71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
This AT&T landline phone with answering machine is great. The display is large, easy to read and very informative. It has numerous special features that you will love, e.g., recording detailed calls, announcing calls, speed dialing, etc. I highly recommend buying this phone. It is a very good product for the price. The best feature is that it does not require extra batteries for the base unit like other phones.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2013
I purchased this phone system to replace an older AT&T phone and answering machine and separate caller ID box, that I have had since the mid-1990s. The older equipment actually still works. The reason that I bought this was because my mother had bought a similar system, but with all cordless phones (no corded phone in base). That system's caller ID will audibly (verbally) announce who is calling so you do not have to look at the phone. That is really cool! Since I actually had another off-brand phone that went bad, I decided to replace that with my old AT&T phone, and get this one because we like to have at least one corded phone in the house. Also, our old phone's speaker phone ran off of the phone line power, and has not been working as well since we use a VOIP carrier phone system that does not put as much power out to always power the speaker successfully. So here's my list of mostly pros and some cons:
- All-in-One corded phone with answering machine, caller ID, and cordless phone base (saves space from older separate devices)
- Large caller ID display and number keys on base phone makes it easy to read
- Voice announced caller ID and personal phone number directory (says what you enter in for known phone numbers)
- Plug in power provides a strong speaker phone on the base
- Digital answering machine is easy to use and announces the caller ID associated with the message
- Cordless phone displays and announces caller ID
- Can check answering machine messages from cordless phone
- Voice Mail symbol display on phones if you have a voice mail message on a separate voice mail system with your carrier (as we do)
- Cordless phone has a speaker built-in
- Can add many more cordless phones (purchased separately)
- No headset jack in the cordless phone, nor a belt clip (my other cordless phones have a jack to connect a headset for hands free use, including a belt clip)
- Speaker on cordless phone does not sound as clear as my other cordless phones (Uniden)
Overall, I recommend this phone system. It provides a lot of functionality for the money.
However, due to the 2 cons that I mentioned, I can only give it 4 stars.
166 of 185 people found the following review helpful
This is the most awesome phone I have found out of the many that are out there and are available and above all (not accounting for the vintage to antiques) the best one I've ever came across! I cannot expound it in more than words can state to express it all but will try:
Multitude of Functions and Options at your fingertips, easy to understand and use
Mega-Super-Duper-Sized Base (which tilts - for wall, desk, table or even at a braced angle mount shelf/rack/counter/etc..) LED Digital which is slightly off white and very easy to read black large lettering and numbers (GREAT FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED for I was even able to discern this with my glasses off even though it was blurry); which lights up when the phone rings (it does not flash like the others do and plus Colors ... BE GONE!).
CID - Caller ID Function Button which you can override the menu option and hassle by pushing this button to enable or disable the Caller ID Announcer (YES - It announces your Caller ID, another big bonus for those who are Visually Impaired / Blind).
HUGE - DO I MEAN JUMBO OVERSIZE BUTTONS - which is very handy! Easy-Peasy to see and read as well as to use, making you want to "Phone Home" .... as ET would say. Even more so, handy to teach the little ones the importance for emergencies; for there have been some who have "saved a life" to "saving their entire families lives" all because they were taught to dial 911 as they say "out of the mouth of babes..."; these were just little ones and they can be taught whether they are 2 or 5 years old, from a health crisis to a blazing fire even to their neighbor across the street! For by this, because of their family members having taught them, they became heroes!
MUTE BUTTON MANIA! Like the old Prego commercial would say "It's in there" - both the base and handset has the MUTE Button we all crave for, and on the base, you just cannot miss this one as big and round as it is - I've affectionately nicknamed it my "Easy Button" (sorry Staples), for it is parked right there, next door to your speaker phone button which is almost like a rectangluar"y" shape.
HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO - Way to go on the Speaker Phone! During the test run with my mother (will get to the Relay / TDD (aka TTY) in a moment) - I was nearly 6 feet away and my mother could hear me clear as a whistle.
RECEIVER - GOOD OR BAD? It's actually beyond my expectations before having set this all up, for mine is on the desk; I originally thought about mounting it on the wall (changed my mind - I didn't like my mind the first time, so I changed it); so having had numerous experiences with these wall mounted phones (excluding the vintage to antiques), I remembered how many times I had been so distracted and hanging up that blasted receiver and only to have it fall on my foot or on the floor and bouncing around. Or if you bumped it (I am not referring to a "wallop" here) then it was boom, on the floor or on my foot, bouncing around like a yo-yo. *Sigh* I did a test, a couple of tries without looking before it, I guess, one would call it "clicked-in" once it's in its place up on the wall. When I bumped it or knocked it with my hand as if I brushed against it, it stayed intact and did not move. Maybe that is a good thing that the cord length that it comes with is short so that it does not hit our feet and bang on the floors again, so that be a good thing, however if one's using a desk/table, you might want to opt for an extension cord, but I would not know why for the HD Audio itself is so exceeding powerful (more details to follow).
VOLUME CONTROL! As the old television show "Home Improvement" Tim "Toolman" Taylor would say "More Power - ARGGGH!! ARGGGH!!" This pretty much sums it up, more power to you at your finger tips, for YOU ARE IN CONTROL! This includes both Base, Speaker, and Handset.
RINGER TONES - 10 of them including musical tones - so whatever floats your boat, find one that fits you and set it! It's that easy!
RINGER TONE VOLUME - Oh yeah - got to love that! Totally separate from the Volume Control; if you love that Ringer Tone so much and like it loud, crank it up! But if you're a parent with a sleeping baby - you can always turn the volume control down.
ADDENDUM ABOUT VOLUME CONTROLS: This Packs A Lot Of Punch When Cranked Up; if you're a City Dweller and have windows opened, I wouldn't recommend having this cranked all the way up unless you want everyone in the Residential Area or Apartment Area and plus 5 blocks away to hear you; it might just be a good idea to turn it down a little. Unless you have that annoying next-door neighbor you don't like that keeps you awake all the time, well, we will keep it a secret here and make that annoying neighbor think his phone is ringing. :-)
FUNCTION JUNCTION WHAT'S YOUR OPTION? Do I enable everything or not - that is the question? So many features, functionality, I feel hopeless! No, you do not need to enable or disable (aka turn on or off) or use all these functions which are made available but it is nice knowing that they are there if ever you need them. But one thing there at the base that has left me profoundly bewildered at the end of it all is the fact that AT&T has provided you their website? I'd like to see someone try to go on the website via the phone, for the strangest thing in all my life is the link is a live link?
CALL WAITING - You have Mr. Belevedere, the Butler, at your service as well as Call Forwarding and other options in your Settings which can be found in 'Malcolm in the Middle' , excuse me, that's Menu in the middle on the toolbar xxxxxx .... scratch that - function bar on the top of the phone. (Available for those who have this phone service provision via their provider(s).)
DOES "1" REALLY MEAN .... "I'VE GOT EMAIL"? - Considering the fact there is an envelope there beside Number 1 on the dial - I will leave this as a mysterious suspense thriller!
30 Contacts On the List In Sync With My Handset at the Base .... (sing to the tune of Partridge in a Pear Tree). Totally unreal, everywhere I've gone to, the maximum I have seen for this corded and cordless was sadly 15, only 1 had 20 but they wanted your Arm, Leg, Blood, and your entire Estate plus your Will for it; Forget it! (Worse, that Orangey on Black was so tiny that one would need a magnifying glass to even see it for it was the smallest ever of all that I have owned throughout the decades, it was a J-O-K-E! Good thing it isn't sold or available on Amazon! PS: It only had 5 Ring Tones; and the salesman there even displayed it to my mom and I and to me personally all of them sounded the same, like a sick turkey gobble who was dying, even my mom didn't care for it.)
COME TO THE DARK SIDE .... Here where my mom did a test call to see how it worked after I turned all the lights off; and I am BEYOND PLEASED! Since I did not alter the factory settings (it's at its default), in the daytime, the white is more off white in what one would call "Antique White" with a gray overtones so it is not harsh on your eyes yet as implied above the BLACK INFORMATION STANDS OUT BOLDLY. Now in the dark, it lights up like a soft night-light so I was able to adjust this base of the handset just right so that it would wake me up as to being able to grab my glasses and seeing who was calling. The base where the handset which is much bigger is much brighter so I have it all set up but I am going to configure the settings on the handset just a little bit as the LED glow (White) was a little dim but it might be differing once it's fully charged as of the time when this was performed it was 3/4th charged so I am going to wait until tomorrow and try it again to see if there is any difference. It was just slightly a nice soft glow.
FOR HEARING IMPAIRED / DEAF - This base handset is awesome for TTY / TDD machines; in the event of power failure if your phone is hooked to a modem and you have a jack; and an emergency arises - you can plug this base into the landline phone and use the dial up mode if you know a storm is coming then revert to dial up mode before it comes this way you can attach it to the phone jack and using your TTY or TDD with batteries to place an emergency call. If no have no D/C aka "Direct Connect", this phone will work without Direct Connect.
HANDSET AND BASE:
YAY! Comes with a common replaceable rechargeable battery that is easily found everywhere!
Comes with the adapter as so as it was with the base.
It does come partially charged but it does need to be fully recharged.
Program your main base first then REGISTER the phone after it's been at least half charged so everything you have input into the Master Base will now be stored into the handset.
The Handset has all the controls and functions (EVEN MUTE BUTTON which is on the left top side of the phone) - you can even turn on the answering machine or turn it off or check messages, you can do a lot of things with it.
Bad thing about it is - it does not come with a clip or an attachment that you can carry around; while I looked at my old clips and cases I had from old phones before, but it won't cut it - there's a reason why ---> the talk button is on the left side of the phone; one has to push it to enable to talk on the phone. This function I like very much unlike before all the bothersome issues of having to find the irksome obnoxious places of finding the talk button or lifting the handset off the base to see who's calling will actually activate the talk mode when all you want to do is to "SEE" who's calling ... like you want to talk to someone at 3:44 AM in the morning and you've got to get up like 1.40 hours to go to work and only to find out it's that Auntie Blabbermouth, who can't sleep and is trying to find someone to whine, moan, groan and go on the "Woe is Me!" party; or your Uncle Loanie-Me-Moolah because my son got busted by the Cops and is in jail again, need money to bail him out; and he already owes you $$$$, like y'all wanna talk to them or even the annoying neighbor (I feel your pain, we all have them), who decided to call just because she thought she saw ..... or he saw .... get my drift? After all - SILENCE IS GOLDEN at times sometimes! :-)
Overall, AT&T did a superior job of a wonderful overhaul on this phone, bringing back the old days the way they used to make them and reviving them again, only difference here - bringing in MORE ... but I am still left in bewilderment as how does one click on the link on the Main Base to their website? :P
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
One of the best phones I've come across. So many helpful features. Worth every penny. No wonder everywhere i looked online for a cheaper price, it was never under $40 unless it was used...you won't regret it. The only reservation I have about it, is that the sound sounds a bit clearer on the base than the handset...but again u have the option to set it to treble 1,2, bass or natural sound. (I know, amazing)!!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
I was looking for a cordless phone/answering machine to replace our 10-year-old Panasonic (which was interfering with our microwave and wifi, had poor sound quality on the recorded message playback, and lacked features like caller ID announce). Since sound quality was important to us, I first went to Consumer Reports and found their most recent testing of Cordless Answering Systems (from October 2011). There was an AT&T model (84100) listed as excellent (top rating) for sound quality on both voice and message playback. When I typed this model into Amazon's search window, it offered me the chance to "See newer model of this item". Following that link led me to the CL84102. Since it had newer features that we wanted, and I couldn't imagine AT&T deliberately scaling back the sound quality on a replacement model, after reading mostly positive reviews here I bought it.
Having used it for six weeks now, it's clear that either (a) AT&T has indeed pulled a bait and switch on sound quality from the old model to its replacement or (b) sound quality in the land line phone industry has regressed so drastically over the past decade despite advances in integrated circuit technology (perhaps because they figure most people use cell phones and these things are just "backup devices" for the hopelessly luddite), that this level of "quality" is now the best of a bad lot. In any case, while the sound during message playback is somewhat better than our old (horrible) Panasonic's, the voice sound on the cordless unit is so bad that it's almost unusable except in speakerphone mode. Imagine a poor cat down in a 200-foot well purring out his last breaths and you've basically got it. That's on max volume. I can't imagine what possessed AT&T to consider this acceptable.
The voice quality on the (corded) base unit is pretty good, but has an unwelcome new aspect to it that we didn't experience in our old Panasonic. Your end of the conversation seems to frequently be in a kind of "voice activation" mode. This means if you breathe wrong into your mouthpiece, it cuts out the incoming sound completely. I have no idea what this technology is doing on a base unit, which should require no digital communication between your microphone and the actual phone line. I guess they tried to implement a two-way (duplex) call on a one-way (simplex) circuit EVEN on the base (corded) unit. Very annoying. I guess I'll learn not to breathe whenever I'm listening. It's interesting how technology sometimes trains us rather than the other way around.
The caller ID announce is nice to have, but I would guess we can only make out what it's saying well enough to guess the caller about 70-80% of the time. Still, that's 80% of telemarketers flouting the do-not-call registry that we don't jump up to answer now, so it's a step forward.
The 14-minute recorded message storage space is on the very short end of the range these days (according to the CR article I started my search with), which makes it especially disappointing that this model doesn't have a way of telling how much space you've currently used. Our old Panasonic had this - did someone un-invent that very simple capability too?
One more step backward from our tossed-aside Panasonic: after you've played any new incoming messages once, to hear them again you have to start from the very first stored message and cue forward until you get to the last one. On our old unit, you could simply hit the "back" arrow key from the outset, and it would play the last call.
I suppose at this point I sound like the guy whining to his partner "why can't you do these things that my ex- whom I unceremoniously dumped could do?", so I guess I should note the things I like about our new phone. Um... it doesn't appear to be interfered with by the microwave, and I'm pretty sure it's not messing with our wifi. Though I have to point out that I don't think any newer model will, since the industry has moved to a different spectrum region. Um... the black and silver looks super cool? Oh! The visual presentation on the base set is eminently readable with big buttons and big clear high-contrast font on the LCD readout (very helpful for 50-year-old eyes). Now if only the buttons weren't so wobbly when you pressed them that you're afraid you're entering the number twice. On our old Panasonic...
Oh heck. I'm trying here. Maybe our old Panasonic wasn't so bad. I wonder if she'll take us back if we plug her in again and beg her forgiveness?