* Prices may differ from that shown
We already had a twin handset which we were using for our landline, but when BT came out to install our broadband they arrived with this free handset which they put in at the same time, and as we tend to use our mobiles rather than landline, we didn't see much point in changing it back.
==Price and Availability==
As I mentioned, we had this one thrown in by BT as part of their broadband installation service, but at full price the RRP is £69.99 but I have seen it for as little as £34 on www.cordless-phones.uk.com.
The handset is available as a single or twin, and the one we have is a single which is fine for us given the irregular use of the landline. I have also picked out some of the more relevant features which may be useful to potential purchasers:
· Answering machine with recording time up to 30 minutes
· Audible message alert so you don't miss messages
· Blocks nuisance calls
· Auto answer (don't need to press any buttons to pick up call)
· Call timer
· Clock & alarm
· Talktime 12 hours
· Standby 120 hours
· Backlight contrast control
· Choice of 10 ringtones and volume control
· Indoor range 50 metres, outdoor range 300 metres
Battery life isn't a major concern in our household, as we only tend to use the landline for occasional phone calls due to having free minutes on our mobile contracts. I mostly use the landline for receiving calls from my parents, and can sometimes be on the phone for up to an hour, which is the longest I'd ever need the battery to last, however it is good to know that it can last for up to 12 hours if you're a heavy phone user.
==Sound Quality & Range==
I have never had any issues with the sound quality when using this handset. I tend to wander round the house when I'm on the phone, and although we have our base unit stationed downstairs in the hall, I often find myself wandering round the bedroom as I'm chatting to my parents. I never notice any difference in quality regardless of where I am in the house, which does give this a slight advantage over mobiles where sometimes the signal can drop out.
==Design & Comfort==
The base and handset are black and quite sleek looking, but I do find the screen can get a bit cluttered sometimes when it's indicating messages and so on. It will show different icons for missed calls and messages, along with displaying the time and remaining battery, and the menu and call history option. The backlight is blue which makes it easy to see the screen, but like I say, it can get a bit cluttered so you have to figure out what you're looking at to begin with.
The handset itself is comfortable to hold, and it doesn't make my hand ache when I've been on the phone for a while. The handset also doesn't get hot like mobiles do when you've been using them for a while. I find the buttons are easy to press, and being raised it's easy to hit the button you want rather than accidentally pressing the wrong buttons because the keypad is too small.
The answering machine is built into the base unit, and is very easy to use with the buttons being obvious such as "Play" and "Delete". One of the features I like about the answering machine is that it beeps intermittently when you have a message, so you don't have to remember to check the machine as it will alert you to the message as soon as you walk into the house. The answering machine has various features such as being able to record up to 30 minutes, and being able to record your own greeting, but thankfully we don't get pestered by too many people so we haven't bothered setting up our own greeting.
The key additional feature of this handset is that it has the option to block nuisance calls. This means you can programme up to 10 specific numbers, or groups of calls such as withheld numbers or international numbers, and they will be directed straight to answerphone rather than disturbing you. We have used this feature to block withheld numbers as they generally tend to be sales calls, and although we've never had a huge problem with sales calls, I can say that we now don't receive any whatsoever.
You can save up to 200 contacts, which makes this phone viable for business use as well as household use. You can also divert calls to your mobile, which again could be useful if you were running a business from home for example, and it's also suitable for hosting conference calls.
Apart from the cluttered screen, there isn't really anything negative to report about this handset. The only other thing I had trouble getting used to was the Auto Answer feature. This basically means you pick the handset up and answer the phone without having to press any buttons. I couldn't get used to this, because every handset I've ever used previously usually requires the green button to be pressed when you pick up the phone, so at first I found myself doing this automatically and putting everyone on speakerphone by accident! It took a bit of time but I did get used to it in the end.
If you can pick this up at a decent price, this handset and answering machine combo is great for basic household needs, and would potentially suit a small business if you added additional handsets. Although we picked this up as a freebie, I am quite impressed with the quality of this phone.
(Review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
THE BRITISH TELECOM BT 6500 DIGITALLY ENHANCED CORDLESS TELEPHONE (DECT) FEATURES A BUILT IN NUISANCE CALL BLOCKER / DESIGNED TO BE EASILY SET UP AND NAVIGATE WITH A SIMPLE MENU THE 6500 DECT TELEPHONE MEANS YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO THOSE IRRITATING NUISANCE CALLS / THIS STYLISH SLEEK BLACK TELEPHONE WITH A LARGE CLEAR BLUE DISPLAY GIVES YOU THE FREEDOM TO KEEP THE HANDSET CLOSE TO YOU AS THE SIGNAL IS RECEIVED FROM THE BASE TO THE HANDSET UP TO 50 METRES (INDOORS) AND 300 METRES (OUTDOORS) FROM THE CHARGING BASE UNIT / YOU CAN STORE UP TO 200 FAVOURITE NAMES AND NUMBERS AND FURTHERMORE THE BT 6500 FEATURES A BUILT IN DIGITAL ANSWERMACHINE WHICH WILL STORE UP TO 30 MINUTES OF MESSAGES / THE UNIT ALSO SHOWS YOU WHO HAS CALLED IF THEY ARE LISTED IN YOUR DECT TELEPHONE DIRECTORY / THE BRIGHT BLUE BACKLIT SCREEN HAS THE ALL IMPORTANT CALLER DISPLAY FEATURE SO YOU CAN SEE WHO IS CALLING BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE CALL AND THE UNIT HAS A CLEVER 'DO NOT DISTURB' FEATURE OR QUIET MODE / IT CAN ALSO BE ANSWERED 'HANDS FREE' AS IT HAS A BUILT IN SPEAKER.