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It's fair to say that we would be useless as phone snobs - in the last decade, we've owned three house phones - 2 of which were handed to us as second hand by my parents. Our current, and soon to be replaced, house phone, is this rather basic but functional phone.
The main thing I like about it is that all functions come from the actual phone itself. I don't like the idea of having to go to the base unit every time you want to use a function, especially if you have the mobile part of it in a completely different part of the house. The numbers and sparse buttons on the device of this make it look slightly like the old Nokia brick that the vast majority of people used to have when mobiles were still relatively new to the wider population.
This clear deliberate design works very well, and it makes the phone very usable from this point of view. It's a good size to hold. The buttons on the front are well protruded from the shell, enough so that it's clear when you press them. They also make a beep noise once you've pressed them, so you know for sure. It also appears on the display, a basic calculator style display that is small but does the basics of what it needs to. The other buttons on there are a green one for initiating the call and a red one for cancelling it. There are also a couple of function buttons for the answerphone, for example, and this is well used by the handset with the numbers also doubling up as play, forward, back buttons etc. Just be sure to press the message buttons first.
Ultimately, the call quality is very clear on these. We've never had any issues with being able to hear anyone, nor have they experienced negative call quality due to our end of the line. It makes this a very basic but ultimately rewarding and simple phone. Nowadays you can get house phones that do an awful lot more, and if you were buying for the first time I'd recommend taking advantage of some of these particular designs to enhance your networking and communications at home, but for those who are after something specifically simple then I can recommend this. Don't judge things solely on how good they are for what they are when making a purchasing decision, make sure to actually read up on the product and work out what you need. This has call waiting options, and you can input a limited number of names on a phonebook style list, but it's still very basic.
For example, this would be perfect for my grandmother who just needs an easy to use phone and couldn't care less about an all singing and all dancing home phone, whereas my friends who have just moved in to a new house and are searching for a phone wouldn't appreciate this in the slightest as it wouldn't do half the things their old house phone did. We're upgrading very soon, looking to buy something that helps link other things around the house, but for the moment we're happy with this. The battery unit on the handsets is started to fade, but then the phones are a good few years old. The base unit still works perfectly and the amount of times things have been dropped, it's certainly sturdy as well.
So, worth a purchase if you're definitely after something specifically simple, but stay clear if you want to keep up with the times. This will make and receive calls and keep messages for you, but doesn't really do a whole lot else.
Both my Mum and Dad are in their 80's and both suffer from, in varying degrees from the condition age related macular degeneration which, although does not result in blindness can restrict vision in the centre of the eye. Mum in whom the condition is more severe loves her fixed Big Button BT phone but Dad still likes to wander about , (don't we all) whilst on the phone and to this end we chose a portable hand set which was recommended by The Somerset association which offers help and advice to partially sighted folks and has a range of aids like speaking clocks and weighing scales, special talking book machines and similar helpful gadgets.
Obviously the factor that was the most important was large buttons and a very clear screen and ease of use. It gets top marks for all three. You can buy up to five handsets which will cover a large house and out into the garden we went for just the one as it is only Dad that uses it.. It sits on it's neat charging stand on the hall table plugged into the mains and also into the phone line socket and provides an essential link to the outside world.
When we bought the phone kit it contained the handset, a base, two AAA batteries already in the hand set, mains power adaptor with a cord 2metres in length and a telephone cord . There was also an instruction booklet to help in setting up the phone.
It was stressed that the base station must be fully charged before you pop the handset into the base, this can take up to 20 hours to charge which seems a long time to me but as my brother was in charge of the set up and it took two days discussion as to where to place the phone maybe that's not a long time although the manual says keep the phone at least 1metre away from other electrical appliances, ours works quite happily next to the BT Big phone. We are also told not to place the handset in the bathroom or other humid areas. Although this type of phone works on the line of sight principal we can wander around the little house up and down without any loss of signal which means you can hunt for that elusive piece of paper whilst you are on the phone.
When the base is charged a battery icon lights up on the phone and you can then plug in the phone line. You then have 10hours of talk time or 100hours at stand bye.
The handset which is quite attractive looking in black and graphite. measures 5cm x 17cm x 3cm which fits comfortably into your hand and the all important screen is 4cm x3cm. When in use the letters and numbers are in bold black on a glowing orange screen, if you do not press any buttons for 30secs the screen light goes out. The buttons are big and black and the numbers are in white and are very easy to see.The phone book which can contain 50 names option is smack in the middle of the phone. One press opens the phone book and you just keep pressing until you reach the name that you want then press dial. Above the phone book button is the menu button which has a tick on it and the X button which takes you back to the previous screen, below the phone book is the call button in green and the hang up button in red.
The phone is hearing aid friendly and has speaker phone option, mute, hands free, redial, keypad lock, new call alert and 8 speed dial options, I am number 7!
I am very impressed by how easy it is to use this phone and it has certainly kept my Dad in touch with his many friends and family.Mum finds it too difficult to use but her eyesight is now very poor. The clarity of sound is very good and the volume control is responsive.
We paid around 40.00pounds for this easy to use phone which we have had for over two years and I have used it many times whist on my frequent visits. I feel that this phone would really help anyone with eye or hearing problems or, anyone who likes easy to see and easy to use phone.
5 stars from me I find it hard to fault it.
Thanks for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao under splishsplash.
For me and my parents, operating our last home phone was a bit of a nightmare. Towards the end of our ownership, it was easy to tell that the line was almost dying. It was difficult to have an easy conversation with anyone such that the quality of the call was so bad. We bought a BT Freestyle 710 in the hope of changing this.
A few features are as follows:
50-strong name and number directory
Call light indicator
100 hour standby
50 metre indoor range
It's a great phone for anyone who needs a bright display to see what they're doing without straining to read the screen, and is very simplistic to navigate. There's no over abundances of needless functions, it's a good old solid phone that does its job. You can change the volume settings if you find it too loud or too quiet, and this also stretches to while you're talking on the phone - so if you get someone calling from an office who don't have the loudest of voices, turn it up and you'll have an easier task hearing them.
Sadly, our time with this phone wasn't without its drawbacks and we have since returned it because of growing impatient with one or two things. The most annoying part of owning this phone is the menu navigations, in particular the missed calls section. I found that due to the large text, not much seemed to fit on the screen so when finding some information regarding a missed call, you need to individually select the number that's in your directory, go into its details and then finally find the date and time of the call. It's very weary if you spend a lot of time out and miss a lot of telephone calls to your house, and owning this phone wore us out because of this. I don't understand why BT had made it the way it is; missed calls are frequent for many and owners of this phone will suffer from this flaw.
This phone is strong if you ignore the last paragraph of information, although at £30 this is probably a little too much to pay. If you're interested and would like a phone with clarity (and are unlikely to be affected or care about the missed calls) then you could do a lot worse than buy this phone. If you can't get to the phone in time and/or you've got a larger family, then it's possible to buy a twin set of these phones for around £45 on Amazon. If not, then definitely look elsewhere - we currently own two Panasonic KX-TG6422ES phones which we paid £60 for, and are very satisfied.