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CNET First Look
Panasonic KX TG6412MPanasonic's KX-TG6400 cordless phone series isn't the slickest-looking DECT 6.0 system available, but the phones are solid performers with attractive feature sets--particularly the higher-end models.
[ music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com, and I'm here with Panasonic's KX TG6400 Series. It sits at the heart of Panasonic's DECT 6.0 cordless phone line up with two handset bundles coming in right around $100 or even slightly less. The first thing you should know about this cordless phone is that it comes in various colors and lots of different versions, including ones that have a digital answering machine and ones that don't. Also you can get it in bundles with 2, 3, 4, and even 5 handsets, and the system is expandable up to 6 handsets. We've seen slicker looking DECT 6.0 cordless phones from other manufactures, such as Vtech, but the 6400 series is a solid performer with an equally strong feature set. There's a 1.8 inch LCD that has a light blue backlight that's activated when you touch the keys. We like the large rubberized buttons; they too get the backlit treatment when pressed. And we found the user interface relatively straightforward and easy to navigate. The speakerphone is built into the back of the handset, and the included rechargeable batteries provide approximately 5 hours of talk time, and 11 hours of stand by time. Our one small gripe is that the top of the phone is made of shiny plastic, and is prone to showing fingerprints or any oil from your face that may build up when using the phone. The two higher end models in the series, including the model shown here, offer talking color ID, talking alarm clock, and the talking battery alert that tells you to please charge the phone. The model we tested did not have a speakerphone or dial pad in the main base unit, but there's a step up version that does. The digital answering machine can store up to 18 minutes worth of messages in any of the handsets registered to the system, up to 6, can access the phonebook, 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. DECT 6.0 operates in the 1.9 GigaHertz range, and is designed not to interfere with other electronics in your home, such as microwaves, WIFI networks, and baby monitors. It's also supposed to offer extended range up to around 200 feet, though distance will vary according to obstacles and the material in your walls. In our tests we found that the 6400 series did better than the Vtech LF6225 series, offering about 10 feet more range before the connection with the base unit died, and also call quality was quite decent. In the final analysis, this Panasonic may not be the sexiest looking DECT 6.0 cordless phone out there, but it's got a nice feature set, large backlit buttons, and offers good performance. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Panasonic KX TG6400 series cordless phone. ^E00:02:38