The AT&T EL52113 is an affordable cordless phone which does a good job of covering the basics without offering anything too special. As such it's ideal for anyone that wants a cordless phone and answering machine without spending too much.
You do get features like speakerphone, intercom, handset locator and more. Plus the battery life is decent and charge times are around average. If you're looking for something more feature rich then you might want to check out another handset from out best cordless phones (opens in new tab). Our top pick is the Panasonic KX-TGE433B (opens in new tab), which is fine for most people, but does cost a little more than the AT&T.
AT&T EL52113: Design and build
The AT&T EL52113 looks much like any other cordless phone meaning you have a large a clear display above big, backlit buttons that are easy to see and touch. The handset feels chunky and solid enough to take a few knocks while remaining light enough to be carried about easily.
The base unit is a decent size yet the buttons are a little tough to read clearly. They're also packed a bit close together. More on why that's a potential issue in the performance section below.
There is a bracket for the base unit but it's a little too large and doesn't look great for use as it sticks out under the base.
The display on the base unit is clear which is great for spotting messages at a glance and using that base for a playback device. You can also use the handset for playback.
The phone can be bought as a single handset and base or with two or three handsets. It supports a total of five handsets with that one base unit.
AT&T EL52113: Features
The AT&T EL52113 features a full answering machine which means it can store up to 14 minutes of voice recordings with the option to save and store or delete at the time of playback.
The handsets are capable of full-duplex speakerphone meaning you can speak and be heard at the same time. This can be turned on or off easily using the extra large backlit buttons which are good for those with visual impairments.
The phone supports caller ID where available and the handset itself can store up to 50 named numbers in the directory. You also have support for 10 calls for redial from the call history.
There is a quiet mode, speed dial, intercom between handsets and base, plus a handset locator should you misplace that. A selection of ten ring styles can be picked from with a total of seven volume levels which includes turning the ringer off totally.
AT&T EL52113: Performance
The AT&T EL52113 does its job very well, for the price. The LCD display on the handset is high-contrast and lit making it very clear no matter the lighting. This is backed by those large backlit buttons which are also very easy to read and use. All that makes this a very viable option for those who suffer with sight issues.
As mentioned above, the buttons on the base are less impressive as they're quite closely packed with smaller writing. Since the play and delete buttons are right next to each other this feels like an accidental delete waiting to happen.
The full-duplex speakerphone is a great way to chat naturally while on speaker, with the speaker and person being heard overlaying in real-time like an in-person chat would sound. There isn't a headset port though, so that won't be an option with these handsets.
The handset took a total of seven hours to charge to full, which is fairly average. What was also quite middle-of-the-road was the standby time on the handset which lasted a full 26 and a half hours before needing a charge again. For the price of this phone that's pretty impressive really.
Should I buy the AT&T EL52113?
The AT&T EL52113 is a really great option for anyone who wants a cordless phone with the basic features covered but without a high price tag. This does most things you could want and even comes with an answer machine.
For anyone that wants more, like the ability to plug in a headset, or add more than five handsets, then you may want to spend more. But for others, including those with eye sight problems, this is a viable option that won't break the bank.