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Cheap Cordless Phones, Best Cordless Telephone Reviews
- Cheap Cordless Phones, Best Cordless Telephone Reviews
- Cordless Phone Reviews
Cheap Cordless Phones Buying Guide
Cell phones may be displacing landlines as the primary phone for many people, but they haven't totally whipped the competition just yet. Cordless phones for landlines are hardly obsolete, and the recent introduction of a dedicated frequency for cordless models has sparked a proliferation of new products with more functionality.
Although prices for cordless phones can reach well beyond $1,000 (with several handsets usually thrown in for good measure, as well as fancy features like multiline/multihandset capability and extra-long range), frugal consumers can find plenty of high-quality options even if their budgets top out at $55.
Cordless Phone Features.Regardless of price, brand, or underlying technology, most cordless phones these days have a number of standard features, including a call-waiting button, redial function, speaker phone, pager to locate the handset, LCD display, ringer volume control, and caller ID and call-waiting capability (you need to buy these two services from your service provider). But there are some important differences among budget cordless phones, so read on.
Cheap Cordless Phones Technology.Cordless phones have been around for about 20 years but earlier generations relied on analog (radio wave) technology and frequency bands that had some decided drawbacks; e.g., a short range that kept you relatively close to the phone's home base, calls that could be intercepted, and interference from other nearby wireless equipment.
The introduction of digital technology a few years ago changed all that. Most new cordless phones incorporate DECT (a buzz-acronym for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) 6.0, which operates on a 1.9 GHz frequency that the Federal Communications Commission has assigned exclusively to cordless phones. The digital technology underlying DECT 6.0 has definite advantages over its analog cousin, one critical benefit being privacy (no one can eavesdrop). Moreover, with a 1.9 GHz frequency, you can range farther with the phone before losing the signal; it is unlikely to interfere with other wireless networks (like a baby monitor, microwave, or Wi-Fi); and the handset's battery life is about 30% longer, so you get more talk time before needing to recharge. The Panasonic KX- TG1031S Cordless Phone (starting at $32, Amazon), AT&T EL51209 (starting at $37, Amazon), VTech CS6219 Cordless Phone (starting at $20, Amazon), and Uniden dect1560 (starting at $20, Amazon) all feature DECT 6.0. Indeed, there's no reason to buy any phone - budget or otherwise - without DECT 6.0.
Budget Cordless Phones Handsets.Searching the bargain bin for cordless phones will likely net you a handful of handsets. Although some cheap cordless phones, like the Panasonic KX-TG1031S, include only one handset, many current models feature at least two. The VTech CS6219, for example, comes with two handsets but can handle up to 12 and the VTech CS6229-4 (starting at $70, Amazon) comes with four handsets (as well as rechargeable batteries) and can also accommodate 12, each of which can be used as an intercom. (Accessory handsets compatible with the VTech CS6219 and CS6229 cost $19.95 each). All you need in order to scatter handsets around the house is one phone jack for the primary unit (base with one handset) and a bunch of electrical outlets. The virtue of this arrangement? When the phone rings or you need to make a call, you don't have to hunt down the one lonely handset or fight with your teenage daughter over it, as did a consumer who wrote a cheap cordless phone review on Buzzillions, and said that she solved the problem by purchasing the AT&T EL51209, which comes with two handsets (but can't take on any extras).
Before getting carried away by the number of handsets you can collect, check out the button size and the LCD display. Some cordless phone reviews, like one posted on Amazon.com, like the bigger buttons found on the Panasonic KX-TG1031S because you're less likely to hit the wrong number while dialing. This feature appeals to consumers who might otherwise struggle with tiny numbers and letters; one user comments in her cordless phone review on Buzzillions.com that she bought the Panasonic KX-TG1031S for her mom partly because of the large buttons. A clear visual display on the screen also appeals to consumers. A cordless phones review on Staples.com says the display on the Uniden dect1580-3 (three handsets, starting at $80, Amazon) is possible to read even without reading glasses.
Despite all the positive comments, some minor complaints about handsets crop up in cheap cordless phone reviews by users. Consumers aren't impressed with the handset design and functionality of the Verizon V100-1 (starting at $27, Amazon), for example. A phone review posted on Amazon says you can easily dial the wrong number because the buttons are too uniform. And a user commenting on Staples.com isn't happy about the shape of the handset, which makes it hard to cradle against a shoulder.
Cheap Cordless Phones Programming/Features.Walking while talking isn't the only convenience cheap cordless phones offer - there are also modern-day necessities such as auto-dial, caller ID, phonebook, and choosing a ringer tone. Many consumers appreciate how little effort is required with the VTech CS6219. A budget cordless phone review by a Walmart consumer, for example, notes that adding a number to the phonebook or adjusting the caller ID on one phone automatically updates on all the other VTech CS6219 handsets. Similarly, in a cordless phone review on OfficeMax the user writes that deleting a missed call on one handset automatically deletes the number on all the handsets in the house.
But all cheap cordless phones aren't this versatile. Many users, including the one who wrote this cordless phone review on Best Buy, are slightly annoyed at having to update each handset on the Uniden dect1560 when they want to delete caller ID numbers or program in a new number. An Amazon consumer is frustrated with the unintuitive caller ID on the Verizon V100-1, complaining about the need to press two keys to begin scrolling and the separate displays of the caller's name and number.
Bargain Cordless Phones Answering Machine.Many cheap cordless phones are voice-mail ready but lack an integrated answering machine. Some budget phones without an internal answering machine have companion models with this feature, albeit at a higher price. The basic AT&T EL51209 can't record a message when you're not available, although the AT&T EL52209 (starting at $45, Amazon - about $13 more than its no-frills sibling) can. Likewise with the Uniden DECT 1560, the baseline model in the 1500 series, lacks an integrated answering machine but the Uniden 1580 (starting at $30, Amazon) has one built in.
If you don't use your phone service provider's voicemail system or you want to save money on your monthly phone bill, choose a budget cordless phone with an answering machine; recording time with these integrated machines usually totals 14-16 minutes. Consumers posting budget cordless phone reviews on Amazon and Staples write about buying the Panasonic KX-TG1031S and the AT&T EL52209, respectively, in order to cut the number of phone services they were paying for.
Best Cheap Cordless Phone
Panasonic KX TG1031SA budget cordless phone with a long range, good battery life, up to six handsets, integrated answering machine, and standard features such as phonebook transfer, conference call capability, caller ID, intercom and speakerphone, call waiting and transfer. Experts and users are repeatedly impressed with the good quality of Panasonic phones, and the new-to-the-market KX- TG1031S is no exception.
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AT&T EL51209This dual handset budget cordless phone has good battery life and range, as well as caller ID, voicemail indicator, backlit keypad, and on-hook dialing; pricier models in this series have an integrated answering machine and can take more handsets. Users find the EL51209 easy to use and appreciate the Energy Star qualification and hearing-aid compatibility.
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Good Cheap Cordless Phones
VTech CS6219An easy-to-use and inexpensive cordless phone with features such as intercom, speaker phone, caller ID, call waiting and call transfer, lighted keypad, and LCD display in English, French, or Spanish. Users like the clear sound, simple programming, handset design, and option of expanding to 12 handsets; this model lacks an integrated answering machine but is voicemail capable.
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Uniden dect1560The baseline model for the Uniden 1500 series, the 1560, features one handset (the 1560-2 has two, and so on), intercom and speaker phone, lighted keypad, 10 calls dialed memory, built-in clock, baby-room monitoring, and seven ringtones. Users value its basic design and ease of use but some grumble that handsets must be individually programmed and the range is a bit shorter than other budget models.
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Don't Bother Cheap Cordless Phones
VTech CS6219 Review
Uniden dect1560 Review
Panasonic KX TG1031S Review
AT&T EL51209 Review
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