Product Type: BT telephones
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BT Studio 4500 Twin
Member Name: Larrabee
BT Studio 4500 Twin
Advantages: Easy to use, good answerphone
Disadvantages: Bit ugly, not cheap
We've had the BT Studio 4500 twin cordless phones with answering machine as our main home phone for about a year now, and its generally been good value for money and hasn't caused any problems. The set of two phones is currently available on Amazon for around £40 which isn't exactly bargain basement price but its not too bad at all for what you get.
There are two identical handsets, one with a basic charging base unit and one with an answerphone base unit. The buttons on the handsets are clear, with the numbers and symbols big enough to be easy to see and press, there is a digital display which sometimes tells you the number that's calling you and sometimes doesn't, I have to confess I have no idea why it varies! The display on the handset will also tell you if there's a new answerphone message waiting for you.
The battery life of the handsets is very good, unlike my last BT phone which would run out of battery after about a 30 minute phone call, this lasts for a couple of hours of talk time and much much longer on standby, which is useful for if you need to be in a different part of the house from the phone but are waiting for an important call, which saves you dashing up and down the stairs or out of the garden every time the phone rings!
The sound quality of the phones is ok but not incredible. There is a volume control so you can adjust it to your comfort level but as someone with quite poor hearing I find that I need a quiet room and to listen very carefully sometimes even when the phone is at its highest vilume, depending on how good the connection is. The sound is generally clear, whatever the volume.
The answerphone is very easy to use, there is plenty of space for lots of messages and I've had up to 15 at a time stored on there after holidays etc. You can adjust the volume of the speaker for the answerphone which is handy, the sound quality of this speaker is very clear usually but of course can depend on the quality of the connection and the background noise on the other end of the call. A display tells you how many messages you have stored and flashes if there are any that are new.
The BT Studio 4500 has quite a few features that I haven't actually used but seem like they would be useful, such as an alarm clock, a phone book and conference calling facilities. If the ease of use of the features I have used is any indicator it should be pretty straightforward to use these too, although you may want to keep the instructions as its not immediately obvious just from looking at the base unit
These phones aren't the most stylish or attractive, they are a slightly old fashioned silvery-grey plastic and are definitely 'function over form', however they're small enough to be unobtrusive so don't bother you too much.
Summary: A decent quality phone that I'm expecting will last a good while
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