Panasonic KX-TGE432 Review
Pros: Excellent range, tons of features
Cons: Unimpressive battery life, sound quality could be better
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The KX-TGE432 finished just a few points behind the AT&T CL82207 and tied with the AT&T TL96273. The KX-TGE432 has a few more features than either of the AT&T models, but we thought both to the AT&T phones had better sound quality than the Panasonic. They also had a better battery life, with all three of them being about the same when it came to range and ease of use. This trio of phones are also roughly comparable when it comes to price, with the CL82207 usually being the least expensive, with the KX-TGE432 costing about $10 more and the TL96273 about $20 more.
To see which cordless phone is really worthy of our Editors' Choice award, we began by conducting extensive research of tons and tons of different models, then bought all the models that we thought had the best chance of claiming an award. We rated and judged the performance of each phone in five different weighted testing metrics, with the performance of the KX-TGE432 discussed in the sections below.
Starting off, the first thing we compared on each phone is its audio quality. To test this, we used the KX-TGE432 to record messages and had a panel of judges evaluate and score the clarity of each message. Additionally, we also had these same judges answer a call on the KX-TGE432 and award points based on how clear the incoming voice is. The KX-TGE432 didn't do amazingly well in this metric, which accounts for 30% of its total score, earning a 6 out of 10.
The recordings created by the Panasonic sounds decent with the entire message being understandable. However, we did notice a bit of background fuzz in all the message — something we have seen quite frequently on the Panasonic phones we have tested. It wasn't as buzzy as some of the phones we have seen but it was definitely noticeable.
Our judges all felt that incoming voice came through the KX-TGE432 quite clearly, making it very easy to hear and understand what the other person was saying. However, it again wasn't quite as clear and free of background static as the top phones, knocking it down a few points.
The KX-TGE432 performance improved markedly in our second set of tests, which are responsible for 25% of this product's final score. It did extremely well, earning an 8 out of 10 — one of the top results of the entire group.
To award points, we conducted two tests with each phone: an unobstructed and obstructed range test. For the unobstructed range test, we used a long phone cord to set up the base station at the street, then began walking with the KX-TGE432 until the incoming voice became unrecognizable or we ran out of room. It was the latter that stopped us with the KX-TGE432, as we made it past 840' — the extent of our line-of-sight distance — and still could hear the call fine.
For the obstructed range test, we set up the KX-TGE432's base at the edge of a building, then began walking away from it so the signal had to pass through as many walls as possible.
The KX-TGE432 again did very well, making it to the maximum extent of the course — 300' — but was a tiny bit more difficult to understand than some of the top models at this distance.
Ease of Use
Our third metric focused on how convenient and easy to operate each of these cordless phones are, which comprises 20% of the KX-TGE432's total score. In particular, we focused on the ease of use of both basic and advanced functions of each phone, covering things like the ease of reading and placing a call to how much work is required to block calls and add entries to the built-in phonebook. The KX-TGE432 scored fairly well, earning a 7 out of 10.
This phone has an excellent backlight, making it incredibly easy to operate in a dark room. The only button that isn't illuminated is the directional pad in the middle and the screen and other buttons produce more than enough light to easily see it. The buttons and screen have text that is easy for most people to see at a distance of 6'. However, we did wish it hyphenated the number when you were entering it.
The find a handset feature is decently loud and lasts long enough that it isn't too much of a hassle to dig through your couch cushions and figure out where your handset disappeared too. It has any key answer and you can push the CID button and then talk to quickly and easily call someone back if you just missed their call. It is also very easy to put someone on hold or to use the speed dial, though it can take a little effort to assign numbers. This phone also has a built-in answering machine and a decently loud ringer or caller ID announcement. It also is easy enough to set the date and time.
The KX-TGE432 makes it super easy to block calls but we did wish it was a little easier and more intuitive to navigate through all the menus, which can get a bit tedious given all this phone's features and functions. It can also be quite time consuming to enter names and contact info to its phonebook. The KX-TGE432 also lacks a do not disturb or quiet mode.
The KX-TGE432 delivered another excellent performance when it came to features, earning a 7 out of 10 in this testing metric, which is responsible for 15% of the final score for each phone.
You can expand the KX-TGE432 with up to six handsets if you need more phones. Each phone also has an audio port and a belt clip, so the handset can be used with a headset if you need hands-free operation. This cordless phone also has the ability to act as an intercom system.
The KX-TGE432 has a built-in answering machine and an internal phonebook that can hold up to 100 entries. It's got large illuminated buttons if your eyesight isn't the best, but the main base does lack a keypad and speaker and this phone is not capable of linking to your smart or mobile phone.
For the remaining tenth of the total score, we tested and compared the battery life of each cordless phone. The KX-TGE432 didn't do all that well, meriting a 4 out of 10 for its below average set of results.
To assess battery life, we looked at the effective talk time of each product, its standby time, and the time it takes to recharge. While the manufacturer claims that the KX-TGE432 battery will give you 12 hours of talk time, we only were able to get it to last for 9 hours, 40 minutes in our testing setup with music playing through the phones — much less than the 10-15 hours the top phones lasted for.
Panasonic states that this phone takes about seven hours to completely recharge and should last for up to eight days on standby mode, which is about average for these products.
This KX-TGE432 isn't a great value, as it did a little worse than the top phones but costs just a little bit more.
Overall, we didn't overly dislike the KX-TGE432 by Panasonic and it came very close to claiming an award. However, it just narrowly missed out on the top spot due to its reduced sound quality and lackluster battery life.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer