When I purchased my first house just over a year ago I found myself making list after list of things to do and buy and very near the top of my ?to buy? list was a telephone. Having lived with my mother until I was 18 and then spent the next five years (mainly at University) renting, it was to be the first time I?d ever had to buy such a product. It was actually quite a strange experience because I didn?t really know what I was looking for. Getting a fair amount of free calls each month on my mobile I knew that the new phone didn?t need to be spectacularly brilliant, just simple and reliable. Therefore baring this in mind I set off to my local Asda to view their range. I was actually shocked at all the different models on offer and it took some time to actually decide on the one to buy. In the end I went for the Binatone Icarus 8. = The Phone and it?s Features = The Icarus 8 is a Binatone product and comes in the choice of three colours: black, silver or champagne (greeny, gold if you ask me!). It is a touchtone phone and being cordless it comes with a power adapter and base unit. The unit is fairly small and fits nicely into a corner although a wall mount is supplied should you wish to use it. Once fully charged the handset can be used for up to five hours of talk time, whilst if left not in use it will stay charged for around ninety-six hours. It has a range of fifty meters indoors and if you get close to exceeding this then the phone gives off a warning tone. Although this is an analogue phone it still has an excellent reception and it?s eight channel function allows you to search for the best reception should it not be one hundred percent clear. The phone allows you to store ten numbers that are memorised from 0-9 and instantly available for speed dialling. There is also a last number redial button. The volume of the ringer can be high or low and the system has several different melodies, although none very exciting!
If you want to talk to someone in the same room as you but don?t want the person on the other end of the phone to hear then you can freeze them out by using the secrecy button. If you have a habit of leaving the phone all over the house or losing it down the back of the couch then you?ll be happy to know that it has a handset locator on the base. This is a simple button that when pressed will activate the phone so that it rings, hopefully helping you to find it. On the down side this machine doesn?t have a built in answer phone, although you can use BT Answer 1571 (see earlier op!!) if you like, nor does it have a screen to see the number of the incoming call. = Using the Phone = The phone was very easy to set up. I plugged the base into the phone socket and adapter in the mains electricity and by placing the handset on the base it began to charge for the reccomended eight hours. Calling and receiving calls couldn't be simpler. The green button is pressed before dialling the number whilst pressing the same button when the phone rings will allow you to take an incoming call. The manual received with the phone is simple but sufficient explaining how to use all the features. Having had the phone for over a year it has remained reliable without a single technical problem. = Overall = This phone is fairly small and from the range of colours you available it can match any colour room. It?s very simple to use and although it has no really flash features it has been very reliable and has a great reception. It currently retails for under £20 and can be found at most good electrical stores that sell phones.
About 6 months ago my previous answerphone packed up so I was in the market for a new one.This time I had decided to buy a cordless one as I was fed up just getting in the bath etc when the phone rings.So off I went one saturday afternoon to trail round the electrical warehouses. There are so many choices of phone and answerphone combinations some so big that they take up half the table and some so expensive you dont get much change out of £120. Then I set my eyes on this little beauty ,the price first attracted me at only £49.99 although I think its slightly cheaper now.The phone base unit is approx 7inches by 8inches and the phone is as small as the average mobile phone. It is really easy to set up,before you use it for the first time you have to plug the phone in to charge for at least 12 hours to make sure your battery gives you a trouble free life.After the 12 hours are up plug it into your phone line and you are ready to make your first call. The handbook is clear and written in plain english no techno babble here.It has a choice of 9 different tones and a high and a low option for the volume,It also has the now standard list of options like recall and a secrecy button and some other usefull ones like caller display . The range is about 200 metres away from the base station although i have managed over 300 metres with ease.The sound quality is also excellent considering its price,you get better with a "dect" phone but they are twice the price. The answerphone is built in and is fully digital so no more messy tapes to worry abot and you can actually hear the message being replayed and doesnt sound like you are being called by an alien.You can also retrieve your messages remotely using a security code supplied. All in all a great value product
The Binatone Icarus 8 "high frequency cordless phone" is a modern looking product, with a compact design and many features. Not top of the range, just a cheap analogue gizmo that does the job. It comes in a range of colours: silver, black, blue, green. However, I wouldn't recommend this phone to the very elderly, as I could not explain all the functions to my Grandfather, who I had originally bought the phone for! The little green "reciever" button, made to mimic the mobile phone handset, is too modern and non-sensical for the very elderly. Most of them have never even seen a mobile phone close up! In fact the whole handset is designed to look like a mobile phone, it even has a screen area whith what look like indicators on it. But don't be fooled. The only indicator that works there is the green light that tells you when the handset is in use, or the battery is getting low (it'll blink at you). The aerial is hidden in the handset case, with a decent-sized top which allows you to easily pull the aerial up. Quick and easy to do. It has a range of 200 meters when used out of doors. Some of the features are: CH button (channel)= get the phone to change to a different frequency to improve your reception. MEM (memory) = for storing your 10 frequently used numbers. SEC (secrecy) = mute button. LNR = last number redial. VOL = volume, handy if you have difficulty hearing the person who's called you. There is an additional button there with a bell on it. this allows you to choose from 9 ringing sounds, so you can more easily identify your phone amongst all the noises of modern life (TV etc) It really helped me, as I was always mistaking this phone for the ones on TV, especially if I had turned the ringer volume down... ...and there is a sliding switch on the side to alter the volume of the ringer, very handy. A button on
the base unit will sound the handset if you lose it, making it easier to find. All in all I have found this phone very useable. So long as you position the base unit/and its aerial quite high up to avoid some interference from other equipment it is fine. I do find some buzzing and loss of volume when I walk near my pc monitor, ahh, the joys of wandering around, doing what you please while on the phone. I'm so glad I started buying cordless phones, they give you so much freedom. Although, as recommended, I do have a regular corded phone for use when the mains power is lost. You see, there is a power adaptor that the Icarus phone uses to power itself, and you would lose that in a power cut. Oh, and remember to keep your handset charged up! It is easy to forget, unless you get into a habit straight after you buy it, of putting it on the charger while you're out. The batter has a 96 hour standby charge in it. So unless you're talking on it a lot it will stay powered for about 4 days on a full charge (has been charged overnight, or the initial 21 hours). The regular price for this phone is about £35, although I got it on offer, of course.
Picture all these scenarios ......... Scenario 1: ------------- You are sat down, well as ladies do, in that little room and the damm phone rings, rushing to pull you knickers up just as you realise you have forgotten to do something when you notice what it was by the dribbles down your leg! Scenario 2: ------------- You have had a hard day, what ever it is doing, so you decide that a nice relaxing bath will help you relieve all the tension from your body. As you lay there, the warm bubbled filled, lightly scented water, swirls around you body, you are deeply relaxed, you don't want to move but you have to, to wash your hair. So you sit up after giving your hair a nice long soaking, gently squeeze some nice fragranced shampoo on, you give it a good lather up, just about to rinse it off, when suddenly the phone rings again! So quickly you get up and try to rinse the suds away, when ouch!!*!*, the suds have gone just where all the warnings on bottles tell you to avoid contact in! Scenario 3: ------------- The kids have come home from school, they have had a play around, and used up all their energy and now they decide to tell you they are hungry. So out pops the food, in the oven it goes, then you put the chips on (kids love these for some reason, perhaps they just love food that not good for them). You have a quick browse of the TV guide and the go and check on the chips, oh good you think, nearly done, that should keep the kids quiet for 5 minutes, then the phone rings. In a rush you go to answer the phone, it's your long lost auntie Bloomer, you remember the aunt that like to keep chatting and chatting away, then the smell of overcooked chips fill the living room. In a quick panic, you have to cut the conversation short and go investigate the damage. The chips are ruined and you have to start dinner all over again, to make matters worse the kids are moaning, all they are interested in is their tummy,
when its going to get filled. Ok, so the scenarios do sound a little far fetched but trust me, I have had similar happen to me, many, many times. Don?t you just wish that you had a cordless phone, one where you can have beside you or in your pocket, what ever room you are in or what ever you are busy doing, at times? I did, and now I have one, and it is a total godsend. Well with Christmas being the usual, leave everything until the last minute and needing to browse our Empire catalogue, we spotted one, not that we were looking, it just caught our attention as we were flicking through to the toy section and as it was so competitively priced we decided to add it to our perspective order, well at just £30 from a home catalogue, who wouldn't? About the phone ------------------- The whole phone is quite small compared to many cordless phones or normal telephones. The design is pretty well thought out (provided small children don?t take an interest in the antennas), stylish looking and comes in a choice of 4 colours, white, navy, silver/black or like the one we have silver. It can if you want, be wall mounted or like we have sitting on the side. It comes with it's own power adapter that is pretty long, so it should be able to reach most phone sockets that have a power point fairly close. Features ----------- 8-Channels: When I say 8 channels, you have the option that if during a call you started to get any kind of interference that causes problems with the call, you can press a button to change the channel, this will auto select the channel for the best reception. Volume: If like me you have trouble sometimes to hear what the other person is saying to you on the other end of the line, maybe because the line is a bit quiet, or they are not talking loud enough, this feature allows you to tog
gle between high and low volume. Memory: With the Binatone Icarus 8 you can store up to 10 numbers of your choice. It is so simple to do too, just 4 steps and then the number is stored on your phone ready for when you need to use it. In order to dial one of the numbers stored is even easier, and within 3 presses of the buttons your call will be dialling. The only problem you may have with this is remembering who?s number is stored where, well you have a 1 in 10 chance of being right :o}. Ringer: At the side of the phone there is a switch that you can slide upwards or downwards to select the ringer volume, either high or low. Ring tones: You can set the phone to ring 1 of the 9 ring tones available, with the press of a button; the selection is then chosen with the numbers on the key pad. I must admit, I am a big kid at heart, I think the majority are, so me being me decided to have a play around with this feature. Upon going through the choices, I found that a few were pretty close in similarity to each other but overall it did have a couple of interesting ring tones. Secrecy: A pretty standard feature that comes with most phones, that allows you to mute the microphone so the other person on the end on the line doesn't hear what you don't want them to hear. Battery indicator: When your handset is switched on, there will be a green light that will appear, if the light keeps flashing slowly than this will mean that the battery is low and will need to be placed back into the base for charging. This is also a phone in use light; if the light is on permanently, or to let you know you have an incoming call by it flashing rapidly. Recall: Another standard feature on most phones that are out, it is mainly intended for those whose phone is connected to a PBX or to use in conjunction with BT's select services, how this works I would have to be honest and say that I am not sure. Handset locator: On the
base unit there is a fairly sized button, if for any reason you have misplaced the handset, simply press this button and it will activate a tone on the handset, this will keep sounding the tone until you locate the handset and press the telephone button. This does come in handy and it is a feature I like, but with our son being a little curious and button happy he has pressed it on a few occasions, making us think that the phone is ringing and then looking like a right idiot saying, 'hello is there anyone there?'. Other stuff and all that --------------------------- If you do have decide to get this phone you will find that it will work even better and you can get the most out of it, if you position it fair high up, also to keep it away from most electrical appliances, as it works using radio waves so some things may cause a bit of interference. On both the base unit and on the handset you will find telescopic antennas, the one on the base unit is best fully extended for better reception, ours is half way due to our 2 year old, best not draw his attention to it, we find that despite the antenna is not fully extended the reception is fine. Safety note ------------- As this phone will only work with a phone line and power point, it will need electric to run it, in this case you will also need a normal plug in phone that doesn't need power to run it, in the event of needing to make an emergency call during a power cut or running out of 50p to put in the meter. Also, water and power does not mix too well, so it is best not to use the hand set outside during wet weather. Overall --------- I am impressed, so many features and such a little unit when complete or otherwise. The price is very reasonable and competitive, but then all the Binatone products on the market that I have come across have always given value for your hard earned cash. Yes it may not be a top of the range phone, with
all these wonderful gizmos incorporated in it, but does serve its purpose, it does look stylish and it is at a realistic price for anyone's budget. The only thing that does let it down, is the antennas, the fact that the one on the base unit can become damaged if little hands mess about with it, but if it is well looked after and kept out the reach of small children then you should have a phone where reception quality is always there. Very impressive!!