Best Rated Landline Phones – There are MANY cordless landlines on the market, but which one should you choose? Here’s what we found when we reviewed them
You might think that the traditional home phone is a thing of the past, being replaced by the mobile phone, but there are still good reasons to buy a handset for your landline, especially since it’s actually quite cheap.
Best Rated Landline Phones
Many ISPs require you to have a landline in your contract and offer phone deals so you get what you pay for. And unlike smartphones, landlines don’t cost a fortune: the models I tested for this article cost £100. To be honest, I found that half of that amount is enough to buy a good product.
At&t 2940 Corded Phone With Caller Id/call Waiting Black 2940
And there is also the health aspect. Needless to say, our smartphone addiction reveals some indirect consequences, ranging from the relatively benign (thumb tendinitis) to the seriously worrisome (mental health issues). For those who find the constant barrage of information and notifications from today’s smartphones unappealing, a landline is a good way to stay in touch while being a little “off the grid” (although cell phone manufacturers are also targeting this market as a basic phone.)
Finally, cordless landlines are more reliable than cell phones, especially in emergencies. Cell phones require a signal and their batteries drain quickly; none of this applies to your home phone. If you need to call 999, the latter is the product you can rely on.
So which is the best home phone? I’ve spent more man-hours than I can remember trying, testing, and reviewing various options from the major manufacturers to figure out which ones are worth picking up and which ones are worth leaving behind.
One of the first things that became apparent was that the call quality—the sound you get through the handset—is essentially the same. So I looked for differences elsewhere: design, functionality and ease of use.
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Many come with built-in answering machines and nuisance call blocking as standard (all but one of these phones had the former and all had the latter), so don’t be fooled by these features. In fact, you won’t be able to use the latter unless your service provider allows you to; read before you buy.
Instead, I recommend looking at the handset’s battery life, whether it can read SMS messages, and how far the device can be from the base station. And of course how easy it is to pick up and call the number.
Why we love it: This affordable phone packs a lot of functionality into a stylish handset
The truth is, no home phone will ever be very exciting – we’re not talking high-end 4K TVs here; the design hasn’t changed much in the last ten years – so you’re looking for something that will get the job done at a friendly price. As far as I’m concerned, this product is the Panasonic KX-TGD622 (catchy name, right?).
Vintage 1980s Cordless Phones Completely Changed How We Talked To Each Other
The handset itself is a nice size and light, so it feels good in the hand during long phone calls. The buttons are large enough so that those with vision problems can see what they are doing. The design is relatively elegant: the handset and base station are combined in a nice, ergonomic way.
16 hours of talk time and 200 hours of standby time, battery life is standard; and a 100m range should be sufficient for most homes.
The phone itself is very easy to use: just type in the number and press the green call button. Everything else is a bit more complicated, but at least it’s explained in detail in the manual. And how many features are available. In addition to the basics like answering machine and call blocking (accomplished with the push of a button), the phone can act as an intercom, your contact directory, baby sitter and alarm clock. There’s also a handy Do Not Disturb mode that silences your phone at night, and a locator if you lose your handset.
Overall, Panasonic seems to have covered all the bases with this one. Those looking for a solid phone for their kitchen will find it simple enough, but those looking for something more sophisticated will find a lot to dig into.
At&t Cordless Phones & Cordless Phone Systems
The Premium (left) and Advanced (right) phones are almost exactly the same in terms of features, the Premium is just a little more advanced. Credit: BT
I’m going to treat them as one because they’re basically exactly the same (apart from a few minor things I’ll cover at the end of this review) and they’re both really good phones.
The design gets the job done: nothing fancy, but nice enough (notice the theme?). I prefer the upgraded phone because the keys on the Premium phone have a glossy surface that picks up fingerprints very easily, but they are easy to use and have nice keys that feel good to press. The phones are a decent size and comfortable to hold with a decent weight that makes them feel solid.
My favorite feature of these phones is the call screening service. This is actually something that Google recently introduced with its brand new Pixel 3, but BT has been doing it for much longer. Once set up, the caller must tell you who they are, and then you can choose to accept or ignore the call. It works pretty well (although it’s a little tricky to set up) and don’t worry, contacts you’ve already saved in your phonebook will come right through. Your mom won’t have to deal with the car every time she calls.
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BT has taken a big step to tackle nuisance callers. They put their “lock” button right at the top of the keyboard so it’s clearly visible and easy to find. One press and you will block the caller. Also, unlike most of the other phones on this list, the blacklist is extensive and allows you to block hundreds of numbers instead of the poxy 20 or 30 on most of these phones.
You can make sure no one pays their bills by setting a blanket ban on certain types of calls. For example, you can block all 0800 numbers from being sent and received, or block all international numbers. Useful for teenagers with distant love interests.
As for the differences between the Advanced and Premium models, the latter is around £10 more expensive, offers 3,000 contacts, records up to 60 minutes of messages, 21 hours of talk time and has the aforementioned glowing keys. The upgraded model, meanwhile, is cheaper, but only has 200 contacts, has frosted keys and can save you half an hour’s worth of messages on the answering machine; though it has slightly better battery life, offering 22 hours of talk time.
I liked the look and feel of the Panasonic better, so the BT models are second on my list, but we’re talking degrees of difference, not drop. A worthy runner-up.
At&t Cl84202 Dect 6.0 Expandable Corded/cordless Phone 2 Handsets
The BT4000 Big Button Advanced is specially designed for the elderly or those with poor vision, so the buttons are huge. Authors: BT
Being specifically designed for older people, the phone does a lot of things right. It certainly lives up to its name with nice big buttons that should be easy to read for the visually impaired. The text on the screen is also large enough to be easy to read, and some of the menu buttons are easy to understand. The handset is nice and thick, but perhaps a bit heavier than most of the other devices on this list.
Among the usual features (aside from one major omission, which I’ll get into in a minute) is hearing aid compatibility, which should reduce background noise and make it easier to hear the person on the other end of the line. Since I don’t have a hearing aid, I couldn’t test this feature myself… so I asked my grandma, who happens to a) wear a hearing aid and b) have this phone. She said she thought it worked fine if someone installed it for her.
And therein lies the problem. The manual for the big button isn’t great. It seems to be written for people who are more tech savvy than this phone’s target audience. In addition, some features of the phone are not even mentioned in the manual, forcing users to go online to learn how to perform certain operations.
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That’s not the only problem either. This is the only phone I’ve reviewed that doesn’t have an answering machine. A confusing turn off if you ask me. Seniors are the generation that still uses autoresponders!
Despite the ugly socket box that wastes the jack, this phone is worth considering because of its ability to make calls using
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