The AT&T CL84100 cordless phone offers the best of both worlds, reviewers say: a comfortable wired base unit that functions indefinitely, even when the power goes out, and a wireless handset that boasts clear sound and a long range. Users love that the handsets for this model do not require plugging into telephone jacks; all they require is a power source, so only the base unit needs to be plugged into a phone jack. The phone does not have a wall mount.
Exceptional range and a basic answering machine. The AT&T CL84100 and its sibling models have a long range, and users praise the clear calls. Most complaints about this unit revolve around the answering machine. Messages recorded on it can be muffled, users say, and there's no way to completely silence it without turning the answering mode off, which is inconvenient when you're trying to sleep or if you have guests. As with many AT&T cordless phone models, there is no headset jack on the handset. Battery life isn't an issue, as the phones are wired.
A lightweight phone without a wall mount. One Amazon.com reviewer who praises the phone's design calls it "light but solid." This model is widely used in both homes and offices, and owners like the backlit display and large buttons. Neither the corded nor the cordless phones can be mounted on the wall. While the overall Amazon.com rating for the phone is high, a handful of users say their models stopped working after only a few months, and a few complain that theirs died during power outages.
Standard features include speakerphones on base and handsets. There aren't any snazzy features like the ability to connect to a mobile phone or Bluetooth, but users say the phone is a quality practical device. This model features intercoms, 50 caller ID memory slots, speakerphones on the handset and base, conferencing and a voice mail indicator. It also includes extras such as a base ringer, keypad and speakerphone, as well as one-touch dialing, but it has just one mailbox and no speed dialing. As with all AT&T series, the model number indicates the number of handsets: the CL84100 has one handset, the identical CL84200 has two, the CL84300 has three, and so on. If you know you want extra handsets, it is generally less expensive to buy them as part of the base unit package, though the CL84100 can be expanded up to 12.
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Review Credibility: Excellent Experts test the AT&T CL84100 and rate its ease of use, range, voice quality and the like in a recent undated comparison test of 44 cordless phone models. Results are displayed in a handy chart, making it easy to see which phones are the best. However, the information is only available to paid subscribers.
Review: Cordless Phone Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good More than 160 users give the AT&T CL84100 an overall score of 4 out of 5 stars. Owners praise the sound quality, intercom function, the wired base -- which allows the phone to work in a power outage -- and the fact that the handsets do not require phone jacks. Battery life and ease of use are also high points. Complaints include the lack of a headset port, some models that died and the inability to completely turn off the sound on the answering machine.
Review: AT&T 84100 DECT 6.0 Corded/Cordless Phone, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Although Walmart.com no longer carries the AT&T CL84100, their site hosts about a hundred reviews of the phone. All but one user would recommend the phone to others, and the overall average score is 4.7 out of 5 stars. Owners praise its easy setup and clear sound, with the few complaints suggesting that the answering machine message is not clear when recorded, and that programming the phone book can be complicated.
Review: AT&T CL84100 Corded/Cordless Answering System, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Fair A half-dozen reviews posted on JR.com (online home of J&R Electronics) give the AT&T CL84100 an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Users say the phone has nice sound and a comfortable handset, and offers a strong signal, but that it can be a challenge to set up.
Review: AT&T CL84100 Corded/Cordless Answering System, Contributors to JR.com, As of November 2012