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When we moved into this house two and a half years ago, the first thing on our shopping list was a cordless phone set. The existing landline phone was a bit knackered, and I found this twin set in a sort of discounted store called B&M Homestores (I'm unsure if they are national) for £20 and thought I'd grab a bit of that!
Ultimately, I am glad I did; before starting this review, a quick look told me these are generally sold for a lot more than that, although as always shopping around should be done. The phone is pretty simple to use, and does what it says on the tin - makes and receives calls, and records messages. This is all I'm looking for in a landline phone, although of course this does have a few other things I enjoy. Having read the technical data available here for this model, there are things I have not mentioned. This is simply because I have used this as a bog standard phone. My review is based on my experiences only but I would recommend reading through the tech info though, it is full and covers everything.
The phones themselves are a neutral colour, which matches in with my decor perfectly, and they have a small footprint so take up next to no space. I do however dislike that they need to be plugged into the mains at all times in order to work (and for the internet to work). This is my first cordless phone set, and I must admit I did not know it would require a power socket before I bought it (you can't see me, but I'm blushing)! Since sockets are at a premium in our house this was a bit of a snag, but we got there. Luckily the small size of the bases meant positioning this where it literally had to go wasn't really a problem. The cable lengths are excellent though, giving you loads of scope for placement.
The buttons are a soft smooth rubber and to begin with, they were easy to press. Now however, some of the buttons on the downstairs handset are really dodgy. You have to sit on them practically to get the phone to register the press! This started off with the digit 3 some months ago (too soon in my opinion), and now is affecting some of the other keys. This handset does get a lot more use than the other though, and we have solved this simply by switching them around. The buttons on the phone include the numbers 0-9 (also labeled with the alphabet for inputting directory entries, of which you can have 20), your green call and red end call buttons, two '-' buttons one of which refers to the on screen menu and the other can be used to dial the other handset, like walkie talkies! This button can also be used to go back/cancel within the menu. You have a large button in the middle with up and down arrows, for cycling through menus; the up arrow can also be used from the main screen to show the last 10 incoming calls and the down arrow to show the outgoing calls. There is also a speaker phone, directory and redial button.
The inbuilt answer machine is very handy, and of course saves having to buy (and find space for) a separate one. This was a feature I was really pleased to read of on the box. You get the typical flashing envelope symbol when you have a voice message, but it is small and sometimes hard to spot. A beep/ring would be handy, like you get with mobiles or from the 1571 service. Accessing the answer machine is easy though, you simply scroll through the menu and follow the options to 'play message'. I find I have to turn the phone over and put it quite close to my ear to hear the message clearly, as the speaker is on the back.
The screen is LCD (lights up an orange colour) and it displays whether you are in range and the battery status. Other things on the screen include what number handset it is, the menu symbol and the message symbol. Looking at the technical data on here for this model, it states the max range as being 50m; it then states 300m for outdoors, I think this means if there is a clear line of sight i.e. no walls or other interference. I tested this once by putting the handset in my pocket and taking the dog to the field behind our house (definitely not 300m away) and I was out of range. In any case, it works perfectly well all over our 3 bedroom house and out in the garden, as well as out on the street. This is, I think, the best thing about a cordless telephone - chatting doesn't mean you have to stop whatever you are doing! You also get caller ID with this phone, which I love. You can instantly see whether it's someone you want to talk to or not, or if you are super busy you can choose to answer only if it's someone/something potentially important.If someone in your directory calls you, their name will flash up on the screen, just like a mobile. Otherwise it's just the number (if available).
I find the battery life on these is pretty good. We often forget to put the handset back in the cradle, and so long as it's not used loads it's fine for a couple of days. Often I have received a call and when I've picked the handset up the battery status symbol has been empty and I've thought it would cut out midway through the call, but it has not. The batteries charge every time the handset is placed on the base. The other feature I like, which ties in with always forgetting to place it back on the base, is the find button. Each of the cradles has a button labeled find, with an icon of a telephone. If you have misplaced a handset, you press this button on the appropriate cradle and the handset will emit a beep, helping you to find it. It should be noted though that the main cradle will always look for handset 1, so since we have swapped our handsets to have number 2 in the main cradle downstairs, we need to remember this.
Overall, this is a very decent cordless phone. It is inoffensive to look at, comfortable to hold and does fulfill its duties with some functional and easy to use extras added in. However, I do think the quality is not quite up to what one would expect from BT. And from some of the current selling prices. Had I never used this before, I would be confident paying some of the more expensive prices for it (If I was in the market to spend that much on a home telephone), putting my faith in the BT label. But, having experience of it I would not recommend buying it unless you're getting the twin set for £20 or less all in. I am happy with the phone we got for the price we paid, if we had paid more I would have been disappointed at the lack of longevity in the buttons.
The 335 is a reasonable choice as a wireless home phone, and for this basic function it seems to hold its own.
The 335 features a good speakerphone, with the speaker on the back of the phone. The earphone is o.k., tough can be a bit soft at times.
The base is very light, and with the phone 'docked', both a liable to tip over if knocked.
The answer phone is relatively simple to use, though the ringer seems to have a mind of its own - I have set it to keep to 2 rings, yet it regularly rings 8 or more times. The display does show if you have a new message, but the indicator is tiny - you have to pick up the phone and peer at it.
The buttons have a soft feel, but are well spaced, so you always hit the right button.
The best feature of the 533 when you buy a set with more than one handset is the intercom system - you can ring the other phone, and this works very well.
I had my old house phone for nearly 10 years, and it was brilliant When it came to replacing it, I wanted a similar one, and so opted for this model. My only specifications were that it was cordless, with answer machine, and phonebook. After talking to someone in the shop they recommended this one, and as it is made by BT I assumed it would be of good quality so I took it.
To look at the phone is quite bland, being a brown/grey colour it blends in quite well to neutral walls! The buttons are fairly large and white, they are rubbery, and this does cause a little frustration when pressing them as it doesnt always pick up that you have pressed the button. You have the normal 1-0 number keys, the # and * keys, the answer and hang up keys, a loud speaker key, a phonebook key, a call list and redial key and 2 menu keys. The screen lights up when the handset is in use and displayed on the screen is your personal message, the battery life, the answer phone symbol, the signal strength and the 2 menu icons.
In the menus you will find, answer machine, call list, directory, BS settings (Base). HS Settings (handset), registration and reset options. Each of these options help you to personalize your phone, from ring tones to phonebooks, there are 5 different ring tones to choose from, nothing fancy.
To use, this is a very basic phone. The sound quality is ok, but I do find it can dip in and out sometimes. There isnt a caller ID option, which I found quite odd as most phones seem to have this nowadays. The battery life isnt great, I find that if Ive forgotten to put it back on the base after an hour the battery is nearly dead! When you do remember to put the phone back in the base, it makes a 2 toned noise to let you know its charging, this is very handy as sometimes it doesnt sit right. It takes 2 rechargable AAA batterries which are easily replaced via a panel on the back.
The answer machine is not on the base, its contained in the handset. It doesnt have a flashing light or a noise to let you know there is a message waiting, you need to pick the handset up and look at the answer machine symbol on the screen, if its flashing on anf off you have a message. To listen to the message you go into the menu, select answer machine, play message and then choose an option for what you what to do with the message. I find this the worst feature of the phone, I dont always check my handest when I come in, so it could be hours before I realise I have a message, a light on the base or a bleeping noise is a much better design as featured on most other phones.
I bought this phone when it was half price, as a quick and cheap replacement, i really would be annoyed if I had paid full price for it, and I will be buying a different one in the near future.
It is a basic phone, not worth the full price tag!
Call your BT Freestyle 335 from wherever you are and listen to and manage your messages when you are away from home.
|Product Description:||BT Freestyle 335 - cordless phone - answering system with caller ID|
|Product Type:||Cordless phone answering system with caller ID|
|Cordless Phone Standard:||DECT|
|Call Services:||Caller ID, Call Transfer|
|Display:||LCD display - monochrome - Yes|