By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com
Although more and more people are using mobile phones as their primary means of telephone communication, a majority of households in the U.S. still maintain a landline. There's no need to worry about batteries that last only a day, dropped calls, or spotty call quality. Cordless phones offer a good middle ground for families who need reliable service and clear reception but don't want to be stuck next to a wall jack. Not to mention that a cordless phone costs a lot less than an iPhone.
Related: Budget back-to-school shopping guideOur top picks for cheap cordless phones.
Cheapism.com has found a number of well-regarded models for as little as $15:
The VTech CS6719 (starting at $20 for one handset, $30 for two) comes with either one or two handsets, but the base supports up to five. The system can store up to 50 contacts in the directory and up to 50 entries in the caller ID log. In general, current owners who have posted reviews online point to the VTech CS6719 as a good choice for consumers looking to save money. They say it's easy to set up, includes all the expected features, and offers reliable service.
The Panasonic KX-TG6512B (starting at $43 for two handsets) can support up to six handsets, which run on rechargeable AAA batteries -- a time and money saver considering that most other cordless phones use non-standard battery packs that are pricier and harder to find. This is one feature-packed cordless phone, and yet reviewers have found it uncomplicated to use. Offerings include a headset jack, conference-calling capabilities for up to four participants, storage of up to 50 contacts, and even call blocking.
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The VTech CS6114 (starting at $15) is ultra-cheap and very basic but still offers must-have features including caller ID and call waiting, albeit no speakerphone. Users are also limited to 30 contacts and a single handset, but reviewers praise the reception and call this a good pick for consumers who want something simple at a low cost.
The Uniden UN-D1760 (starting at $25 for one handset, $45 for two) can accommodate up to 12 handsets and store 100 contacts, a plus for large families or even small businesses. In reviews, consumers report that the audio is clear and the phone is a breeze to use. Many consider it an unbeatable value for the cost.
All these recommended phones come with support for standard features such as voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID. The basic VTech CS6114 unit is the only one without a speakerphone. The handsets are backlit, so they can easily be used at night, and both VTech models also have backlit bases.
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These and other new cordless phones use DECT 6.0 technology, which offers better range, sound quality, and battery life than the cordless phones of old. A plus for consumers with houses full of gadgets: DECT 6.0 phones run on the 1.9 GHz frequency, so they avoid interference with devices such as routers and microwaves that operate on the 2.4 GHz band.
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