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We all have phones, mobiles and land lines, but all for the purpose of making a call to someone or other.
I, like most people, have both mobile and land line, with the landline I have being what is called in the trade a 'cordless' phone, which I tend to stick to; although I do have a normal 'corded' phone in case of power cuts.
Recently I've been using a certain set of cordless phones from a well known company called BT, which were not bad little phones at all. Sadly though, due to a little; shall we say, 'mishap'; I decided to replace these phones with some I had managed to get my hands on from a friend months, in fact possibly years before, and had sat in my cupboard gathering dust, well, the box was anyway.
The phones I had replaced the BT ones with are also froma well known company and are also cordless, being called Binatone Veva DECT cordless phone, with the emphases on the DECT.
NOTE: for those unsure about the DECT bit, as I was until I checked it out. The DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, which is supposed to give better quality calls to and from the person you wish to speak too.
Anyway, these Binatone Veva phones look basic, being black plastic bodies with a very simple to understand little screen on the top of the front, above the numbers panel.
There is a answer machine, this being the main base unit, which can store up to 15 minutes of digital talk time. This main unit can have up to five separate handsets 'attached' to it. When I say attached I mean that in the wireless sort of way.
The internal phone book can hold up to 20 names and numbers, which doesn't sound a lot really, especially if you know a lot of people and can't remember their numbers.
There is a choice of 5 simple ring tones and are able to choose different ones for each hand set.
Each phone looks the same, with the difference being in the bases themselves as the main one has the answer machine built into it, the others are simple stands that charge the phones batteries.
So, the phones then. They are simple to use and even easier to understand.
They have the standard number buttons, doubling as letters, with the hash and star buttons either side to the '0', just like any other phone. Then there's an address/phonebook button just below the'0' button, which gives quick and easy access to the numbers stored in the memory, up to 20 numbers can be stored.
Above the numbers there's the menu button, which lets you go into the heart of the phone, setting such things as the ringer, number of rings before the answer machine kicks in, adding or editing the phone book names and numbers and more, including checking your messages via the phone itself.
Also above the numbers there is the answer button, although this one actually states 'talk' instead of answer, which may be a little confusing at first but talk is what it says. Then there's the off button, which ends the call or, when pressed down and held, will turn the phone off.
There's also a volume button and last number check button so you can scroll through the numbers that you have recently called and who have recently called you.
The screen on each phone offers 'caller display' if you have this service with your provider of course, (if you haven't then I do recommend getting it as most providers offer it for a low price per month, in fact, if like my provider, some give it away from free).
The screen also shows the last 10 calls, both called and received, with the redial storing the passed five numbers called. This is accessed by using the central 'calls/volume/up-down' button.
On the screen itself there are a few logos along the top, depicting such things as call answered, being made, battery level, message in the inbox and more, with the number you're calling or being called by showing up in the centre. Although if the number is in your phone book this will then show up as a name.
As for the answering machine, this is basic as well, but as good as any other answer machine out there. There is a little screen in the middle showing a number, depending on how many messages you have on the machine. With the play, repeat, skip and delte buttons surrounding the number.
Outside of this screen there are four buttons, the volume buttons on the right and on the left there is the on/off button and also a very useful little button that is used in case the hand set is missing. Pressing this 'find' button make the hand set ring out so that you can locate it in no time at all, unless you've taken it down the pub and it's gone well out of range.
I nearly forgot to mention the batteries: these are rechargeable and, when fully charged, can last up to 7 hours talk time and around 100 hours on standby, although this is hard to prove as it's always been a mix of calls and standby and the phones are always in the cradles so they are constantly being charged.
Sadly, for this type of phone, there is no speed dial and it can not be screwed to a wall, so the units have to be sat on tables or desks; This is not really a big problem for me but I though I'd mention it.
I'd used Binatone before and ended up having mixed feeling about them, with some being positive and some being, well, not so positive, but as this was given to me I couldn't grumble could I, (well I could but no one would care, in fact, they may even think I was a Victor Meldrew).
Anyway, once I'd plugged this one in and set up the phone book, adding the most important numbers to fill up the folder and even leaving my own little message on the machine, I was ready to give it a test run, which was pretty impressive indeed.
This set up was a lot easier than I thought it would be, inputting the names and numbers using the old fashioned 'texting' method, taking about 5 minutes to fill the phonebook, (making sure the local takeaway was right there). All this being made easier by the simple to understand little screen, with it showing just what you need to know without all the unnecessary bits and bobs that would simply confuse people and, more importantly, are probably not really needed anyway.
In fact, to be honest, the set up was more or less the same as my previous phone was, so that helped out a lot indeed.
I was very impressed when I made the first call, (no, it wasn't to the Chinese take-away... that was the second call), the sound quality was crystal clear, almost as if I was standing next to the person I had phoned. And the range of the phones are pretty good too, although this does depend on several factors, such as obstacles and even weather conditions if you take a call outside, but I can stand about 20-30 metres away from the hand set and still get a quality signal, which is what you want really.
The phone feels very solid in my hands, yet surprisingly lightweight, so using it for a long period is not a problem at all. The earpiece is well positioned and once my ear's on it I can barely hear any 'outside' noise, which makes listening to the conversation easy and clear. As for the mouth piece, this can pick up my voice even if my mouth is not right on the little hole at the bottom of the handset, in fact, it even picks up people who are trying to get in on the conversation I'm having by talking to me whilst I'm on the phone.
The ringtones are not really anything to shout about, being a bit boring, with one or two being very high pitched, but there's one in particular that is pleasant enough to use with another one for the internal call tone as well, just so I know whether it's the wife calling me from up stairs to make her a cup of tea, (lazy or what? She can't even be bothered shouting... although I do do the same thing sometimes).
It sits quite snugly in the cradle chargers, with the handset being in more an upright position so that it can be pushed up against a wall.
So what about the price...?
Firstly I have to tell you that these cordless phones come in several packages, such as the answer machine and a handset alone, then there's the packages which offer a standard handset and cradle/charger or two, maybe three, four or, as in this phone set, up to five handsets.
So all these packages vary in prices, from around £35 for the answer machine and a second handset, to over £120 for the machine and five handsets. I have the machine and two extra handsets, which, according to a quick search, would cost around £45 to £50, which is not too bad for the simplicity and quality of what it offers.
In all, if it's a phone you want that can take a message if you're out, with a few handsets scattered about the house so you don't have to keep running down the stairs when someone calls, then this is certainly worth looking at. But if you want technology at it's most confusing then steer clear of this as it only has what it needs, without the complications.
© Blissman70 2012