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VTech LS62 review: VTech LS62

VTech LS62

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

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New for 2009, VTech's LS6225/LS6215 series is one of the company's featured DECT 6.0 cordless phone lines. VTech has a reputation for making sleek and stylish cordless phones and the LS6225 series is an eye-catcher, with a shiny black finish, touch buttons on the base unit/digital answering machine, and a slight curve to the handsets that follows the contour of your face. You can get this model in packages of two and three handsets (the system is expandable to 12 handsets), as well as a unit that leaves off the answering machine.

7.0

VTech LS62

The Good

DECT 6.0 cordless phone; relatively inexpensive; 1.5-inch LCD; sleek design; expandable up to 12 handsets; speakerphone on handset; integrated digital answering machine on most models.

The Bad

Shiny black front and back of phone attracts fingerprints; no headset jack in handset for hands-free operation.

The Bottom Line

VTech's LS6225/LS6215 series may not have quite the range--or the features list--of some Panasonic models, but it's very stylish looking and affordably priced.

Design
With the design of the LS62x5 series, it looks like VTech drew some inspiration from Motorola's Razr phones, particularly when it comes to the keypad. The keys are flush to the phone and made of hard plastic, but their spacing is good and we had no trouble dialing numbers. The keys are backlit and while the 1.5-inch LCD (it, too, has blue backlighting) isn't huge, it should be ample enough for most users.

The phone and base unit is attractively styled with a sleek, minimalist design that we liked. The base unit has no buttons per se; all the controls are touch-based, and they worked fine in our tests. However, it should be pointed out that the shiny black finish--on both the front and the back of the phone--is a fingerprint magnet. On a positive note, we found the user interface relatively straightforward and easy to navigate. The speakerphone is built into the back of the handset (it sits right in the middle) and Talk/Off buttons are clearly labeled and within easy reach of your thumb as you hold the phone in your hand.

Pop open the battery compartment and you'll notice what this phone's biggest drawback is. It's powered by a 500mAh Ni-MH battery pack that, according to VTech, will give you up to 8 hours of talk time (5 hours with of speakerphone usage and up to eight days of standby time). In our tests, these numbers seem a little on high side (we only got about six days of standby time), but, according to VTech, operating times vary depending on your actual use and age of the battery.

In a wider context, those numbers match up well against the competition (and against some earlier VTech models, which opted for superslim handsets at the expense of battery life). By comparison, Panasonic's KX-TG6400 series includes two 650mAh Ni-MH AAAs that provide approximately 5 hours of talk time and 11 days of standby time.

Features
The LS62x5 series comes in packages featuring two or three handsets, and you can have a maximum of 12 handsets connected to the system. You don't get some of the features found on some of Panasonic's latest models, including Talking Caller ID, Talking alarm clock, Talking battery alert ("Please charge the phone"), or ringer ID (you can attach various ringtones to contacts in your phonebook), but all the standard stuff is here: call silent mode, three-way conference capability, a handset-to-base intercom function (as well as handset-to-handset communications), and a speakerphone in the handset. The LS6225-2 series does not have a speakerphone or dial pad in the main base unit, and there's no headset jack in the handset for hands-free operation (though some people don't care about this feature).

The digital answering machine (found in all models but the LS6215-2) can store up to 14 minutes worth of messages and any of the handsets registered to the system (up to 12) can access the phonebook, which lets you store up to 50 names and numbers. However, only one handset can access the phonebook at a time.

Overall, this cordless phone is pretty middling in terms of features, but as we said, the staples are here.

Here's a chart of all the models in the line:

Model Number of handsets Color Answering machine included?
LS6215-2 2 Black No
LS6225-2 2 Black Yes
LS6225-3 3 Black Yes
LS6205 Additional handset Black n/a

Note that VTech offers comparable--but not identical--DECT 6.0 models with very similar model numbers, including the LS61x5 line and the CS62x9 line.

Performance
DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) operates in the 1.9GHz range and is 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 LS62x5 series didn't do quite as well as Panasonic's KX-TG6400 series. The Panasonic offered about 10 feet more of range before the connection with the base unit died.

Call quality was good and clear overall and we got ample volume.

Verdict
The VTech LS6225 series may not have the deepest feature set or the strongest performance in terms of range, but it is one of the sexier looking DECT 6.0 models. Also, it's expandable up to 12 handsets and is relatively affordable with a three-handset model coming in about $80.

7.0

VTech LS62

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 7
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