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We test 30 cordless phones including models from Gigaset, Panasonic, Uniden, Telstra and more.
Cordless phones haven't gone the way of the dinosaurs yet. The latest models are staying relevant by working better with smartphones and providing peace of mind in case of an emergency, with many working in a blackout.
We've reviewed 30 cordless phones and two corded models priced from $55 to $399. We've rated each model for:
All models were tested with an extra handset. We tested the answering machine on the models that have them but didn't include this in the overall performance score, so that you can easily compare the performance of phones with and without answering machines.
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Our test report compares products across these 51 criteria.
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The overall score is made up of:
Sound quality (40% – receiving sound quality: 20%; sending sound quality: 20%)
Ease of use (40%)
Battery life (20%)
Answering machine (0% – answering machine performance is scored but doesn't contribute to overall score)
Recommended retail, as of May 2015.
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.
After fully charging each phone’s battery, our testers set the phones to talk, and record how long each takes to be discharged.
GAP compatibility means you can add additional handsets to your home cordless phone from different brands with the same feature and expect a level of functionality to make and take calls.
This score reflects the quality of the phone call sound when listening on the tested model's handset.
We 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.
Cordless phones being the only option in the home was a concern for some home owners because a power outage meant you couldn't make an emergency call for help. While smartphone ownership may have reduced this issue, it's still nice to know that some of the latest models store enough power in the units to allow you to use your phone as a normal corded phone for enough time to make that call when required.
Night mode allows you to get a good night sleep knowing that the phone will automatically switch to the answering machine if you get a call in the middle of the night.
Models with this feature allow you to put the additional handset in the baby's room and the handset will automatically recognise a noise and transfer it to the main handset in your bedroom.
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