Top positive review
41 people found this helpful
The best Cellphone Gateway by far.
on May 6, 2010
I first got addicted to using a landline phone to answer my cellphone calls with an old Uniden phone I purchased here at amazon, years ago. That Uniden branded phone was only compatible with Bluetooth 1.0 cellphones however, so when I upgraded, I could no longer use the Uniden. This was very frustrating to me so I eventually looked around to find the XLink BTTN gateway. I used that for about six months before I found the GE Cell Fusion here. I weighed the pros and cons of the XLink device, and ultimately decided that the GE Cell Fusion was cheap enough to give a try.
I am so glad that I did. If you are considering the XLink BTTN, or any of the XLink models for that matter, try the GE Cell Fusion first. For starters, the XLink devices are nearly a hundred dollars. That alone should make the GE Cell Fusion worth a better look. Score one.
Once you dive in, you'll find that the GE Cell Fusion pairs very easily. It has a far greater range than the XLink. I live in a two story town home and found that with my main wireless telephone upstairs, the XLink device would never link up with my cellphone until I had walked upstairs and into the room with it, sometimes I even had to initiate the pairing manually. Meanwhile the GE Cell Fusion almost always pairs automatically with my cellphone the moment I walk through the front door. Score two.
Conversations over the GE Cell Fusion are perfectly normal when using your landline number. You will never know that the GE Cell Fusion is connected. Conversations over the GE Cell Fusion when using your cellphone are almost just as well as the landline. There are some occasional pops, clicks, very light staticky sounds that happen with any Bluetooth voice connection, however, on the GE Cell Fusion these are few and far between. Additionally, the entire volume of the call is much louder over the GE Cell Fusion. The XLink had the pops and crackles much more frequently even when the cellphone was placed right next to it, these noises were also louder than I experienced with the GE Cell Fusion. Score three.
If you've seen the XLink devices, then you've seen three big blue buttons on the top of it. Those buttons LIGHT UP, VERY BRIGHTLY when your cellphone is paired. This annoyed me greatly at night, it was almost like having a new night-light in the room. The GE Cell Fusion on the other hand has LED lights that are inside the unit for a more subtle indicator of status, one is red to show that it's powered on, the other two are blue to indicate pairing for up to two phones. The lights are nowhere near as bright as the XLink, much more sensible and less offensive on the eyes. In fact, the whole unit just kinda looks like a neat little appliance gizmo, so you can set it anywhere in your home or office and it doesn't stand out. Score four.
Like with most things in life, there are cons and things it does not do as well as its competition. Thankfully, they are at a minimum here.
The XLink device has a USB port to allow you to upgrade its software. The GE Cell Fusion does not have any such upgrade path as it lacks any other means of connection at all. I have used it with three different cellphones successfully, so it seems compatible enough, but if issues come along in the future they will not be fixable via firmware without exchanging the unit. Normally this would be a knock against the GE, however, I could never use the XLink software to update it; for some reason, XLink's software is incompatible with Windows 7, and because this is what my computer has, I couldn't use it. I don't know that I needed it or that it would have helped with my problems (like turning off that bright blue light), I just know that I couldn't use it. So this is a knock to the GE, and a potential plus for the XLink--if you ever need the upgradeability and can use it.
The GE Cell Fusion has the ability to pair up to two different cellphones simultaneously. It cannot pair more than this at the same time, nor can it have more than two set up for pairing at the same time. The XLink on the other hand can accept up to three pairings, and have each of them paired at the same time. So if you need that many different phones ringing throughout your household, the GE might not be the one for you. Note also that neither of these devices can actually run calls from multiple cellphones through your landline handsets simultaneously, but this is rather understandable.
All in all, I found the GE Cell Fusion to be a much better, full fledged device on its own than the XLink. While the XLink does have USB upgrade access and one extra cellphone pairing, I couldn't use or didn't need either of them, and found that every other feature of the XLink was replicated in the GE Cell Fusion, which did all of those things better. The real kicker is the price, at under thirty bucks you'd have to really need those extra features of the XLink to choose it over this wonderful gizmo.