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19.06.2010

Advantages:
Excellent calling clarity, clear numbers/ screen, easy to use, answer machine

Disadvantages:
Texting

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Reception & Clarity of speech

Range of features

Reliability

Value for money

Range of receptionExcellent

What is the durability of this product?Excellent

27 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (19%):
  1. rosebud2001
  2. bexx0907
  3. plipplopfromdooyoo
and 2 other members
very helpful by (81%):
  1. TheHairyGodmother
  2. KathEv
  3. JasonJRogers
and 19 other members

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Introduction

Lots of people seem to forget these days that a phone is just that - a phone and some people want a phone solely for the means of contacting one another through the age old technology of telephone wires. Some, of course donít. There are some people that want their phones to take pictures, send text messages and an perform array of little extras which mobile phones incorporate these days. But, what about your landline? Surely you donít expect that to be all singing, all dancing. With colour screens, changeable ringtones and the ability to send texts, it would seem that even the landline phones are in a constant battle for style. I, personally am happy with my trusty PanasonicÖ

Iíve been using this model for several years now and although it doesnít incorporate a colour screen or the ability to mow my lawn, its served me well over the years. This little gem cost around £90 when I first purchased it, however, now you can pick it up for the bargain price of around £37 at certain retailers.

Setting Up

The phone isnít part of a set unfortunately, it comes with a base which includes an answering machine and dual dialling. Setting up is simple enough, the box includes an easy to use instruction manual, although whether or not youíll find yourself referring to it is questionable. All thatís really required is to insert the (rechargeable) batteries and plug in the all the wires which are clearly identified.

The Phone

Once the initial set up has been completed, itís advised that you insert the phone into the dock to allow for a good couple of hours charging time. However, if youíre like a kid at Christmas and canít wait to test it out, the batteries will initially last only an or so. Despite this phone being rather ancient (itís at least 6 years old) it has some pretty decent features which should just about keep you in touch with todayís technology.

The SMS text messaging option is a nice little touch to have at hand if youíre ever in need of it, but, really, who uses their landline to send texts? If you are one of these rare breeds then youíll be interested to know that texting on this phone is a little like texting on a very early Nokia phone. It can be a lengthy process and youíll be unaware as to whether youíll make it through the process with the phone intact, but once completed youíll wonder what all the fuss was about. Buttons on this phone do have a tendency to stick and this isnít something thatís happened with wear and tear, itís something thatís been apparent in this phone since we bought it. When dialling a number this isnít really a problem, however, during texting the sticking buttons often rear their ugly heads, almost in a blatant attempt to make an already lengthy process even longer. One of the features I do like with the text messaging is the fact that you can create your own account. I.e if youíre sending a very personal text to someone and youíd prefer if family members didnít see, you can set up your own texting account, meaning that you enter your name and a 4 digit password, enabling you to communicate privately. This option isnít available when calling though unfortunately.

An incorporated phonebook allows you to save up to 200 contacts. Creating a contact couldnít be simpler and works in much the same way that it would on a mobile phone. The top middle button of the handset accesses the menu and scrolling down 3 places will land you in the phone book set up menu. Here, contacts can be stored, deleted and edited all very swiftly. Also in the menu are options to edit the time (unfortunately the phone does not update automatically during daylight savings hours), date, keytones and pin codes. A pin code is another superfluous option, which, upon picking up the phone from the dock allows you to enter a pin to gain access. This could be a useful feature if you have young children, but not such a good feature in an emergency. This phone includes a ringtone changer, which incorporates the top of the range, brand new technology (sense the sarcasm) ofÖ Polyphonic ringtones. Ok, so actually these came out about 8 years ago but itís a nice option to have, unless of course your 86 year Grandmother would prefer to have Dizzee Rascal banging out her landline informing her that heís Ďbonkersí. There are 15 Polyphonic ringtones, along with a few standard ringtones thrown in for good measure. Iím all for MP3 tones on my mobile, but I prefer something a bit more iconic on my landline, so I opt for the standard Ďring ringí.

The phone comes with a clear LED screen and once a button is pressed, that, and all the buttons will illuminate green allowing for night-time dialling. The LED screen is crisp and clear and unlike some phones the screen isnít cluttered with so much information and numbers it would give Carol Vorderman a headache. On the screen youíll be informed of the level of signal youíre receiving, the date and time and the battery remaining. In terms of battery youíre looking at a good 10 days of standby without the need for this to be charged. If youíre making and receiving regular calls then youíre looking at this figure decreasing to a highly respectable 7 days of standby time. The LED screen will also make you aware of any missed calls, text messages and answer machine messages.

In terms of calling quality this phone is second to none. There are 10 volume settings which can easily be adjusted during a call with the use of the up and down menu buttons. The call quality is always crisp, clear and loud (even on a low volume), although of course your level of signal will undoubtedly affect this. A mute button is an extremely useful feature for those times when youíre arguing with the other half and donít want your boss on the other end of the phone to hear! This is enabled by pressing the cancel button, which also acts as the mute button, located under the Ďend callí button. To disable this feature you need to remember to press the green button and not the mute button again. The loudspeaker option is absolutely fantastic, the speaker is located at the back of the phone and covers a very wide area, making for optimum sound performance. The loud speaker always produces excellently crisp sound and unlike some, the person on the other end of the line, nor yourself will feel it necessary to shout to be heard.

The Base Unit

This is where youíd imagine things to become technical, however, surprisingly things are made incredibly simple here too. Setting up the answer machine is done with the press of a single button situated clearly on the base unit. Unlike some models you arenít able to change the voice to another recorded voice for the answering machine, however, you are able to record your own voice (something I shudder at the thought of ever doing). Youíre able to store 15 minutes of recordings, which doesnít seem a lot on first thought, but providing you delete messages after listening to them then this is quite sufficient. The clarity of the messages is where this phone falters somewhat and you may find yourself leaning over toward the base unit for you to be able to hear messages clearly. One thing that redeems that last point though is that youíre able to set how long you want the phone to ring before the answering machine kicks in, which is a very useful feature especially if youíre not in such a talkative mood one day!

Summary

Despite being more than a couple of years old and the phone being rather sizeable (think mobile phones circa 1995), the phone is surprisingly light, meaning that your arm isnít likely to become too tired after a long phone call. Everything is simple to set up and use, so simple infact that I bought my Nan the same model and unlike previous landlines, she doesnít find the buttons too small for her to see. For someone whoís in the market for a cheapish landline that doesnít require all the usual features youíll find on todayís handsets then this is a great buy.

Like a fine wine - this gets better with age.

Highly recommended

Pictures of Panasonic KX TCD 240
Panasonic KX TCD 240 Picture 014 - Panasonic KX TCD 240
Panasonic KX TCD 240
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Comments about this review »

JasonJRogers 22.06.2010 14:44

Sounds like a nice stylish answering machine you've got there!

jonathanb 21.06.2010 12:31

You've still got a phone that can't mow the lawn? You really need to get into the 21st century...

tallulahbang 20.06.2010 19:59

Damn! I'm going to be singing that song all day now. xx

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Product Information Ľ

Product details

Manufacturer Panasonic
USB No
Maximum Number of Phonebook Entries 200, 20
Bluetooth No
Type Cordless Phone with Answering Machine
Cordless Phone Standard DECT
Hands Free Functionality with Hands Free
Number of Additional Handsets 1
MMS Functionality No
SMS Function with SMS Function, without SMS Function

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings Ľ

This review of Panasonic KX TCD 240 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (81%):

  1. TheHairyGodmother
  2. KathEv
  3. JasonJRogers

and 19 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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