Panasonic's KX-TG6400 series sits at the heart of Panasonic's Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) 6.0 cordless phone lineup, with two-handset bundles priced around $100, or slightly less. We've seen slicker-looking DECT 6.0 cordless phones from other manufacturers, such as V-Tech, but Panasonics KX-TG6400 series is a solid performer with an equally strong feature set. Here are some highlights and impressions we had of the series during our testing of the KX-TG6432, a two-handset model that features a digital answering machine in the base.
The Panasonic KX-TG6400 series comes in a few different colors, including silver and black, all black, and metallic gray. There's a 1.8-inch LCD that has a light blue backlight that is activated when you touch the keys (we found the screen to be of ample size and easy enough to read, but if you're looking for something a little bigger, the step-up KX-TG7400 series has a 2.1-inch LCD).
We liked the large, rubberized buttons (they, too, get the backlight treatment when pressed) and we found the user interface relatively straightforward and easy to navigate. Our one small gripe is that the top of the phone is made of shiny plastic and is prone to showing fingerprints and any oil from your face that may build up when using the phone. This isn't a big deal, but you will find yourself having to wipe the phone every few days if you want to keep it clean.
The speakerphone is built into the back of the handset (it sits right in the middle) and the included rechargeable batteries are two 650mAh Ni-MH AAAs that provide approximately 5 hours of talk time and 11 hours of standby time (it takes 7 hours to fully charge the batteries).
The two higher-end models in the series (which includes the KX-TG6432 model we tested) offer Talking Caller ID, Talking alarm clock, Talking battery alert ("Please charge the phone"), call block, silent mode, four-way conference capability, handset-to-base intercom function, ringer ID (you can attach various ringtones to contacts in your phone book), and a speakerphone in the handset. The model we tested did not have a speakerphone or dialpad in the main base unit, but the step-up KX-TG6442T (two handsets), KX-TG6443T (three handsets), KX-TG6444T (four handsets), and KX-TG6445T (five handsets) offer both these features.
The digital answering machine can store up to 18 minutes' worth of messages and any of the handsets registered to the system (up to six) can access the phone book, which allows you to store up to 50 names and numbers. A headset jack and belt clip are included if you want to go hands-free.
All in all, this is a solid feature set for a cordless phone. Just note that the low-end models do not have the Talking Caller ID, alarm clock, or battery alert features, which are kind of cool (particularly the Talking Caller ID).