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Cordless Phone Reviews - Expert Analysis and Advice

Best Cordless Phone:

In a recent attempt to purchase a cordless phone I found out how difficult the decision can be and decided to do a write-up on them. After returning a few models back to the store due to problems with even getting the phone to turn on, I did my research both online at sites like CNET and Amazon.com reading over user reviews and comments both good/bad. I was able to find two recent articles on cordless phone reviews in Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports which really clarified things for me. Consumer Reports (CR) did the best job of testing 26 digital and analog cordless phones for voice quality, talk time, conferencing, speaker phone, lighted keypad, and answering machine capabilities if the phone had one built in. The biggest question that arose was - Which frequency would I be running the phone on? I didn't realize what a big deal this is - do you pick 1.9 GHz, 5.8 GHz, 2.4 GHz, or the older 900 MHz?

Cordless Phone Reviews:

The latest technology gives you cordless phones on the 1.9GHz band which helps avoid interference that can be found on both the 2.4GHz and 5.8 gigahertz bands. Some of these newer phones on the 1.9GHz band were able to sustain talk times of up to 24 hours (not that you need to talk that long). They use DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology which is being adopted by all the major cordless phone brands like GE, Uniden, Panasonic, VTech, and AT&T. Why all the frequencies? Our homes are becoming a wireless maze of connections for Internet, cell phones, baby monitors, and microwave ovens. We've all had bad reception while walking around our house on a cordless phone and it seems to get worse the closer you are to other wireless devices that sometimes interfere with your phone conversation. A really cool phone, the Panasonic KX-TH111S can double as a cell phone when used in conjunction with your cordless phone's base. Using Bluetooth technology you can access your wireless service. Amazing! The GE 28310EE1 ($100) is one step better, it can allow you to access Internet based phone calls via Skype or Vonage packages. Software is actually already on the phone and all you have to do is connect the phone to your computer using an Ethernet jack and make free phone calls. We are probably getting ahead of ourselves for this article, but you can see where the technology is headed and it's not too far away. The first thing to consider when buying a cordless phone is whether you want an analog or digital phone. Analog tends to get better voice quality, but you will suffer with shorter range and the potential for someone to eavesdrop on your conversation. Digital phones are more expensive, but you get a more secure phone and options like multiple handsets let you conference in 2+ handsets to a call. Some people run into interference problems depending on which frequency they go with. 1.9 MHz and 5.8MHz phones should eliminate these problems, but you can always return the phone and try a different frequency if you need to. Cordless phones have one main phone that sits in the base and then another phone that gets plugged into an electrical outlet somewhere in your house. No need for a 2nd phone jack with these. Common features include speaker phone on base as well as phone for hands free use (great while cooking or holding a baby), base keypads, headset jack, and buttons for redial or speed dialer. The one that come with answering machines are slightly more expensive and due away with the need to use your phone or cable company as your answering service (which can run up to $8/month). The battery on a cordless phone is what has improved dramatically over the last decade. You can now get up to 20+ hours of talk time but may still average a very respectable 8-10 hours. Many manufacturers offer 2 line cordless phones which homeowners are demanding more of. For long range cordless phones there is one solution, the EnGenius Durafon-1X, although you will pay high price for this unit. With cell phones so prevalent these days, don't put too much money into a cordless phone since you problaby won't be using it nearly as much as you do your cell phone. Down below we have listed the "top picks" in various categories. See the best selling cordless phones on Amazon.

RECOMMENDED - AT&T offers some of the better digital cordless phones and the AT&T E5902B ($69.95) is a top rated 5.8GHz expandable cordless. Features include 2 handsets (maximum of 4), caller ID, call waiting, speakerphone, and fully integrated Digital answering machine. Talk time is an ample 8 hours and the lighted keypad on the handset comes in handy in dark rooms. Basics on the phone are call transfer, 10 number speed dial, last number redial, and ring tones. The phone sits in the cradle to get charged and it can be wall mounted. You can find this phone in most electronic retailers or online at Amazon.com. RECOMMENDED - Browse all the AT&T cordless phones here.

Analog phones don't sacrifice that much in terms of quality and the Vtech ia5824 ($25) is a great basic cordless phone for your home. CR gave it a 'best buy' award since it works fine for talking and listening and since it's on the 5.8 GHz frequency it won't interfere with other wireless devices. Although the few reviews we read on Amazon weren't very favorable, we are going with a trusted leader in testing of electronics (Consumer Reports) as the source we will go with. The phone offers caller ID, call waiting, 20 name & number phonebook directory, and a backlit keypad. The one major drawback to all analog phones is that they are susceptible to security issues and others can listen in on your conversations in some situations.

Lots of people that visit our site were asking which phone has the best long range capabilities so we did our research and found the EnGenius Durafon 1X ($350). EnGenius was one of the first companies to make long range cordless phones which extend up to 12 floors or about 250,000 sq ft of coverage. They range from 1/2 mile to 5 miles depending on the phone itself. Most residential users don't need to worry about the range of the modern cordless phones since you will rarely go beyond the range limits. The reason why most cordless phones don't go that far is because cell phones have taken over and manufacturers have no incentive to make their ranges increase. Panasonic is a favorite amongst cordless phone experts and consumers. The Panasonic Dect 6.0 Series ($80) gets excellent ratings when compared to other phones with answerers. This phone features the DECT 6.0 technology which means less interference and cleaner calling capabilities and reception. Comes with 2 handsets, one base, and one charger. You get up to 20 hours of talk time and 16 minutes worth of recording on the answering machine. The system is expandable to 6 handsets if you need that many. You can do 3-way conference calling. Reviews on Amazon were overwhelmingly positive with many people claiming this to be the "best value phone" on the market. Voice quality and dial features are what set this phone apart from the competition. You can pick it up online at Amazon or in Wal-Mart stores. Another good value is the Uniden DCT648-3 2.4 GHz ($65) and even the VTech 6042 DECT 6.0 ($75).

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