We don't use our phone all that much - in fact the only reason that we have it is for the broadband and the fact that we have a BT package that involves having to make two calls a month in order to avoid paying a £1.50 per month admin charge. It's odd I know, but this is how we come to have this phone. It is a pretty good phone although it isn't perfect. It is white and silver and not all that pretty, but it is easy to use and generally fit for purpose.
In terms of looks it isn't that pretty, but that is probably because there are so many buttons on it, which make it quicker to use because they are short cuts to certain services, for example 1571, the phone menu and secrecy. Whilst they seem to take up a lot of space, it does make it a lot more simple. The buttons are all average sized I would say, but the numbers on them are black against I white button so it could be good for people who struggle to see a little bit, although the buttons aren't big enough for people with bigger sight difficulties.
The handle is lightweight and is very easy to tuck between your shoulder and your ear, which I believe is the standard way of using a phone is it not?! It is a corded phone so it isn't good for wandering freely around the house whilst you are using although the cord is a pretty long one so that you can position it pretty much anywhere in your room, regardless of where your BT box is.
The only problem we have had with the phone is the fact that the hands free option is not that good. There is a button at the bottom of the phone that you can press to get hands free either before or during the call, but we have found that the line goes intermittently quiet and it can be difficult to hear people, which kind of defies the point of the conversation.
The phone isn't widely available any more in its current form, although there are later versions available for around the £20 - £30 mark. This version is however available on ebay for around £15. I'd recommend it at that price as a pretty good budget phone with a few handy functions.
My last phone broke, this BT Decor 1200 costs about £20 and seemed a good replacement for the following reasons -
It has a built in answering machine with a caller display screen, ( this is the main reason I bought it ) it also has a hands free button at the bottom of the phone. This hands free button can get pressed by accident when you pick the phone up while on a call ( which leads to some embarrassing moments ) this has happened to me many, many times. It is a bit to easy to press and to near the bottom in my opinion.
The phone is white plastic and looks okay, but a bit cheap looking, I bought it for the caller display and answering machine that BT supply me with through this phone at no cost ( on broadband ). The caller display shows the numbers of people who are calling and who have called and your call history. It does not show ex directory numbers or withheld ones, so if you are dealing with people who have those it will not help you.
The batteries ( 2 AA) run out to quickly in my opinion, after only what seems like a few weeks, the display stops working again ( like now ). I think rechargeable ones would be the best option if you planned on keeping it long term.
It is simple to use , you have a menu and then 2 buttons on the far top right of the phone for the display for redial and call history. I never use redial but I often look at who has called to see if I need to call them ( as we have not spoken for ages ). This is useful for me as I forget to call people and do not realise how long it has been.
If I do not recognise a number I sometimes do not answer now, then call it back when I feel ready. With my old phone I had no idea who would be on the other end when I answered and I would nearly always regret picking the phone up ! You can programme in telephone numbers as well but I have not done that, as I know people who call me by mistake by pressing the wrong number( also I cant be bothered).
The 1571 message button can be annoying when you get a message , then want to make a call, it is a real hassle with annoying tones and lights flashing.
Solid, easy to use and good functionality.
Ideal for the one phone in your house that is not cordless - remember you ought to have one as it will still work in a power cut, which cordless ones don't.
As with most BT products, it was well packed and came with a sensible and easy to read instruction manual (not a poorly written novel!) The cable is long enough and style wise, this looks a smart phone. It can be wall mounted.
Has redial button and remembers incoming call numbers so you have a list of missed calls if you are away for a while and they don't leave a message on 1571.
The best thing about this phone for me is that it has relatively large buttons (not goofy big) which stop me miss dialing. I also like the hands free function which is really clear and has adjustable volume, and the mic picks up well too. Comes with caller display if you subscribe to that and has a 1571 speed dial button. It's easy to input the names into the memory and the phone has a light that flashes when it rings so if you or a relative are hard of hearing that's a plus!
Only down side I have found is that the display angle is rather flat which means you have to be right over it to read it. It also has a small battery for the display which lasts about a year in my experience, but will need changing. It's not really a down side, but just remember it doesn't have an answerphone - so many do today, you cold easily assume it does.
After being thoroughly fed up of cordless phones being left askew all around the house after use or cutting out half way through a conversation, I decided to go all 80's retro and get a corded house phone for my office. It is my favourite phone in the house because it just works without any faffing about. You can pick these phones up for around £20-£25 and they are produced by British Telecom. I have had my phone for over ten years and it is still going strong, here are some of my favourite and least favourite things about the phone...
1. The phone is corded so you know where it is at all times.
2. The phone is chunky and comfortable for speaking on for a long time. The ear piece and mouth piece mould to the shape of your face as the handle is slightly curved. This is better for me than the very flat cordless handsets which don't have any curve on them. I prefer the slight curve of this phone.
3. The buttons are quite big. You can get bigger buttoned phones but these buttons are big and easy to read. They are also touch tone so they aren't quite 80's retro, more like 90's retro. You can use the phone for all the many menus you have to press buttons for when you are on the phone to call centres.
4. There is a giant hands free button. This gives you freedom to wander the local vicinity of the phone when you are on the phone. I find this ideal compared to cordless phones which insist you hold them most of the time.
5. There is a good volume control. The volume control is not loud enough for someone with audio-impairment (I suggest BT Big Button for that) but is fine for some one who is able to hear normally. Sometimes call centre staff can seem quite quiet but that isn't always a bad thing now is it?! :)
6. It has an automatic 1571 button. It saves wear and tear on your fingers, no longer do you have to punch the numbers 1-5-7-1 in individually, this phone does it for you, one simple press of the 1571 button and hey presto you can hear all of your messages.
7. The secrecy button is good for if you want to put someone on hold/mute. They will remain muted as long as the red light is on. I think this could be useful in office situations but I rarely use it at home as it is mainly my Mum I talk to!
1. The phone is corded so the cord is regularly tangled up and is a pain to untangle. This needs doing every couple of weeks.
2. Because the phone has a cord, it has limited reach so you are fixed to one position.
3. It doesn't look very sexy. It is primarily a functional phone, it doesn't look nice, it doesn't look fancy but it does do the job. If you want it to fit in with your super duper lounge with its 21st century decor, this phone is not the phone for you.
If you are looking for a cheap, corded phone that ticks all the boxes in the phone department, this phone would be highly recommended by me. It also has the function to store numbers in the menu and requires 4 AA batteries for the display to work correctly. I have never used the address book function, that seems like one step too far in the technological world for me ! :) (says she with the iPad!) so I am unable to comment on how well that works. This phone has lasted me over 10 years and is still going strong. I think it is great value if you want a basic phone without style!
Following a disgraceful 'lost weekend'-style series of drink-induced events involving (amongst other things) the flex of our previous landline and a large pair of scissors, we were left temporarily bereft of a telephone round at our house.
This BT Decor 1200 was the cheapest corded 'phone they were selling at our local Tescos, of which they had a model left in stock yesterday. It cost £22 which I thought was a bit steep, but not being mobile phone users in general, we were desperate. Not being a mobile 'phone user I have never expected much in the way of 'bells and whistles' from my 'phone; with the one had before, you picked it up when it rang and / or dialled calls out on it, and that was essentially all it did.
Now I have this MULTIFUNCTION phone made by BT and the scales have fallen from my eyes, so to speak. I think it's brilliant.
Honestly though, the Decor 1200 it not a thing of great beauty. It's made of matte white plastic with an ill-advised silver-grey plastic inset over the 'screen' of the phone (it has an LCD that displays amongst other things, useless information such as 'incoming call' - as if you couldn't hear when it rings). The silver plastic was a bad mistake in my book as a piece of decorative trim, but I suppose overall the 'phone looks all right. It does from the 'top view' you see in the picture accompanying this review at least, but that said the sort of 'legs' / stand that it props up on at the front is made of thin plastic, which makes it look really flimsy from the side. And it needs two AA batteries! I never heard of a (corded) 'phone needing batteries before, but at least they gave us a set 'free' in the box it came in. The batteries go to power the LCD screen, of course. This permanently shows the time and date (although it's not a 'smart' phone so you have to programme these in correctly yourself).
(I was quite impressed by the packaging it came in, incidentally - apart from the odd thin clear polythene bag, it was all recycled / recyclable cardboard cartons - there was no polystyrene or anything like that).
So admittedly I wasn't particularly enamoured by this 'phone until I came to use it. It's quite heavy - maybe about 750g - which means that when you pick up the receiver, the base stays on the table. Our old phone was flimsy as heck - and was always 'coming with' the handset whenever you picked it up to answer a call. I never realized how much that deeply annoyed me till I had a 'phone that doesn't do that.
It has a programmable 'telephone book' (via the LCD screen) so you can programme in your most commonly-used numbers to save time. (I understand that to mobile phone users, this kind of feature is probably quite old hat but it's quite still exciting for me). It's also a Caller Display-compatible phone: you do need to subscribe to Caller Display via your existing phone line provider / company (and as it turns out once you've got the phone, this service is often free - my phone provider Talk Talk, for example, adds on Caller Display for free with the phone / internet package I'm currently on). Then when someone calls you up, it says on the LCD what number it is that's ringing you, and then you can make an educated decision as to whether to answer the call or not!
This is wonderful technology indeed. Now I will never have to talk to any of the people whose interference at the weekend led to the trashing of our previous 'phone! Peace of mind, at last.
I do have a slight worry about how 'hungry' it's going to turn out to be for the old AA batteries, but if it'll accept rechargeables - I don't know yet but I hope it will - I will be positively ecstatic with delight.
As if this wasn't enough, the phone also has a volume control, an LED that tells you when it's ringing, a hands free option, a number redial button, it takes 1571 messages (not so good from my point of view, this) and it also has something called a 'secrecy' function (though I don't know what that is, yet).
All this for £22. The BT Decor phone might not look like much, but for what it does for what it costs, I think it's fantastic. I'm really pleased with this.
We recently went to Currys in search of a new corded telephone. The previous one was on its last legs (literally, part of the base had snapped off and it was wonky). My only requirements were that it be reliable, simple to use and have speakerphone facility.
The latter was particularly important to me. We regularly use the phone for conference calls, so it is vital that the speakerphone element had adequate volume and was clear, because we have lots of background noise in our house!
The BT Decor 1200 stood out on the shelf because it was reasonably priced at £20 and had all the features I wanted. the buttons were nice and big and bold and I liked the fact that it was made by BT, because you know the product will be good quality.
The BT Decor 1200 is white and has several features:
Last number redial
ring indicator light
10 quick dial memory
Variable ring volume
Touch tone dialling
1571 network message detection (only on BT)
The phone came boxed, with a detailed instruction booklet. It had a free lithium battery which powers the internal memory, such as stored numbers.
For me, the phone has been really easy to use. I just put the lithium battery in, and plugged it into the phone socket in the wall. You can vary the volume of the ring to quite loud, so there is no need to miss a call. The speakerphone element, an essential part for me, exceeded expectations, as I was able to manually increase the volume of the speaker. I must admit, many of the other functions on the phone are superfluous, and beyond what I really need. I don't bother with the quickdial function, as I already know the numbers of my closest friends and family and can key them in quickly anyway. I can't use the 1571 message detection system, as I am with Virgin Media and they don't support this function. I make good use of the redial button, as it is particularly useful when you are trying to get through to the doctor and the line is constantly engaged.
The only problem I have had with the phone has been when I have used the 1471 facility to see who has called me. The voice is broken and I can't always make out the number. this is a real pain if the number is unfamiliar, as the voice sometimes misses out several digits!
Overall though, I can't grumble about this phone. It ticks all the boxes for me. It is nice to look at, simple to use and has all the functions I need. I like the control I have over the ring volume and speaker volume. I have had it several months now and have had no issues with it at all.
Boxed weight 1.4KG
Item model number 024863
This product does not need an additional electrical power source, as it does not have an answering machine function.