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VTech 9123 review: VTech 9123

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The Good Great price; durable design.

The Bad Hard-to-read LCD; average performer.

The Bottom Line If you're willing to settle for a basic phone with a dirt-cheap price, you've found it.

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5.3 Overall

VTech's analog 900MHz 9123 has two things going for it: a party-proof design and a sweet price. However, this analog phone's feature list is decidedly basic, and it's hard to forgive the lack of a backlit LCD. While the phone proved reliable in our tests, we can really recommend this one for only those on a tight budget or in a, say, dorm-room scenario.

This wall-mountable cordless phone comes in three colors: all black, green, and translucent blue. The phone stands upright in its base for easy grabbing and caller ID spotting. There's a nice amount of space between buttons on the keypad, which makes it a good choice for those with larger hands. But in our tests, we often had to press a button twice--and extrahard--for the phone to register our actions. The 9123's feature set is indisputably average; the phone saves up to 50 names and numbers, lets you program 10 numbers for speed dialing, and comes with a message-waiting feature, which alerts you to new messages but doesn't function as a full-on answering machine. You can also program your own ring tones--perfect for driving your annoying dorm roommate crazy.

As for range, we managed to get decent coverage of up to 125 feet, which should work for anyone with a large one- or two-bedroom single-story home. While we could hear callers fine most of the time, we did experience the occasional random breakup but no worse than is common for most analog 900MHz phones. Still, this isn't the best choice if you tend to spend a lot of time talking outside on your deck, for example. Talk time came in at a little more than four hours--slightly less than the five hours quoted by VTech.

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