September 19 2009
Home phones, both of the fixed variety and cordless, are one of the great forgottens of consumer technology. Bizarrely, I always think, most of us make most of our important calls on mobiles. Important people know your mobile number; the gas board, elderly relatives, telemarketers and debt collectors chasing people who moved away years ago call your landline. Yet making an old-fashioned – or should I say “fashionably retro”? – landline call is actually a bit of a treat. Try it some time; clear sound quality, no tilting of the head or moving about the house for better reception, no mysterious cutting off of calls and discovering you’re chatting away to nothing and not even getting a dial tone to remind you there’s no one actually there.
It’s not easy to find a good cordless landline phone, either. I’ve had a few through Technopolis Towers lately and haven’t loved any of them. This one, however, while not the greatest performer – it’s fine, but not fantastic – does have the benefit of looking really spiffy, hence its recent design award. It’s also ridiculously cheap, so if you drop it in the bath (a very nice place to phone people from) it’s no disaster.
The Colombo Two is also deliciously curvy and pleasing to handle. Its name and form are in homage to Joe Colombo – not the leader of the New York crime family who died in 1978 years after being “vegetabled”, as Mafia colleagues put it, in a shooting, but Joe Colombo, the space-agey Italian industrial designer, some of whose works reside in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, doubtless causing some confusion to Mafiosi art lovers doing the galleries on their day off. Nonetheless, it’s a phone that you may find hard to refuse once you’ve seen it.