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Hands-on Gear Review
Panasonic KX-TGF382M ReviewPrice: $100 List | $84.99 at Amazon
Pros: Great battery life, wired handset on base
Cons: Expensive, Average sound quality
Bottom line: Has plenty of features and a great battery life, but at the cost of sound quality
The Panasonic KX-TGF382M had strong scores when it came to battery life and features in our test, but no other standout scores when compared to the other models that we evaluated. This phone ranked in the middle of the pack of phones we reviewed, and with the second highest MSRP of all the phones we looked at, we would recommend considering other models before purchasing this one. This phone does have a high enough score in battery life to take notice, but nothing particularly stood out.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Cordless Phones of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Sound quality is an extremely important attribute when it comes to cordless phones, and earned the highest weighting of our rating metrics, making up 30% of the total score. Our panel of listeners rated a message left by each handset, and determined scores off of that. This model earned a 6 out of 10, with our panel noting that it was on the quieter side compared with the other phones we tested, as well at noticing that there was some background static. Below you can hear a clip comparing this phone's sound quality in our test to one of the top scoring phones.
This phone did acceptable in our range tests, scoring above average with a 6 out of 10. It stayed consistent throughout the tests, performing well on the open range test as well as the obstructed test. When it came to open range, this model remained understandable with 840' between the base and the handset in a clear line of sight.
For an obstructed range test, we left the main base inside the house and carried the handset outside and as far down the street as we could. This forced the signal to go through 5-6 walls as it traveled to the base. This model performed well, making it 260' before the signal started to cut out.
Ease of Use
This cordless phone model was relatively easy to use, earning a 6 out of 10 in our tests. This phone has a really bright display in contrast with its dimmer, orange backlit buttons. This sharp contrast actually makes it hard on the eyes when using in a dark environment.
The handset for this model was able to be read at 6' away, but it was a little more difficult than the other models of Panasonic phones that we tested.
This model allows for any key answer when receiving a call, but does not add hyphens when dialing a number, making it easy to get lost when dialing out to place a call. This model has a handset locator feature, allowing you to select which handset(s) to page. We measured the locating tone to be 57.2 dBa at 6' away from the handset. This phone makes it extremely easy to block calls, with a physical button you can press to block a call when the phone is ringing. It was significantly harder to store phone numbers in the phonebook, requiring you to navigate through the 2nd set of menus, and assign a group for each stored phone number. It is possible to put this phone into a quiet or do not disturb mode, it is just somewhat hidden through three menus.
It is easy to connect this model to a mobile device, but we found it to be complicated to dial out and set up texts after connecting.
This phone is rich in features, earning an 8 out of 10 in our scores. The KX-TGF382M can host up to 6 handsets, in addition to the corded handset on the main base.
This phone also has the ability to run off a battery backup in the case of a power outage where the phone lines are still functioning but main power is out. You can block up to 250 numbers, and store up to 3000. The main base has a corded handset, as well as an integrated answering machine. This phone can act as an intercom system, and permits hands free operation with the addition of a belt and headset jack on each handset.
This phone did well on the battery life test, lasting for 13 hours and 39 minutes, earning it a score of 8 out of 10. The handset began flashing the low battery indicator at 12 hours and 30 minutes into our talk time test, as well as beeped to indicate that charging was necessary. 8 minutes later, it indicated to charge for 7 hours, but made it an additional hour before the battery completely died. This model has a manufacturer claimed standby time of 9 days.
This model does not have fantastic value, based on our tests. It was the second most expensive of all the phones we looked at, while scoring solidly in the middle.
This cordless phone was an alright phone, scoring well in battery life and features, but that's about it. We would recommend looking at one of the other phones we reviewed, unless your primary focus is blocking calls. The most noticeable feature that separated this phone from the pack was the ease of blocking calls, so if you are the type of person that blocks more calls than they make, then this is the phone for you.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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