iPhone Bluetooth Review: Good Call iG1 Bluetooth Handset and Dock Review
Editor's Rating (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Provides convenience and comfort of a desk phone, charges/syncs iPhone 4S/4, good voice quality and loud volume.
What's Not: iPhone ringtone plays a lot quieter than other phone's ringtones through iG1's earpiece.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Disguised as a desk phone receiver, the Good Call iG1 is a Bluetooth handset that comes with a dock that also charges and syncs the iPhones. It will work with any Bluetooth device with hands-free and headset profiles, it just won't be able to charge other devices than iPhone models. The Good Call iG1 is sleek and easy to use. It comes in two colors matching the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 colors, black and white.
The design of the Good Call iG1 is super modern with clean lines and narrow curves. The handset is quite slim but not too much so that it's uncomfortable. It looks and feels similar to some of the modern desk phones with slim receivers, and it's comfortable to hold and talk on it for long phone calls. It's slightly too thin if you hold the handset between your ear and your shoulder, should you need to type a text message on your phone with both hands while making a phone call. The handset is lightweight, and works well if you hold it normally like holding a landline receiver. The controls are easy to understand and simple to use. They include call send and end buttons, volume controls and a power on/off slider. The earpiece and mic have logical locations on the handset. It has two separate LED lights, one blue and one white/red. The surface of the handset is shiny but the surface of the dock is matte.
The dock on the Good Call iG1 is weighted so that it doesn't slide on your desk. It certainly stands securely when you plug or unplug your iPhone to the dock, or pick up or dock the handset. The 30-pin connector dock is roomy, which means you can dock your iPhone 4S/4 even inside of a case. We tested it with our iPhone 4S in several cases including a full leather case (the Proporta Alu Leather Case), the iPhone was able to dock while in the cases. The dock for the handset on the iG1 rises to hold the slim and narrow end of the handset. The handset doesn't wobble in the dock, but it isn't locked, latched or magnetized on either, so if you accidently bump it, the handset falls out of the dock easily.
The Good Call iG1 has built-in Bluetooth and works with any device that supports Hands-Free and Headset Profiles. We tested it with iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, as well as Android devices include the Galaxy S III and the Droid RAZR MAXX, it paired with all easily. To pair the handset, slide the power on slider and press and hold call send button until the blue LED and the red LED flash, use your device to find and connect to the handset. You can pair the iG1 with several devices, and reconnect with press of a button (call end button). The Bluetooth paring and connecting functions worked very smoothly in our tests.
As with other Bluetooth headsets, the Good Call iG1 supports voice command including using Siri to initiate calls, last number redialing and call waiting. You can also use the volume controls to mute outgoing voice during a call. The Good Call iG1's ringer works a little differently with iPhone 4S and other devices. With the iPhone 4S/4, the iG1 plays the same ringtone as the iPhone but it's quiet through its earpiece, even if you turn the ringer volume to max on the handset. When the iG1 works with other phones such as the Droid Razr Maxx, the handset plays its own ringer sample and that sounds quite loud. You can easily hear the ringtone from the handset even if it's not close by.
The Good Call iG1 doesn't need to be docked to work with devices. As with other Bluetooth handsets or car kits, it only needs to be within range of the iPhone 4S/4 to work. The range is about 20-30 feet depends on the structure you are in.
The most convenient feature the Good Call iG1 offers is quick answer and end call function. If your iG1 is connected to your phone, and there is an incoming call, all you have to do is pick up the receiver to answer the call; and when you are done, put the handset back on the dock to end the call. It's a lot easier than some smartphones these days that take several clicks or swipes just to answer a call. Very nice!
The Good Call iG1 has excellent voice quality thanks to the large body and nice chip inside. Both incoming and outgoing voice quality is clear and very loud. Since the handset is designed to have the mic right in front of your mouth, the outgoing voice is clear and loud but also lets little ambient noise through. Voice quality differs slightly when working with different phones, but its overall quality is very good across the board.
Battery and the Dock
The Good Call iG1 handset has built-in rechargeable battery. When it's docked and your base dock is connected to a power source, the handset gets charged just as your iPhone 4S when it's docked next to the handset. The Good Call comes with an AC charger and a detachable USB cable. You can charge the phone and handset via either AC power or your computer. The handset has approximately 4 hours of talk time, and when the power is low, the red LED will turn on with beeps to let you know. The iPhone dock passes through power as well as data. So you can charge and sync the phone while docked on the Good Call.
The Good Call iG1 is a completely different kind of Bluetooth accessory for your smartphone. If you miss the convenience and comfort of using the large landline receivers when using your mobile phone at home or in your office, the iG1 gives you that option. You can answer a call or end it by picking up and putting down the handset, like you would with a landline phone. It has good voice quality and loud volume. It works wirelessly with iPhone and other smartphones with multi-pairing capability. The iG1 has all the basic Bluetooth Hands-free Profile features and the dock can charge both your iPhone and the handset. The only issue we had with it is that the handset doesn't play iPhone 4S/4's ringtone as loud as it does with its own built-in ringtone.