The BT4600 Big Button Phone review in brief: it does what it says on the tin.
Having a home, DECT or 'landline' phone is still commonplace for many people in the UK despite the popularity of smartphones. Chances are, you might have a landline as part of your broadband package and, while you might not use your home phone much, it is worth having a decent handset plugged in and ready to receive or make calls. Even more so if it packs an answering machine.
The best landline phones aren’t always about high-tech frills. While the BT4600 Big Button Phone we’re looking at here might not seem state-of-the-art it’s a great package that’s ideally suited to users who might struggle with flashier models. It’s perfect if you have hearing or sight issues, thanks to the bigger buttons and bright display, but there’s plenty of other functionality that makes it suited to all kinds of user.
BT4600 Big Button Phone: price, availability and what is it?
The BT 4600 Big Button Phone is the best selling handset in the BT landline phone portfolio. The RRP for a single handset pack is £44.99, but there are twin handset, trio handset and quad handset packs available.
It’s a UK-focused handset and cradle combination that offers a powerful set of call assist features, an answer machine and beefy call blocking functionality. The BT 4600 Big Button Phone has been designed to help users that might struggle with conventional designs, most notably because of its oversized controls.
Please note this phone is not on sale in the USA or Australia.
BT4600 Big Button Phone: features
This might be a relatively budget landline option, but the BT 4600 Big Button Phone still manages to pack in some decent features. In fact, there’s more than enough for most users who want an all-in-one device that includes an answer machine. Inside the box there’s the handset, which is nice and chunky so it’s easy to hold and features those big buttons.
BT’s user-friendly option is also hearing aid compatible, while it's also quick and easy to adjust the volume if a caller isn’t loud enough. The display isn’t exactly amazing but the black text against the orange background does make it easily readable. There’s a supporting dock, where you place the phone when it’s not in use and this also contains core controls for the answer machine.
The answer machine can record up to 60 minutes of messages. It’s also possible to store 200 contacts in the phone too. Usefully, there’s a redial option for the last 30 numbers you’ve used, which makes it a doddle to call someone back. The big deal with this phone though, aside from those buttons, is the call blocking. BT reckons its 100% effective and we found no reason to disagree. The system makes use of trueCall, a call blocking service that is great at getting the job done and lets you block up to 1000 numbers.
This is a DECT phone too, which is basically an industry standard design that means it should work with other phone providers. That’s not a definite though, so be sure to check with your provider or pick through their FAQs before you purchase one. We tried our example with Virgin Media though and it seemed to work just fine.
BT4600 Big Button Phone: performance
Perhaps the best thing about the BT4600 Big Button Phone is its ease of use. It performs perfectly, especially if you’re in need of help getting to grips with its functionality. This aspect is boosted by the manual, which features plenty of clear instructions and graphics that illustrate how to get the phone up and running. It includes how to get contacts into the phone and also explores everything related to call blocking.
Using the trueCall system this phone proves to be brilliant at blocking those unwanted calls we all get. It’s worth taking the time to pick through the manual and get the phone setup correctly, but once you’ve digested how it works there’s a big ‘Block’ button just underneath the screen that allows you to send unwanted calls packing. If you’ve got recognised numbers listed in the phone then family and friends get to bypass the vetting process, making it even more user-friendly. Just being able to see the number calling on the screen is handy.
We were also impressed at the connectivity of the phone if you start walking away from the base. In fact, thanks to its batteries (which are rechargeable by the way), you can wander freely while on a lengthy call without any problems. The volume is quick and easy to adjust too, which will be a real bonus for anyone with hearing issues especially thanks to its built-in induction loop.
It’s vital to keep the mains-powered base plugged in though. If you inadvertently unplug it then you’ll find that the handset loses battery power quite quickly, overnight in our case, and the phone starts making an intermittent beeping noise. Presumably to let you know it’s not working properly. Otherwise though, performance is largely excellent.
So, is BT4600 Big Button Phone any good?
This is a no-nonsense handset and dock combination that is unsurprisingly BT’s best-selling landline phone. Sure, it’s not the most exciting of handsets but the main thing is it’s easy to use. The manual will prove invaluable when you first get set up, thanks to the easy to follow instructions. Meanwhile, day-to-day use is a cinch, especially thanks to those big buttons.
We’ve been very impressed with the call blocking functionality too, which is a real bonus. In fact, if you don't use your landline all that much this might turn out to be its most useful feature as it deals with unwanted calls instantly. Similarly, the answer machine aspect of the BT4600 Big Button Phone is simple and effective, plus those controls on the base make using it very straightforward. All in all then this is a great package.