Top positive review
BT6500 Trio Feature packed... but no manual
on 24 January 2014
First the bad
Drop one star for having no manual, just an initial set-up sheet. This phone system is a complicated piece of kit that is simple to use once you know what the various features are capable of but mind-befuddling to comprehend some of the jargon. The blurb claims a manual is available on-line but go to the BT site and none is listed for the 6500. I trawled the user forum and found the link:
[...]. I also called the BT helpline who sent me a pdf, 5 hours after I had asked for it. Of course, none of this would be any use to someone with no Internet access.
Now the good
It took me over 4 hours to complete setting-up the phones and answer machine, admittedly entering numbers into the contact list took an hour but at the same time I was also learning about other aspects of the phone system. There are a lot of menus to work through, testing things and getting them to your liking.
One very useful feature is the 6500's ability to use services such as 18185.com which give free or low cost local and international calls. It requires entering up to an 11 digit number, followed by a pause before the number you want to call, followed by a hash (#). With the 6500 you can enter digits, pauses and other non-numeric characters up to 24 digits long. This copes with international as well as cellphone and UK trunk numbers. All contacts can be entered and amended on any handset and are automatically stored on all other handsets.
The 6500 can also do two or three way calls and if they are internal calls between handsets, external calls can still be made from another handset.
The screen is large and easily read, with a backlight bright enough to illuminate paper as you jot down notes. Each handset has a speaker that can be used for hands-free calls.
Choice of incoming call alert is the usual dire electronic selection but the base station has its own ringer with a much better selection, including a simple Ring-Ring that sounds just like a telephone should. It is easy to turn off a handset's ringer, thus the main incoming handset on the base station can be silent, leaving the incoming calls to just ring the base station. The optional outgoing answerphone messages supplied have a choice of male or female voices with only a touch of Dalek.
My base station is situated within inches of a monitor, computer, loudspeaker and other electronic devices but call reception and transmission is clear with no crackling. Recipients report very clear calls, with plenty of volume left if needed for incoming calls. My base station's location is in the corner of a room on the ground floor and the 6500's range is easily 50 meters in all directions
Call blocking is going to be wonderful, no more junk calls which are automatically routed to answerphone.