Re(al)view: Panasonic's Link-to-Cell Bluetooth Cordless Phone

Re(al)view: Panasonic's Link-to-Cell Bluetooth Cordless Phone

Abby Stone
Aug 5, 2009

As well as my cell phone, I still have a land line. Juggling two phones at home while doing other activities -- making dinner, cleaning, gardening -- can be a pain. Wouldn't it be easier if you had one phone on which to receive both your land line calls and your cell phone calls? The folks at Panasonic thought so and came up with the KX-TH1212B DECT 6.0 Expandable Bluetooth® Cell Link Coverage Telephone System that lets you receive both your cell phone calls and your land line calls via the same cordless handset, though you don't have to have a land line to use this. I was eager to test it out...

Setting it up was much easier than I anticipated. Plug in the cradle for the phone, charge up the phone over night, plug in the receiver then link your cell phone to the receiver by pressing down a button, scrolling over to your phone's system set up and punching in the code to link the two devices. I was stumped for a moment over what the code for my phone was but the directions suggested that the default code was 0000. I punched it in and bam, I was linked!

Now to test out the sound quality and ease of use. I've got the Direct TV option that flashes a caller's number on my tv screen and I were curious to see if that feature translated to the cell phone hookup. I was pleased to see that it did as I took my first call (though that may be only because I have a landline; I don't know if it would work without that set up). Good sound with little interference on our end; my friend thought I sounded clear to her as well. Oh, and, for those of you, like us, who still have a land line, while you're talking on the cell, it uses your cell phone's minutes not your land line's. We also liked that it connected to our cell phone the minute we walked into the house and that the receiver can be in one room while the handset and its charger in another. It does need a phone jack to work though so if your home doesn't have one, you might have to get one put in.

It has a couple of nifty features. The first thing is that the phone has talking caller id which announces the number or the caller id of the incoming call. Useful in some situations -- like if you're working at home or taking a bath -- though I'd turn it off for others, like when I have company over. I also like that it has the ability to program two cell phones, each with its own distinct ring. Figuring out how to switch between two lines without disconnecting and answering call waiting are all manouvers I'm still going to need some practice getting right.

Bottom line: If your home, like ours, is chock full of dead zones, you tend to walk around with the phone cradled to your ear while doing stuff (and you don't have a wireless headset) or your cell gets so much use that you're constantly recharging your battery, consider this. For more information, click here

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