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Cordless Phones in the UK - A Buyer's Guide.

Telephones @ Comet
- Telephones and telephone products including digital cordless phones, cordless phones, corded phones and answering machines.

A buyer's guide to Cordless Phones

Home telephones sold today fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Digital Cordless Phones
  • Analogue Cordless Phones, and
  • Corded Phones

Digital cordless phones can have a range outdoors of up to 300m, and speech quality should be similar to that of a corded phone. They make use of a technology standard referred to as DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications). Analogue phones have a shorter range, less security and more interference.

A digital cordless phone will consist of a base station and one or more handsets. Radio frequencies (RF) are used to transmit your conversation between the handset and base, and modern techologies make this secure. RF interference virtually none existant on a digital handset. You can also get an answering machine as part of your set up.

Features to look out for

Most cordless phones today offer number storage, last number redial and a volume control. Other features to look out for include:

  • Caller Display - the number of the person calling you can be displayed - you usually have to pay your telephone company a small additional charge for this service. Some of these phones can also keep the phone numbers of missed calls, so you can call back later if you want to.
  • Multiple handsets - you can get systems with up to six handsets that you can put in different places around the house. They will all need to be plugged into a power supply but only the base station need to, in addition, be plugged into the phone line.
  • Speaker phone - this allows you to talk hands free to callers. The quality is usually acceptable but not as clear as with a handset. Usually only the base station handset will have the speaker phone function, but there are systems available with speaker phone on all the handsets.
  • Illuminated displays and / or illuminated keys - for using the phones in the dark (but not a power cut - see later)
  • Mute - you despress the mute button and can then talk to someone else in the room without being overheard. This is a useful feature when talking to the mother-in-law.
  • Speed dialling - with this feature you can preprogram frequently dialled numbers into the phone and access them via a shortcut by pressing 1 to 3 keys.
  • Intercom - allows you to dial phones in other rooms to talk directly via the handsets.
  • Handset Pager - pressing a button on the base station makes all the other handsets bleep (provided their batteries are charged) so that you can find them.
  • Batteries - look for phones with Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries as these have a higher capacity than other rechargeable batteries.

Safety Note

In a power cut your cordless handsets will not work because there will be no power to the base station. I always recommend that you keep a traditional corded phone plugged in somewhere in your home in case of emergency.

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- Specialist telephone equipment including amplifiers and diability phones, DECT, corded and cordless telephones, bluetooth, headsets, faxes and answerphones and spare parts for BT Dect phones including power supplies, aerials and power supply units.
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