On the DECT1580 models, the digital answering machine can store up to 14 minutes worth of messages and any of the handsets registered to the system (up to 6) can access the phone book, which lets you store up to 70 names and numbers. However, only one handset at a time can access the phone book and, surprisingly, it's a little tricky to record a custom message for the answering machine. The default outgoing message is prerecorded and can be changed from English to French (some models come with English/Spanish bilingual menus), but you'll have to do a little digging in the manual to figure out how to record your own message. (See page 43 in the manual for more info: PDF link).
Overall, this cordless phone is pretty middling in terms of features, but the staples are here.
Here's a chart of all the models in the Uniden DECT1580 series:
|Model||Number of handsets||Color||Answering machine included?|
DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones broadcast in the 1.9GHz band and are designed not to interfere with other electronics in your home, such as microwaves, Wi-Fi networks, and baby monitors. It's also supposed to offer extended range (up to 200 feet), though distance will vary depending on obstacles and the material in your walls.
Most DECT 6.0 phones offer similar range, but they're not all equal. In our tests, we found that the Uniden DECT1500 series didn't perform as well as Panasonic's KX-TG6400 or KX-TG7400 series and VTech's LS6225 series. In our tests, we roam as far from the base as we can while talking to a caller. With this model, our voice signal started breaking up at shorter distances than both the Panasonic and VTech models. We're not talking huge discrepancies, but there was a difference. The Panasonic offered about 30 feet of additional range while the VTech performed slightly better than this model.
That said, as long as we didn't roam too far from the base station, its call quality was quite clear, overall, and we got ample sound volume.
The Uniden DECT1500 series may not have a great feature set or the strongest performance in terms of range, but it is inexpensive. A three-handset model costs about $60 online, which is a good $30-40 less than competing models from Panasonic. That's a pretty good deal, especially if you don't care about any extra bells and whistles or whether your cordless phone looks ultra cool. But those looking for a more premium DECT 6.0 phone--or one with the best available range--should pass on this model.
Editors' Note: This review has been updated to reflect that the messaging system can be programmed with a customized outgoing message--though programming it to do so is more complex than it should be.