Buying guide: Cordless phones

Our buying guide will help you shop for the perfect cordless phone system for your house

Image Credit: coudron on stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=233579)

Image Credit: coudron on stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=233579)

Shopping Checklist: Cordless Phones

• Standard features

An LCD screen, caller ID, redial and call waiting should all be standard features. Make sure you double-check what the phone offers.

• Range

The longer the range, the farther you can walk away from the base station with a cordless phone. If you have a large house then a long range is ideal, and an out-of-range warning may be useful too.

• Multiple handsets

Many phones can have up to three or four handsets linked together. Some can be purchased separately, while others are bundled together in a sales package. Be sure to check that the phone supports multiple handsets as you may need to purchase one at a later date.

• Pager button

A pager button is ideal, and most cordless phones should include it. This button is located on the base station or charging dock and pressing it sounds an alarm on the phone. It offers a quick and easy way of locating the handset's whereabouts.

• Backlit keypad

An often-overlooked issue is a backlit keypad, which is a blessing for night-time calls. Not all cordless phones have a backlit keypad, so check this before you buy.

• Answering Machine

Some cordless phones come with an answering machine as one of their features. This bumps up the price of the handset considerably, so if you don’t need one, then be sure to let the sales assistant know this.

• Ringtones

Current cordless phones should offer at least five ringtones, though many offer up to 20 or more. Be sure to check the volume of the ringer on the phone, as ringtones that are too quiet can pose problems in large households. Some newer cordless phones also offer polyphonic ringtones.

• Phonebook

A cordless phone should also have a phone book, with a minimum of 10 or 15 entries. This allows you to store commonly dialled phone numbers.

• Speakerphone

Check if the phone has a hands-free speakerphone. This allows you to have a conversation without holding the phone to your ear, so it may be ideal when cooking or cleaning around the home.

• Accessories

Ask what accessories come in the package. Some phones may include an extra battery, handset or a headset.

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Ross Catanzariti

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