back to article Hit the DECT: cordless phones on test

The mobile phone may well be enjoying its time in the limelight, but like reality TV stars and the England cricket team, it probably won't last forever. Especially not when you cast your eye over this little lot, the cream of the DECT cordless-phone crop. Where these handsets are concerned, it is indeed good to talk. BT Home …


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  1. Lido De Jesolo

    VOIP or landline phones & BT Home Hub issues

    Not a bad group test. However I don't think it has been made clear that some of these phones (BT Hub Phone and Philips VoIP321 are two...) are primarily designed as VOIP phones. Whereas some of them are standard landline DECT phones. For some of the phones this is mentioned, for others it is not. It would also be good to see a comparison table for things like battery life, speakerphone volume comparison, phone book capacity, features etc.

    I would be interested to hear from anyone what has used the BT Hub Phone with the BT Broadband Talk service. In my experience it is a decent enough phone. The sound quality over VOIP is not as clear as my old Philips DECT phone on a landline. But it is manageable. What is not acceptable is the fact that the BT Hub Phone (or possibly the Home Hub itself) drop calls after around 50 minutes +. I have been using mine for conference calls for work and it has been pretty embarrassing getting logged off a conference call because your phone handset/hub has crashed. Disappointing.

  2. HeavyLight

    Gimme a wifi phone any day...

    Tell us the Idect X1 isn't really a Binatone?


    Oh, and the much-boasted "pre-configured wireless security" on the BT Home Hub is WEP rather than WPA and configuring the software is a nightmare!

  3. Andy

    X1 - Highly Recommended

    Have to agree with the recommendation for the X1.

    We have a triple pack of these at home and they're excellent. Agreed there's no fancy features but then I only use my phone at home to make a few calls.

    The styling and price of the X1's makes them a winner

  4. Myself

    But DECT = interoperability?

    So wait, you had a world-class assortment of DECT hardware to play with, and didn't answer the big questions haunting every potential DECT customer? To wit: Can handset X pair with base station Y? Can the user transfer calls betwixt and among different handsets in a heterogeneous environment? Can any consumer hardware work as range extenders, wirelessly repeating the signal of a wired base station? Commercial-grade DECT gear is widely touted for that exact feature, but I can find no information suggesting that consumer-grade kit can do the same.

    Put simply: I'd love to spend a week in your test lab. ;)

  5. alex dekker

    Siemens C460-IP

    Siemens have got a DECT on the market with an ethernet port and a SIP client built in. Would have been a good one to review as it can be used with decent VoIP services like Sipgate and, and doesn't require a PC to be on in order to use it. It's also available at a sensible price.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Siemens Gigaset experience

    I'm a very happy "work from home" employee of a "coffee" brewing, Hardware and OS selling IT company ... ;-)

    3 weeks ago I bought this Siemens set and am very happy with it. Reception is brilliant, sound clarity both ways is impressive and the thing last a good while.

    I used it constantly while in conference calls and indeed would like to "do the dishes" or "visit the dunny" while in a call ...

    But ... the darn thing does not have a MUTE function !

    Only serious drawback of this phone.

  7. Brennan Young

    Me too! (DECT interoperability)

    I'm also very curious about this DECT interoperability business, and various other features that came 'for free' with good ol' analogue telephones.

    In the shop where I bought my AEG phones (a 2 handset... set) I asked the sixteen year old 'salesman' about interoperability and he looked as if his boss had asked him whether loyalty was more important than obedience.

    When he eventually came out of his trance he answered "er... no I don't think they be used together" in a fairly unconvincing way.

    I've learned to disregard such tech 'know-how' from teenage staff at electronics retail outlets ever since one of them assured me that the MiniDisc was not digital but an analogue recording format - 'like a cassette'.

    But... but... what's the deal. Does 'DECT' imply anything useful for consumers or is it just hot air? Can I buy some more DECT handsets from another manufacturer which will work with my existing DECT phones? Who can answer?

    I also discovered that the handsets can have some numbers programmed into them. Great! Except you have to program handset A and handset B independently. No way of sharing the digital telephone book between handsets (pretty stupid). Watch out for that one.

    Oh! One more point: When we used to have two analogue phones in our flat, we could use both phones simultaneously - I mean, both me and my girlfriend could speak to 'the caller' or 'callee' at the same time. (I believe this was called a 'Party Line' in the old days).

    I naturally expected my DECT phones would offer the same functionality, but noooo.. Far too exotic. I really miss that sometimes when talking to relatives from abroad. Just a warning to you folks out there. This feature is not mentioned in the Reg review either.

    How hard can it be?

  8. Bill Mew

    Why review the Philips VoIP321 and no the VoIP841

    You reviewed the Philips VoIP321 and criticised it because you needed to plug it into a computer that needed to be on in order to do Skype/VoIP calls. Would it not have been easier instead to review the VoIP841 which is very siimilar, but works without needing to be plugged into a computer?

  9. Tony Griffiths

    iDECT X1

    I have an iDECT X1 and find it to be excellent except that I am no longer able to display caller ID on incoming calls received via BT homehub,

    I'm sure it worked initially but alas no longer.

    Any suggestions apart from talk to BT who cannot communicate

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