The Panasonic KX-TGC260 is one of the brand's entry-level cordless phones. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some of their more expensive models, we're going to take a look at how it performs the basics such as sound quality, range, and usability. Panasonic have consistently impressed us in the past with their cordless phones, and they get great feedback from our customers, so we were excited to see how this one performed in practise. So without further ado, let's take a closer look!
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Design & build
Let's start out, as always, by having a look at the design of this cordless phone. Unlike some of Panasonic's designer phones, such as the TGK range, the TGC260 is quite conventional in its design. However, for an entry level model, it's quite a sleek handset, and looks a bit more modern than some other entry-level models from brands like BT.
On the front, the top half of the handset has a gloss black finish to it with the screen, and the bottom half is matte black. The buttons about average size for a cordless phone, but well spaced-out to make them a little easier to use. The screen is monochrome, and while not enormous, with a phone like this you only really need it to display the name and number at any given time. That text is plenty big enough, and it's backlit as well, which makes the text a bit easier to see and read.
The base for the main unit is almost vertical, so it's really easy to see at a glance if you've got a new message on the answermachine screen. You've also got answer phone controls on the base as well. It's really easy as well to just pop the phone back in, so there's no risk of it not charging and you find that the battery runs out when you're on a call.
Design is one thing, but when it comes to cordless phones, sound quality is just as important. As always, we made multiple test calls before the TGC260, both to other landlines and mobiles, to get a real handle of how it performs in practise.
Given that this model is considerably cheaper than some other Panasonic models, we were pleasantly surprised with the sound performance of this. In fact, we didn't really notice much difference between this and some of Panasonic's more expensive models, so they certainly haven't compromised on the audio components when designing this phone. There's a speakerphone mode as well, which some entry level phones can lack, so it's good to see here. Again, there's not really much dip in sound quality when you pop the speakerphone mode on, so if you like to take your calls that way, you'll still be able to hear what's being said and be heard on the other end nice and clearly.
The KX-TGC260 has the standard range for a DECT phone, which is 50m indoors and 300m outdoors. This model can support up to four handsets in total, while most others go up to six handsets. But it is repeater-compatible, which means if you want to get four handsets and space them all about your home, you can connect the base up to a repeater, which will then let you get up to double the range.
Many entry-level phones tend to compromise on additional features. However, the TGC260 has everything that one would expect from a modern cordless phone. Firstly, there's an answermachine with an 18 minute recording capacity, which isn't the longest that we've come across, but it's not the shortest either by some stretch, and should still be plenty enough for most people. You can access the answermachine both via the handsets and on the base.
There's a built-in phonebook with space for up to 50 contacts, which you can access using this button here, so there's no need to go through a menu to get to your phonebook. If you've got multiple handsets, then your phonebook will automatically be shared across all of them. This gives the phone the edge over Gigaset phones, where you'll need to push the phonebook to each handset one at a time.
The TGC260 also has some nuisance call blocking features. These are quite basic, as you can only block up to 30 individual numbers or prefixes. If you use the prefix function instead of individual numbers, though, you can stop quite a lot of nuisance calls that way. There's a one-touch nuisance call block button at the bottom of the handset. Press that, the last number will automatically be blocked. Finally, there's also an anonymous call block as well, which our customers tell us in practise does tend to make quite a lot more difference than the actual number blocking anyway.
Panasonic KX-TGC260: The Verdict
The Panasonic KX-TGC260, a solid and reliable entry-level phone that gets all the basics right, making it great value for money. While the fact that it only supports four handsets may be a deal-breaker for some, that's the only real downside here. Other than that, this is an excellent model that more than holds its own against more expensive handsets.