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BT’s latest cordless phones on test: Which is best for call blocking?

We put these home phones through our new stringent nuisance call test

BT is trying to help crack down on the scourge of nuisance calls with its newest range of cordless phones, each with varying call-blocking abilities.

We’ve just improved our call blocking testing, so it was the perfect opportunity to put four of BT’s latest cordless phones through their paces. The cheapest we’ve tested costs just £20 for a single handset, while the priciest will set you back £65.

Not everyone needs the exact same features in a landline phone, which is why it’s helpful to compare what each can offer. Take a look at the latest tested cordless phones, and find out how we’ve made our call-blocking tests even tougher.

Or jump straight to our Best Buy cordless phones to just see the very best on test.

BT Premium Phone £65

As you’d expect from the name – and price – the BT Premium Phone is a high-quality cordless phone that’s packed with a number of nifty features. It has a colour LCD screen, the ability to store 3,000 numbers and it can be linked with your mobile via Bluetooth to sync your contacts.

In terms of call blocking, BT advertises it as having a ‘100% Nuisance Call Blocker’ which means that any caller not on your contact list or already blocked is required to announce their name, which gives you full control over the calls you accept. But how well does it work in practice and is it a complicated handset to use? Read our BT Premium Phone review to find out.

BT Everyday Phone £20

The Everyday Phone is the most basic of the new cordless phones launched by BT. It’s cheap as chips, so it’s an ideal choice for someone who wants a handset that’s simple to use and affordable. For £10 more you can get the BT Everyday Phone with an in-built answering machine.

Typically phones at the cheaper end of the market don’t have any call-blocking capabilities, but this handset can blacklist specific numbers, as well as categories of calls. Find out how many numbers and which kinds of calls you have the option to block by checking out our BT Everyday Phone review. We’ll also tell you if it’s easy to use and how it fares in terms of sound quality.

BT Advanced Phone Z £60

It’s not entirely clear what the ‘Z’ stands for, but the BT Advanced Phone Z is another top-of-the-range cordless phone with answering machine that promises to curb those pesky sales calls and connect you with family and friends.

Similar to the Premium Phone, BT’s Advanced Phone Z claims to have extensive call-blocking, thanks to its virtual assistant, which filters calls and announces all unknown callers. It also has a Do Not Disturb mode that allows you to set the phone to be silent for a certain time, while allowing a VIP list of callers to get through, so you don’t miss anything important. Find out if it’s the best of the new cordless phones we’ve tested by taking a look at the BT Advanced Phone Z review.

BT Essential Phone Y £35

The mid-range BT Essential Phone Y is half the price of the Premium Phone and Advanced Phone Z. It’s an ideal compromise if you’re not keen to spend a lot but you’re after more features than can be found on basic, cheaper handsets.

It has a call-blocking button to reject and block a call as it comes in, and it can prevent up to 100 specific numbers and some categories of calls from getting through. You’ll have to go to the BT Essential Phone Y review to find out which kinds of calls this handset can’t block, so you can work out whether it stops the numbers that most commonly harass you in your home.

What else is on test?

Don’t worry, we’ve not just tested cordless phones from BT. In addition we’ve recently put handsets from Gigaset, Philips, iDect and Binatone through their paces, including our new call-blocking tests. Click the products below to go straight to the full review.

Our new call-blocking test

Which? research from 2016 revealed that around four in ten calls are from nuisance callers, and most UK households receive an average of 26 unsolicited calls per month, although some get as many as 60.

We’ve been testing the call-blocking capabilities of cordless phones since 2015. We deem it to be an important feature to help stop unwanted calls from scammers and telemarketers. But following feedback from Which? members, we’ve recently made our call-blocking tests tougher.

Take a look at our latest reviews to find out how effectively a cordless phone will screen your calls, stop individual numbers or certain types of calls from getting through – for example anonymous, international or withheld numbers – as well as offer last caller barring to prevent repeat sales calls.

How we test cordless phones

When a cordless phone comes in for testing, we don’t just focus our efforts on call blocking, as there’s a number of core functions that need checking.

We rate each handset for sound quality and maximum ring volume, so you can ensure you’ll be able to hear when you have an incoming call, and you’ll also be able to understand what the person on the other end of the line is saying.

It’s important for a phone to have a decent-sized signal range, so you won’t be stuck hovering by the base station when chatting on the phone. We also check how easy it is to use and whether the answering machine can store as many messages as you’d like.

Visit our How we test cordless phones page to find out more about our cordless phone testing.

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