VTech TZ2551 review: VTech TZ2551

  • 1
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good TeleZapper telemarketing call blocker; easy-to-use digital answering machine; three user mailboxes; cheap.

The Bad Not a true 2.4GHz phone; no backlighting for dial pad; poor LCD backlight and readability; poor call quality; unstable charging position; pointy antenna.

The Bottom Line This bargain cordless phone system zaps telemarketers, but it suffers from pointed flaws.

6.0 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 5.0

VTech tz 2551

Almost every state has a free, opt-in "do not call" service, which renders moot the primary feature of the VTech TZ2551 cordless phone system. The phone offers a digital-spread-spectrum cordless phone with a built-in, three-mailbox digital answering machine in the base station, but it's hard to overlook its many flaws.

This phone's main selling point is the TeleZapper feature. TeleZapper emits a signal that tells predictive-dialing computers (which just dial numbers sequentially until someone answers) that your number is disconnected. Since our test lines are doubly protected by both the New York "do not call" list and by caller ID blocking, we could not test TeleZapper's effectiveness. Regardless, TeleZapper is more gravy than it is a reason to buy this model.

Although the box reads "2.4GHz," the TZ2551 is actually a hybrid phone. The 2.4GHz is used only for your end of the conversation, from the handset to the base. Your caller's voice travels from the base to the handset using the more interference-prone 900MHz bands, although neither our Wi-Fi setup nor the nearby microwave oven seemed to cause any undo interference.

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