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Like a lot of people, I ditched my landline years ago. But I’m on my phone quite a bit for work, so the smallish cell phone I use has its limitations, especially for longer calls or when I’m on hold for up to 15 minutes or more. I have never been able to cradle a cell phone between my cheek and shoulder. Balancing a dill pickle on the tip of my nose is an easier and less painful proposition for me. And, so, I default to the speaker phone feature for nearly all calls. That, certainly, has its own set of drawbacks. And it comes as no surprise that even the best cell phone out there doesn’t deliver crystal clear reception all of the time, if ever.

Then there’s that pesky issue of cell phones potentially emitting dangerous amounts of radiation. Although inconclusive at this point, it’s an issue that many of us think about when using cell phones. And that’s another reason why I usually opt for speaker phone.

So, with all of that in mind, check out these items that bridge the gap between the convenience of cell phones and the comfort of traditional phones with handsets. Not only are they handy, but they boast fantastic designs.

PYLE Retro Collection


Handcrafted from gorgeous woods and accented with brushed copper, this retro phone from PYLE works with any smartphone featuring a 3.5 mm jack and includes an iPhone dock. It easily switches from your landline to your mobile phone, and the docking station even charges your device. For those who worry about radiation, the Pyle PRT351 eliminates 99 percent of the radiation emitted by your cell phone when you use the handset. The phone features last number redial and flash, as well as ringer volume control. It sells for $109.99 through PYLE (other retro models are available), but you also can get it for $86 here.

Swissvoice: ePure Bluetooth Station


And now for something totally sleek and uber modern. Swissvoice ePure combines HD handset calling, speakerphone, charger and a Bluetooth speaker. The ergonomic wireless handset answers calls while controlling the volume and music. Mount your iPhone on the charging dock and you can use the wireless handset to make and take calls with comfort.

The handset features stereo speakers, making ePure Bluetooth station a portable sound system as well as a phone.

You can select the iPhone version ($149.99) that interacts with iPhones and uses the dock, or the Universal ($139.99) that works with PC, tablets, Android and Blackberry and charges with USB. Available through Amazon.