BT VERVE 450+ TWIN Home Phone
We bought these phones a couple of years ago and have been pretty happy with them. They are reliable and functional and do pretty much everything you want from a decent home phone. We keep the main one downstairs and the twin in our bedroom. The phone is also an answer machine which has 15 minutes recording time.
The handsets are black and fairly slim-line (about 1cm thick), They are rectangular in shape and have a fairly decent sized screen at the top half of the phone. This screen shows you which phone it is (main phone or twin) and you can name them if you like - ours are uniquely called upstairs and downstairs, this name is shown clearly on the screen. The screen also shows the time, date and how much battery life is left. There are many other symbols which may appear depending on what functions you have activated. The handset has fairly large dial buttons to the bottom of the set with a middle section containing various functions buttons you may need during or before you make a call.
There is a facility to store up to 200 numbers in the phone (accessed by button on handset), this used to be a handy option but with our children now having their own mobiles I think they rarely use the house phone unless they have to answer it.
Other handy features include:
Redial - accessed by a button on the handset
Call list - shows list of numbers that have dialled your house, again access by a button on the handset
Call timer - shows how long call has taken on screen
Ringer and handset volume control
SMS text messaging service (may cost)
Long battery life - approx 10 hours talking or 100 hrs standby
option to add a further 3 phones to system
This phone has never let us down but now we find that the battery life is very much reduced and if we forget to place the phones back into the cradles they can die quite quickly. If we are stupid enough to do this to both phones (which has happened in the past) we have no way of answering a call. Is it time to replace the phone or the battery? Cost may decide this for us.
Lovely looking phone and when we first got this to replace a very expensive Samsung home phone I was delighted with the way it felt to hold and use.
Everything was great with the BT Verve for the first year and then the main downstairs handset would start cutting out after about 5 minutes of use. This didn't happen all the time but often enough to make it only usuable when left on the docking station and used as a speaker phone. Eventually the same happened with the second handset so I replaced both batteries and everything was fine for about a week before the symptoms came back. I can only assume the charging unit in the base was faulty so decided it was time to cut my loses and go for a different make.
While it was working as it should it was a good phone, with clear sound and a really impressive range (way over the 100m claimed) before the signal warning beep kicks in. If it works it's great, if not then it can have you tearing your hair out in frustration.
Poor manufacturing on this model has put me off BT phones for life.
After years of using an absolute rubbish cordless phone, my family and I were thrilled to recieve these phones as a Christmas present! As son as we unwrapped them I was plugging them in.
They were very easy to install and get working. Surprisingly it only took me about 2 minutes to get them up and running. The phones themselves came part-charged so there was no problem if you needed to use it ASAP.
The answer machine was very simple and easy to use, by pressing one button you can easily record and re-record your answer phone message. The main phone dock has the answer machine on it and also has a quick push button to turn the answer machine on and off.
Included on the phone is a contact list where you can store all your important numbers so you can call them easily at the push of a button. The buttons are a good size so you can press them without pressing six at a time!
The phone also has lots of different choices for ringtones and sounds as well as a range of volumes to suit you.
Overall we have loved this phone and think it's one of the best Christmas presents we've ever got!
I bought this phone a couple of weeks ago, this being the first DECT phone that I have used. In general the phone has been excellent and easy to use with no real problems. Upon opening the box, which was well packaged, all of the components were easy enough to put together. It was simply a case of marrying them up and turning on the switch to power the bases up. From there the phones were set up.
The general look of the phone is what attracted me to the phone; moving away from the previously "in" white colour being adopted for these types of consumer electronics, to provide a sleek finish whilst being discreet and not too imposing wherever you decide to place the handsets. The handset is well designed, with clear big buttons and a display which illuminates when in use. The battery life, I found on the phones seem to be really good, with the second handset; I tend to charge this every 3-4 days without any lapses in power between.
Navigating the menus are easy enough and shouldn't prove too much of a problems for those of you who are savvy enough with using a mobile phone. The ringtones are the standard type really with the normal variances on the "ring-ring" and a few unexciting polyphonic ringtones. The answer machine is like any other really with the important required functions. The only gripe I would have is that the address books are not accessible from both handsets. I input numbers into the second handset and could not access from the main, so would be a pain to input two sets of the same number.
The quality of signal of the phone is never an issue, although I've never had to take to the limits of its range. In this case, as with most DECT phones, the quality of the line is good, but not great.
All the standard features are there to see if you decide to buy the product. We managed to save around 20 pounds, on a price reduction that Argos were doing at the time.
In all, it is an excellent handset for the price and the slim, glossy, looks ensure it does not look out of place and garish.
We've had a BT-branded cordless DECT* phone combined with an answering machine for quite a while now, although it's had one or two annoyances right from the start.
a) Unless you bought the in-line battery pack, and kept it serviced with 6 AAs every year, the answering machine loses its messages during a power cut.
b) The handset's rechargeable battery pack didn't seem to hold a decent charge for very long, requiring frequent replacement.
Other than that, the Siemens-sourced Diverse 1015 has been a strong performer, if a little industrial in its slate-grey appearance, like a dashboard from the Volkswagen Audi Group.
* (Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephone)
Whilst tidying up the bedroom the other day, we concluded that the existing corded phone was a bit of a menace, as it was too easy to pick the phone up in the dark pulling the entire contents of the bedside table with it, whips, silk ropes, harnesses, spare batteries, Ovaltine, Viagra**, the lot, and so we latched onto the idea of buying a twin-station DECT/answering machine arrangement.
** (One helps me sleep; the other stops me rolling out of bed)
'Thanks' to a failing dishwasher, we chanced to be in the 'big' Currys on The Great West Road, hub o'da yoonyverse innit, and decided to bury the cost of the new phone alongside the somewhat higher cost of the new SMEG dishwasher which must at least bring a hint of a snigger to Red Dwarf fans.
The BT Verve 450 Twin was what we bought, although I see from subsequent price searches, we 'were done' by Currys having been charged the full BT RRP of nigh-on 80 quid and during a January sale to boot. That'll teach me to make impulse buys!
Leaping straight to the 'leave this to me, who needs instructions?' approach we did indeed get us most of the way to a working duet of cordless phones, but that's about as far as you'll get without the manual, since up to this point all you've had to do is identify which mains adapter belongs to the answering machine and which to the remote base station for the second phone (yes, they're different), plug them all in not forgetting the phone line (!) and hey presto, two cordless phones, both with dial tone when you press the green button.
p.s. Don't forget to remove the hatches for the cordless handsets' batteries as these are delivered disconnected and so need plugging in, otherwise that "20 hour period required for a full charge" is never going to start, let alone finish!
SYSTEM SET UP
Renting the Caller ID function from BT or whoever you pay your line rental to helps as this supposedly absolves you of the need to set the date and time - this is done apparently when the first call comes in. This is fine if you don't buy old stock or buy 'on the cusp' of a new year. This can lead to your answering machine reporting the correct time that calls were received but getting the day wrong. Don't rush to take it back as faulty - it's only the manual that's a little lacking in detail.
Caller ID only outputs date and time, not the year. Hence with a unit manufactured during 2007 and here we were in 2008, it thought that Monday was Sunday - so the book lies. You DO need to use the manual set up if only to check you're in the right year.
A full manual date/time setup is hardly any more difficult, in fact the whole Menu system of setting up via one of the handsets with a central thumb-pad and Back and OK keys starts to feel very 'mobile-like' and I'm sure that's deliberate.
Setting up one or both of the outgoing announcements is menu-driven, although there is a 'standard' "The person you are calling is not available at the moment....." pre-recorded in case you switch to answering mode, before making your own announcements.
I prefer to make my own otherwise it's difficult for callers to tell if this is an answering machine or the 1571 service. There is also an 'answer-only' mode for when you don't want, or aren't in a position to receive, messages
Since I last bought an answering machine combo, things have moved on. If an incoming call is from someone in your address book, the machine can tell you who it is. Of course, you have to 'populate' your address book, which is tedious to say the least even with a simple menu system. Fortunately, being a keen knitter my wife seems to relish such mindless work. I did read that some phones can 'borrow' the SIM card from a mobile to take some of the sweat out of this, but not the Verve 450. Mercifully, there's a very simple process for copying your hard-earned contact list to the other handset.
Amongst no doubt a myriad other DECT/Answering combos, it can even receive real SMS text messages in text, not that curious metallic voice that BT use on ordinary land lines when they are being sent a text.
Minor digression: A few months ago I was puzzling over a conundrum I'd been set by one of my colleagues. It was something like "Which London Underground station contains none of the letters of the word xyz (forgotten what it really was)." The answer was St. John's Wood - thinking I was replying to her mobile I sent "st johns wood" as text to her land line by mistake. I got a very puzzled call from her later on my voicemail which went something like "STREET John's Wood???"
Anyway, with a phone like the Verve 450, you can receive real SMS messages, not thinly-veiled threats from a Dalek.
Once you've decided on the content of your address book and whether you want a personalised recording there's very little else to do, all bar the tweaking.
Items like choosing a ring tone come to mind. Just like mobiles, this now comes with a selection, but unlike mobiles, where this was supposed to make your mobile stand out in a crowd, I can't see the point unless you just like annoying your partner by changing it every day......oh I don't know though.......
Either handset has full control of the system and can be used to listen to messages via its built-in speaker, or minor configurations like an update to the address book or toggling the answering machine on/off.
There's a separate button to make an extension-extension call (if I'm teaching Granny to suck eggs, I apologise, but this is my first two-station cordless phone) and reception between the two is excellent, even down in the jungle that is the far end of my back garden, some 200 feet away.
As with all DECTs, transmission to line is as clear as it can be until you lose reception altogether, unlike the previous breed of analogue cordless phones that always seemed to make 'shushing' noises as you rounded the corner into a new room and got fainter as you machete'd your way through the blackberries.
As with home networking and more specifically, wi-fi, any extra phones need to be given permission to share the encryption that the first two instruments have pre-programmed into them. This is a deliberate operation that only you can carry out, so this prevents ne'er-do-wells eavesdropping or worse still racking up international calls at your expense.
Incoming calls default to 6 ring-cycles (very Wagnerian, doncha think?) before going over onto the answering machine, although you can alter this delay. The instrument at this point shows a "Filtering?" sign to allow you time to pick up before the actual announcement cuts in - this is very useful when the caller display shows "Witheld" or "International" since it's five bob to a pinch of porcine excrement that this is a bloody call centre especially in the evening. Yes, I know about the Telephone Preference Scheme, but the initial honeymoon seems to be over, with this kind of call creeping back.
Messages left are clear and easy to navigate and/or erase, the entire machine menu being voice driven, not by me, but by a very authoritative lady hiding somewhere inside. Curiously, my previous Siemens/BT machine seemed to be driven by a Kiwi if her pronunciation of "Mode" was anything to go by - she never did get round to mentioning that coal comes in sex, but that would have been the clincher.
If I seem to be galloping through the operation stage, it's because it all seems very intuitive with clearly marked buttons on the base station and fairly obvious symbols and a clear screen on the instruments, and to be honest that's how it should be. After all, who wants to have to refer to the manual for everything?
One feature that many may find useful, especially those still with BT is a "BT" button which gives rapid access to service numbers like Directory Enquiries and exchange facilities like Call Divert.
Well, it's certainly less 'industrial' than my last one. If anything, the black gloss used for all parts seems a bit 'Samsung' if viewed as a compliment to their current mobile or TV range. The phrase 'scratch-magnet' comes to mind - it hasn't happened yet but the finish is no stranger to finger marks. The instruments are commendably slim and remind you of certain mobiles I could mention - as I said before, I think this is deliberate.
There's no provision for a 'pen clip' which could be useful for those that like to keep the phone with them. I'm thinking of my mother in law here, who bent over once whilst cleaning the loo and you can guess the rest. Strangely enough, and with nothing to lose, we dunked the phone into several baths of distilled water, and let it dry out naturally, after which it still worked!
The primary handset, i.e. the one on the answering machine can be charged lying down at the same jaunty 45 degree slope as the facia of the machine or more upright. The other handset must feel a bit left out - all it gets is a charger base to keep it alive, but there's no selection of positions, just an upright 'knee-trembler'.
15 minutes of recording time
200 stored numbers
Caller ID display holds the last 20 callers details and then 'recycles' the oldest.
Capable of handling a total of 5 handsets, i.e. three more.
Cordless range up to 300 metres outdoors or 50 indoors.
Can be used on a direct line or analogue switchboard extension.
Loudspeaking/hands-free facility on either handset
In general yes. I'm just peeved with myself that I didn't shop around, although I feel a little better now I've been in Tescos and found it at the same price. At least the young lady in Currys threw in the extended warranty for nowt!