Tying for the highest score we have seen and delivering one of the best showings that we have seen to date, the AT&T CL82207 easily snagged an Editors' Choice Award for its results. This phone has crystal-clear audio quality and an exceptional range, with an impressive battery life to match its top-notch performance in our tests. This phone is very easy to use and while it is overall a little light on features, it has the ones that count, such as an answering machine, expandable handsets, and a decently sized phonebook. If you are looking for a top-tier cordless phone that is very easy to use and isn't cluttered with tons of features, then the CL82207 is the phone for you.
AT&T CL82207 Review
Pros: Very easy to use, great sound quality, solid battery life
Cons: Little light on features
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Tying for the top spot overall, the CL82207 matched the performance of the previous top product, the CL84202. These phones both have excellent sound quality, delivering crystal-clear audio and making conversation very easy to understand. The CL84202 does have a slightly better range and has significantly more features, but the CL82207 is much easier to use and has a far superior battery life. It usually also retails for $20-$30 less.
To find out which cordless phone really stood out from the rest, we bought all the best products available on the market today and pitted them against each other. We conducted dozens of different side-by-side tests, grouped into five weighted rating metrics. The results of the CL82207 compared to the other products in our tests are described below.
By far the most important metric and one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about these products is sound quality. For this metric, responsible for 30% of the overall score, we evaluated and assessed this by using each phone to leave a voicemail message, then had a panel listen and rate the quality of each one, without knowing which phone created the message, to eliminate bias as much as possible. The CL82207 received excellent scores from this panel, earning it an 8 out of 10 for its performance and comparing quite favorably with the rest of the group.
This phone sounded almost identical to the CL84202. The recorded messages sounded extremely crisp and clear, with no undesirable background noises, such as buzzing or crackling. Additionally, there wasn't any static present in the recorded messages either, like many of the lower quality phones. We did note that the sound levels aren't quite as loud on the CL82207, but you could still easily hear the other person, due to the audio being so clear and of such a high quality.
Following our Sound Quality metric, our Range metric came next in terms of significance, meriting a weight of 25% of the overall score. We conducted two separate evaluations for this metric, one with the space between the handset and the base completely unobstructed and one with multiple walls impeding the signal. The CL82207 again delivered a solid performance, earning a 7 out of 10 for its results, putting it near the top of the group.
This phone received top marks in our unobstructed range test, delivering clear and understandable audio at distances well in excess of 800'
The performance of the CL82207 dropped a little bit in our obstructed range test, barely making it 300'.
Even at this distance, the sound was still a bit intermittent and significantly harder to understand than other models.
Ease of Use
Next, we ranked and scored how easy it is to use each product, splitting our tests into two components: basic functions and advanced function. Together, these account for 20% of the overall score for each product. The CL82207 delivered one of the best showings that we have seen to date from these products, meriting a 7 out of 10 for being supremely easy to operate.
We started off by looking at how easy it is to actually see the interface on each phone, in both light and dark ambient lighting conditions. The handsets for this phone are quite easy to see, easily readable for most people at a distance up to about 6' away. The keypad is also backlit, making it equally easy to read in a dark environment.
The screen on the handset also hyphenates the number while dialing, making it much easier to see mistakes when entering the number. This handset also has any key answer, though it will answer in speakerphone mode if you answer with that button.
Unfortunately, this handset isn't very loud when using the handset locator feature, with a couch cushion muffling most of the noise when the handset was pinged while underneath. It also doesn't have the loudest ringer, even on maximum volume. It's decently easy to set the time and date as well, with this setting in the first available menu.
However, it is a little clunky at calling back a missed call or setting up speed dial, requiring you to navigate through a few menus to call back and add a number to the directory before making it a speed dial option. It also is extremely easy to block calls using the dedicated call block button
Next, we ranked and scored the feature suite available on each phone. This accounts for 15% of the total score, with the CL82207 coming up a bit short, earning a 4 out of 10 for its sparse set of features.
This product has a built-in answering machine and has the capacity to expand your phone system to up to 12 handsets. It also has decently large buttons and the ability to store up to 50 numbers. The CL82207 can also be used as an intercom system. However, that pretty much sums up the set of features on this phone.
This model lacks the ability to connect to your cell phone and there isn't a keypad or wired handset on the main base. The handsets lack a belt clip and a headphone jack as well.
For the remaining 10% of the total score, we assessed and scored the battery life of each model of phone. The CL82207 actually did quite well, meriting one of the higher scores of the group.
We tested this by using the phone to make a call and playing music over the connection until the battery died. Starting with a completely full battery, this model lasted for almost 14 hours (13 hours, 51 minutes) before completely dying — one of the longest runtimes of the entire group.
This phone is a solid value, offering a top-notch performance at a very reasonable price.
For those that want the best of the best when it comes to a cordless phone, the AT&T CL82207 is an excellent choice. It has extremely high sound quality, excellent range, and solid battery life, as well as being incredibly easy to use. It doesn't have a ton of features, but it has the most commonly used ones. Even better, it retails at a price that won't break the bank and is definitely worth considering when shopping for a new phone. All in all, this is one of our favorites when it comes to these products.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer