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With a bigger space around the house, it's been constantly at the back of my mind to retire my retro water bottle-like Sanyo cordless phone to something more up to date.

I've been thinking about several neat features to have in a home phone:
- Long Range Crystal Clear Voice Clarity (better to hear you with...)

- Speaker Phone on Handsets (for multitasking)

- Digital Answering Machine (goofy but why not)

- Intercom Function (though I still think my mom would prefer to scream across the rooms)

- In-built Address Book (so mom will no longer need to flip through her ancient telephone book)

Anything more will be a bonus.

So at the COMEX Show 2008 last month, I was keeping my eyes open for something suitable. I didn't have much time during the trip as I wanted to cater enough time not to rush around before my 1st operatic experience at 'Turandot'.

I chanced upon a direct distributor for digital Panasonic cordless phones. It was only at the show that they was selling direct to consumers. The export only phone sets have frequencies not standard in Singapore airwaves. I've previously used a 5.8 Panasonic home based handset and was impressed by it's voice quality. This time round, the newer 1.9GHz 6.0 DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones are available. Which means higher frequency range and more importantly, cannot get anywhere else in local shops (except for maybe Mustafa where the phones are distributed to).

I was contemplating between the Panasonic KX-TG9342T or KX-TG8232B. Both has it pros and cons. Looking at the specs of the KX-TG9342T, I thought there were some advantages to take a phone with number pad on the base and a Caller ID 'Talking' feature. I picked up the Panasonic KX-TG9342T at first till I realised later that the Caller ID text-to-speech technology required a subscription from the phone company. Duh!
I decided to take the phone back to change for the ultra sexy KX-TG8232B with colour display. Yes... I'm shallow... good looks matter...

Because I had the chance to play with the KX-TG9342T within the week, I felt the KX-TG8232B lacked a few neat functions.
The text-to-speech technology can be both cool or irritating. Besides announcing the name of the caller (if Caller ID is present), you can also have a talking alarm clock and a reminder when the battery is low with a "please charge phone" speech. The answering machine is probably also a little more sophisticated on the KX-TG9342T unit, but anything more to me is really an over-kill.

The KX-TG8232B on the other hand, boast of a piano black high shine glossy finish, a joy-stick to maneuver around the menus and a rich colour display. The phone acts like clock on the charger unit. It's neat but not necessary a good thing to have the back light on all the time. In it's simplistic yet chic form , the phone met my needs. It was a breeze to set up and use. And largely cause I have yet to use the phone at all... I have very little to complain at this time.

Panasonic KX-TG8232B
Detailed Description
Panasonic DECT 6.0 Expandable Digital Cordless Phone System with Large Color LCD, Extended Talk Time, Reduced Interference, All-Digital Answering System and 2 Handsets, and a Piano Black Finish. DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology lets you move freely around your home with long range and amazingly clear sound. It also assures greater protection against eavesdropping for all your calls. Operating in the 1.9GHz frequency range, your phone will not conflict with other wireless devices such as computer routers, wireless keyboards, microwave ovens and other common household devices.

* DECT 6.0 technology 1.9GHz (clear sound, long range, resistance to eavesdropping, minimized interference)
* 1-Line operation
* Includes 2 total handsets (1 base unit and handset and 1 extra handset and chargers)
o Expands up to 6 handsets (4 additional KX-TGA820B handsets may be added)
* Digital answering machine
o 18 Minutes of record time
o Outgoing message record time 2.5 minutes
* Includes base unit and handset and one extra handset and charger
* 1.5" 65K Color, 128x128 pixels, 3-line LCD display on handsets
* Caller ID, call waiting caller ID
* Visual call waiting
* 50 number Caller ID memory
* Time stamp
* Caller ID time set up from a calendar
* 50 number Phonebook with alphabetic search
* Chain dial
* Handset wallpaper
* Backlit keypad
* Soft keys and joystick
* 4 Step handset volume
* 6 Step speakerphone volume (handset)
* 2.5mm Headset jack
* 4 Step headset volume
* 6 Step/off ringer volume for handset/base
* 5 Tone polyphonic ringer tones
* 10 Melody polyphonic ringer tones
* Locator/page/intercom key on base
* One touch dial
* 5 Number Redial
* Mute/flash
* Keypad on handsets only
* Intercom/intercom transfer (handset to handset)
* 3-Way conference
* Any key answer
* Barge in/privacy mode
* Clock and alarm
* Set date and time
* LCD Contrast control
* Key tone
* Bilingual display
* Toll saver
* Call screening
* New message indicator
* Remote operation
* Battery life (talk): 17 hours
* Battery life (standby): 7.5 days
* 7 Hour charge time
* Charge indication
* Not Wall Mountable
* Color: Piano Black

Check out what I bought at COMEX 2007


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