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As the headline says, this is a good cheap phone. I never really use it, though, except to dial 0800 numbers - I only bought it when I had home broadband installed. Originally I wanted to get one of those retro-style phones with the old-style finger dialler, but they cost a fortune, so I got this instead. It does everything it needs to do, really. It's easy to use, the buttons are nice and big, the ringtone's nice and loud and can be adjusted (and even when the ringtone's silenced you've still got a flashing light to tell you somebody's phoning you). You can only store up to ten numbers in it, but that's not such a big issue for me - I doubt there's ten people who I'd be phoning that regularly from this phone. It's basic, and it's not cordless, but it does its job for me, and it does it cheap and effectively.
Some phones are designed with all the whizzy features, with the ability to change ring-tones, look at the last ten thousand callers and save addresses and some phones are designed for calling people. This falls into the latter category.
That said, it is designed to be accessible and is very good for those with extra needs. A red LED light on the top flashes when the phone rings to let you know, even if you can't hear it (and it is also hearing aid compatible). Large numbers make the phone easy to use even if you struggle to see, and it'seasy to tell when you're pushing them down even if your fingers are a bit creaky.
With only a ten number memory it's never going to compete with the newest whizzy phone but it is a phone my nan could happily use without worrying. It has a nice loud ring (which does turn off with a switch if you need), attaches to the wall to take up less space, and of course, being corded, isn't going to be misplaced and will still work in powercuts. Sure, it doesn't have a built-in answer phone but at less than a tenner you can use 1571.
At the start of year when too many call centres were calling me at home, I hastily slammed down my old Siemens DECT phone and inadvertently broke the hand set, but I was at two minds whether to consider getting it repaired or wait in the sales for something a bit more modern. As it turned out, the future replacement from BT with the Duet 20 made life easy once more for reliable landline call performance, even if it meant being restricted from the cord to the phone compared to a cordless phone. In time though I couldn't live without my Siemens cordless phone as it meant I could do multiple tasks whilst being left on hold with business calls. Here is where my trusty and more recent purchased Panasonic cordless phone came into existence!
At the back of my mind I had a feeling that the phone at our holiday home needed replacing after its 11 years of reliable service and thought that the Siemens would be the perfect replacement if it got repaired. By the time the Siemens DECT phone arrived, our holiday home had a few power cuts due to the location and nearby power lines being brought down by the weather. Often if it isn't the power that is being cut off, it is Vodafone signal and there is nothing worse than being cut off if your home has a cordless landline phone alone!
The Price, The Product & The Promise
A quick visit to the local private hardware shop in town for another corded phone came at a rather cheap cost of £10-99 for the BT Duet 210, a model that seems to have replaced the best selling Duet 20. This is a simple, white 2 piece gondola handset phone that still carries BT's excellent but simple idea of including a handy red LED on the handset to show when a call is coming through. Unlike other brands that produce cheaper handsets at probably half the price, such convenient features are missing and the BT Duet 210 also has a handy ringer button located on top of the handset as opposed to the side with the older Duet 20. Being a basic handset means it has the usage of a total of 3 REN phones, allowing you to add this phone to an existing household that has 2 landline phones. Amazon UK is currently selling the BT Duet 210 at a rather reasonable £9-99 now, which is still pretty good for what is being offered here.
General Impressions & Design
Out of the signature blue BT packing box, the BT Duet 210 feels and looks like a well made phone for the price. However the colour is white with grey/black decals on them and the only colour you do get is from BT's own tiny rubberised emblem badge located on the top half of the handset. There is a very finely packed ribbed cable with a mini micro-chip insert for the phone to the cradle but unlike the Duet 20, the single cable works both ways with one end for the handset and the other end has a bonded telephone socket bonded to the flatter part of the cord intended for the mains telephone socket. As usual with so many of these types of phones on the market, the telephone cable can be smartly locked in on the base due to inner runner walls that allow the cord to be locked in. A mix of smooth surfaces and a slight tactile surface of dimples gives this phone a rather matt like finish and I was pleased to find that all of the buttons on the phone have a good and medium to large clarity where all the functions are concerned. Unlike the BT Duet 20, the Duet 210 has flush square buttons in so far as a numerical key pad and two buttons on top to choose "redial" or "mute" and two further buttons after the keypad for "recall" and "quick dial." A memory of 10 numbers can be saved on this phone and on the base of the gondola cradle you get a 10-menu "write on" pad for recording telephone numbers assigned to the quick dial function. Lastly on the base, three wall mountable hanging slips are also added with plasplugs and screws also supplied.
General Performance & Downsides
Initially when I started using the BT Duet 210 I began to wonder whether my phone had a defect as the calls that came through didn't light up on the handset from its frosted panel. The three-position ringer for "high," "low" or "off" gives off a reminiscent electronic ringer that is neither appealing nor annoying and I was beginning to wonder if the phone was defective. If ever you wanted to test the phone line on this phone, an LED light on the handset is the perfect way to check for any current, regardless of whether you can hear any difference in the actual speech quality both hearing calls and generally speaking in conversation! Thereafter when a BT engineer checked out the BT phone line, a fault had occurred from the previous local power cut and the line was promptly fixed! Thereafter, the phone handset's light has appeared whenever a call comes through. The ringer button is flush on top of the handset, clearly marked and even has a ribbed top on it, where logically any finger will grip the plastic easily to change the setting.
In general use, the BT Duet 210 is slightly smaller than the BT Duet 20 but it feels very light in my hand with a beautiful tactile curve that feels like it is moulded to my hand. The cord isn't very long but I am more delighted to find that the ribbed cord on the handset itself doesn't tangle up compared to the BT Duet 20. I am more pleased with the fact that the buttons, when pressed have a lovely soft touch quality to them, which don't make much of that plastic-against-plastic noise whether I am dialling slowly or quickly and the pad can handle a mix of slow to fast dialling without hesitation. The 210 model definitely feels better made than the 20 model and yet whilst the Duet 20 has a general weight of nearly 500 grams, the Duet 210 has a general weight of 450 grams, being far lighter in the hand, perfect for those who don't want a heavy handset - particularly if you have to hold onto it if you have been put "on hold."
Where speech quality is concerned, the BT Duet 210 is also as good as the last. There are no imperfections due to the landline that this phone is plugged in and I generally find that the phone is loud and quiet enough whenever it used. In short, it is reliable, easy to use and very simple to use. It is everything that I require from a landline phone with the line breaker button also located on the inner part just below the ear speaker.
Due the curvier shape, the BT Duet 210 is easier to clean off with a damp cloth should any dust or dirt accumulate around it.
If you need a basic corded landline telephone that doesn't shout excess design but feels good quality with an equally excellent speech quality, the BT Duet 210 is well worth considering. Though plain white in colour, it has a great array of controls all grouped together with excellent clarity and slightly bigger, more flush fitting buttons that have gone before. Tie in the cheap price and general design, and the BT Duet 210 is very reliable, even if the electronic call ringer has that standard 1980's quality about it. End of the day, it is a great and reliable phone and it does exactly what it promises. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2013.
This was the first house phone we bought when we bought the house and we didn't have much money. It cost us around £15.00 about six years ago. We bought a package that included TV, internet and phone with free calls so we thought it would be silly not to get a phone. When we changed the decor in the front room we upgraded our phone to a more modern one. When my grandma's phone broke, this was brought out of hibernation and she now uses it as her main phone. Not bad for a 6 year old phone!
==Price and availability==
The cost of the phone these days has been reduced to £10.75 and it is for sale from Amazon.
The phone looks very different to the modern cordless ones but it is still quite a snazzy phone and it looks modern due to the curved design. The phone is white plastic and slim. The handset is curved and fits snugly onto the base. The buttons are on the reverse of the handset so you pick up, dial and then hold the phone to your ear. On the outer casing of the phone there is a button to adjust the ringer and there is a little red light that glows on and off when the phone rings. The base of phone has a plastic section where you write down phone numbers or you can write a list that reminds you which number is on speed dial. The phone has a capacity to store 10 numbers, however I have not used this feature and my grandma certainly has not taken advantage of it. The phone is corded, this is an average length so it does not get in the way.
The phone is perfect for those people with hearing aids as it has a built in induction loop.
This is truly reliable phone that is really easy to use. It is nicely curved so it is comfortable to hold and hear. I have the benefit of being able to say that I have talked on this phone and received calls from it. When making calls the phone sounds clear and crisp and similarly when my gran has called me, I have heard her loud and clear. The only problem to note is that occasionally she pushes a button with her cheek and this sounds on the line. The handset is light and comfortable to hold, with time though the white shell has become stained and it is starting to look a bit grubby. My gran uses a little bit of Cif lemon to try and remove the stains but they are still there. White plastic will darken over time and has had quite a bit of sue over the years.
The light up button is a useful feature if you do not want to be disturbed with the ringer. Although fairly small, it's flashing will alert you to a call so you can take the call or let it ring off before dialing 141 to find out who it was.
It is a shame that they do not make phones as robust as they used to, this one is going really strong and there has never been any complaints.
Overall - A good piece of kit with a nice design and it does what it says on the box.
10 number memory
Last number redials
LED call indicator
Can be wall mounted
Hearing aid compatible
|Product Description:||BT Duet 210 - corded phone|
|Product Type:||Corded phone|
|Speed Dial Capacity:||10|