The AT&T CRL32102 cordless phone and answering machine system’s base and handsets have large displays and buttons that are easy to read. This phone also has helpful features for people who have vision impairments, including talking number buttons, four audio profile options, Audio Assist and talking caller ID.
This phone scored above-average in our battery life tests. It takes longer to charge than other handsets we tested but provides better-than-average talk time. All of the phones we tested fell short of their manufacturers’ advertised idle and talk battery lives.
The CRL32102 looks utilitarian, though it has accents made of a shiny black plastic that collects fingerprints and smudges easily. The handset has a large digital display with good contrast, so it’s easy to read. Its large buttons are flush with the body of the handset, and the numbers on them are easy to see. However, because they are flush with the handset, we found it was easy to press the wrong button or accidentally press buttons – this is less of a problem on phones with raised buttons. You can expand the CRL32102 up to 12 handsets, which is more than any other cordless phone system we reviewed.
Features & Settings
The AT&T CRL32102’s answering machine stores up to 14 minutes of digital recording, and each message can be up to three minutes long. You can check your messages from the handsets or set up remote access.
If you subscribe to caller ID service through your phone company, you can use this phone’s caller ID display and talking caller ID feature to screen your calls. The AT&T CRL32102’s directory remembers up to 50 phone book entries, nine speed dial entries and the last 50 caller ID entries.
The AT&T CRL32102 is the only phone we reviewed with a tone equalizer. It has four settings, and you can choose the one that highlights the sound frequencies you hear best. For example, if you hear high sounds better than low sounds, you could set the phone to the Treble 1 setting, which highlights frequencies in your optimal range. This phone also has an Audio Assist feature that temporarily raises the volume and enhances all sound frequencies to make it easier to hear the person on the other end of the line.
Overall, the AT&T CRL32102 is a great home phone, especially if you need slightly larger buttons and displays. While it’s missing some of our favorite cordless phone features like backup power and call blocking, it makes up for it by including other customizable options aimed toward helping those with vision and hearing impairments.
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