Pros / It’s a good-looking phone and answering machine system.
Cons / The base’s button labels are difficult to see.
Verdict / The AT&T EL52113 is a fine, basic phone and answering machine system.
There’s nothing wrong with the AT&T EL52113, but this cordless phone didn’t stand out from the crowd. That’s not to say it’s bad – it’s perfectly fine and a good budget option if you need a basic home phone with an answering machine.
Like other phones we tested, the EL52113 has basic features like a quiet mode, caller ID, speed dial, intercom and handset locator. It stores the last 10 calls for redial, 50 phone book entries and your caller ID history. The answering machine can store up to 14 minutes of digital recordings.
The AT&T EL52113 is generally stylish, but the wall mount bracket that comes with it is too big and sticks out around the mounted phone base, which doesn’t look great. Also, the base’s buttons are difficult to read, a problem compounded by the delete and play buttons being too close together. Between these two design flaws, you may accidentally delete messages instead of playing them on occasion. However, you can access your messages from the handset to avoid this.
This model’s handset is very similar to the one that comes with the AT&T EL51103, featuring a white backlit digital display and orange backlit buttons. It’s small and lightweight, and the buttons are intuitively laid out.
You can expand the system up to five total handsets. The handsets do not have headset jacks. However, they support simulated full-duplex speakerphone, so you and the person on the other end can speak and be heard at the same time.
In our tests, it took the EL52113 over seven hours to charge to full. The handset lasted 26 and a half hours in standby, which is a middle-of-the-road performance.
You can change things up a little with the phone’s 10 ring styles and seven volume levels (including off). However, you can’t assign ring tones to individual phone numbers.
The AT&T EL52113 is reliable, inexpensive cordless phone and answering machine system. It has a few design flaws, but there are ways to work around them that don’t affect the system’s overall performance.