Today's cordless phones are smaller than
they used to be, though larger than
cell phones, making them easy to carry around but more difficult to cradle on
your shoulder. Remember that smaller phones also
have smaller keypad buttons, which can make dialing difficult. Some cordless
phones include a headset jack for hands-free use, but you'll most likely have
to supply your own headset, which will cost you $10 to $30.
Minimal interference: You'll rarely see 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz phones
on store shelves. Phones that operate on the 1.9 GHz frequency (DECT) are the
least susceptible to interference, and they no longer cost more than
older-style phones. If you live in an apartment building or other populous
area, keep in mind that you may get interference from wireless networks even if
you don't have one yourself.
Compatibility with caller ID and as
speakerphones: Most new models are also expandable
to include more handsets. Some have headphone jacks and belt clips for
Batteries that last from one to two years,
depending on use: Some phones use proprietary battery
packs, which can only accept direct replacements. Others use universal
cordless-phone batteries that you can find at Radio Shack and other stores.
Don't place the handset of a cordless phone
back on its base after each call, experts say. Charging the battery too frequently will
weaken its power and shorten its life.
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