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My husband and I have spent an absolute fortune over the years on telephones; from corded to cordless and now digital. Our previous digital phones; all of which were BT, failed within 12 months of purchase and subsequently, ended up on a landfill site!!
The product I am discussing is our current phone, namely the triple Philips CD 245, which have all stood the test of time, as they are as good now as the day we first bought them some 19 months ago.
Whilst we don't live in a mansion, we opted for the triple pack, where the base station houses the answer phone. The phones are chrome in colour with the handsets measuring 16 cm in height, 2 cm in depth and approximately 5 cm in width. There is a 3½ cm x 2 cm display window, which illuminates orange when the phone is in use.
The phones are extremely easy to handle and whilst not cumbersome, they are not too small. The reason I say this is that nowadays, many handsets are tiny and somewhat difficult to both handle and operate, particularly as they are cluttered with so many small buttons. The buttons on the Philips phone are of a relatively good size and are sensibly spaced apart. I've found with some phones that I was always knocking the adjacent button.
What we love about this model is both the reception and clarity of speech as we have never once experienced any inteference and been forced to move to an alternative location. Long gone are the days where you had to virtually hang out of the window to use your cordless phone with the huge aerial!
As previously stated, the base station houses the answer phone, which is very easy to operate with a few simple buttons located on the base or it can be accessed from the actual handset. The answer phone can hold up to 99 messages with a maximum talk time of 15 minutes.
What I particularly like about this model is that you can set the number of rings you require prior to your answer phone kicking in. I've set ours at the maximum of 9 rings so I can permanently leave my answer phone switched on, as otherwise I forget to set it when we go out.
You can choose to use the message provided with the machine, which is a rather posh lady or record your own personal message. One of the reasons we chose this actual model of phone is that we can access the answer phone remotely by entering a unique code, which will instruct the machine to play back our messages.
The base station is plugged into both the electric mains and the telephone line, with the bases of the additional handsets simply requiring a mains connection.
The phones have a number of features, such as call waiting and caller display (if subscription paid to telephone provider), speakerphone, secrecy button and call divert. I found this feature extremely convenient, as our three phones are located in our living room, bedroom and study.
In order to operate, each additional phone has to be registered to the main handset and you are able to name each handset, so ours are "living room", "bedroom" etc, as prior to naming them, we found we were placing them on the incorrect bases. Each handset runs off 3 x AAA rechargeable batteries. You should never use ordinary batteries, as they will damage the handset and base. Used batteries should not be disposed of through your normal household waste and need to be taken to a recycling centre.
As my husband rarely answers the phone I frequently have to transfer a call from one handset to another. It saves me running down the stairs to find him!! The phones can also be used as a paging system, enabling me to buzz my husband when I'm upstairs and politely request he bring me a cup of tea!! (a feature he simply hates!!). There are ten ring melodies you can choose from and my comedian of a husband decided to select a different tune for each of our three handsets, so when our phones ring we are deafened by the sound of three different tunes!!
One of the main problems we have found with previous digital phones is the battery life. Whilst the phones allegedly would allow us to talk for several hours before the battery required recharging, we found the phones were constantly cutting out during a 5 minute call!!
This is a fault that fortunately does not exist with the Philips phones, as the batteries in the three of the handsets have not needed replacing in the 19 months that we've owned them. Each handset will provide you with approximately 12 hours of talk time (if you can talk that long!!) We frequently leave the phones off the bases and have never experienced a problem with low battery. However, I would advise the phones be placed on the bases overnight in order for the batteries to recharge.
Another great feature on these phones is the call barring facility where you can select up to four numbers from where you do not want to receive calls. We were constantly awoken during the early hours of the morning by the same telephone number belonging to a rather drunken man who wrongly believed our home number was that of a taxi firm!! Consequently, we have barred his number, so he now has to stagger home unless he eventually managed to find the correct taxi number!!!
The phones have a 100 number phone book, which in my opinion, is quite sufficient as we haven't been able to fill it. There is also a hands-free function should you wish someone else to listen in on the call. The phones are also great for taking into your garden, as they will provide you with an outdoor range of 300 metres.
The only downside that relates to all digital phones is that when there is a power cut, the phones are inoperable.
There are so many other great features with this phone and obviously I cannot discuss each and every one of them. However, I would highly recommend the Philips CD 245 as in my opinion, this model exceeds any other phone. They are extremely efficient, the signal quality is excellent and they have plenty of useful features.
Whilst I purchased our triple pack 19 months ago for nearly £140, I have noticed they are now considerably reduced in price.
I have checked Amazon and would advise that to purchase new prices start at £29.95 for a single handset and increase to £90.00 for four handsets, which in my opinion, is excellent value for money.
I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading.
This review was posted on Dooyoo on 11 June 2010 under the same user name and has been edited to reflect today’s prices.