I recently read somewhere that the FLIP camera, beloved by editors and video enthusiasts everywhere, is going out of production because so many people are just using their cell phones for photos and videos, now. If you go to a concert, or any social gathering, you can’t help but see at least several people doing just that. But cell phones, as great and convenient and versatile as they are these days, are still telephones. And, they’re tiring to hold up to your ear all day long. Some also feel that cell long-term use of celll phones could cause serious medical issues, too.
But there’s a new, high-tech class of telephone that straddles the chasm between the cell phone, and the more old fashioned, land line. These cordless phones look traditional, but they do a lot more than just let you chat with someone else using a handset and a base. For example, the new, AT&T Dual Handset, Connect to Cell Answering System, AT&T #TL92271 (SRP. $79.95) is not only an amazingly good, inexpensive, cordless phone, it lets you make and receive cell phone calls as well as from your land line. The unit also is an all-in-one, answering machine, with a footprint so small, you will suddenly find a lot more room on your desk, kitchen counter, night-stand, etc.
The benefits of using a full sized phone to make and answer calls is not limited to the traditional method of making and receiving them. This phone can also can help you to deal with those annoying (and prevalent) problems of poor call clarity and range associated with using your cell phone. You can sync up to four BLUETOOTH®-enabled cellphones to a system (so your family doesn’t have “property” fights), and you can even pair two cell phones simultaneously, allowing one person to make landline calls on one handset while another person makes cellular calls on a different handset. You can also download cellphone directories (up to 6,000 entries) directly into the TL92271 system. *Once a BLUETOOTH device is paired to the base, the TL92271 will automatically connect when the device is in range. For someone who segregates calls by function, you can use a cell phone for business, a land line for personal. The ability to keep your cell phone on but use a real handset means you get the best of both worlds.
There are so many bells and whistles on this phone, I can’t go into them all, but I have listed the most important and impressive ones, below.
These phones can be set up with more than one cordless handset and base for push-to-talk capabilities. The model I tried, the TL92271has a second second cordless handset and base that you can place somewhere else in your home. Some other models have even more handsets, to scatter as you wish (up to a dozen with one system). If you are faced with too few phone jacks, you can simply plug the second base with cordless phone right into an electrical socket, and the phones will operate in both locations, even if they are fairly far away. I placed the main base and phone on the first floor of my home, and the additional handset and base on the second floor. Both performed, flawlessly — but the second floor doesn’t have a phone jack. Previously, I had to run downstairs every time the phone rang, but now, I can simply pick, up the second phone from the base, when I’m upstairs. This is a huge plus.
Caller ID isn’t anything new anymore, but this phone actually says the name as well as displaying it, so if you’re busy in another room, or you just don’t feel like wandering over to the phone to see who is on the display, no worries. It was a bit disconcerting at first to hear the mechanical voice telling me who was on the phone before I even looked at the caller ID, but I have found this to be a very useful features.
— and if you don’t pick up at all? The answering machine, will. This all in one answering machine is easy to use, and eliminates the need for, another, bulky box on your desk or table.
For all of this, the AT&T L92271 is easy on the wallet, but it’s also reasonably rugged, and attractive. It has HD audio sound quality and an equalizer function with four preset audio profiles to better match the user’s hearing. The TL92271’s Caller ID Announce setting enables easy call screening without picking up the handset and push-to-talk (PTT) for instant communication on handsets placed throughout your home.
Here are some specs for the AT&T DECT6.0 DIGITAL Dual Handset Connect to Cell Answering System #TL92271
Base and Handset: 6.10″ × 4.76″ × 7.00″ (W×D×H)
Handset and Charger: 2.95″ × 3.39″ × 7.09″ (W×D×H)
English/Spanish/French Setup Menu
Last 10 Number Redial
Caller ID/Call Waiting Features/• Caller ID/Call Waiting Capability*/ Caller ID Announce—Hear the name of the incoming caller without looking at the phone
50 Name/Number Caller ID History
Voicemail Waiting Indicator**
New Call Indicator/ Missed Call Indicator
Digital Answering Features:
Up to 14 Minutes of Digital Recording Time, Call Screening, Call Intercept, Remote Access, Message Retrieval from Handset
I’m giving this phone two thumbs up from every angle, but one: there is a lot to love, and to use, on the phone. On the downside, there is also a lot to learn. While setting up the phone and even adding the cell phones wasn’t difficult, depending upon your age and experience with high tech products, unless you are a gadget geek, it might take you a while to learn how to use everything. The instructions are fairly well written, but for example, I had some trouble getting the address book from my cell phone to sync with the AT&T phone. You do need to scroll through menus to complete many of the actions you’ll want to access, so keep the instruction manual handy for future reference.
Some may grouse that: “things were better in the good old days,” but some things really are better today than yesterday. These super-smart, super-versatile AT&T phones, really do make life easier, more successful and more fun — and they’re accessible and affordable for everyone.
The DECT 6.0 cordless phones will be available at http://telephones.att.com and at major retail stores such as Walmart, Target, Staples, Office Max, Best Buy and others.