Advantages Unbelievably good value
Disadvantages Not many features
My BT phone line was playing up. Naively, I thought all I needed to do was ring BT and they would come rushing out to help me and all would be well. Wrong. Before they will visit, they need assurance that it is not your actual handset that is faulty. If it is, you get to pay £130 for wasting their time. To avoid this they recommend trying a different phone in your socket to check it's not your phone causing the problem.So, it was off to Tesco to buy another handset, purely (I thought) to establish that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the ones I already owned.
Tesco have a surprising and impressive array of phones. Many of them have lots of fancy features, but on this occasion I was only interested in price as I thought it was destined for a drawer after five minutes use. That led me straight to the Tesco Value Gondola, costing a mere £4.28. I wouldn't normally have bought this - the packaging would have put me off, screaming "CHEAP" as it does, with its standard 'Tesco Value' markings on the box. But common sense prevailed, and I shoved it in my trolley.When I got it home I was very pleasantly surprised. It looks just like the picture above - a semi-matte, cream plastic with black buttons. The box describes it as white, but it is definitely cream. The numbers on the buttons are white against the black background and are quite large, so they are easy to read. There is a grey sticker on the base where you can, if you wish, write down twelve phone numbers. It wipes down easily and doesn't particularly show fingerprints. It isn't especially stylish, but it doesn't look cheap and there are no Tesco or Value logos on it to give it away.
It attaches to the phone socket with the standard plastic clip, and this fits fine and seems quite robust. It can be wall-mounted or sat on a table. If you're thinking of wall-mounting it, bear in mind that the coiled cord is quite short - at maximum stretch it is only about one metre long. But if you're sitting it on a desk you can get more 'reach' as the socket-to-phone cord is 2 metres long, making it quite portable.It is low on features, but that's fine for me; if I want fancy stuff I use my mobile. It has a mute button, a last number redial button, and another black button with an 'R' in the middle - I still have no idea what that does! The ring volume can be set to either low or high. I found high was just too loud for normal use and kept making me jump. Set at low, you can still hear it from a couple of rooms away.
It is actually a very good phone, and I am still using it as it turned out that the fault WAS with one of my phones. I know corded phones are old-fashioned nowadays but in some ways they are very practical - the kids can't run off with it, there are no batteries to go flat and when it rings you know where to find it! I've only had it for about two months so can't comment on how long it will last, but so far so good, and if it should ever break down, I would have no hesitation in buying another one just like this.So, overall I would highly recommend this phone for anyone who is on a budget or who simply prefers a basic, uncomplicated phone.
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