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BT Studio 3500 Quad

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£42.99 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk Marketplace See more offers
1 Review

Caller display - answering machine - Caller ID - cordless - telephone book - 160 hours standby - 50 m indoor range - 300 m outdoor range - DECT

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      03.03.2009 14:41
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      Very disappointing

      My fiancé's mum bought this new set of phones as the last set was on its last legs, particularly the LCD displays.

      She chose them because they looked nice, as they're slim with a brushed silver type colour. She also bought this particular set because you get 4 handsets, which we need as there are quite a few rooms in the house so it's best to have a phone within easy reach. An added bonus is it has an answering machine, which has a pre-recorded message so you don't have to feel self-conscious about recording your own message (that's why the answering machine function was never used on the old set of phones!). The maximum recording time is 13 minutes, which is pretty good if someone wants to leave you a rambling message.

      We've had the phones a little while now and I can't say I'm a big fan of them. Although they're incredibly lightweight, so you could hold a long conversation (talk time is up to 10 hours 30 minutes) without feeling like you've lifted weights down the gym, they feel a bit too plastic and cheap. The buttons however are a decent size and need just the right amount of pressure to activate, so you can quickly dial a number but you're unlikely to accidentally press one by mistake whilst on the phone.

      They sit in the charger unit at a very low 45° angle, almost slouching, so that when you replace the handset you sometimes miss the cradle and it slides off. I would prefer it to stand straighter in the charger unit so that it would be easier to grab the handset. This design would also mean the charger unit could be made smaller than its 5 x 3.5 inch dimensions, so it would take up less surface space.

      A standard plug powers each charger unit and the wire is 2.5 metres long which is handy if your socket is quite far away from where you want to put your phone. The handsets each take 2xAAA rechargeable batteries, which are included. The standby time is 160 hours, which is very good if you forget to replace the handset to the charger unit to recharge.

      I also don't like the LCD display, as the numbers/letters are made up of small thin black lines against a greyish background so they're not very easy to read. I therefore am not very confident that the display panels on these phones will have much longevity.

      The worst part about the phones though is the 5 ring tones - they are all horrendous! When you enter your phone numbers to save them onto the handset you can select which ring tone you want and it plays the ring tone you have selected. This is fine if you're only entering one phone number, but my fiancé's Mum had about 20 numbers to enter onto each separate handset (you can store up to 50 numbers) so all we could hear for about 4 hours was this aggravating beeping which sounded like she was playing an 80's computer game! So she was annoyed that the phones didn't have the facility to copy all the names and numbers she'd entered into one handset and transfer them into the other handsets phonebooks. We thought it would have this capability because when she set the time and date on the main handset (the one that sits in the answering machine base unit) it managed to change the time and date on all the other handsets.

      The instructions weren't very clear or easy to follow and you have to go through quite a few menus on the handset to change the settings. You can also have an additional 3 handsets linked up, but my fiancé's Mum was so put off by the complicated instructions that she hasn't done this yet.

      They claim the range of the phones is up to 300m outdoors and 50m indoors between the base unit and the handsets. We haven't tried them outdoors yet, but I have found the line is quite crackly when I use a handset located upstairs and the base unit is downstairs. The advantage of DECT phones (Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology) is that there should be less interference, particularly if you have a wireless Internet network, but I think these phones are worse than the last set we had in terms of clarity.

      The only thing I do like is that when you transfer calls from one handset to another (something we do quite a lot), you can have the handset set to 'auto answer' which means as soon as you pick up the handset from the charger unit it will answer the call. To transfer a call is very simple and here is an example of how it works:
      1) The phone rings due to an external caller
      2) Someone downstairs answers the phone and they press the INT button and the number of the handset that they want to transfer the call to, e.g. someone upstairs
      3) The selected handset upstairs will ring (you can select a different ringtone for internal calls)
      4) The person upstairs picks up their handset to answer the call and the person downstairs is cut off the line. If the person upstairs doesn't answer then the person downstairs can retrieve the call.
      5) There is also the option to 'invite' other handsets to the conversation, so you can have a three or four way call.

      Overall I wouldn't recommend these phones, as there are too many annoying features and not enough useful ones.

      Bought from Amazon for £74.34

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