10 best landline phones 2017

Despite the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, there are plenty of times when only a landline phone will do — perhaps because you run your own business, or would just rather not put up with iffy mobile signals when you’re relaxing on your sofa at home.

Now the good news is that while you can still buy corded phones with big buttons or dials, most modern landline phones use Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology that enables them to be use cordlessly. DECT phones have a long operating range — up to 300m from their base station outside or 50m inside, and are largely immune to eavesdropping and interference, unlike cordless analogue phones of old. 

Another great thing about DECT phones is that you’re not just limited to having one handset at home. Although we’ve chosen single handset models here, you can easily add more — you can usually add up to five additional handsets per base station. Some models  enable you to add more base stations too — perfect for large households that are spread over multiple storeys.

How to buy the best home phone for you

Some landline phones such as the Gigaset GL450A GO include Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or internet calling too — handy for chatting to friends and family at home or abroad using your broadband connection.

One more thing: Nuisance calls. They’re a bane of modern existence. From the archetypal double-glazing sales calls while you’re eating your dinner, to more insidious scams, they’re enough to make you want to give up having a landline altogether. Don’t despair: most of the landline phones here include nuisance call blocking technology. Many enable you to block both individual numbers (from persistent callers, say), and block calls by type. 

BT’s phones are particularly good in this regard, enabling you to effectively banish withheld, international, mobile and payphone calls — or even blank out whole area codes if you wish. It’s just what you need to restore peace and tranquility to your home. 

Many models also include Do Not Disturb and VIP functions that enable you to silence calls when you’re otherwise occupied while still letting through the people who are most important to you.

Lined up below are 10 of our favourite landline phones. Read on to find out why…

Our pick of the best landline phones to buy today

(Image: © Philips)

1. Philips Luceo M6651BB/05

Part phone, part fashion statement

Type: DECT cordless | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 4.6cm reversed dot matrix (handset); 7cm reversed dot matrix (base station) | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 30 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 100 name and number entries | Ringtones: 10 | Talk time: Up to 16 hours | Standby time: Up to 250 hours | Dimensions: not stated | Weight: not stated

Stylish design

Clear white-on-black display
Limited contact book
Maximum of four handsets per base station

 Philips almost always manages to make a style statement with its consumer tech gadgets — and this Luceo M6651BB DECT phone is no exception. Finished in shiny black or black-and-white plastic (depending on model), this phone comes with a gently curved handset and base — both of which have integrated displays so you can see who’s calling. 

All the usual DECT phone features are present here, including nuisance call blocking (up to four sets of numbers), plus a 22-minute answer phone. As you’d expect from a company known for audio quality, the Philips Luceo M6651BB also offers HQ-Sound call quality, plus, a high quality speakerphone.

Rather neatly, the Philips Luceo M6651BB's handset can be placed flat on its base in either direction, with handy sidewalls to ensure that it always fits neatly into position. The only real downside, is that you can only pair three additional  handsets to each base station — although unless you live in a massive house or run your own business, that's really not much of an issue.

(Image: © iDECT)

2. iDect Eclipse Plus

A phone with a difference — a good one

Type: DECT cordless | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 3.81cm blue backlit display (handset) | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: not stated | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, up to 30 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 200 name and number entries | Ringtones: 10 | Talk time: 13 hours | Standby time: 230 hours | Dimensions: not stated | Weight : not stated


Blue backlit display
Stylish, eye-catching design
No HD voice quality

 With its incredible elliptical design, the iDect Eclipse Plus makes a style statement in any room. The curved handset slots nearly into the base station and is comfortable to hold up to your ear. Large easy-to-read buttons makes dialling easy. 

As with most modern phones the iDECT Eclipse Plus enables you to block those annoying silent or unwanted calls. It also comes with a 30-minute answer phone, which is controlled directly from the handset. 

Much as we love the look of this phone, it isn't perfect. We’d have liked HD voice quality to be included — then this phone really would have sounded as good as it looks.

(Image: © Panasonic)

3. Panasonic Premium Design Series KX-PRS120

Who says you can’t look good why talking on the dog 'n' bone?

Type: DECT cordless | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 5.6cm colour display | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 40 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 300 name and number entries | Ringtones: 40 | Talk time: 12 | Standby time: 150 hours | Dimensions: not stated | Weight: 110g (handset); 90g (base)

Nuisance call blocking
Large easy-to-read display
Graphical user interface
Stylish design
Nothing really

 The KX-PRS120 is part of Panasonic’s Premium Design range — and it shows. The handset combines large, square-shaped number keys and a curved back for style and ergonomics, while its 5.6cm QVGA colour display boasts a smartphone-like graphical user interface, giving you easy access to all its options.

But this phone isn’t just good to look at — it has brains too. As long as you have Caller ID from your phone company, you can use the Panasonic KX-PRS120 to block unwanted calls, with the ability to block entire groups of numbers, based on the first two to eight digits. You can also block withheld numbers.

The base station comes with a built-in answering machine that can record up to 30 minutes of calls. Oh, and there are 40 different ringtones to choose from.

(Image: © BT)

4. BT Halo

Stylish cordless phone with extensive call controls

Type: DECT cordless | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 4.6cm colour display | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 60 minute recording time | Phonebook: 3,000 name and number entries | Ringtones: 25 | Talk time: 21 hours | Standby time: 240 hours | Dimensions: 210x50x20mm (handset); 100x100x40mm (base station) | Weight: 134g (handset); 239g (base station)

Stylish design
Nuisance call blocking
Bluetooth for mobile calls
Long talk and standby time
Nothing really

 The BT Halo is both stylish and practical, featuring a long, slim, black handset with colour display and a silver circular base station with built-in answerphone. It’s a looker no doubt. But it’s the stuff inside this phone that makes it truly thrilling.

The BT Halo’s first USP is its built-in Bluetooth connectivity. This enables you to pair it with your mobile — and that means you can make and take mobile calls using the BT Halo handset and not worry about your mobile signal dropping out as you wander around the house. You can pair a maximum of two mobiles to the BT Halo at a time, and even sync your contacts. The BT Halo can store up to 1,000 names and numbers, and accepts another 1,000 from each synced mobile. Any numbers you have are automatically synced to any other BT Halo handsets you have at home — you can use up to six with a single base station.

Its second big selling point is the BT Halo’s extensive nuisance call blocking features. Subscribe to your landline provider's Caller ID service and you’ll be able to block up to 1,000 individual numbers as well as entire categories of unwanted calls: international numbers, payphone calls, withheld calls, calls from certain area codes and more.

The BT Halo also includes a Do Not Disturb option, which stops the phone from ringing or lighting up when you want to be left alone. Perfect for peaceful nights in.

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(Image: © Gigaset)

5. Gigaset SL450A GO

Stylish cordless phone with mobile-like design and features

Type: DECT cordless/VOIP | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 6.1cm colour display | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 55 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 500 name and number entries | Ringtones: 22 | Talk time: 12 hours | Standby time: 200 hours | Dimensions: 130x51x19mm (handset); 117x115x47mm (base station) | Weight: 104g (handset); 166g (base station)

Stylish design
Bluetooth for mobile calls
VOIP ready
Call blocking not extensive

Once part of tech giant Siemens, Gigaset is a German phone maker with a long history of making innovative, feature-rich handsets. 

The Gigaset SL450A GO continues that tradition. It certainly looks the part: the handset looks positively smartphone-like with its large 6.1cm display, mobile-like buttons and aluminium frame — and its graphical user interface (GUI) is reassuringly easy to use too. 

In another nod to smartphones, the phone’s 200 name and numbers contact book accepts vCards from mobiles (via Bluetooth) or PCs (via Bluetooth or microUSB). And just like the BT Halo, you can also pair the handset to your smartphone and use it to make mobile calls.

The Gigaset SL450A GO base station — the GO-Box 100 — has another ace up its sleeve: as well as an analogue phone connection, it also comes with an Ethernet port, enabling you to make and take free local, national and international calls over the internet (VOIP) using your broadband internet connection.

We love the fact that the Gigaset SL450A GO  enables you to add VIP status to your favourite people, so their calls always get through. And in includes a built-in calendar that serves up reminders about upcoming events, including birthdays. 

The Gigaset SL450A GO also offers high quality voice calls with three different audio profiles.

(Image: © Philips)

6. Philips Linea Lux M3451

Super-slim cordless phone with colourful call alerts

Type: DECT cordless | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 4.1cm, white on black | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 25 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 20 name and number entries | Ringtones: 10 | Talk time: 16 hours | Standby time: 180 hours | Dimensions: not stated | Weight: not stated

Stylish design
Illuminated call alerts
HD call quality
No call blocking
Maximum of four handsets per base station

 Winner of a 2015 Red Dot Design Award, the Philips Linea Lux M3451 is a premium DECT cordless phone with a rather an unusual feature — an illuminated light ring in its base that switches between different colours depending on whether you have an incoming call, have missed an incoming call or have a message. It can even be used as a night light.

Clever touches abound elsewhere too: the Philips Linea Lux M3451 includes Philips’ HQ-Sound technology for crystal clear speech during calls, while the handset has been ergonomically designed with calibrated keys for easy dialling, plus an easy-to-read 4.1cm white-on-black display. 

However the Philips Linea Lux M3451 is far from perfect — it doesn’t have call blocking features like some of its rivals do; while the contact book and answering machine are rather limited with 20 names and numbers and 25 minutes recording time respectively. No matter. The phone’s other features more than make up for it.

(Image: © Panasonic)

7. Panasonic KX-TGK320E

Stylish DECT phone with message forwarding

Type: DECT cordless | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 3.8cm white-on-black dot matrix display | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 30 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 120 name and number entries | Ringtones: 40 | Talk time: 16 hours | Standby time: 200 hours | Dimensions: 55x31x55mm (handset); 167x48x35mm (base station) | Weight: 460g

Stylish design
Nuisance call block
Message forwarding
Limited answerphone recording time
Limited contact book

 Available in black or white, the sleek, minimalist Panasonic KX-TGK320E has been designed to fit in with your lifestyle. It comes with a blue LED light between the base station and handset to alert you to incoming calls, and features direction-free charging, meaning the handset can be placed on the base station in any direction you like and still juice up the battery.

Other key features of Panasonic KX-TGK320E include nuisance call blocking and Do Not Disturb. The former means that you can block either individual unwanted numbers, or entire groups based on the first eight digits; Do No Disturb enables you to stop calls from interrupting you, while still letting people you've tagged as VIPs through.

Another thing we love about the Panasonic KX-TGK320E is its ability to forward any messages you receive on your answerphone to your mobile or any other number. What a great idea.

(Image: © Motorola)

8. Motorola IT.6.1 TX

Smart home phone with metal-framed body

Type: DECT cordless phone | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 5.6cm black-on-white display | Nuisance call block: No | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: No | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, up to 30 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 100 name and number entries | Ringtones: 15 | Talk time: 7 hours | Standby time: 130 hours | Dimensions: not stated | Weight: not stated

Stylish, mobile-like design
Laser etched backlit keys
No nuisance call blocking
Limited range of features

Motorola’s IT.6.1 TX DECT phone looks remarkably like one of the company’s old-school feature phones. And that’s a good thing. The white-and-silver handset is super-slim at just 6mm thin at its narrowest point, and comes with a backlit laser-etched keypad for that premium quality feel.

The handset’s slick look-and-feel are echoed on the base station, which comes with a clear plastic dock for you to place the handset in, under which sits the answerphone. Slightly oddly, the dock is placed to one side of the base station, but despite its undoubted strengths in terms of design, the entire package manages to feel a little lacklustre. How so?

The chief drawback is that the Motorola IT.6.1 TX simply isn’t as fully featured as some of the other home phones here, lacking both nuisance call blocking or HD voice quality. Its phone book is likewise limited to just 100 contacts (although in fairness that should be enough for most people), while the answerphone is limited to just 30 minutes recording time. 

Its interface also feels more basic when compared with more polished phones such as at the Gigaset SL450A GO. 

(Image: © BT)

9. BT 8610

Block nuisance calls with this affordable phone

Type: DECT cordless phone | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 4.6cm colour display | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: No | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, up to 30 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 200 name and number entries | Ringtones: 15 | Talk time: 22 hours | Standby time: 240 hours | Dimensions: not stated | Weight: 450g

Nuisance call blocker
Large colour display
Virtual Assistant for calls
No HD voice quality
Uninspired design

The BT 8610 is unlikely to turn any heads in the design stakes, being rather uninspiring to look at. When it comes to features, though, this affordable phone has it where it counts.

Its biggest feature, of course, is its trueCall Call Blocking technology which enables you to safely ignore all those annoying telemarketing and spam calls that are an increasingly a fact of modern life. For one thing, the BT 8610 enables you to block up to 1,000 individual numbers (handy for annoying friends or relatives too) and it also enables you to block calls by type — no more international, withheld, unknown or payphone numbers! 

The BT 8610 also comes with a Virtual Assistant, which ably screens incoming calls so you can decide whether to accept them or not. And there’s a Do No Disturb function which stops the calls from interrupting your dinner / sleep / favourite TV show, while still allowing calls from friends and family you’ve tagged as VIPs.

What else? We like its large 4.6cm colour display and backlit keypad. We also like the fact that you can store up to 200 name and number contacts and then copy them to other BT 8610 handsets that you own. It also has a pleasingly long talk and standby times of 21 hours and 310 hours respectively. 

It may be a little underwhelming aesthetically, but the BT 8610 gets almost all of the basics right.

(Image: © Gigaset)

10. Gigaset CL750A GO Sculpture

Achingly hip home phone with VOIP functionality

Type: DECT cordless / VOIP | Range: Up to 300m (outdoor) / Up to 50m (indoor) | No. of handsets: 1 | No. of base units: 1 | Display: 4.6cm colour | Nuisance call block: Yes | Speaker phone: Yes | Sound enhancement: Yes | Caller ID: Yes | Answering machine: Yes, 55 minutes recording time | Phonebook: 200 name and number entries | Ringtones: 30 | Talk time: 14 hours | Standby time: 320 hours | Dimensions: 53x194x30mm (handset); 105x132x46mm (base station) | Weight: 118g (handset); 120g (base station)

Beautiful statement design
VOIP Internet calling capability
HD voice quality
Limited nuisance call blocking

The Gigaset CL750A GO Sculpture is as lovely to look at as its name would suggest. Comprising a shell-like curved handset and charger, it also come with the GO-Box 100 base station, which contains a 55-minute answering machine, and an Ethernet port so you can use it to make free VOIP internet telephone calls when connected to your broadband router.

What really makes this phone exceptional though are first its graphical user interface (GUI), which is gloriously easy to use via the Gigaset CL750A GO Sculpture’s large 6.5cm display. The other its inclusion of HD Voice technology, which helps ensure crystal clear sound quality.

The only thing that really counts against this stylish phone is its limited call blocking functionality. It’s only able to ignore anonymous calls — that is calls that don’t have a Caller ID attached to them. In that sense, it’s less capable than some of the other phones here, particularly those from BT.