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This is the first Siemens phone I have ever owned, indeed all my previous landline phones have come from BT however I must say that over the past year this has proved to be an excellent phone and I would not want to change it or anything about it. I have two of the phones, one for downstairs and another in the bedroom and the twin pack cost £49.99.
Each phone has its own base however the main base also has a built in answerphone which holds 25 minutes worth of memory as well and this one needs to be plugged into your phione socket while the second base only needs a power source and then works on a wireless basis.
The sound quality on these phones is excellent and calls are interference free and very reliable something I cannot say about my fathers cordless phone at his house. The phones are also packed with features, you can store up to a 150 contacts and you only have to input the info once for it to be available on both handsets. The ringtones are a bit naff but the standard one is perfectly ok and it has a variable volume setting on it.
The phones hold their charge really well and they have a good range from the base unit so I have no problem moving from room to room in our house and even outside in the garden. They hold their charge and sometimes the phone can be left lying around for a few days and it will still have some charge in it.
It is a comfortable phone to use and not too heavy so you do not have a problem if you are on a long call. This is certainly a phone that I would recomend as it is very good quality with clear sound and a good range.
I use this as my primary land line as the home hub phone isn't really up to it. It comes with a built in answering machine that can hold up to 25 minutes. This may not sound like a whole lot but I found that I delete most messages the day I get them. The answering machine is digital to no need to worry about replacing tapes.
The LCD screen is a nice feature that displays caller IDs. This is especially handy if you are fed up of getting sales calls constantly. The screen also displays contacts and battery life for the handsets. There are two provided in the box. One attaches to the main answer machine unit while the second has a smaller charging unit. The battery life is pretty impressive and I've left the handsets out of their cradle for days before charging them again.
Cordless phones have a reputation for having lousy range and signal but these handsets perform very well. I've been able to take calls outside with no issues.
After moving into a new house and sorting out a landline, it was time to get a new phone. So a friend gave us a corded phone, but no, that wasn't good enough for Mr. Nykied, who wanted to be able to lie on the sofa and speak to people. So off we trotted to Tesco, where we were faced with a whole array of cordless phones, a lot of them with offers on them.
I liked two different ones, he liked the Siemens CS385. As the area where the phones are based has fairly loud music playing in it and I was on the phone to my sister who'd just had a baby a few hours before and I wanted to make the most of the extortionate amount the NHS would be charging me for ringing my sister, I capitulated (a lot faster than I would have usually, that's for sure) and we left Tesco with two Siemens CS385 phones.
There was an offer on where you could get a dual pack for £50, which is still on at Tesco, or these are available as a single for around the £35 mark.
Inside the box are two handsets, a main base with the answerphone built in and another base (for the additional handset). The main base plugs into your telephone socket but the additional base only has to plug into an electrical socket, which we have found very useful as we only have one telephone socket.
So, once the phones were set up, it was time to look at what features were on these phones. If you've read my Canon Ixus review, you'll know that I'm not one for instruction manuals, so it was a case of playing. I'm also not really one for lists, but I'm succumbing to this one.
You can store up to 150 names and numbers in the CS385 and once you've stored them in one handset, they're in both, which saves time. These names and numbers are then available at the push of one button and it stores them alphabetically. It also has built-in caller ID, although your landline provider usually charges an extra premium for that.
There are 15 ringtones available on the CS385 (5 polyphonic and 10 normal ringtones) although they're not the best and we've chosen the old fashioned phone ringtone. You can also adjust the volume or even mute it should you wish. The actual sound quality itself is also good, meaning that you can have a conversation with someone without hearing any crackling or interference.
The screen is in colour and you can change the backlight colour to fit in with your décor. It also has a screen-saver which shows the time. One thing I would say about this is that it's not always visible. We have it at the height of a radiator and we can't see it when we're sat on the sofa. But there's also the option of turning it off, so we did.
It says that it's got an indoor range of 50m from the base units, but it works fine when I take a handset from the lounge, through the hall, through the kitchen and out of the back door. Even with the back door shut, there's still no interference and it still works fine. It does say that it has an outdoor range of 300m from the base unit, but that would involve having the base unit outside and when do we ever have the weather to be able to do that?!
The Siemens CS385 has an answering machine built into the main base unit. This will record up to 25 minutes of messages and you can access your messages from the base unit or either of the handsets.
This phone is apparently an ECO Dect phone, which uses up to 60% less power. It has up to 20 hours talk time and up to 240 hours standby time. Which means that it doesn't have to be in the base unit all the time, which is the main point in having a cordless phone.
The handset itself is quite chunky. Initially I thought that it was a bit too big and clunky, but I've changed my mind. It's still chunky but it's a nice chunky. It's got no sharp corners (good for me - I'm not even allowed scissors!) and it's nice to hold. It might seem like a minor thing to some people, but it doesn't scratch your ear when you're on the phone.
Other features that the Siemens CS385 has but that I don't use include a keypad lock (presumably to stop little hands dialling Dubai), last number redial and a built-in speakerphone. I have used the speakerphone, but only to listen to voice messages and it's not something I would like to have a whole conversation on. I'll stick to actually picking up the phone thanks.
One thing it doesn't have is hearing aid compatibility. That's not something I need just yet, but if you do need a phone that works with a hearing aid, this phone is not for you.
So, in summary, if I were to go back to Tesco and choose from the choice of phones again, would I choose this one? Yes, I definitely would. The Siemens CS385 is a fantastic phone and I'd re-buy this in a minute. Five stars from me.