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I bought this phone when I moved into a house with 6 of my friends at the start of my second year of University; obviously, as students and boys, spending large sums of money on a Home Phone was not of great concern to us - mostly I insisted we get a Home Phone so we got the most out of the Virgin Line Rental we were paying for - so we went for the cheapest option, from a reputable brand.
Personally I think I fall into the middle ground with regards to how I feel about this phone; I don't hate it, however nor do I think it is worthy of 4 stars. If it were possible I would give it 2.5, however I will give it 3 as I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
It's first selling point is the price - easy to pick up from £5-15 on sites like Amazon or Ebay or £+ - 20 from the BT Shop or other retailers; the related downside however is that I don't actually believe they still in production, and so most on the market (even in BT Shop) are graded or refurb models - meaning they will be harder and harder to find, and less and less supported by BT.
Physically it is quite neutral; I am neither pleased by how light it feels nor do I think the weight reflects that it is 'tat'. It is light because it's, neutrally coloured and neutrally shaped, plastic shell hides the workings of a very basic digital-age phone. The button design is basic, as it the layout; it is designed for the few functions it performs to be as simple as possible to perform.
The aforementioned functions are pretty much an address book (that stores 50 names and numbers), the ability to choose from a limited selection of rings and beeps, call waiting, caller ID, and - not to forget the best of all - the handset locator button on the base, that makes the handset emit a shrill noise so that it can be located....fun times returning home at 3am to see that one of my friends had inadvertently left the handset in their room when they had made a call before going to sleep. (Haha)
Functionally it is easy to use - possibly because it has few functions - aided by what I thought was a clear and well worded manual. It also aides operations by having helpful, if shrill and annoying, alerts such as its out of range alert, running low on battery alert, and inputting error beep. Though I never tried it, the DECT wireless linking of up of 4 bases is apparently straight forward.
With regards to call quality, I tend to agree with others who have noted that it is quite poor; infrequently the line does become distorted, or the caller becomes faint, however the majority of the time it is clear enough. Though, given that this phone is purely designed to be a phone rather than an all singing all dancing gadget, it is quite a let down.
Overall, though let down by poor call quality - which is it's prime function, this basic phone is quite good and all the average person really needs for a home phone; testament to this conclusion is that I am no longer at University and I still own and frequently use it.
The BT Studio 3100 handsets - better than my last ones!
I've had these handsets for about a year now and I am quite pleased with them. Although there are some limitations to their features for the price (£14.99 in Tesco's) I feel they have been great.
Both handsets and bases are light silver in colour with a darker silver/grey shade buttons. All buttons have white writting/digits so they do stand out well.
The handsets have a LCD display that you can set the time to be displayed constantly, along with battery power & signal symbols to show energy and strength. They are also light weight to hold - particularly useful when the caller tends to like to talk!!
Under this display panel are 3 buttons for secrecy (hmm have never trusted this feature on any phone, after my friend being caught out) a pause / redial buttton & Menu button.
The Menu button takes you through several optionals, these are:
*** the phonebook**** - that allows you to store family and friends
**** setup **** - this lets you change the base volumes, melody, delete handset (if you want to re-configure the settings) PIN code (to set a code to restrict use), dial mode (to give different tones to the phone), default button that allows you to return to the manufactors settings.
**** handset**** - this allows you to set the ringtones to a choice of your own - although these are fairly limited there are several that are good to listen to. You can also adjust the volume tones of each hand set separately. I have found this function really useful - the handset downstairs can be set at a higher volume but the one in the bedroom is a lower softer tone.
**** data / time **** - this is self explanatory - I have found this function really easy to use so again a plus for this product.
****The Bases ****
Both bases are again light in wieght. There is a 'find-me' button that has great positives in a house that teenager children live - how many times do they take the phone to their rooms and then lose them!!!
The leads on the bases are a good length and can be unplugged quickly if you need to discount one of the bases.
The internal ring feature is handy however, not on a positive note - again teenagers in bedrooms can abuse this feature.
All in all - I do think my BT Studio handsets have many advantages and I have certain found them easy to use.
They have been very reliable and certainly for the price a bargain.
Hope you have found this review helpful, thanks for reading
x hev (also on ciao)
Cheapest piece or tat I have ever had the misfortune to lay my hands on. My previous phone (not cordless or digital but only cost about £5) died a death when the ringer stopped working. So I went out with cash in hand to purchase a new digital phone. I wanted to go for a slightly more expensive one so that it would last but due to stock limitations I took the cheap option and sadly regretted it. The faults/issues with this phone are numerous but naming a few which I have had:-
- The choice of rings is limited and they are all shrill and piercing
- There is only one button to pick up or hang up on a call which is confusing
- All the buttons are grey with little distinction between them
- When talking the phone buzzes/crackles/echos and sometimes all 3 regardless how near or far from the base station I am
- It occassionally beeps for no reason I have yet discovered (not battery as it is in the base stand when this happens)
- The light on the base to indicate when there has been a missed call is small and green, which I find difficult to see unless I am stood right by the phone
On the positive side you can actually hear what the other person is saying when you call them/they call you. I haven't yet managed to wear the battery down although this might be due to shorter conversations as the sound quality is so poor. Worst of all I have lost the receipt so cannot even return this phone. What a waste of money.