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Vtech Phone Dual Handset, Dual Headache

Reviewing: Vtech T2455 (Phone / Answering Machine)  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Other Technology Expertise:
Image for Vtech Phone- Dual Handset, Dual Headache

We purchased this phone system primarily for the three-mailbox answering machine. But we were also very happy that it had one handset with the base unit, and a second remote handset. I regret to say that this is not as wonderful as we had hoped.

You can see the review of theAnswering Machine portion of this unit here.

First, the specs:

This phone has more features than we have ever used.

- 2.4GH technology

- LCD display screen is about 7/8" x 1.5". It displays the date and time (which is always correct, so it is determined independently of the problem noted below) It displays how many new and old messages are on the answering machine. When you press the phone button, it lights up and displays “PHONE ON” and then details about whatever function you choose to use.

- There are four different ring tones (which aren’t very different from one another), or you can turn the ringer off (if you will be away, perhaps?)

- You can forward a call from one handset to the other one

- There is a speed dial feature for up to 9 numbers which can be dialed by pressing the speed dial number and then PHONE

- You can even reassign speed dial numbers to a different memory location

- In addition to the 9 speed dial numbers, 41 additional numbers can be entered in a directory. You can choose to have a distinctive ring for incoming calls from these numbers. We have not used this feature.

- You can dial numbers from the directory fairly easily. You can either scroll the list, or you can jump to the first letter of the entry and scroll from there if there are multiple entries, such as Bill and Bob.

- Caller ID, and storage of 90 calls if you subscribe to this service from your phone provider.

- You can locate calls in call history and dial that number automatically

- You can move a number from call history to the directory and have the option of adding alternate dialing sequences (such as adding a 1 before the area code)

- It has the capability to be used with pulse dialing, and a switch so that you can perform touch tone functions at a remote location... all those menus that so many companies now offer instead of a human.

- the phone comes with a belt clip, and can be used with a headset, but you must purchase that separately.

- Requires a telephone jack and an electrical outlet for the base unit and an electrical outlet for the remote handset.

And the good parts:

I have small hands and most phones on the market are so fat that they are very uncomfortable to hold for the duration of the occasional long call. I find this handset reasonably sized and comfortably weighted for me.

It makes no claim as to the effective range, saying that this will vary with the environment. We have used the handset outside about 50 feet from the house.

Even if you don’t subscribe to caller ID, if a call is incoming from a person in your directory the information will be displayed.

Now, the not so good parts:

The first disappointment may have just been my misunderstanding. But I thought that we would be able to use the remote handset like an extension. But it doesn’t work that way. You can participate in a call on any one handset at any one time. You can forward the call from one handset to the other, but two people in this house cannot listen in on the same call. Since we also have several corded phones in the house we just use one of those for conversations that we all want to take part in, but it means that one person is chained to the wall.

The second problem is just plain maddening, and we cannot figure out what sequence of events causes it. Fairly often after someone hangs up the remote handset unit, the next time someone tries to use the phone from either the base or the handset we do not get a dial tone, but a series of horrible beeps. The only way to correct this and clear the unit is to unplug the main transformer at the base unit and plug it in again. This wouldn’t be such a crisis, except that each time you do this it clears the clock function. And it happens so often that we have given up bothering to reset the clock. This means that the time and date stamp on all the messages on the answering machine are wrong. Additionally, before it gives you the wrong time and date it announces at the beginning of every message “Power Failure.” Not too burdensome, but I’m really tired of hearing it. And the display continuously flashes “CL” to tell me to set the clock. Boring.

We have found that the reception may drop off after several minutes. So if we are taking a call that might be long we usually move to a corded phone. Although I have to say that this is oddly inconsistent. I was on it for 30 minutes just last week and it was fine.


We are really happy with the answering machine portion of this unit, and only moderately happy with the phone portion.