Mark Harris
10 BEST PHONES FOR THE HOME - The Independent, 24 August 2005

As chosen by technology expert Mark Harris

Siemens Gigaset SL440 £100
Don’t be dissuaded by the innovative (and possibly clumsy) circular keypad on this cordless handset, as it also allows voice-dialling of your favourite thirty numbers. Advanced features such as texting, downloadable ringtones and automatic redialling are accessed from the colour icon-driven menus. And if you buy a second handset, you can use the two as walkie-talkies around the home.
Siemens (08705 334411;

Jacob Jensen Aria T5 £70
This minimalist Danish phone has bells but no whistles - just superb sound, solid build quality and effortless ease of use. The elegant handset is comfortable to hold and you can check incoming calls on the one-line LCD display (Caller ID required). Perfect for nestling next to your Bang & Olufsen stereo or designer smoked glass coffee table.
John Lewis (0845 604 9049;

VoIP Cyberphone £30 --- BEST BUDGET BUY
Skype is a free software package that lets you use your computer’s internet connection to make phone calls. Simply plug the Cyberphone into a USB port and you can call other Skype users anywhere in the world for free, or connect to normal phones from around a penny a minute. A broadband connection will give the best audio quality, but fast dial-up modems should work, too.
Firebox (0870 241 4289;

DU@Lphone £80
Internet phone calls may save you money but no one wants to be stuck at the PC for a long natter. The chunky DU@Lphone’s base unit plugs into both your computer and your phone socket, letting you make and receive calls via Skype or BT from the same cordless handset. The display shows who’s online right now, although your PC does need to be switched on for internet calls.
New Tech (01189 893434;

iDect X1 Twin £70
The beauty of cordless phones is that you can add more handsets as you need them. This twin pack contains two stylish cylindrical phones, both with hands-free facility, call timer and a white backlit display. They’ll work up to 50 metres from the base station (further outdoors) and you can talk for around eight hours between charges.
Argos (0870 600 8784;

BT Wipeboard £19.99
If the phone always rings when you’re stirring risotto or kneading dough, you’ll love this wall-mountable touchpad phone. Chat away on the hands-free speakerphone, make notes with the pen supplied, then just wipe it clean when you’re finished. Functions include redial and a three number memory, and there’s a socket for an extra handset when you need to talk privately.
BT (0845 6063300;

Philips 5251 £70
Downsize your secretary and invest in this cordless telephone/answering machine instead. Set up special VIP groups and it will ring with specific melodies and even play different answerphone messages depending on who’s calling. It also has an alarm clock, a massive 250 number phonebook and, thanks to Philips’s Green Flagship programme, an eco-friendly 300-hour battery life.
Philips (0870 900 9070;

700 Series Red £42
Step back in time with an original Cold War ‘hotline’ phone from the 1960s. Everything from the clicketty-click dial to the curly cord has been restored and is fully guaranteed for 12 months. Other styles and colours (including rare transparent and two-tone mouldings) are available, and all are compatible with modern telephone systems.
Eurocosm (0800 0188844;

Siemens Gigaset S645 £110 --- BEST LUXURY BUY
Cordless phones have a habit of hiding themselves behind the sofa but with this two-piece answering machine you can make a hands-free call from the base unit while searching for the handset. The S645 announces callers by name if they’re in its 200-entry phonebook and if you add a USB adaptor (£65) to your PC, you can also make VoIP calls using its internet connection.
Siemens (08705 334411;

BT Calypso 120 £60 --- BEST BUY
This cordless phone thinks it’s a mobile, offering a large colour screen, a choice of ringtones and SMS texting. You can even pop your mobile’s SIM card into a slot and copy contacts into its 150-number directory. BT customers who sign up for their Privacy at Home service will get free Caller ID display, too.
BT (0845 6063300;

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