Panasonic KX-TG6413T Dect 6.0 Digital Cordless Phone with 3 Handsets (Titanium Black)
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- Supports caller ID
- Lighted keypad
- 3-way conferencing
- Handset speakerphone
- Expandable up to 6 handsets
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Engineered to work in 1.9GHz frequency, Panasonic's DECT 6.0 phones won't conflict with common wireless devices such as 2.4GHz routers, wireless keyboards and mouses, microwave ovens and other household items. And because it's digital, you'll enjoy long range and clear sound while deterring eavesdropping.Store the caller ID info of any and all unwanted callers into your phone's call block list so that you can eliminate future pesky calls from them. After their information is stored, they'll get a busy signal if they call you again.Now you can program each handset to ring or not at your discretion. For example, before you go to sleep, set the bedside handset to silent mode so that it won't ring for the duration of your slumber. In the meantime, the handset in another room is unaffected, and rings as usual.
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I am happy to report that, while it takes a few steps, one can easily turn the ringer off on any or all of the three handsets of the Panasonic DECT 6.0 KX-TG6413T. The procedure is as follows:
1. Press black button under Menu.
2. Press the # key as soon as you see the first function appear ("Caller List") in the menu.
3. Enter the code 160.
4. Press silver button with arrows up or down to set volume (2 bars on screen=soft ring, 4 bars=louder ring, no bars=no ring). There's also a shortcut to turning the ringer off completely: instead of pressing the down arrow once or twice to lower the volume (which creates the actual ring sound, which may disturb others in the house), you can just press the number 0 which is silent, then carry on with saving this setting. Some think the ring tones are ugly, but I like the standard one we use; even the loud ring is never startling.
5. Press black button under Save to save this setting.
6. Press OFF to end it.
When you want to change this setting and restore the volume, go through the same procedure and adjust the volume as desired. Yes it is a non-intuitive menu as some have criticized, but you'll have it memorized in no time.
The Voice Mail function continues to work while the ringer is off (assuming you've arranged for Voice Mail w/ your phone service), so you won't miss any calls. Yes, it does take several steps before you get the instructions on playback and saving messages and whatnot, but you get used to it, too. The Voice Mail plays back messages like an answering machine: you don't need to put your ear against the receiver to listen; just put down the handset and it's loud and clear.
Just remember to turn your ringer back on after your nap. . .
If the number of the person calling is entered into the phone book, Caller ID displays the name as it appears in the phone book. This is such a no-brainer it's a wonder why it needs to be called out, but companies like Uniden and AT&T can't seem to grasp this concept. If you like seeing your friends' and family's cell phones show up as "Wireless Caller," get a Uniden or AT&T. If you want to see their names then get a Panasonic. (I think Vtech may also design this correctly.) Phonebook entries are shared among all phones, which may or may not be what you are looking for. For me it's a great improvement over Uniden's last design which required one to periodically "synchronize" the phones' address books.
Dedicated function buttons include Talk, Off, Speakerphone and Flash. The three soft keys display useful functions while in different modes. While on Standby the soft keys display Address Book, Menu and Redial. Pressing Talk displays a Voicemail soft key. The Mute and Hold buttons appear while making a call. For the most part basic operations on the phones are intuitive.
The system recognizes VoiceMail signals on both traditional phone lines and VoIP systems and an amber LED blinks on the handsets when there is a new message. Sound quality -- both incoming and outgoing -- is good and the range seems reasonable for a DECT phone. The handsets have large, readable displays.
Another nice function: Pressing OFF while the phone is ringing silences the ringer. My last (Uniden) phone did NOT do this but it has been included on every Panasonic cordless I have ever owned. I didn't know how important this feature was until I didn't have it and I'm glad to have it back.
The menu functions are poorly designed. Example: Pressing Menu shows the first Menu item, Caller List. Entering this list doesn't show the most recent caller; you have to scroll up or down to see the list entries. Three button-presses to simply see your Caller ID log ... not good. Nearly all the menu functions are like this.
The phone is a bit large. While this is an acceptable trade-off for a readable display and dedicated buttons, some functions are squandered. While in Standby mode the Up and Down buttons both bring you to the same initial menu choice, Caller List, which is already available via the Menu button. While the phone is ringing you can adjust the ringer volume and while you are on a call you can change the speaker volume, but these functions are buried deep in the menu if you are on Standby.
You can't name the different handsets, something I miss from my Uniden phones. The handsets are self-named 1, 2 & 3.
There is no getting around it; the ring tones are perfectly awful. The chip providing the ring tones seems to come straight out of the 1990's.
Also, to make up for the poor menu structure the manual provides "Feature Codes," multi-number shortcuts to "quickly" change to different functions. I'm going to remember that pressing Menu-#-2-3-8-0 turns off the sleep function or Menu-#-1-6-5-1 turns on the key tones? Not likely. This feature is so 90's it's almost quaint, but it is also about as unintuitive as it gets.
In some ways Panasonic is just not doing much innovation. The menu structure, the ring tones, the "Feature Codes" -- they all seem like they were developed in 1995. In other ways Panasonic got it right the first time and doesn't need to change. The sound quality, dedicated buttons and the intuitive layout of basic functions all work well. I'd like to see Panasonic's designers create a more updated phone but not at the cost of what they are doing right. It's not sexy and it's not perfect but it does a decent job on the basics and provides some nice additional features that other phone manufacturers neglect.