Top cordless phone brands
Top five cordless phone brands for 2017
By Alison Potter
Article 2 of 5
Want to buy a cordless phone from a trusted brand? We reveal the brands that last, sound great, and are loved by owners.
In 2017 we asked 2,499 Which? members about their cordless phones, from how long the phone lasted to how happy they were with it. We gathered the feedback and crunched the numbers to find out which brands are worth investing in, and which are prone to malfunctioning.
Cordless phones can cost anything from £10 to £400, depending on what model you go for and how many handsets you want. Buying the wrong product can be an expensive mistake, which is why it’s important to choose carefully. After all, who wants to be forced into replacing a home phone not long after buying it because the handset battery won’t charge, or because the sound quality is poor?
If you’re just after the best home phone for your budget, head straight to our in-depth cordless phone reviews.
How we find the best and most reliable cordless phone brands
In the table below we give you the lowdown on the top cordless phone brands, including BT, Panasonic and Gigaset. We name the brands that make consistently good cordless phones, as well as those that are more likely to have issues with the answering machine, or problems with the phone’s range deteriorating.
For each brand, you can see:
- the average test score – based on cordless phones tested between December 2013 and July 2017
- how reliable it is – we ask owners if, when, and how their cordless phone had problems, and calculate how reliable each brand is overall
- how owners rate it – how likely owners are to recommend their cordless phone brand to friends and family, and their overall satisfaction.
- our verdict – we tell you which brands are worth buying, and which you should avoid.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.
|Brand||Average review score||Reliability rating||Customer score||Which? verdict|
|67%||69%||Top pick: This brand has the highest customer score – nearly seven out of ten owners would recommend it to a friend. It also comes top for reliability, and 17 of its phones are Best Buys – the most out of any cordless phone brand. Single handsets start at about £20 and go up to £80 for the more feature-laden, design-focused models.|
|70%||67%||Two out of three owners would recommend this brand, but its phones are often lacking in terms of call-blocking features. The brand has the highest average test score and a very decent reliability score, but just 10 of its phones are Best Buys, and none since 2015. Some handsets can be pricey, but they often have useful features such as VoIP calling (calling over wi-fi).|
|62%||60%||We’ve tested plenty of phones from this brand, but they vary quite widely in terms of quality, and it has a mediocre average test score. It fares well for reliability, though, and four of its phones are Best Buys. But only three out of five owners would recommend the brand to a loved one. Generally its phones are a little cheaper than other brands, and newer models have a useful ‘one-touch’ call-blocking button.|
|55%||n/a||42%||This brand produces a mix of design-focused, expensive cordless phones, as well as a range of cheaper, more basic handsets. But fewer than three out of seven owners would recommend the brand to someone they know. Its average test score is similarly disappointing, with no Best Buys, and three Don’t Buys that we think you should avoid.|
|48%||n/a||34%||One to avoid: Not only is this brand by far the worst in terms of average test score, but most owners would not tell those they know to buy one too. Less than one in three are satisfied with this brand of phone, and the only plus point we could find is that its phones are particularly cheap. You get what you pay for, though, and its screens are very basic and hard to read.|
Reliability scores are based on a June 2017 survey of 2,499 Which? members, and owner ratings are based on a June 2017 survey of 2,895 of Which? members who own cordless phones. There’s no reliability score for two brands as we didn’t get enough respondents. The average test score is based on results of all models tested between December 2013 and July 2017, and this table is correct as of August 2017.
Can’t see the brands you’re interested in? We couldn’t report on some brands, as we didn’t get enough responses from owners. But for reviews of cordless phones from Binatone, iDect and Philips, see our independent cordless phone reviews.
Choosing the best brand of cordless phone
There’s a huge difference between the average test scores of the cordless phone brands in our table, proving that some brands are a much safer bet than others. But there’s not that much of a gulf in terms of reliability. In general, cordless phones are fairly reliable and not that prone to malfunctioning.
When it comes to how owners rate these brands, however, there is a very wide variation between the most highly regarded and the least. Nearly seven out of ten would recommend the cordless phone brand which gets the biggest thumbs up from owners, and it also has a mammoth 17 Best Buys.
In comparison, the least-loved brand would see very few owners buying a cordless phone from this brand again, it has a record 8 Don't Buys, and less than one out of three would tell a loved one to buy one too. Not surprisingly, it also has a dreadful average review score of just 48%.
How we calculate the best and worst brands
Every year we carry out a huge Which? member survey. We ask thousands of people about the products they own, and how satisfied they are with them. We also ask how likely owners are to recommend their products to someone else. We use these two figures to calculate a percentage score so we can rank brands on how customers feel about their products.
As well as a customer score, we also formulate a reliability rating based on the experiences members have had with their cordless phones over the last five years. Brands that had few faults, especially major or catastrophic ones, get higher scores than those where things quickly went wrong.