I got these handsets from Argos on offer (about £25) about 2 years ago and havent had any major problems with them. They look stylish, nice silver colour, matching buttons and very sleek, the stands for both unit are also very nice and sleek. The battery life is great, still living up to a good standard all this time on, you can store numbers in the directory, although it doesnt transfer stored numbers to both handsets, not a big problem for me for the amount of time I use the upstairs handset. The signal is great, I have used it when going out into th garden and never had any issues with it breaking up. It has a built in answer phone which I always found great, until I changed phone contracts, my new contract came with 1571 voicemail, to access my voicemail I have to dial from the handset, not an issue, but the message box on the phone doesnt always show up so I usually check 1571 every day incase, then when we do have a message and the box shows on screen even after listening and deleting the message the phone still shows up that there is a new message for quite some time. I really need to phone up and cancel 1571 so I can use the standard answer phone, I never had issues with that.
There is a feature to name the phones so you easily know what one belongs where. It is also very easy to use, not only dialing but moving around the menus and altering the time etc is all very simple.
Overall I cannot fault this handset.
I picked up one of these from Argos - there was a half price offer where it was at just £24.95 - seemed excellent value.
I already have two pairs of Phillips handsets: an Onis Vox 300, and a set so old I don't have the instructions and there's no number on the handsets!
The new set does some things well:
50 name memory
Answer machine - can't be accessed from handsets
Range OK - works all over a 4 bed house with no problems
However, it doesn't have some features that I had got used to with my older sets:
Names stored in one handset don't transfer accross to the other, or the older handsets [being a DECT standard set up, it is poss to use the older handsets with the new base]. This means to store 50 names, you enter 200 numbers [on the four handsets].
Not possible to access answer machine messages from the handset [only from the base unit]
For anyone who doesn't need/want this extra conectivity, the phone is fine, and at £25 is excellent value.
The sound has started to get a bit fuzzy, but this may be because the boradband filters may be packing up.
There's already a detailed review here which gives more info on tech spechs, I just thought I'd add a few comments on what I noticed was missing.
This is an updated version of a review I put on Ciao
The old answer phone died; it had for some time been unreliable and then the last cassette tape was gobbled up by the machine, wrapping itself round the play heads. OK, I admit, it was a bit old fashioned but now I have a lovely modern digital recorder with two handsets fully fit for the 21st century.
After doing some research on the internet I decided upon this Philips phone and answer machine with two hand sets.
I arrived home from Argos with a big white box inscribed with blue writing and a picture of the contents. It is very clear what exactly is in the box. The lid has the phone specifications in English; and the sides and bottom have the description in eight other languages. Inside the box are brown cardboard partitions in which the individual pieces are all beautifully wrapped in pure white tissue paper. A little over the top for a phone I think, more appropriate for a bone china tea set. Never mind, I will reuse the tissue paper and re-cycle the rest of the packaging.
In the box are found the two base stations; the larger includes the answer phone bits and is about 5 square and 2 high, the second smaller base station is about 2 square and 3 high. They both have white plastic casing with a silver coloured topside. Also supplied are the two handsets, two power supplies, line chords, two packets containing two AA rechargeable batteries and a user manual (38 pages, all in English), with a quick start guide and the guarantee.
Setting it all up
First of all plug in the mains power adapters to the base stations. The larger base which also has the answer phone bit has to be close to both a phone and power socket. The smaller base only needs to be plugged to a power socket. Connect the telephone line cord to the phone socket on the back of the unit and to the wall phone socket.
Insert the supplied batteries into the hand sets by simple sliding the casing off the back of the phone, pop in the supplied batteries and slide the casing back. These batteries allow 10 hours talk time and 120 hours standby in case of power failure or the handset not being replaced on the base unit.
Now you can place the hand sets onto the base unit and you are supposed to leave them, according to the instruction book, to charge for 24hours. After about 30 minutes I was impatient to play with the new toy and so carried on with the set up with no problems.
Name your country
The first thing you have to do is configure the country from where you are using the phone. This was easy to do. The phone at this stage is displaying a welcome screen and all you need to do is scroll up or down through the countries and select OK when you reach the desired location. A little beep will confirm this has been accepted.
The two handsets are made of white plastic with a silver coloured business side. The handset is angled very slightly to fit the contours of your head and is comfortable to hold. The display screen and key pad are back lit with an orange light. This is not my favourite colour and I would have chosen blue had there been any choice, which there isnt. The number buttons are white squares flush to the facia, there is a menu button, scroll button and two buttons depicting a green and red phone. The hand set (complete with batteries) weighs 139g; yes I did put it on the kitchen scales! The handsets rest effortlessly on their bottom end in the base stations. They slip in very comfortably with no messing.
The answering machine
The digital answer machine is housed in the larger of the two base units. The buttons are all easy to see and self explanatory in their symbols. There is a volume up and down button, a record message button, and delete, answer machine on/off, stop/play, speaker phone and jump to next message button. There is a square LED which displays the number of unheard messages.
To start using the answer machine press the on/off button to on There is a default outgoing message which states this is an answer machine, please leave a message after the tone. This is short and to the point. There is the option to record your own message by pressing the record button for two seconds and after the tone deliver your message into the microphone on the side of the base unit. Press the stop button when you have finished. You can repeat this as often as you wish and can revert to the default message at any time. When an incoming message has been left the LED on the base unit will flash indicating the number of left messages. To listen to them simply press the play button, you can skip to the next message if you wish and then delete singularly or opt to delete all in one go.
The machine will hold up to 60 incoming messages or up to 15 minutes of recorded time, whichever is reached first. When the answer phone is switched on you can choose between 2 to 7 rings or a time saver option before the machine starts to answer. The time saver means the phone will ring for 4 times if there is no message waiting or twice if there is an unheard message.
Setting the clock is simple and the time is then displayed on the handset. Press the menu button, scroll to clock/alarm, enter the time using the digit keys and ok out.
This is all you really need to have the phones and answer machine up and running. There are many additional features, some of which I think are more useful than others but this is down to personal preference and needs.
The ring tones
Essential to me is deciding on the ring tone. With this phone there is a choice of ten polyphonic melodies, only two of which sound anything like a proper phone, the others are musical. The options are;
1. High pitch warble, reminds me too much of my office.
2. Traditional bell, like in the Ealing films.
3. A glockenspiel with out of tune organ chords.
4. Sounds a bit like Rimsky-Korsakovs Flight of the Bumble Bee, but not.
5. Heavy rock guitar solo, except on a keyboard.
6. Crazy piano accompanied by a whistle, sounds like a circus ring.
7. Chopsticks gone wrong, with added drum beat.
8. The Entertainer, Scott Joplin would turn in his grave if he heard this version.
9. Belly dancing music.
10. Another piano piece, this was studied by one of my children at about Grade 2, the sheet music is somewhere but I havent time to hunt it out so I cant tell you the name of the piece.
What did I choose? Well, Ill give you a clue. I just need a butler to pick up the telephone and say The Perfectly-P household, to whom do you wish to speak?
It is of course possible to have all the ring tones switched off and just let the machine take messages for you. It is also possible to make the ringing louder or quieter according to your needs.
The phone book
The phone book holds 30 names and numbers. This is a useful backup for important numbers if I am being forgetful or cant find my proper address book. I wont go through the procedure here but suffice to say, like all the other functions, it is easy and straight forward to add names and numbers, to edit or to delete them.
There is the facility to have caller ID but you need to subscribe to the caller identification service with your phone operator to do this. If you have, then this phone will automatically store the last 20 incoming calls. It is possible to transfer these details to the phone book.
There is a re-dial list where by the phone will store the last 5 numbers you have dialled, scroll through to the one you want an press the green phone button to dial it. Numbers from this list can also be stored to the phone book.
You can, if you wish, set an alarm clock. I havent used this facility as I have a very loud alarm clock already.
It is possible to lock the keypad with a PIN. The keypad is active during incoming calls but will prevent outgoing calls being made. This is guaranteed to wind-up the teenagers of the household. I have not yet tried it, but some days I am sorely tempted.
It is possible to access messages remotely. First you must change the pre-set code which is factory set at 000. Then, when you call your phone from elsewhere, you need to press * when the outgoing message starts and then enter your personal code. This way you will be able to hear all the waiting messages. I have not yet tried this but it sounds straight forward enough.
Basically you dont need to hold the hand set, you can have your phone call loud and clear for everyone to hear via the inbuilt speaker; hands free just like in the car.
You can from the main base unit call the other handset by the press of a button. I find this useful when the phone is missing from downstairs with the press of a button I can hear it ringing (usually) in one of the teenagers bedrooms. This does annoy them!
Basically there are too many to list in detail, but to name a few more, there are: chain dialling, or you can personalise the phone by giving it a name lol, there is baby call (no thanks, teenagers are bad enough), you can make a 3 way conference call and there is call screening.
So to summarise, it is easy to set up, the menus are very straightforward and easy to navigate. It looks neat and modern in the hall. Some may feel the recording time is rather short so you may need to delete old messages frequently depending on how long your friends natter for. The handset is comfortable to hold and it works fine when away from the base unit, even outside in the garden, without any breaking up. The keys are a reasonable size which makes them easy and comfortable to use. The instruction booklet is also clear and easy to understand. On the down side being cordless means teenagers take it off to their room and there is a severe risk of a high phone bills. This is of course not particular to this phone but to any cordless phone. Even though the phone handsets are frequently left off the base units I have not yet (six months on) had to replace the batteries. Another small potential problem, which again is not particular to this make of phone, is that if there is a power cut you are unable to use the phone to contact the outside world as the main base unit needs power to operate.
Yes, I am very pleased with this answer phone. Six months ago mine cost £69.99 in Argos, I have just checked and it is available at Argos on line for £49.94; or you can pay £34.94 for a single unit or £69.95 for triple handsets. They are also stocked by the usual big electrical retailers.
Philips can be contacted for support at :
Philips Head Office
1096 BC Amsterdam
Telephone +31 20 59 77777
Or their web site is at www.philips.com.
Thank you for reading
© perfectly-p 2007 (aka perfectlypolished)