Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W Review
Pros: Easy to use, excellent battery life, great sound quality
Compare to Similar Products
Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W
|Price||$190 List||$65 List|
$65.95 at Amazon
|$66 List||$90 List|
$89.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy to use, excellent battery life, great sound quality||Very easy to use, great sound quality, strong battery life, fair price||Exceptional range performance, good sound quality||Exceptional range, great sound quality, best for linking to cell phones||Inexpensive, great value, decent range|
|Cons||Expensive||Little light on features||Poor results in our battery test, sparse on features||Mediocre battery life, a little pricey||Below average battery life|
|Bottom Line||If you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to phones, this easy to use and feature-rich model is our first recommendation||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||If you need a cordless phone with top-tier range, this is a great choice||If you are searching for a cordless phone to integrate with your cell phone, this model is the clear choice||Above average range and sound quality for a great price, making this an obvious choice for those on a budget|
|Rating Categories||Panasonic KX-TGM420...||AT&T CL82207||VTech DS6621-2||AT&T TL96273||AT&T EL51203|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Battery Life (10%)|
|Specs||Panasonic KX-TGM420...||AT&T CL82207||VTech DS6621-2||AT&T TL96273||AT&T EL51203|
|Link - to - Cell||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Caller ID announce||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Unobstructed Range Test||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.|
|Obstructed Range Test||280 ft.||300 ft.||390 ft.||300 ft.||220 ft.|
|Call block||Up to 250||Smart Call Blocker*||Up to 20 with a subscription||Dial *60||Dial *60|
|Expandable Handsets||Up to 6||Up to 12||Up to 5||Up to 12||Up to 5|
|Corded (phone) Base||No||No||No||No||No|
|Speaker Phone on Base||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Speaker Phone on Handset||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Phone Book Capacity||100||50||1000||200 (6000 cell entries)||50|
|Redial||Yes||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers|
|Any Key answer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Push to talk (PTT)||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|HD Audio w/ equalizer||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Optional Belt Clip||Yes||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W is a top-tier cordless phone but costs as much as two or even three times more than some of the budget options. It's a good choice if you want the best and rely on your cordless phone, but it might be more phone than many people need. We like that this phone has a very large display and that every button is backlit. It also features a visual indicator on top for incoming calls, making it a very accessible phone compared to many others.
Our first round of tests focused on the sound quality of each of these products, carrying the most weight when it came to determining the final score. We awarded points based on the quality of multiple test calls between judges and by scoring the sound of a voicemail left with each phone. The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W did very well, meriting a score well above average for its performance.
Overall our judges found both the calls and recordings to be quite high in quality. The conversations came across on the louder side and we never really had a hard time hearing the other person.
However, we did notice a tiny bit of static present in some of the recordings but never enough to really impact the quality.
Our next most important set of tests for these products focused on the effective range for each product, or how far one could separate the handset from the base and still get a usable amount of signal to make a call. We conducted two separate tests for this metric, one with a clear line of sight between the base station and handset and one with several walls obstructing them. The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W did well, earning a top-tier position.
The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W was able to successfully transmit a signal with well over 840' between the base station and handset — the furthest extent in our line-of-sight test. In fact, it was still able to complete an audible and understandable call with over 1000' separating them.
Moving on to our obstructed test, with several walls separating the base station and the handset, the Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W again did very well. It did fine with around 280' between them, maxing out at around 390'. The call would get a little static-y if you were moving around between 300' and 390' though.
Ease of Use
After range and sound quality, we next rated and ranked how user-friendly and easy to use each of these cordless phones are to operate. We looked at both basic and advanced functions for each phone, looking at things like answering a call or saving a number in the phonebook. The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W did exceptionally well in this regard, earning it one of the best scores we have seen to date in this regard.
We love how easy it is to operate this phone in a dark environment. All the buttons are illuminated, as well as the screen. It has a find-a-phone feature but it is a little quieter than some of the other models, so could be hard to find a missing handset if one has worked its way deep into the couch cushions.
The screen is easy to read with large numbers. It has a few different options for answering an incoming call and does have an easy option to call back a missed call. The intuitive menus also make it easy to save a number or enter the date and time.
You also can easily block numbers or set the phone to a do not disturb mode if you don't want calls coming through at certain times of the day.
Our next series of assessments focused on the different features available on each of these phones. The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W to do very well, meriting another score well above average.
This phone is compatible with expandable handsets, allowing you to increase the system to up to six handsets. The phonebook has a capacity of 100 entries but you can't link this system to a smartphone via Bluetooth. It has fairly large, backlit buttons on the handset and a speakerphone on the main base, though no keypad. There is an integrated answering machine and intercom system, with each handset having a headphone jack and belt clip as well.
Our final metric for these phones focused on their battery life. We measured the talk time of each phone, as well as looked at the manufacturer's claimed charge and standby times when it came to awarding points. This phone delivered one of the best performances of the entire group, meriting its top-tier marks.
The Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W lasted for more than 14 hours in our talk time test, playing music through a call into a recording device. It also has a claimed standby time of up to 7 days and a recharge time of around 5 hours from the manual, much faster than many other phones.
Unfortunately, the Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W isn't the best value. It is a top-tier phone with a top-tier price tag. It's far from a bargain buy and will be outside the budget of what many people want to spend on one of these products.
All in all, the Panasonic KX-TGM420W + KX-TGMA44W is one of our favorite cordless phones that we have tested to date. This excellent product has amazing battery life and is exceptionally easy to use, with a very intuitive and simple menu layout. It had good sound quality, great range, and all the features that we would want in one of these products.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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