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Hands-on Gear Review
VTech CS6719-2 Review
Price: $40 List | $34.95 at Amazon
Pros: Inexpensive, Good sound quality
Cons: Few features, average range and battery life
Bottom line: A bare bones model that has exceptionally good sound quality for those on a budget
The VTech was the least expensive phone that we reviewed, as well as the lowest scoring with a 50 out of 100. However, it closely followed the competition that was significantly more expensive and performed above average in our highest weighted metric (Sound Quality at 30% of the overall score), earning it our Best Buy award.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Sound quality was determined by our panel of listeners ranking and evaluating a message left by each handset. This metric is one of the most important aspects of a cordless phone, making up 30% of the total score. This model scored a 7 out of 10, with our panel noting that it was on the quieter side of phones we looked at, but that is was very clear. Below you can hear a direct comparison of this phone to one of our top scoring phones.
The main difference that our panel cited between this model and the top scoring model was volume, with the maximum volume being significantly quieter than other models. The panel did appreciate the lack of background static that was present in other models that we tested.
This model performed average when it came to range, earning a 5 out of 10. In our first test, the unobstructed, line of sight test, this phone remained clear and understandable with up to 750' of separation between the handset and the base.
For our second test, the obstructed range test, we wanted to assess how each model did with interference between the main base and the handset. We maneuvered so there were 5-6 walls separating the handset and the base and then walked down the street until the handset became too crackly to understand or cut out completely. In this test, the VTech handset made it 220' away from the base.
Ease of Use
This model scored below average when it came to ease of use, earning a 4 out of 10. We split the ease of use score into two categories: basic and advanced functions, and the Vtech scored the same for both. One of the first things we looked at was how easy it was to actually see the phone to use it. Each handset was set up on a table, and moved progressively further away from an observer with different information on the screen each time. We based this on a standard eye test, and found that is was difficult to read the VTech when it was 3' away from the viewer.
Next, we looked at operating this phone in a dark environment, and found that we were a little disappointed in this model. Only the keypad had a backlight, making it very difficult to do anything other than dialing out if you were unfamiliar with the phone. There was also no way to turn off the backlight other than waiting for it to timeout.
This model did have the loudest lost handset feature, clocking in at 66.1 dBa from 6' away, with a tone that we found to be extremely eery. When placing a call, the handset adds hyphens to the number, making it easy to spot an error and keep track of the numbers, and supports any key answer when receiving a call.
Inputting names into the phone was easy enough, simply locating the phone book in the second set of menus, entering the number and then entering the name with a multi-tap typing method. We could not block calls on this model, and aren't sure that it is even possible. This phone does have a silent mode, by holding down the "#" key, and then entering the number of quiet hours desired.
The Vtech cordless phone was extremely light on features, earning a 3 out of 10. The main base can host up to 5 additional handsets, as well as has the capacity for 50 stored numbers in the phone book. This phone does not have an answering machine or the ability to link to mobile devices. Handsfree operation is impossible due to the lack of a headset jack or a belt clip on the handsets. This phone model does have the ability to act as a home intercom system.
Throughout our talk time test, this model of cordless phone lasted for 10 hours and 41 minutes, earning it a score of 4 out of 10. The handset notified us that the battery was low 21 minutes before it actually failed with a flashing indicator light and an audible beep. The manufacturer gives a claimed standby time of up to 5 days, and 12 hours to fully recharge a depleted battery.
This phone has good value, as it was the least expensive phone that we reviewed, and it delivered an acceptable performance. It does have a lot of extra or additional features, but just enough to get the job done.
This is probably the least expensive cordless phone that you can purchase and not become extremely frustrated with. It pretty much can make and receive calls, with a few additional features like speed dial and a phone book and that is about it. This is a great choice if you want the most value for your money, and just want a phone to make calls on a semi-regular basis. It might be worth it to spend a little more if you are on the phone a bunch, but this model will definitely get you by while sticking to your budget.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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