Landlines may sound like a myth from the past, but they are well and truly surviving, and while many of us may not have one at our homes, businesses still rely heavily on them, and specially if you happen to work in any of the remote areas of UK, you are probably going to struggle to get a signal anyway. Anyway, this isn’t about the merits of landlines, it is more about cold callers and nuisance callers. In fact, this isn’t even about them. This is about BT’s latest handset, the BT8500, which comes with the very clever and handy feature that allows it to filter all your calls for you. It is almost like having a personal assistant vetting your calls!
Okay, before I go on, the feature works best if you Caller Identity subscribed from your provider. Some companies charge for it, while others throw it in for free. The charges tend to hover between 2 to 3 pounds on most services per month, so if nuisance calling is an issue, this is definitely worth it.
Anyway, even if you don’t have that available, this will still help. How? Let’s explore.
The contacts list
Ah, you say. This is easy, you say. You put up a contacts list, and if a number calls from the contact list, it goes straight through. Any mobile phone can do that, what’s so clever about that. Ah, fair enough. I agree. The magic really happens when a number appears if it is not in your contacts list.
The not-in-the-contacts list
I love this. If a call comes from outside the list, or from a blocked number, a ‘robotic’ voice tells you to say your name. Only after you have done that does the phone actually ring. As you pick up the phone, it tells you who the call is from, and gives you the option to accept (press 1), block (press 3) or send the call to answering machine (press 4). Of course, once (and if) you accept, you just go ahead and chat like normal.
What if I don’t have Caller Display ?
The process above will happen for every caller that rings you. Whether in your list or not.
Wouldn’t that be annoying?
Don’t worry, you can disable that feature. Just go to ‘Call Guardian’ under settings and off it goes.
How many numbers can I store?
While I haven’t pushed it, the stats suggest that I can store 200 contacts, and block a staggering 1000 numbers.
What else is on offer?
Other than that, it also adds a great phone, with some of the following features:
- Colour Screen
- Automatically copies numbers and settings between both the handsets (we tried twins)
- Answering machine can record up to 60 minutes of messages
- Easy set up
- Long range reception, up to 300m outdoors, 50 m indoors
- Up to 21 hours of talk time, 240 hours on standby
- Call waiting
- See who has left you messages (if you have Caller Display)
- Do not disturb mode
- Outgoing call control
- Backlit keypad
For more information, visit the following page on the BT website:
It comes with the following options:
- Single, £49.99
- Twin, £59.98
- Trio, £79.99
- Quad, £99.99
Landline phones hardly make the news among the tech circles these days, and it is understandable. However, as any business or phone owner knows, time is precious and call vetting is priceless. The BT8500 throws that feature in with an extremely good phone, at a very affordable price. Stand aside all other phones, we have a winner here.