There are a number of reasons why it’s essential to test cordless phones. It enables us to single out the easy-to-use landline handsets, models that have excellent sound quality, a long range and effective call-blocking technology.
We put home phones through a wide variety of tough lab tests, so you can buy with confidence and find the perfect one for you. And as well as finding the best, we’ll help you to avoid the phones that sound crackly and distorted, or have such short ranges that they won't work upstairs.
We put every phone through the same tests - a mixture of hands-on assessments by independent experts and technical lab testing - so we can answer the important questions with confidence, and give you a verdict you can trust.
We make a series of calls from each phone while an expert panel checks the sound quality at both ends of the line. Our experts listen to calls on the speakerphone and assess the sound quality of incoming and outgoing messages left on the answering machine.
Unwanted nuisance calls are sadly a fact of life, but not every phone is capable of stopping them. Which? members have frequently complained that their cordless phone doesn’t block the numbers it claims it can, so we test each model's capabilities by making calls from various types of phone numbers, to verify that the blocking is working as well as it should.
We check whether a handset can block the most common categories of spam calls, including:
Ergonomic experts assess how easy it is to set up the phone, add contacts to the phone book and make and receive calls. We rate the general handling, including whether the buttons are well spaced so pressing the right numbers is simple, and whether the names and numbers on the display are easy to read. We also check the maximum volume of the default ringtone from the base station and the handset, so you can make sure you never miss a call.
Our test finds out at exactly what distance the signal drops, so you can work out whether the phone will work in every room in your house. We also note whether the phone will warn the user if the signal is getting too weak before cutting off.
As well as testing cordless phones in our lab, we also survey thousands of Which? members to find out which brands are built to last. If our survey reveals that a brand is unreliable, we won't permit any of its phones to be Best Buys, no matter how well they do in our lab assessment.
This unique cordless phones reliability survey means that you can buy with confidence, knowing that your new phone is unlikely to let you down.
We give every home phone we test a Which? test score out of 100 so you can see which are the best and worst and can directly compare between models.
Each of the assessments described above goes part way to making up this test score, although certain assessments are more important than others and so get a heavier weighting in our evaluation. We think the most important job of a phone is to make and receive clear calls, so a large proportion of our test score is based on this.
The score is broken down as follows: