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We treated ourselves to a new cordless phone, as our old one was something out of the ark! On looking around at what was available we decided to go digital rather than stay analogue.
We purchased the new BT Synergy 3100. Price wise we went for the set with twin handsets which included the base unit and two handsets costing £64.99. A set with only one handset costs £44.99. If you want any additional handsets then these cost £44.99 each. This doesn’t seem a bad price providing you don’t want more than 2 handsets – and of course you only have one base unit to charge them on. The phones are available from anywhere who sells BT products and from www.bt.com.
The phones can be used up to 50 metres (indoors) and 300 metres (outdoors) away from the base unit before the signal starts to break up. Although this is what the BT blurb says I can confirm that it is correct. The phones have what BT describe as digital clarity, which maybe true but even with the volume turned up it can sometimes be a strain listening to what the person on the other end is saying, as I think they are rather quiet phones.
The base unit is fairly small, about 6 inches by 4 inches and very light, which means it is possible to catch and send it skating across the table you have it on. Of course it is mains powered so you need to be able to plug it in to a mains socket near to your phone socket. It has two lights at the front to show when the unit is switched on, and when a handset is being charged. There is also a button on it so that you can page a handset – helpful when you’ve forgotten where you left it!! If you have more than one handset then it pages all of them at the same time. You can only charge one handset at a time on the base unit but the sets slip into the charge holder very easily, and don’t take forever to re-charge, about 2-3 hours from flat. Handsets stay useable for a couple of days before needing topping up - depending on how often you use them of course!. The only thing to remember is that if you pick up the phone to answer a call directly off the base unit then the handset automatically answers, so you can get caught out speaking to someone you don’t want to!
So how would you know who is calling? Well each handset has a caller display screen showing the number who is calling, and of course if you are dialling out it shows the numbers you are tapping in. Also each handset has a 50 name and number memory, so if the person who is calling is in the memory then the display shows their name rather than just the number. However, if you have more than one handset this can cause problems. The handsets do not ‘speak’ directly to each other – although you can make ‘internal calls’ between handsets – very handy when my hubby needs his coffee replenishing in the garage! This means that you have to program each memory independently and it can be easy to miss someone out of one of the handset memories – you soon find out of course but it is a bit of a nuisance to start with.
Each handset is quite small, 6 inches by 2 inches, which is nice for me – being quite a little person - and fairly light with all its weight, from the battery, at its base. They are fairly thin but will stand upright. Each handset has the usual numbers on and the buttons are nice and soft but positive to use. Each number also has the relevant letters of the alphabet next to it. There is a button at the bottom (‘int’) which enables you to call another handset if you have one (you just number them 1, 2, 3 etc.). Above the keypad there are more buttons like a mobile phone to enable you to access the address book and menu. There is a handsfree facility which works very well and a secrecy button, so you can discuss something without the person on the other end hearing. Another useful touch is that each handset can be turned off independently, so you don’t always have to have them all working. You can program each handsets ringer volume so if you have one in a bedroom you can have it quieter than say the one which is used in the rest of the house.
Now there will be some of you out there who are very colour conscious. Well this model is available in titanium and that is it!! Well actually it is grey – the handset being two tone grey – light at the bottom and dark at the top, the base unit is light grey– OK I’ll say it is silver then.
We have found the phone to be very good, with the small base unit being unobtrusive. The distance the handsets can be used away from the base unit is good and we haven’t suffered any break up of signal when they have been in use. All in all a good phone at a good price.