This is my first time purchasing a land line telephone and did I get a shock at how expensive they can be as well the range available to consumers.
Like any cautious consumer I ALWAYS do research before I buy things electronic related. Whether I did my research well or gambled on a product is a different matter. I hit the Internet looking for telephones once I knew I was definitely getting a land line. I wanted to try and make sure I have a phone ready when the line was connected / activated.
Like many “traditional” consumer electronic devices there are a lack of well quantity and quality reviews like when I was looking for a vacuum cleaner in this post. Another problem withthe online research was that not all products displayed on website are in a brick and mortar store. This was very confusing at first as I wanted to see the phones in real life and all the effort that went into noting down the models I wanted to see was wasted.
I had decided I wanted the base station to be separate from the handset. Most cordless phones have a main base unit with a phone charger and various handset and handset charger combination. I thought this was the only type of package was available till I stumbled upon the
Motorola MotoLivn D802. It has a base unit with answering machine and ring handset buttons on but no phone charger attached. This means you can have a box by the phone socket but ALL the handsets and chargers are separate. Also it was in shiny black which caught my eye. After discovering this I looked for more but it wasn’t till I went to the shops where I saw the Siemens Gigaset SL565 and BT Aqua which also had the same combination.
I liked the Siemens Gigaset phones but hated the BT for it’s looks. I still liked the D802 but both Motorola and Siemens were expensive. The D802 was especially hard to come by. With this information at hand I went back to the Internet in search of more variety but came back with nothing than the ones I have discovered except the D802 has been replaced with the D812 / D813
The packaging is very nice and well packaged with a lot of wrapping.
The box is reasonably sized with all the usual stuff like manual, quick start guide, etc.
It also comes with wall mounting screws and slugs but I can’t see how they could look good since the base would have stick out of the wall as the phone does not clip into the charger. The base unit is also wall mountable and seems more realistic.
The base unit has a small LCD display of the answering status. It shows whether the answering machine is on by displaying the number of messages or off. There are several buttons just below middle of the unit which has the following functions:
At the bottom of the base unit is a phone icon and a button. The button makes all the handsets registered to the base unit ring until the button is pressed again or a handset button is pressed. This is handy if you can’t find them.
The base unit settings can be accessed and changed from any registered handsets. This includes the ring tone and volume of the base unit, the dialing mode (pulse or tone), ring priority where you can set a certain handset to ring before the others, answering machine pin number because it allows remote access to the answering machine and eco mode where it reduces the power used by the base unit but it decreases the range.
The base unit has a speaker so you can listen to the messages there or it can be accessed to any of the registered handsets. The base unit stand is a U-shaped plastic frame behind the unit. This is fine on a flat surface but on a non even surface it may be hard for the unit to stay upright. It needs more weight on the frame to stop it from falling over. I have used bluetac and stuck it on the frame to give it the weight because the carpet isn’t even.
The handsets are fairly long and have a slight wedge shape to them. They do have a loudspeaker on the back and a small LCD screen which can be set to display caller ID, clock, call duration, etc. When the phone is on standy i.e on the charging station the screen dims but does not turn off. I have it set to display an analogue clock with a digital time on the top right and the date on the bottom right. All the buttons are backlit except the answer and hangup buttons on the d-pad style button. I see this as bad design but they are the only 2 buttons which are not lit. It has two programmable buttons i.e the functions are displayed on the LCD like a phone. All the buttons except the d-pad is made of rubber. The d-pad is made of plastic. There is a rubber pull out which covers a 3.5mm headphone jack on the right side of the phone. A nice touch. The phone has the normal feature sets like 250 names, re-dial, caller list and internal phone to phone call.
Like a mobile phone it can send text messages from the phone if you phone service supports it, different ring tone for internal (handset to handset) and external calls. You can also set custom ring tones for people in your address book. There are 10 ring tones to choose from. The handsets can also do agenda, alarm, access answer machine recordings and even have a 3 way call; 2 internal handsets and 1 from outside line. One of features I like was the propagation of changes. If you change a time on one handset it automatically sets the others and base unit. The address book can also be duplicated on other handsets but it’s not automatic like the time. There are 3 wallpapers to choose from which aren’t a lot but it’s a very low resolution screen and all feature the Motorola logo and 3 menu colours which are blue, orange and pink. The menu system is pretty intuitive and is similar to a mobile phone where a large icon and a text label below it describe the menu item or action.
The batteries for the handset uses rechargeable NiCad AA batteries. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing but it does mean it suffers from battery memory. I have yet to test the battery life. The handset sites in a square-ish charging station in an upright position instead of a slanted or flat down position. It makes picking up the handset a lot easier and less friction to get into the charger but the draw back is it can be knocked over easily.
One problem I did have the handset was the wiring channel at the bottom of the charging station. It was very hard to get into the groves where it snakes around. All the power adapters connect to the chargers and base unit with a RJ-11 mini telephone like end ut they are colour co-ordinated with a red plastic end and the clip is not in the middle like a standard RJ-11 so it will not fit into a modem for example.
Overall it has been good so far and for a cordless 2 handset model for around £50 was pretty good. There are few perks like the remote answering machine access, 3 way calling and text messaging I am impressed with but the screen could be a lot better and the answer / hangup should be lit. The handsets could be smaller like the Siemens models.