Pitched as a desk 'cleaner-upper' the £209 Invoxia NVX 200 aims to bring an attractive all-in-one bundle of desk phone, Bluetooth speaker and charging dock. That’s quite a list of ambitions and we’ve set out to comprehensively answer whether this integration can genuinely replace all three in an office type environment.
Sitting on our desk the Invoxia NVX 200 takes up a slim space. It’s noticeably squat and trim when compared with other phone bases we have. One of the biggest advantages it sports is that you can dock pretty much any tablet or smartphone thanks to an adjustable stand bracket and 3 different cable types (Lightning / 30 pin / micro-USB ) supplied. We’ve reviewed many phone handsets that are throwbacks to designs of a time-gone-by, but the NVX 200 is mostly fresh (overlooking its mild resemblance with the Amstrad phone) and it’s respectably modern with a flat and curvy design ethos everywhere you look. We particularly like the corded handset which pleasingly aligns itself onto the smooth base after we finish a call thanks to magnets.
Put it this way, we didn't even need to look in the manual to get our iPhone and Invoxia NVX 200 to speak to one another. We simply plugged the desk phone into an electrical outlet, wired in the supplied Lighting cable - neatly we should add, thanks to a cubby area to organise cabling out of sight underneath. Preceding this step the NVX 200 asks us to sync our device via Bluetooth, which went as straightforwardly as it should. So now, when we arrive at the studio, both the Invoxia and the iPhone speak to each other automatically when in range - there’s no fuss!
Setting things like the speakerphone volume and handset default volumes are found within the menus by holding down the voicemail key. The memory on the NVX 200 additionally allows the storage of up to 10 speed-dial numbers. Our only quibble about the settings is regarding the ringtones. The 6 tones seemed sparse - a greater selection of more bearable ones would be nice!
Using the corded handset has been an interesting experience: its flatness is now normal in feel thanks to modern-day smartphones, and the internal microphone sounds crystal clear on the other end of a call and noticeably ghosts background noise well. The speaker within the handset is really loud and actually has hearing aid support; we tend to keep the volume at around 60%. Most importably there’s no delay via Bluetooth to our iPhone - conversations are always fluid! The same applies when in speakerphone mode which hops over with the press of a button on the keypad. Interestingly, the advertised beam-forming microphone that is supposed to focus on voices and render all other sound out of the picture, is actually very strong at doing just that, especially by lessening echo and mild reverb in rooms. But it cannot clearly define between 3 or more voices speaking at once to present 3 channels of audio clarity. This is still a speakerphone where people take it in turns to talk, and as such it is perfectly adequate at broadcasting voices from afar. On our end of the call the 5w speaker has pristine clarity as a speakerphone and is more than ample for boardroom conferences. In fact it’s a fairly competent music playing speaker too - it will easily fill a room with enjoyable audio playback.
Day to day usage
We like the bright LED display on the Invoxia NVX 200 which has made reading the incoming caller numbers or names in our phone contacts a doddle whether close up or from across the studio. Scrolling through menus, recent calls list, initialing a call to a saved phone contact or answering one is all accomplished on the silver wheel with a variation of clicks and twists. This input has been very easy to get on with. Of course, answering a call is done with either a press of the silver dial or by lifting the chorded handset. What we didn't like as much is the ever so slightly too squishy numeric keypad. Whilst it’s large and easy to read, we felt the input could be a little more tactile. When directly looking over it and inputing numbers we get on with it better, but sitting back in the chair dialling almost vertically is oddly unfamiliar and we do make a fair number of mistakes due to the flatness of the keys. The common culprit being the 0 placed directly above the silver dial that moves our finger out of alignment so we clumsily mash the 8.
The Invoxia NVX 200 keeps the tangible reality of the classical desk phone in good health within a smartphone era. It encompasses device charging, a robustly loud speakerphone, a fairly simple interface that allows you to check voicemails, speed dial through contacts and, of course, it boasts a physical keypad too. It’s a tremendous asset if you're on the phone a lot whilst stationed at your desk in an office.