The Panasonic KX-TGE445B is a cordless phone and answering machine system with five included handsets. It has all the features and programmable settings we found useful in a cordless phone, along with a few extras such as talking caller ID and a dedicated call block button on the handset. It’s similar to our favorite phone, the Panasonic KX-TGE433B, but has a larger base, base speakerphone and a base dial pad with larger buttons. Whether these differences justify the KX-TGE445B’s higher price is a matter of personal preference.
The Panasonic KX-TGE445B comes with the same user-friendly handset as our top pick. Though it isn’t the most attractive handset we’ve seen, it’s the easiest to use thanks to its large, high-contrast display. The display is backlit and black-and-white, so it is easy to see, even in the dark. Its large buttons are laid out intuitively, and all the menu options make sense. You can expand the Panasonic KX-TGE445B up to six total handsets on a single phone line.
In our battery life tests, the KX-TGE445B’s handset charged in about five and a half hours, and a fully charged handset stayed alive for 50 hours in standby mode, separate from the base or cradle. Though this is less than the manufacturer’s advertised standby time of 192 hours, it’s better than most phones we tested.
During a power outage, you can power the base by placing a charged handset in its cradle. That way, you can continue to make and receive calls. We liked this emergency backup power function, and it was notably missing from products such as the AT&T EL 52113 and VTech CS5119.
Settings & Features
The Panasonic KX-TGE445B’s answering machine records up to 17 minutes of messages, or you can disable this function to use your phone company’s voicemail service instead. You can also set the phone’s answering machine to play messages out loud as callers record them, which can help you screen calls.
There is a call-block button on the bottom right corner of the Panasonic KX-TGE445B’s handset keypad, which you use to quickly add phone numbers to your blocked list. This feature, along with the caller ID display and talking caller ID, are only available if you subscribe to your phone company’s caller ID service. You can add up to 100 names and numbers to your phone’s directory, assign speed dial contacts, and access your previous five dials and 50 caller ID entries.
The Panasonic KX-TGE445B includes everything you need, but it’s more expensive than our top pick and doesn’t add much more than speakerphone and a dial pad on the main base. Still, it’s a good phone with simple set up and user-friendly handsets. If the few additional features are worth the higher price for you, this phone is a sound investment.