AT&T DL72219 Review
Pros: Easy to use, good sound quality
Cons: Lackluster battery life, limited features
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|Pros||Easy to use, good sound quality||Very easy to use, great sound quality, strong battery life, fair price||Great range, user-friendly||Good sound quality, easy to use, good range||Inexpensive, great value, decent range|
|Cons||Lackluster battery life, limited features||Little light on features||So-so sound quality, limited battery life||Limited features, short battery life||Below average battery life|
|Bottom Line||If you are looking for a middle-of-the-road phone at a middle-of-the-road price, then this is it||If you want a great cordless phone that is simple and easy to use without a lot of fluff, then this is the model for you||This phone is easy to use and has an impressive range but didn't make much of an impression on us overall||This phone does have one of the larger displays of the group but otherwise failed to stand out against the other phones||Above average range and sound quality for a great price, making this an obvious choice for those on a budget|
|Rating Categories||AT&T DL72219||AT&T CL82207||Panasonic KX-TGD532W||VTech VS112-2||AT&T EL51203|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Battery Life (10%)|
|Specs||AT&T DL72219||AT&T CL82207||Panasonic KX-TGD532W||VTech VS112-2||AT&T EL51203|
|Link - to - Cell||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Caller ID announce||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Unobstructed Range Test||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.|
|Obstructed Range Test||280 ft.||300 ft.||390 ft.||230 ft.||220 ft.|
|Call block||Up to 1,000||Smart Call Blocker*||Up to 150||Up to 1,000||Dial *60|
|Expandable Handsets||Up to 5||Up to 12||Up to 6||Up to 5||Up to 5|
|Corded (phone) Base||No||No||No||No||No|
|Speaker Phone on Base||No||No||No||No||No|
|Speaker Phone on Handset||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Phone Book Capacity||1000||50||100||1000||50|
|Redial||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Yes||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers|
|Any Key answer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Push to talk (PTT)||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|HD Audio w/ equalizer||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Optional Belt Clip||No||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
One handy feature that sets this phone apart from many others is the ability to link to smart devices via Bluetooth. This means you can use the DL72219's handsets to answer calls coming in over your smartphone.
We began our test by evaluating and ranking the audio quality of each phone. We left messages to be scored by judges and had them compare the call quality multiple times. The DL72219 did quite well, performing above average compared to the competing phones.
Our judges liked that conversations came through very clear and understandable for the most part. Voices didn't sound perfectly crystal-clear like they would with a face-to-face conversation but didn't sound overly hollow or distorted like they do on some of the cheapest models.
We also appreciated that there was negligible background static or buzz, and conversations were plenty loud.
Our next set of tests focused on the range of each of these phones, comparing both their unobstructed line-of-sight and obstructed range when determining scores. For the obstructed test, we had several walls between each handset and the base station. The DL72219 again did very well, delivering a solid performance that earned it a great score in this metric.
This phone got off to a great start in the open range test, with conversations being very clear and easy to understand with more than 840' between the base station and the handset.
It maxed out around 1000', though we did get the occasional cutout while walking close to the extent of this range.
This phone also did similarly well in the obstructed range test, coming close to matching the performance of the top phones. It had multiple walls separating the base from the handset, and the conversation still came through clearly with close to 300' separating them.
To note, we did notice that the quality dropped significantly while walking around, only to rebound when stationary.
Ease of Use
Next, we evaluated and compared how user-friendly and convenient the DL72219 is to operate. For this metric, we looked at both the basic and advanced functions for this phone, covering things like making or blocking calls, adding a number to the directory, navigating the menus, and the ease of reading the screen. This product did very well, earning a top-tier score.
The screen on this phone is easy to read, with our tester able to clearly make out the information at a distance of 6'. It has a nice backlight which, along with the majority of the buttons being backlit, makes it very easy to read at night.
We like the loud page function that helps you locate a lost handset, and the any-key answer function makes it a breeze to answer an incoming call. It also makes it easy to call back a missed call through the CID menu. Important to some folks, this model lacks a speed dial. The ringer is quite loud, and we found it to be easy to navigate through the menus and settings to set things like the time and date.
It can be a little tedious to enter names into the directory, but we did like how convenient it is to block calls, provided you have a CallerID paid subscription. Finally, we also like how easy it is to set up the quiet mode on this phone. You simply hold down the "#" key and then enter the number of hours using the keypad that you want the phone to remain in "Do Not Disturb" mode.
We based the scores on the prevalence of common features available in each model for our features test. Unfortunately, we found the DL72219 to be a bit lacking in this regard, earning it a score a bit below average.
This phone system only offers the option to expand up to 5 headsets — considerably less than many of the competitors. However, it does make up for this a bit with a more than ample phonebook capacity of up to 1000 numbers.
The main base lacks a speaker and keypad, but the aforementioned link-to-cell feature is a nice addition. It has an integrated answering machine and can act as a household intercom system, though the headsets lack a belt clip and a headphone jack.
Our final metric evaluated and compared the battery life of each cordless phone, looking at both the standby and talk time, as well as time to recharge. Unfortunately, the DL72219 fared very poorly in this regard, earning one of the lower scores of the group.
The manufacturer claims that you should get up to 7 hours of talk time with each handset in normal use or about half that when using the speakerphone. The DL72219 actually exceeded this in our tests, lasting for about 8.5 hours before dying but this was still quite a bit less than the top-performing phones in this test.
It's listed as having a standby time of up to 5 days and taking around 16 hours to charge — both are average to slightly below-average claims in our experience.
The DL72219 is a decent value if you are looking for a slightly better phone than the real bargain options but don't want to shell out the cash for a top-tier cordless phone system.
All in all, the DL72219 is a solid phone that lands squarely in the middle of the group. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that you might want, and the battery life is a bit lacking, but it has more than enough range and sound quality for most people in our minds. This phone is a fine option to consider if you want to upgrade from the most bare-bones options but are still shopping on a budget.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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