Product Type: BT telephones
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'Batteries not included' would do the BT Stratus a big favour
BT Stratus 1500
Member Name: Pontyender
BT Stratus 1500
Advantages: Good range of features; Comfortable to use
Disadvantages: Shipped with low quality batteries; Some erratic handset display
You will have heard the old adage that some things get better with age, but would expect it to refer to something like a wine or a cheese, rather than a telephone.
The BT Stratus 1500 DECT Telephone with Answering Machine is one lucky so-and-so, as many of its pals from the production line will have long since been discarded by impatient owners at the end of their tether.
So what made mine out-live the rest, I hear you ask?
I wasn't any luckier than the other rabied reviewers of this product that the internet seems to be awash with.
I had the lock ups where none of its keys would respond; I had the memory loss where it suddenly reverted to its factory settings and I had the moments where the phone went completely dead.
I also had its box out on the kitchen table, with the Tesco receipt alongside it, in readiness for taking it for a refund.
I'd like to say that I decided in desperation to strip it down on the work bench and re-solder this, that and the other...but that would be stretching poetic license a bit too far.
While many followed the troubleshooting advice to take the batteries out and put them back in to reset the phone, few it seems took the radical step of actually putting some NEW batteries in!
The phone came with some pretty obscure rechargeable batteries inside it, that were only 550 mAh in capacity and I reckoned these were the likely culprits.
I tried a couple of branded Ni-MH AAA's that were double the capacity and the rest is history...there has only been the odd hiccup since, where the display flicks to factory settings for a few seconds after a phone call.
I'm relieved because, despite its quirks, I really like this phone...and intensely disliked the corded, retro 1930's alternative being suggested. It has a shiny, black front which is pleasing to the eye and a contrastingly rugged silver back that gives it a sturdier look. It is just the right length to span from ear to mouth and its smooth contours are comfortable to the hand. Throw in some good acoustics and the talking experience is a pleasant one. Judging by the phone bill, far too pleasant for my wife!
Its 100 number phonebook is ample for the residential customer and it has a 10 number redial list that can act erratically, omitting some and repeating others. All the usual features are supported and some others besides, the two I use most frequently being caller display and call barring. I have chosen to bar some of the numbers not inclusive of my calling plan, namely those beginning 07 and 09, which might come in useful if you also have children who don't know the meaning of 'keep it short'. The ability to send and receive text messages is an interesting extra, which some may want to look into with their network provider.
Answering machine messages can be retrieved either from the handset, the base or remotely. I find it easier to manage the messages from the base unit, as navigation of the handset menu isn't quick enough when trying to delete the hang ups. Although there is up to 12 minutes of recording time, the numerical display on the base unit can only show 9 messages. This digit will flash when there is a new message.
We put the handset back on the base unit when we don't plan to use it for a while, so standby hours are difficult to confirm, but my wife puts the talk time through some rigorous testing and she gives it a thumbs up. The operating range is very good; we've never lost signal despite using it out in the garden sometimes. A total of five handsets can be acquired and assigned to the base unit, although we only have the one.
Recommending it to someone else would be going too far, but as the phone's problems seem to have been caused by its batteries, I wouldn't talk anyone out of giving it a try...with the proviso that they put in a decent set before using it and only buy with a 12 month guarantee. Its issues seem to manifest themselves with plenty of warranty to spare, so just keep the original batteries on one side in case the phone does needs returning. Using a higher capacity battery may give the retailer the excuse to renege on the warranty.
* I have also written this review on Ciao
Summary: A good phone with the help of better quality batteries
|Ease of use:|
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