Inbound and Outbound Phone Calls
Assuming that the pairing process has been completed correctly, all incoming calls will then be routed through the XLink BT. To pick up an incoming call, pick up the regular phone just as you would if you were receiving a landline-based call.
When a call comes through, your land line phones will ring (distinctly if more than one handset is paired) and you can pick up the call as if you were picking up your cellphone handset. Also handy is the fact that even if you forget that you've left your phone on silent or vibrate, the landline phones will still ring through. The light on top of the XLink will also blink based on the cellphone being rung.
For outbound calls, you can pick up the attached regular phone and dial as you normally would. It seems that the XLink waits to detect a pause (about three seconds) before getting your cell phone to put the call through. This delay (and the silence you "hear" while waiting for the call to go through) can lead to a sense that something isn't working.
If you have multiple cell phones connected to the XLink BT, the device will cycle through the first, second, and third connections in order, dialing with the first available connection it finds. You can also force it to default to a particular cellphone through the setup utility. If you want to choose another handset besides the default, you can also select the handset you want prior to the call by hitting the line number then flash on your landline phone. This is handy if you have a phone that has your long distance minutes on it and you want to swap to that to make the call.
Call quality using the XLink BT was indistinguishable from using the same regular telephone to make a regular landline-based call. Naturally, your experience will vary based on your chosen "regular" phone as well. You can further expand this range using a cordless phone as mentioned.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The XLink Bluetooth Cellular Gateway can be a great way to cut costs. You can abandon your landline in favor of using just your cell phone, but you can still get the same familiar "regular" telephone experience. This is a similar idea to what you'd get with the YUBZ Talk Bluetooth Headset, except you actually use a regular phone. I do wonder if a regular rotary dial phone would work with this product? Hmm...
In addition to improving cell phone reception in the home and office, the XLink BT is also great for reducing the amount of radiation rattling through your brain. Talking on a regular phone is probably safer than talking continuously on a cell phone. It's amazing how much more comfortable a regular phone still is.
From a functionality standpoint, the XLink performs exactly as advertised and I was able to get about the same range as a generic Bluetooth headset. Whether you think the Bluetooth Gateway is worth about $100 of your hard-earned cash is up to you. However, knowing exactly where your cellphone is and always having it fully charged without missing a single call is quite handy.
- Call quality indistinguishable from regular landline calls
- Very easy to setup and use
- Supports up to three simultaneous cell phone connections
- Reduce exposure to mobile handset radiation
- Works with any regular telephone (even wireless)
- Slightly cheap build quality
- Still restricted to Bluetooth range
Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10.0