Product Type: BT telephones
Newest Review: ... play the correct melody. Another feature I have used occasionally is the text messaging service; I have BT option 3 so I get 100 texts fre... more
BT Stratus, sleek, modern and makes a good hammer.
BT Stratus 1500
Member Name: trayrope
BT Stratus 1500
Advantages: Cordless, lots of features,
Disadvantages: Could be a bit complex for some people.
The phones were as new and were very well packaged; all the packaging was made of card so easily recyclable. In the box were two handsets, an answer machine base, a charger base, two power adaptors 2 x rechargeable batteries for each handset and covers for the battery compartments.
The handsets are glossy black on the front and matt silver on the back. The handsets are flat on the front and rounded on the back so they are more comfortable to hold. The screen of each handset is black and the writing is displayed in white, the screen size is 2.1cm x 2.6 cm and the handset dimensions are L17cm x W4.5cm x D2.2cm.
The bases are also have a glossy black front and matt silver on the back, the answering machine charger base dimensions are L13cm x H8.5cm x D10.5cm and the handset charger base dimensions are L10.5cm x H10.5cm x D10.5cm.
On each handset the buttons are flat with rubber inserts inbetween each button is 0.5cm square. The buttons are easy to press, each one presses in with a small click and the phone makes a short beep, this beep can be turned off easily as it does get a bit annoying. In my opinion these handsets are not suitable for a person who struggles with there hands as they are quite sleek and the flat buttons could be awkward to press.
Getting started is quite simple, unpack the handsets, plug the chargers into power sockets, put the batteries in and place each phone on to the charger and leave for 24 hours for the first charge. The phones automatically assign them selves to each base.
Once charged you can plug the phone line into the answer machine base, as the other handset is a satellite to this and needs no phone line of its own, this makes them ideal if you do not have or want phone line extensions running all over the house. My answer machine base is in the lounge and my other handset is in the kitchen. It is recommended that the bases be placed quite high up and at least 1 meter away from any other electrical item as the phones work by sending radio signals between the bases and the handsets and this positioning will ensure the best signal.
The time and date needs setting up on each phone as this will tell you when each call came in.
Each handset has a 100 number phonebook, speed dial, a 10 number redial list, caller display (you need this service activating through BT) a 30 number call list, quick access to BT services such as directory enquiries, call diverting and call waiting (these are all BT services and are charged accordingly) and SMS (again you need this service activating on your line).
The handsets have a lot of features so I will go through the ones I use in more detail. The handset stores up to 100 names and numbers and these are all easily accessed by pressing the button on the top right hand of the phone, once pressed the screen lights up and you can scroll through all your contacts or jump to the one you want by pressing the number with the letter of the contacts first name on it (a bit like texting) once you have brought the contact up you can press the talk/dial button, it has a picture of a old fashioned phone handset on it. Pressing this button during a call will put the call on loudspeaker therefore enabling hands free. To end the call you press the end call button, this has a picture of an old fashioned handset on its base. During a call if you wish to mute yourself (incase you are yawning or saying mean things about the person you are on the phone too) you press the top right hand button to mute and again to unmute.
One of the features I like is that you can programme the phone to play a different melody for different people, there are 15 different melodies and when that person calls, for example my mother is flight of the valkeries, and the melody you have chosen for that person will play. I find this handy as sometimes I can say "oh that's my mother, I don't really feel like talking to her so I will let it ring and the machine can get it". If you have not assigned a melody to a person or the person is calling from a phone number that is withheld or unknown to the handset then it will ring the regular "ring, ring" melody.
If you receive a call from a person who you do not have the number of this can easily be saved by going to the last caller menu, highlighting the number and then selecting to save it to the phone book, you can then give it a name and a melody so next time they phone you know who they are.
If you do not have caller display a lot of the features of this phone are defunct as the phone needs to know who is calling so it can display the correct name and play the correct melody.
Another feature I have used occasionally is the text messaging service; I have BT option 3 so I get 100 texts free and while this function comes in handy it is not one I use regularly as I use my little mobile for texting. to text you need to open up the main menu, this is done by pressing the button on the top left hand side of the phone, you can then scroll through each menu till you get to text messaging, you select that menu and you are given the option to write text massage, inbox, templates, drafts and settings. Once you have selected write text message you ca then enter your message, there is no predictive text it is like using an old mobile from around 10 years ago, it is pretty slow going as the buttons do not make for gliding effortlessly letter to letter. Once your message is complete you can the press send, this opens up the option to enter the phone number manually or to go to the phone book and select one. Once the number is chosen you press send and your message goes whizzing off down the phone line. The phone also receives SMS and this is where the inbox comes into play, click on inbox and it brings up a list of all the messages you have received, you can then scroll through them and read, delete, reply or forward any messages. The draft part is where unsent messages go, templates has preset responses such as I am busy, please call my mobile etc... And the settings has the message centre number in and you can turn texting on or off in here.
The only time I have used texting is when I dropped my xperia in the washing up bowl and needed to communicate with the world my tragic accident, luckily the xperia dried out and all is right with the world again.
The phone has many features, you can set it as an alarm and easily access numerous BT services, I personally have only used the handsets for calls and texting, saving numbers to the phonebook, calling numbers from the phone book and just dialling numbers straight into the phone from my own memory.
Now for the answering machine, the machine digitally records up to 12 minutes of messages or up to 59 individual messages, unfortunately the maximum incoming message can only be 1 minute long so if someone calls you with a long message they will have to ring back and leave multiple messages.
All features can easily be accessed through the answering machine base and some of the features can be accessed through the handsets. The answering machine can be turned on through the handset in the answering machine menu, when switching the answering machine on you get the option to answer and record or answer only or turn off.
You can easily record your own answering machine messages through the handset menu, just scroll through the options till you get to record OGM and then press select and then put your best voice on and leave a message for your callers to hear, usually no matter how hard I try I end up sounding daft or I fluff it up, but luckily you can keep trying till you get the message you want. The answering machine message can also be set to answer without leaving messages, when you record this one just ask callers to phone you back later.
To scroll through your received messages is easy, you can press play on the handset or you can use the buttons on the base, the machine will then inform you that you (for example) have 2 new messages and 1 old message, using the buttons on the base or the shown options on the handset you can listen to your messages, skip through them, repeat them, delete them individually or as a group or just leave them on the machine, but remember you can only have 12 minutes worth otherwise the machine automatically switches to answer without leaving a message.
You can also choose how many times the phone will ring before the answer machine kicks in, this can be set anywhere between 2-9 rings. If like me you sprint for the phone set it to 9.
The answer machine base has a blue number displayed on it showing you how many messages you have received. 0 means you have no messages and 2 or more flashing means you have at least 1 new message on the machine.
The answer machine can be set up for remote access, personally have never used this but from what I have read in the manual it is a simple process, you need to set remote access up this is done by going to the answer machine menu on the handset, you then scroll to answer settings, remote access and then activate it.
Once activated you can then access your answering machine from any other touch tone phone, the default pin for all machines is 0000, I am assuming there is an option to change this pin when you dial the phone. Once into your machine you can then play your messages, delete messages or switch between answer only, answer and record or turn the machine off completely.
My own experience with this phone is that it is really easy to use, and once you have learnt the features it makes using the phone a much easier process. I don't think the phone set is suitable for the elderly as the buttons are flat and the phone itself is very smooth so could be difficult for someone with arthritis to handle. The glossy black finish is easy to keep clean but is unfortunately a dust magnet. I have had these phones for nearly a year now and the battery is still going strong. Occasionally I find the call quality a bit lacking as there is static or strange noises on the line. The distance I can potter around with the handset is really good even at the bottom of the garden, I had to squish myself in the hedge to get 60ft away and it was still good. The battery life is really good and I have on occasion left the handsets off the base for 48 hours before they needed charging. Another good feature is the page button, if you lose a handset you can press the page button and both handsets will beep until you find them and deactivate the beeping. The handsets can also be locked which is good when my nephew or nieces come as they like to play with the handsets and it is nice to know that they are not phoning the police while gnawing on the handset or using it as a hammer. You can also mute the phone while it is ringing, this helps if you have chosen to ignore the phone but flight of the valkeries is still wailing away in the background.
As far as the answering machine goes I have no complaints about the performance, I only use it on answer only now as I got sick of people listening to the outgoing message and then getting stage fright and putting the phone down without leaving a message, it is very annoying to get 5 messages of click bzzzzz, or the unfortunate message where my mother in law yelled at me "answer this phone, I can hear you don't think I can't".
My advices for this phone is don't be daunted by the big manual, get your hands on the phone and just find your way around it, it's only a phone it won't explode if you get things wrong. I have knocked a star off for the unessential features and the occasional patchy reception.
Thank you for reading my extra long review xx
Summary: I smart little set of phones that will allow you to communicate easily with friends, family and comp
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