What DECT Phones to go for?

Mark Ward

Prominent Member
Sep 12, 2001
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I need to replace my now knackered BT Diverse DECT handsfree phones. I'm looking for a 4 phones, preferably in multi-pack or at least the ability to make up a 4 pack out of phones on special offer.

Here's what I facilities need.

1/ Decent range, at leas as good as the Diverse BT range, though I suspect all DECT phones have similar range

2/ Built-in Digital Answer phone in 1 base unit
3/ 3 Additional handsets with rechargers
4/ Ability to copy phonebook between handsets
5/ At least 50 but prefer 100+ number memory
6/ Caller ID

Preferably a GOOD offer price.

Any suggestions what to go for?


Binatones have poor Caller ID in my experience.

NTL ones are always cheap in quad packs for some reason. Dunno who OEMs them but they're always well-specced.


These people are always doing good deals on phonepacks, although Argos had some nice deals in it's recent sale (now ended ?).
I have always had Philips DECT phones and founf them to be more than satisfactory. They usually come with handsfreee/speakerphone inbuilt into the handset which makes waiting in long queues for helplines very easy !
There is a brand new model out at the top of the range which looks very nice
Zenia 300
Hi Mark

As I am considering buying a set of DECT phones with similar spec, I was wandering if you can give some feedback on the set you ended up buying...
Any good?

The one I got have some good points but some noteable missing features.

They are cheap, look ok and are easy to operate.

However some features that aren't so great are..

Phone Book:- You have to enter the numbers into each handset, you can't enter once and copy to the others like you can with the BT diverse I had previously.

Phone Book:- The stored numbers have a maximum 10 character display, this just isn't enough characters.

Internal calls, call transfer:- If you know which extention someone is on you can easily make an internal call or transfer an external call to that extention, however you can't ring all extentions to see which one picks up before transferring, again this was available on my BT Diverse.

Answer Machine:- Once your recorded message starts a blank incoming message will be recorded if they hang up rather than choose to leave a call.

All-in-all though, I'm quite happy at having spent under £100 on 4 phones.

do not buy philips.. utter ****

I have had 2 lots.. batteries are crap and the first set just locked up..

I really liked the ercisson ones.. which I am not sure u can get any more?
My experience of the Philips DECT phones are all positive ! I've got 3 different Philips DECT systems and they are all trouble free.
In the older one I use Ni-Mh rechargables (recharged in an external charger) and so the handset is off the base station 24 hours a day. I get an average of 3 weeks use out of the handset before the charge runs out.
Thanks for the feedback Mark, but did you get the C&W or the NTL?

I had a Philips dec previously and didn't like it at all. like Matt, I had constant probelms with the battery and charger....
Also only two speaker volume settings: low and lower! :D

I went for the Cable & Wireless, which I how I now know about their limitatiions, having said that they're fine for everyday use now I've programmed all the numbers I need into every handset.

If I needed another set I'd most likely try the NTL ones as I'm sure they wouldn't be so user unfriendly. Not that I know for sure as you only really get them opportunity to try them after you've bought them.

@HornyDragon... Hmm are those phones 4 for under £100 anywhere :p ??

Panasonic. Good phones, features, excellent battery life, usual range. And I think the phone book is actualy stored on the base unit and all phones use that.

Also you can get a base unit with answerphone and handsfree. The handset also has handsfree. And umpteen ringtones, and dual colours.

They good :)
OK, need to wake up this old thread as 3 out of the 4 handsets of my Cable & Wireless CWD2603 system are showing the same faults.

They power off imtermittantly when the phone recieves a call.....The BS (Base station) Search... The back on again. The also do this from time to time when you try to make an outgoing call.

Please NEVER buy one of these appaulling products.

Right... Anyone have an idea what can I get to replace them with? They are under warrantee and I'd ideally (not not essentially) like something from Comet to make life simpler. Specific model number would be a BIG help.

Features I need.

1/ At least 3 handsets (or ability add more)

2/ Phone book centrally stored so don't have to program numbers into each handset.

3/ Illuminated display

4/ Integral answerphone.

5/ Easy to use logical interface, I have to say that the BT Diverse phones I used to have but wore out were very logical to use.

6/ Sensible number of characters to phone book entries

Cost isn't so important as getting a decent set of phones this time, I've learned my lesson going for the cheapies.

I need to get something very soon, so urgent suggestions gratefully recieved.


I have the Panasonic KXTCD 515EM.

It came in a pack, base handset + slave handset from John Lewis. I can't remember how much we paid, but I've just bought an additional handset from this place Home Phones which I found via eBay. They were fine. Next day delivery and no problems.

They do the triple pack (base unit + two slaves) for £180 inc. VAT so they're not cheap, but they are pretty good.

To answer your questions

1/ At least 3 handsets (or ability add more)
We've currently got five hanging off one base station. Three new Panasonic handsets, one old Panasonic handset and the only one of the Philips handsets we have that still works.

2/ Phone book centrally stored so don't have to program numbers into each handset.
This is where it gets a bit confusing. Each phone has something like a 200 name/number memory. You can send this phone book from one phone to another when you need to update a number although it can be a pain as you need to select "receive" on one phone and "send" on another. There's also a separate 20 name/number phone book that is stored on the base station. All phones have access to this without having to transmit it from phone to phone.

3/ Illuminated display
Yep. Nice blue back lit dot matrix display. very clear

4/ Integral answerphone.
Yes although see comments below.

5/ Easy to use logical interface, I have to say that the BT Diverse phones I used to have but wore out were very logical to use.
Interface is very clear. Most features are accessed using a little Joystick that sits very comfortably under the thumb.

6/ Sensible number of characters to phone book entries
Not sure of the exact limit, but I've got phone book entries of at least 12 characters that display properly and don't exceed the screen width


Very clear display

Digital answerphone records very clearly.

Answerphone can be accessed from any slave handset of the same type.

If you have caller ID you can record a short message announcing who's calling for each of the 20 numbers stored in the base phonebook (good fun, but my wife was unimpressed when I recorded the message "*** it's your mother calling again") You can also assign different callers to different categories and have a different ring tone for each category.

Socket for connecting a headset. Useful for my wife as she works from home occasionally and has to dial into lengthy conference calls

No problems with reliability so far (although we've only had them about four months)


There's no obvious visible indication that you have an answerphone message waiting. Nothing flashes or beeps. The display just says "1 message" and is easy to miss.

The two phone book system is a little quirky. We tend to use the phone book that's stored on each handset and just remember to transmit updated entries to the other phones when necessary. You can transmit an individual entry or the entire phonebook. Unfortunately transmitting the entire phone book results in duplicates if any of the entries already exist on the phone you're sending it to. For this reason once you've got all the phones in sync it's best just to use the option to transmit individual entries.

Hope that helps

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