I bought this phone for my daughter's 6th birthday. I had my husband program it ahead of time so it would know my daughter's name and all the other information it can save ahead of time. It's fairly easy to program, just insert the cd and plug it into the computer with the included cable. It asks a bunch of questions about your child...siblings names, best friends, birthday, favorite hobbies, etc. Then when your child plays with the phone, Barbie will call her by name and refer to the information programmed into the phone. When my daughter opened it on her birthday, Barbie "called" her and wished her happy birthday! My kids all thought it was a lot of fun, and really enjoyed playing together with it. One of them would use the "speaker phone" on the base and one would use the portable handset and pretend they were calling each other. It would be really cool if you could actually call the handset with the base phone, but I suppose that would significantly increase the price of the toy. The phone's rings are very realistic and there are several to choose from. Barbie will even leave you a message at a programmed time and the little voice mail light will light up on the phone. It's a pretty fun toy for girls to play pretend with, and all three of my kids (ages 2, 6, and 8) have a great time playing with it.
We haven't had the phone very long, so I can't really say anything about battery life or durability, but it seems to be constructed well and I feel it will last a long time. The kids have had it for a few weeks and still play with it consistently, so that makes it a good toy if you ask me!