/ Cordless phones
This was my first port of call so to speak.
Can peps please explain what the differences between them are?
The price differentials are wide as are the specs.
In my experience if you want a good quality cordless handset then spend upwards of £50 and prepare to be disappointed when it turns out to be marginally better than a cheap one but still shit in comparison to a nokia 3210. If you're not that bothered then buy the £15 and accept that it will be rubbish but workable and if you smash it in a rage you can just buy another one. I have a home hub...I hesitate to say "use a home hub" because most of my phone calls are made from my mobile or a £4.99 tesco value corded phone.
That's only my experience though, having used a mid range panasonic set, a good quality panasonic set and a home hub 2 handset (which is utterly, utterly atrocious and barely functions). I'd be interested to hear if anyone has found one that works well, i.e. no stupid unintuitive menus and button lag.
We've got a set of mid-range panasonics, which we are very happy with. Coverage around the house (and garden) is good, they signal is clear, they hold their charge and they have caller display. However, I wish we'd paid an extra £15, which would have meant that the 'phone book' on the phones were also sync'ed between them, rather than having to enter them on all phones individually.
Just something to consider when you are looking through the phone specifications!
Got a pair of Gigaset phones from John Lewis for under £50. Excellent.
Like you I've been disappointed with all phones since they became "digital". Without question our best cordless phone/answering machine was an old analogue device which I misguidedly threw out once we'd bought digital ones. If I hadn't I'd have gone back to it by now. We've had BT and then, because the reviews said they'd be better, Panasonic. All cr*p.
Next time I'll get a cheap one or see if I can still get an analogue one or go back to a corded phone
You should try the Siemens Gigaset phones. I have the SL565 and it is top quality all round. Better than many corded phones I've used and the best cordless one I've used - we have several different makes at work and they are all poorer. Even BT engineers have commented on the quality when sorting out a line problem a few years ago. Mine is a few years old now but I presume the quality remains.
To the OP, differences between phones is huge but largely you pay more for quality, what they can do, answer machine, Eco friendly one, whether colour rather than mono screens, blue tooth, SMS ability, how good at maintain the call when moving around, etc, and the list goes on and on! You need to narrow down your list to a must have list, and go from there. Some things are not actually promoted in the spec just to complicate matters. For example mine can text my mobile when a message is left on the answer machine which I find invaluable - no need to pay for call forwarding! One thing it does not do that a lot of Panasonics can is call barring. Pity, but the quality is so much better I can put up with that.
I have never used bluetooth, or SMS on a home phone. Can you kindly explain what they do, how they are an advantage.
I have a pair of cordless Panasonics which are probably somewhere between 10 and 15 years old. IMO they're superb. Very clear compared to many I've used, including some cheaper Panasonics which are quite poor. I think I paid about £100 for the pair, which includes one base station. A friend has a Binatone cordless and when I speak to him on it, the line is always terrible. As others have probably said already, you get cordless and digital cordless...or at least you used to. Get digital. And I'd recommend getting one with a speaker phone facility for all these "press one for option A"... etc calls
Bluetooth for me to allow transfer of contacts from other devices. With mine from the mobile to the cordless and between cordless phones. Only real advantage is saving time to input contacts into the cordless phone. Bluetooth is also used to connect headset, though I do not use it for that. My headset is connected by dect to the baseset not the handset.
SMS as I said my phone (baseset really) automatically sends a text to my mobile when a voicemail message is left with details of who and when. I find this invaluable as it allows freedom to leave the house when otherwise you have to wait in. I can pick up the message remotely and this saves time and money in travel, etc. I also don't need to pay for a forwarding service! I personally don't use the SMS service for anything else. If you have a mobile it is usually better to it for messages. I also have corded BT phone that does SMS and it has various pre programmed texts for sending - I can imagine that some would find it useful particularly if they have difficulty communicating say. I looked into a personal security device for my elderly mother and it needed SMS ability to dial to emergency services. Horses for courses. If you can use it it is better to have it, but if you never use it, the it is not a deciding factor.
Thanks for the Siemens recommendation. I've been looking 'em up and they seem to be universally well thought of. Now I have to decide which model to go for, of those currently available.
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