When our previous cordless phone just died one day we needed another one in a hurry, this one in Curry's seemed to fit the bill easily and having the two phones is a bonus as we can now have one upstairs as well. The handset fits comfortably in the hand and the display is nice and clear. As well as this the answer phone message etc were easy to set up and all in all it is easy to use. The only slight problem could have been that you need to leave it on charge but not plugged into the telephone socket for twenty four hours to put the initial charge into the re-chargeable batteries, this is not an insurmountable problem as most people have a mobile phone these days, but we got around it by having some pre-charged batteries of the right size that we could just slot in to the handsets instead. All in all a good buy.
When we bought our house one thing we needed that we didn't already have was a phone. As we were not really intending to use the phone all that much I set about searching on ebay for a display model within our price range as we wanted an answer phone as well as a cordless handset and after a couple of days searching for the right model and price I came across the BT Freestyle 2500 Twin.
The product is a digital cordless telephone and answering machine with additional handset offering quickdial, redial, intercom, call lists, handsfree and caller display.
To be honest the features were not really what appealed to us it was more the smooth styling of the phone, the fact that it was compact and stylish and would sit nicely on my windowsill.
The phone is easy enough to set up, the mains power cable plugs into the plug socket and the other end goes into the back of the base where you will find a small plug symbol which will make it easy for you to see where to connect the cable. Once the power is switched onto the unit you will find that the green light illuminates showing that this is now in operation.
The handset operates on rechargeable batteries and these are already in the handsets when you purchase them, to activate you simply remove the battery cover and pull out the orange tab, replace the battery cover and then place on the base to charge for a minimum of 16 hours on first use.
The red light will illuminate on the base to show that the phone is charging.
Once charged the phone will then need to be connected to the telephone line so that it can be used. You will find the socket at the back of the base next to where the mains are connected and voila you are ready to use the phone for calls.
On the handset there are a number of icons which will tell you if the telephone is in range this is indicated by a signal logo that is similar to what you are used to seeing on a mobile phone, if the phone is out of range then it will flash constantly.
Inside the phone has a range of 50 metres and outside a range of 300 metres so it is handy for use if you are outside in the garden and want to take the phone with you and the handy belt clip on the reverse makes it even more possible for outdoor use or use within the house where you may want to carry it on you.
There are a number of icons on the handset screen which include the signal logo so you can see if the handset is in range, the telephone handset symbol will show if the phone is in use, a bell symbol with a cross means that the volume has been switched off, a bell symbol only will show that the volume is on.
The keypad lock is active when the key sign illuminated on the handset and prevents any numbers being dialled, this is a handy function if you have young children who like pressing buttons on phones and this prevents any accidental calls.
Battery Cells indicate the battery power, if empty this means that the phone has no power and for each cell that is illuminated this shows how much power the phone has.
To programme numbers into the quickdial function you will need to press and hold the prog button and select the relevant number that you have stored the contact under.
You can also access the menu in this manner by pressing and holding down the prog button and select the relevant option to change which will include earpiece volume, ringer melody, ringer volume or restore default settings the numbers for the shortcuts are included in instructions that will be provided with the phone.
The caller display function allows you to see who is calling allowing you to pick and choose who you speak to which is ideal if you get calls from unwanted third parties. If a caller is dialling from a withheld number then you will find that 2 short dashes appear on the phones screen and this will inform you that this is a withheld number.
I find this a great option on a phone and would not be without it and when we ever replace these phones we will ensure that caller display is one of the functions offered.
One thing to remember though is that you must subscribe to have the caller display service and this can be arranged with your service provider.
The Quickdial function allows you to pre-store up to 10 numbers that you use on a regular basis, you can press the quickdial button followed by the number where you have stored the number you wish to call, for example my mum is stored on quickdial button 2 so to dial I would press quickdial followed by 2.
Redial allows you to redial one of the last 10 numbers.
Intercom allows you to connect with another handset that is linked to the main handset and base unit. I tend to use this if I can't remember where I have left the other handset as it will ring out.
Talk allows you to dial a number, to use you can either press talk and then dial the number or you can do it the opposite way around.
* Button when pressed down will turn the ringer off/on.
CLR this is the clear button and will clear the list of missed calls, this has to be pressed and held down to clear the list.
Calls this will open the list of calls to the phone.
Prog/Handsfree will activate the handsfree/loudspeaker option another handy feature.
# Will lock the keypad when held down and to unlock simply press and hold again.
The base is where you can operate the answer machine and is where the phone is placed on charge.
As the phone will always playback the date and time of any message left it is vital that you set it correctly before use, you will also need to do these each time the electric is off.
Setting the date and time is easy, simply press and hold the Time/Set button until you hear a message asking you to set the date and time.
On the left of the base you will see two arrows simply press one of the arrows to scroll through the options and the days will be announced, when you find the day that you want to select simply press the Time/Set button once more. Next you will need to set the hour for the time again this is done in the same manner simply scroll through the hours until you get the desired time and press Time/Set to select once more before finally setting the minutes.
Once you have set the date and time, if you press Time/Set once more the date and time will be announced, if this is incorrect then you will need to complete the steps above once more.
You can have the default message set to greet callers or by selecting the OGM button you can created your own outgoing message to greet callers. I have not done this as I hate to hear the sound of my own voice so instead I have the polite BT lady operating the phone message for me.
You can set the answer phone setting to kick in after a certain number of rings which is great if you are going away or if you take a little longer to answer the phone. I have the delay set at 6 rings to ensure that I can get to either handset in the house in time before the answer machine kicks into action.
The phone has digital call quality and to be honest it is not all that clear at times sometimes the person on the other line can appear muffled and my partner does complain that the phone is not as clear as his mobile and that he has difficulty talking to the person on the other line.
The phone however has proved to be good value for us and is a reliable handset, as it is constantly on charge on the base unit I never seem to have to cut a call short due to lack of battery life.
The handsets run off 3 AAA batteries which are rechargeable so are highly unlikely to ever need replacing.
BT FREESTYLE 2500
I bought this phone as a double act from currys as it was on a special offer, i got two phones 1 with an answer machine built in.
It is a digital cordless phone with a range of about 300 metres outdoors and about 50 metres indoors.For some reason the 50 metre range indoors is because of walls etc.
It comes with a base station were you put the phone when you are not using it.(with my wife about my poor phone does not know were its base station is as it is always in use).
Because i got two phones the one that i have upstairs has a smaller base station because there is no answer machine built in.
The good thing about these phones is there is no need for a telephone wire working its way up the stairs to the phone in the bedroom.
The main phone with the answer machine built in plugs into your phone socket on the wall,it also has a plug which you plug in.Now as i said before the upstairs phone in my case just has a plug which just plugs into the wall ,thats it no telephone wire its digital.
The phone are not that bad looking i have seen worse but when i think i have seen better as well.They are made to look a bit like a mobile with the display screen.They are pretty well built, i know because mine have been dropped quite a few times with the kids.Anyone with kids will know what i mean,the phone starts to ring and the kids are of to see who can pick it up the quickest.Here you are dad .....bash ,get the picture,anyway they are quite tough.
There are a grey colour with a colour screen which i think is a yellow sort of colour when it lights up.There is a big green button which is the answer button ,the one you press to talk or not.
USAGE OF PHONE
The phones and the answer machine are very easy to use, you have the numbers 0-9 on the front (good job, the phone is no good without numbers) a star key and the hash key. You have a R button which is a intercom so you can call someone upstairs as long as you have two or more phones, a program button and the green button to answer or not.
Just underneath the screen there is a set of four buttons which are,
Redial which speaks for itself
Quickdial for numbers you have stored
Clr which is the delete button
Calls button which all the people who have called will be stored.
You can also use the phone on loud speaker so everyone in the room can here the call.
The phones come with 2 x NIMH AAA batteries which are rechargeable,every time the phone is in the base station the batteries will recharge.
USAGE OF ANSWER MACHINE
The answer phone is just as easy to use as the phone,it comes with two pre-recorded outgoing massages ,but you can record one of your own if you like.
Now comes the only tricky bit involed,when you go out and want to turn the answer phone on you press one button ,the answer on/off button to turn it on and the same button to turn if of again.(told you it was a bit tricky).
If or when you get a massage the display will tell you how many you have.you just press the play button and of it goes letting you hear all your messages.
There are 9 different ringer melodies to choose from but they are all a bit naff in my opinion,you can also increase the volume of the melody as well as the person speaking to you.
This is the part that the makers write all over the boxes so us the customers buy the product, me as long as a product does what it should then thats ok with me, ie if i buy a phone i must be able to make a call with the phone ,you see were i am coming from, anyway here is the spec.
300 metres outdoor range of base station 50 metres indoor
10 number quickdial store
Caller display(you have to subscribe with BT to use this)
Answer machine has up tO 10 minutes recording time
Talk/standby time 10 hours talk time or 100 hours standby on a single charge.
Well that brings me to the end (at last i here you say) But in all honesty these phones are not that bad ,you could do worse.The calls are crystal clear as long as the connection is and they were pretty cheap.
I paid £49.99 for them and remember i got two phones and a built in answer machine for under £50,So if you are in the market for a digital cordless phone with answer machine then these might just be worth a look.
Thank you for your time.