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Customer Review

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarrely;not as good as it's predecessor!, 13 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic KX-TG6821EB Single DECT Cordless Telephone with Answer Machine (Electronics)
I bought this unit to replace my old Panasonic equivalent, which was still going strong, but after 5 years of faithful service the buttons are very difficult to use, due to wear and tear.

First impressions are that the build quality is ever-so-slightly inferior to the old model. The old one stood up on it's own, the new one is "modelled like a pebble, with curved round edges", I guess in an effort to make electronic devices less dated and angular, which I guess is no bad thing. It's just annoying that it won't stand up, lying down on it's back the speaker outlet is covered and therefore the ringer is muffled significantly. The display, buttons, and base are practically identical. The base is slightly smaller and lighter, with a stand protruding from the rear of the unit. The usual answerphone controls are present, along with a message counter (something the old one didn't have), showing clearly that you have new messages, the old one flashed to show a message, but unless you delete all messages straight away, there was no way of knowing how many were new/were on there already.

Generally no real concerns about build, the important thing is the audio aspects surely? Well, I'm afraid to say that like many others I feel the sound quality is inferior to the old unit. Voices sound muffled and background noise is amplified far more (like TV's or radios), there is a "Noise Reduction" button, but it doesn't work very well to be honest, just makes the voice on the other end quieter. I have tried turning the speaker volume up to the maximum but that doesn't do a great deal. As far as I can tell, Panasonic have done this in an effort to reduce power consumption. The old unit worked at crazy distances from the base unit, but chewed through the battery life as a result. You were lucky to get 3 days out of it with general use, if you forgot to replace in the cradle. As a direct comparison I have left this unit in the living room for 5 days, using a normal amount of around 2 hours or so a day, it's still going strong with 40% battery life left. I have enabled "Low power mode" which reduces power by 90% apparently, I haven't noticed a huge drop in performance, but a couple of times when the wife has been standing directly in front of the base unit, there is a fair amount of interference and signal breakup.

It seems strange that Panasonic would change a perfectly good design, in favour of an inferior one, but I guess it's all about POWER these days! To be fair the phone works just fine, calls are pretty standard, but I have noticed that I do have to ask people to repeat themselves more often, especially when speaking to people with thick accents, as these tend to become more muffled than most. To summarise:

Positives = Battery life, Number of ringtones, Answerphone features (remote access/control), Clear display, Call barring (needs caller ID service to work)
Negatives = Slightly muffled sound, not free-standing anymore, highly sensitive microphone picks up EVERYTHING in the room.

Basically, if you have owned an older version of this model, like me; you may be disappointed. If purchasing this unit for the first time, I'm sure you won't notice these minor flaws, as it is a perfectly functional phone, well designed with an abundance of quality features.
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