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Like most things today, you often have to buy things with features you don't want, need and will never use. That is the case with this set of cordless telephones.
So although this cordless duo has an answering machine and can identify who is calling you, I don't use either of those features, so I can't really offer an opinion on them. Nor do I use the intercom or transfer calls from one handset to another. More about these features later
I chose Panasonic as the phones I was replacing were Panasonic and I had been happy with them, plus I thought that the buttons and features would be the same, so I would not have to figure out how to set these up. I needed something I could do quickly as my mother was very ill and I needed to be sure we would hear and be able to get to the phone 24/7.
I also guessed that I would probably be able to register one of the old handsets that still worked and up the handsets to three. So hallway, kitchen and bedroom covered.
This is a two handset version, but you can buy them singly or in sets of three and four. I chose two as really I was simply looking for one handset as a replacement for the one I dropped in the washing up, and then dropped it on a tiled floor so I managed to finish it off.
For an extra £20 it seemed I could get a brand new set and what really sold it to me was that Panasonic claimed to have improved the sound quality which is the main thing I look for in a home phone.
There are two units, one is the base unit which is slightly larger and contains the answer machine, and the second is simply a handset that sits in a cradle, which holds them securely and they are also fit back easily.
They are a very shiny piano black finish and this version boasts a colour screen. The numbers and keys have vivid blue writing and are quite large. The keys are easy to read and the screen is quite clear around 2" in size, so is fine for me. This isn't up to mobile phone standards though.
The handsets have a standard phone layout with the keys laid out like a mobile telephone, so they are easy to navigate from the get go.
I have not used the answer phone as I don't need or want to. If I am at home and I don't want to take calls, I simply don't answer the phone. I use 1471 and then ring them back if it is someone I want to talk to. If someone desperately needs to speak, they will ring my mobile. Also the person who rings me most is my mother and no way would she leave a message on an answerphone!
If you do want to use the answer machine it can record 40 minutes of messages.
There is also the caller ID facility which allows you to see who is calling, however you have to have that service with your telephone provider. I don't subscribe to that.
You can also use the handsets as an intercom system, again something I don't need in my average size house, we simply shout.
Another feature is the eco button which saves on battery life, plus you can SMS message.
What I did notice when I was looking for the current price is there is also something called call barring. I can't find my manual to see how this works, but I assume you can enter telephone numbers that you don't wish to take calls from. Again not something I have used, but I may do now if I can figure this out, which without the manual may take some time as the menu structure and navigation through them is not a strong feature on this phone.
You can also transfer calls from one handset to another, again another feature I don't use as although I am sure it is easy, it is much easier to walk up or down stairs. The only problem is we end up with all the handsets in one room, which rather defeats the object of having several handsets.
To be honest I can't be bothered learning how to use the features.
What I do mostly is make and receive calls and these are by far the best cordless phones I have used as they are exceptionally clear and the sound quality is excellent. Even better than my previous model so for me that is exactly what I want from a home telephone, so 5 stars from me for sound quality. The handset is comfortable to use and the loudspeaker function works very well, so hands free does not sound like you are calling from the toilet which rather gives the game away to the person you are speaking to.
They also work out doors and there does not seem to be any reduction in the in sound quality. I don't have a massive garden, but I do make calls outside without any problem.
The people I call have commented on how clear the sound is, so Panasonic have got this spot on.
I think it is fairly easy with the help of the instruction manual. This model has the unit already registered to the base station, but if that does not work it is straightforward to do this manually. I successfully set this up and registered an old handset without too much difficulty. Just followed the steps in the manual.
The handsets need batteries and they seem to last for ages as I can't remember when I last changed them . Battery life while using the phone is not an issue as I often make and receive really long calls and the battery indicator barely changes. Similarly the phones hold their charge if you forget to put them back in their cradle after use. I would recommend changing or checking them the regularly though just in case the batteries deteriorate.
Adding contacts and telephone numbers is a little clunky and I do think this could be improved. I guess we are spoiled with how easy contacts are added to mobile phones. So having to type them in manually and then transferring them to each handset is a bit of a pain. To be honest I set them up on one handset and use that mostly, or get my contacts from my mobile and dial manually. You can have up to 200 contacts and put them in categories if you wish. Again I don't do that.
There is a choice of ringtones and wallpapers, but I am so over changing ringtones and different wallpapers, so I chose the one I liked best, which was straightforward and haven't changed it since. If you like doing that sort of thing then there are lots to choose from
Would I Recommend
Yes absolutely these are the best cordless handsets I have owned and what I like best about them is the sound quality, which for me is the most important feature on a phone. I want to be able to hear people clearly and want them to be able to hear me . On previous phones we have used the sound level seemed very low and I found it difficult to hear some people, so had to concentrate hardtop catch every word. Also my husband is nearly deaf and really struggles , but does not have that problem as the volume can be set very high.
I rarely miss calls as the ring tones are loud enough for me. The only time I struggle to hear is when I am vacuuming as that is incredibly loud. Hubby can also hear despite being hard of hearing, but usually adopts the ' it won't be for me approach to answering the phone' so doesn't bother answering. To be fair he is usually right.
This set has lots of other features that I don't use, but the ones I do use suit me very well.
Last number redial, a phone book and the ability to take calls in several rooms, talk hands free and a loud ringtone work really well.
Adding contacts is a bit of a pain, but I don't do that very often and I am not sure there are other models that do this better, but if there were, I personally would not look to change these phones. I think Panasonic should work on this though as it seems very laborious now and I don't feel they have updated this feature much over the years.
I do quite like the look of them; they are a nice shiny black. I think they should add a green and red to the answer and end call keys to make them stand out more as they are black on a black background. I would prefer another colour though as shiny black things really show dust and marks.
A great home phone set in my opinion with an answerphone and lots of functions i don't use but would be useful if you live in a very large house and pay for caller ID
Price and Availability
Currently £53.99 from Amazon, which I think is good value for two cordless phones with an answerphone. I bought mine a couple of years ago, but my previous Panasonics were still functioning well, until I submerged one in water and also dropped it on a tiled floor, so they are quite sturdy.