“ Brand: Philips / Type: DECT Telephone with answering machine „
This phone is available with either two or three handsets, although I have only the one handset and one base unit which includes an answerphone. I bought this back in the day when having Caller ID displays and LCD screens were considered new and unnecessary. Thus, mine is not brand spanking new, but it has served me reasonably well.
~ There's a brand new talk ~
The base unit is simplicity itself. Any messages left on the digital answerphone are accessed and managed using the play, rewind and forward buttons. A delete button and on/off button for the answerphone are virtually all that the unit has, together with a button for 'paging' the handset, should it become lost, or hidden by your pet dog.
The answerphone has 20 minutes recording time, which is more than ample in our house as most messages we get tend to be brief and probably last less than 20 seconds. If you're the sort of person who never remembers to delete messages, you'll find once the answerphone is full, the light on the base unit and also the message icon on the handset will both start flashing, indicating no more messages can be left.
It's possible to access your messages away from home by setting up a Pin code beforehand, although I've never used this facility.
The sound quality on the answerphone is very good and most messages are crystal clear.
~ But it's not very clear ~
The handset meanwhile is not so clever. To start with, the sound quality can fluctuate between being clear and virtually incomprehensible. More recently that could partly be due to me needing to replace the handsets batteries rather than the phone itself, although the clarity has always been a little poorer than I'd hope for.
The handset has a total of 17 buttons:
* Speakerphone: If you want a hands free conversation or wish to include others in the room;
* Connect/disconnect button: At the risk of stating the obvious, press this to start or end a conversation;
Clear: Cancels whatever action you were busy doing and takes you right back to the default LCD display;
* Shortcut button to the call log: shows you the last 20 calls, including incoming and outgoing made on the phone;
* Shortcut button to your phone book; and
* The 10 numbered keys together with the obligatory star key and hash key.
All the other functions the phone has are accessed from a button on the side of the handset. Once pressed, menus scroll along the Lcd screen and the same button is pressed again once you reach the menu you want. Most of these I have no use for, a few exceptions being adding or updating our phonebook and occasionally changing the ringtone.
In all fairness, the handset is well designed. Despite it's fairly cheap appearance (it wasn't a top of the range phone even when we bought it), it feels solid, and fits neatly in my rather small hand. The buttons are all well spaced out and the numbers/letters are clear and easy to read. The Lcd screen is rather small if it's being compared to a modern mobile phone, but I still find the display is easy to read. When not in use, it merely gives the day, date and time, along with the unnecessary "Philips" writ large in the middle, and Menu written underneath.
Unlike mobile phones, you can't personalise the screen or add a wallpaper of your choice.
~ Listen to me - don't listen to me ~
My main bugbear with this phone is that the keys on the handset are made of rubber. While this nice soft touch is cause for admiration when I'm making an all important call, the big downside is that the more they get used, the less they function properly. I'm now in the position where the 1 and 6 keys are virtually impossible to use.
I recently returned home from walking my dog in the snow and needed to make a quick call. My hands were numb with the cold, and I couldn't press two of the digits down hard enough for them to register. This turns a simple process into something painfully slow. This is bad enough when I'm simply dialling a private number, but it makes the process of dialling, say my bank, virtually impossible. I've been in the situation where a recorded message is telling me to press the hash key after I've entered some information, and nearly ended up with calluses from pressing so hard.
Likewise, the 'disconnect' button is also dodgy, meaning if I ever leave a voicemail message, I find it takes a few seconds of frantic pressing before the call actually disconnects.
~ It's loud and it's tasteless ~
Aside from the fact that the buttons can be a real nuisance, another issue concerns the fact that it can't be relied upon in an emergency. As with all answerphones, it needs to be located near, and plugged in to, a wall socket. All well and good unless you find yourself in a house fire and in need of a telephone, when it simply won't work. A small warning in the accompanying manual advises the owner to have another means of contacting the emergency services, if the power should go down.
Looking on the bright side, however, it does have some useful functions:
* The phonebook has capacity to store 100 numbers
* It has the ability to send and receive SMS text messages. We've never used this, as anyone who's likely to send either of us a text message does so to our mobile phones. I can't therefore comment on it's efficiency;
*There's a choice of 10 different ringtones. They're all a bit naff, and range from "Brahms", to "Mexico" and "Oh, Suzanna". Unfortunately, you can't download a ringtone of your choice.
*It claims to have an indoor range of 50m and outdoors of 350m. My house is small and I doubt I've used it further than 20m indoors. Likewise, I've probably ventured no more than 20m outdoors with it so I can't testify as to the whole 350m.
The handset has a babysit function for anyone with small children ~ again not used.
This was to be our first cordless phone, and in comparison to the big, white corded dinosaur it was replacing, it looked (and still does) very sleek and modern. Both the handset and base unit are in a matt silver effect, albeit closer inspection reveals it to be rather cheap looking plastic.
Would I recommend it?
No. Unless you still have a corded phone (incidentally considered far more secure than their cordless cousins) and want to buy a cheap cordless phone. Technology has moved on in leaps and bounds and it's no surprise that this isn't even sold by Philips anymore.
It's fairly well designed overall, but it's only real flaw, being that it has rubber buttons, is what makes it so irritating to use. I assume this was down to cost. The phone is available secondhand via the usual (eBay) suspects, although I would suggest that you get a phone without rubber buttons, unless you enjoy giving your fingers a good workout and have the patience of a saint.