BT are one of the biggest name in home phones, and the Premium Phone is their latest offering. As one of their flagship models, we had high expectations for it. But can it live up to the hype, or would you be better off spending your money elsewhere? We put it to the test in another of our in-depth reviews. Read on to find out what we thought of it!
Related: Top 10 Best Cordless Phones of 2024
Design & build
The BT Premium Phone boasts a rather stylish, modern design, matching its status as the brand's flagship offering. Pick it up, and you’ll notice that there's a fair bit of weight to the handset. While it could sit in the hand a little bit more ergonomically, we found it comfortable enough to use for lengthy calls. It's also worth noting that you can stand the handset up on its own, which is something that quite a few of our customers ask us about.
The Premium Phone also comes with a compact base station that doubles up as a charger for your primary handset. As with the handset itself, the base is a little more modern than most, with a neat slimline design. While lightweight, it's still held securely onto surfaces thanks to some well-placed rubber grips.
Most cordless phones nowadays are fairly easy to set up, and the same goes for the BT Premium Phone. All you really need to do is plug the base into the mains and your landline, and pop the included rechargeable batteries into the handset. You’ll then be able to make and receive calls right away. To add extra handsets to your system, there’s a setup wizard which we found reasonably simple when we tested it out. The Premium Phone can be expanded up to six handsets, which is good news if you like to have multiple handsets dotted around your home for easy access.
Here’s where things take a turn for the worse. Since BT are the market leaders when it comes to cordless phones, you might expect that they build pretty decent handsets. Unfortunately, though, that's not the case here. During testing, we found that call quality dropped significantly more frequently than other handsets we've analysed. The microphone quality is also noticeably worse than the average phone at this price point, too.
As for speaker mode, there was a lot of audible echo on the other end of the line, which naturally has an effect on the call quality. Other brands solve this issue with special full-duplex technology. But since the BT Premium Phone lacks this, it unfortunately means that the speakerphone can't be turned all the way up without affecting call quality.
As standard, DECT phones can achieve up to 50 metres range indoors and up to 300 metres outdoors. During testing, we found that the BT Premium Phone did a solid job of reaching close to this maximum range before losing signal. Be aware, though, that maximum range can be easily affected by thick walls and other such obstacles.
One thing to note is that the BT Premium Phone isn’t compatible with repeaters. That means you won’t be able to extend the range any further than what the base itself offers. If you’re looking for decent range, or have a home with thick walls, then you’re probably best to go for a more repeater-friendly brand like Gigaset or Panasonic instead.
So far, we've had mixed impressions from the BT Premium Phone. Thankfully, though, there is one area where it excels, and that’s the nuisance call blocking feature. The tech behind this service goes much further than what you'll find from other brands. Its automated call blocker does a great job of preventing any and all telemarketers from getting through, and there are also a number of custom settings as well. You can block up to 1000 individual numbers, as well as whole area codes or number prefixes. There’s even a special block button on the phone itself, so you can blacklist any incoming numbers instantly. While the call blocking features are certainly comprehensive, that doesn't mean they're complicated to set up. An on-screen guide will talk you through each step, helping you get everything configured in just a few minutes.
The Premium Phone also offers a link-to-mobile feature, allowing you to answer incoming calls on your smartphone if you prefer. This can be useful if you often find yourself struggling to reach your handset before the ringer cuts out.
BT Premium Phone: The Verdict
Unfortunately, despite some solid additional features, the BT Premium Phone falls down on the basics. The sound quality is nowhere near that of similarly-priced models like the Gigaset C575A, and the build quality also feels a little light. While it does excel in nuisance call blocking, it's far from ideal when you do want to take a call- making it difficult for us to recommend it over alternatives.