo or Virgin or another company using Optus, read on. But if you use Telstra or Vodafone and don’t want to get an additional prepaid Optus network SIM card, this phone is not for you.
The KX-PRX150 runs on the Android operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4), with a menu selection for switching between landline cordless phone connecting through the base station charger or as a mobile phone using your mobile SIM card. As with most Android smartphones it can access Google Play for the apps you would expect to find, such as Tripview, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds, etc. And, you can use your wireless internet connection over Wi-Fi when you are at home.
If you have other Panasonic products, it also supports Viera Connect, so you can control a Panasonic TV or PVR for example. It can also be used as part of a wider cordless home phone system, with the KX-PRX150 able to connect with other GAP cordless phones in your home. When the phone switches into landline mode it alerts you with sounds and notification icons if there are any missed calls to your landline number, and informs you of the presence/absence of new messages.
This phone will suit a single person as a complete mobile/landline solution, or as part of a larger family solution – give it to one of the kids for occasional use as a mobile when you want to stay in touch and take it back to use as a normal handset at other times.
The Panasonic KX-PRX150 isn't cutting edge in terms of design or processing power. However, if you're on the lookout for a simple smartphone and want to keep your landline, the Panasonic KX-PRX150 is definitely worth a look.