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Landline phone reviews

We test 16 landline phones, priced from $55 to $229.
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Landline Phones

We review 16 landline phones with answering machines, priced from $55 to $229.

We've rated each model for:

  • ease of use
  • sound quality
  • range, and
  • battery life.

On this page:

For more information about home phones, see phones and mobile devices.

Trying to find the best cordless phone can be daunting, particularly if you want to buy one with features such as extra-loud ring volume or the ability to use it hands-free. This test looks at models that work with an extra handset, providing extra versatility. All models were tested with an extra handset.

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Phones staying home

Landline phones remain an important part of many homes. The latest models are keeping relevant by forming stronger links with smartphones as well as providing peace of mind in case of an emergency by working in a blackout.

We also tested the answering machine on the models that have them but did not include this score in the overall performance score, so that you can easily compare the performance on landline phones with and without answering machines.

This article contains our test results for a range of 16 cordless landline phones with answering machines, as well as general information on what to consider when buying a cordless phone.

Brands and models tested

  • iDECT Eclipse 8035+1
  • Panasonic KX-TG1612
  • Panasonic KX-TG2722
  • Panasonic KX-TG6822
  • Panasonic KX-TG7652AZB
  • Panasonic KX-TG8032ALB
  • Panasonic KX-TG8562
  • Telstra 12250 Twin
  • Telstra Slim Touch 12950 Twin
  • Uniden DECT 1515 + 1
  • Uniden DECT 3115 + 1
  • Uniden DECT 3136BT + 1
  • Uniden SSE35 + 1
  • Uniden SSE37 + 1
  • Uniden XDECT 6135BTU + 1
  • Uniden XDECT 8055 +1

Can't find the model you are looking for? Take a look at our results from our test in 2012. The results are not directly comparable to our most recent tests, but it'll give you a good idea of their performance.

How we test

Ease of use Our testers consider factors such as the quality of the instruction manual, the feel and comfort of the handset, whether the screen is easy to read, and any other special features. 

Sound quality A panel of users makes calls in a moderately noisy environment and assesses speech clarity, speech loudness, line noise and background noise reduction on each model. 

Battery life After fully charging each phone’s battery, our testers set the phones to talk and record how long each takes to be discharged.

Range The base station for each phone on test is placed within a single story building with solid concrete foundation and walls while the phone under test was located outside on the opposite side of one wall obstructing the line of sight. The tester continues to make phone calls, with the maximum range being determined by either the radio link being cut, or a subjective assessment made that voice quality made conversation unacceptable. 

Maximum ringer volume Ringer volume measurements were conducted using a decibel meter placed 1m horizontally away from the base or handset under test. 

Answering machine Our testers look at the ease of use when creating a message and managing calls, as well as sound clarity and quality for both the message recording and the message left by the caller.

What else you'll get in this report

As well as the test results for 16 models you'll also get:

  • Our interactive database with test results, prices, specs, and features for all landline phones
  • Invaluable buying information, plus practical tips on how to choose the right plan for your needs. Read this before you buy!
  • CHOICE Shopper: Buy a membership and get this exclusive members' service that can save you time and money on your purchase.
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