I have gone through several cordless phones since they became popular. At first, I didn’t use them, then got one, then realized their convenience, and now I worry about the radiation. Anyways, despite the health risk, I still use one. More recently, I began buying telephones with talking Caller ID. This says the name of the person calling, which comes in handy for the blind. I’ve bought all Panasonic for this, I think the only company making such phones. They all have had similar designs. My first one worked nicely, my second one sucked royally, and now I have gotten a third.
All these phones work basically the same. Don’t even try accessing the menus, just dial the number and enjoy. Rather, hit start, then dial the number, or dial the number then hit start. At the end of the conversation, hit end. The first such phone I had would announce the names in the phonebook, but the next two did not. I wish this one would. The one I had previously to this acted terribly. It operated in the 5.8 GHZ range, and failed often. I also felt irritated by the high frequency on an energetic level. With some apprehension, I purchased another phone in their line suggested by my girlfriend. It looked just like my crappy one, but I soon discovered that I got a new model.
This model operates in the 1.92-1.93 GHZ range, and I do not feel the energetic irritation, at least not as pronounced. I also feel very glad to say that it works reliably. One phone has lasted me the whole day – no more switching handsets only to find the other one does not work even though I put it on the base hours before. That other one sucked, and I can’t wait to break it on air. I give this new phone four out of five stars, only because it doesn’t have total accessibility, but if you want a good talking Caller ID phone then try this out. The final number in the model number denotes the number of handsets and additional base units shipped with the base. You can expand the system up to six handsets. Oh yeah, and don’t bother with the online manual, it won’t tell you anything useful, except not to eat the batteries. If you need to, get a sighted friend to help you figure it out. The blind can hack their way through most normal functions. The handset does have soft keys which change function, but most of
the time you won’t have to worry about them.
It also features an answering system which you may use. I use Verizon’s voicemail since it works while busy, so don’t forget to turn it off if you don’t need it. The base unit handles this. The top buttons record and play your greeting. Below that, you will find the arrows with buttons around it. The upper right one turns the answering machine on and off. The lower right one locates the handsets. The upper left one erases messages. I don’t know what the lower left one does. The center button plays the messages.
The handset has the mute button on the top left, the on or start button below it, and the speaker phone button below that. The on button has a raised dot. In the middle you will see the arrows. On the right side you will find the off button with a raised dash, and the redial button below it. Below these buttons sits the keypad in the standard layout with a raised dot on the five key. Below the keypad, you will find two smaller buttons – flash/hangup on the left and hold on the right. You can put a caller on hold, then either push start or end. If you push end, you can save power and then hit start to resume the call.
I hope this rambling review helps someone. Remember to put in the batteries!