Review of the Panasonic Cordless Phone: Everything I Discovered
This article has been updated to reflect a newer version of the phone I'm using.
Information is current as of January, 2020.
This phone does everything a modern phone should do:
- The base supports up to four handsets.
- Programming any handset syncs with all the others.
- You can block unwanted callers.
- You can see caller name and number, even while talking to someone else.
- One-button redial.
- One-button access to remote voicemail.
- Caller-ID without a name will show the name if matched in the directory.
- Directory holds 50 entries, and you can place each in any of nine groups.
If you don’t have voice mail with your phone service, you can get the version of this phone with a built-in answering machine.
The answering machine does a perfect job of taking messages. You can record your own greeting or leave the phone's default generic greeting.
If you have voicemail, I suggest you take advantage of it and save money by buying the version of this phone without an answering machine built in. I use the one with no answering machine since I use voicemail from my phone service provider.
The Benefits of a Wireless Phone System
This Panasonic phone makes installation so easy without the need to run wires. Just plug in the base where you have access to the main phone line. All the other handsets have a remote charger base so that you can place them anywhere you have an electric outlet.
The beauty of Panasonic’s design is that all the handsets work off the central programming stored in the base. That is the right way for a cordless phone system to work. I have had other brands of cordless phones in the past, and I always had to program each handset individually. That was a chore, and it’s not necessary with the Panasonic.
DECT 6.0 Phones Do Not Interfere with WiFi Routers
Older phones use the same frequency that Internet WiFi routers use. Any phone using the 2.4 GHz range will cause Internet interference since WiFi is at 2.4 GHz.
The Panasonic is a DECT 6.0 phone. That means it uses a higher frequency. So it works well in today's environment without interfering with WiFi. The digital signal at that higher frequency also has a better range with less power requirement, so it lengthens the battery life between charges.
Auto Economy Mode Extends Phone Battery Life
Panasonic has an Economy Mode that automatically reduces transmit power requirements between the handset and the base station when it's close enough. This helps extend phone battery life. "ECO" will display on the screen, as shown in the close-up image earlier above.
Some people are concerned about getting too much radiation from cell phones and cordless phones. The side effects, if any, have never been determined. Nevertheless, home-based cordless phones are definitely safe because they are very low power. And the ECO mode of the Panasonic phones reduces the radiation even further.
Cell phones use a much higher power to access cell sites up to two miles away.
Cordless phones for the home are designed for usage within 500 feet. The Panasonic is even better because the ECO feature lowers the output when it’s near the base.
Programming is Synced to All Handsets
Now here’s a feature I really love! When I had other phones from other manufacturers, I had to program each handset individually. I discovered that Panasonic keeps all the programming in the base.
That means that if you use more than one handset with your base, anything you program on one handset is automatically available on all the others.
I used to hate having to program my friend's numbers into each handset. Now with this phone I only do it once. And any changes I make are also on all the other handsets. I’ll never go back to another phone.
Other Useful Features Included
Redial last dialed number.
Call another handset on same base.
Low energy enabled to extend battery life when close to base. ECO icon displays.
Control volume while talking.
The “Mute” soft button can be pressed so other party can’t hear you.
Recent caller list.
Select from a large list of ring tones.
Disable ringer on any handset so not to be disturbed.
The keys and display light up so you can use it in the dark.
How To Use Your Panasonic Cordless Phone
The first time you use it, the phone batteries are partially charged. Just make sure you hang it up the first night, so it charges fully.
However, you can start playing with it right away. Add your friends, add your voicemail number and pin, and any personal settings you want.
You don’t need to set the time and date. As soon as the first call comes in, it takes that information from the carrier. Most providers send the time and date along with the ring signal.
You also don't need to be concerned about setting the time when the clocks get set back in the fall and forward in the spring. The phone’s clock will be adjusted when the next call comes in.
Just in case your service provider does not pass the time stamp, you can always program the date and time through the settings menu.
Multi-Function Soft Buttons
There are three buttons below the screen that change their functions, depending on what features are needed at different times.
These three buttons are soft keys. That is, they can change their function. The screen above the buttons shows what they do at any specific time. For example, the VM button becomes a MUTE button while you are talking.
When you have a message, the top right button is the VM button. It says VM right above it. But you only see that if you have messages. It becomes a redial button if VM is not needed, as shown in this image.
Note that all the soft buttons always have the function displayed on the screen. The image here shows the three soft buttons in this present state when the phone is not engaged in a conversation.
The left icon means that that soft button will display the name directory. The middle on gives you the menu of options. The right soft button is for redial.
Single Button Voice Mail Access
The soft button on the right side becomes a quick voicemail retrieval button and only shows “VM” above it when you have a message, as shown in this image.
You can program the phone so that pressing the VM soft button will call your service provider’s voice mail and automatically pass your pin to log in and play your messages.
You just need to program the calling sequence into the phone once. The dialing sequence is the access number, followed by a few pause characters to wait for the call to go through. After the pauses, enter your voice mail pin. That's it. Then whenever you press the VM soft button, the phone does all that for you.
I love using voice mail rather than an answering machine because many service providers include a free feature to send all messages to your email as an attached audio file. However, if you don't have voice mail with your service, Panasonic makes the same phone with an answering machine built into the base.
Message Indicator Light and Display
There's a little amber light on top of the handset. It blinks when you have messages. It glows solid when charging.
If using a service provider’s voice mail, the phone will detect a signal from the phone company and show you that you have messages with the flashing indicator light and also with the words “Voice Mail” displayed on the LCD screen.
On some newer versions of the phone, these indicators will only work if you had programmed the VM soft button, as I explained above.
The Hands-Free Speakerphone
Each handset is a speakerphone. If you press the “TALK” button to answer a call, you use it as a regular phone against your ear. If you press the “SP-PHONE” button, then the other party’s voice comes through the speaker, which is on the back of the handset.
I find this to work really well. Many times I work in the kitchen while cooking, and I place the phone down on the counter to carry on a conversation.
One thing you have to deal with, and it’s true for most speakerphones, is that the audio is single duplex. That means that while the other person is talking, they don’t hear you when you speak. That is done on purpose to avoid annoying feedback.
I’ve gotten used to this, but if you don’t like it, then just don’t use the speakerphone setting and hold the phone to your ear instead.
Handy Name Directory
Once you have your contacts in your phone's directory, just press the left soft button where the phone book icon is displayed. That starts the Phone Book List. You can press the up or down arrows to scroll through the names you had programmed into the phone.
You can save up to 50 contacts and even assign them to any of nine groups. When you browse your directory, you can select the group you want to browse or select "all groups."
Of course, the advantage of the directory is that you never need to dial numbers. Just scroll to the name, press TALK, and it dials for you.
Caller-ID From the Name Directory
Usually, when someone calls from a cell phone, the carrier only sends the words “Cell Phone” for the Caller-ID along with the number. Some out of town callers will not show the name either, just the number.
If you don’t recognize the number, you’re out of luck unless you want to take a chance answering an unknown caller.
Here’s something wonderful about this phone: If the incoming Caller-ID does not contain the name, the phone will display the name from your directory if the number is matched. That's all the more reason to place all your friend's numbers in the directory.
I get telemarketers calling once in a while. Some repeatedly call from the same number. The Panasonic phone lets you add these numbers to a block list. When they call, the phone plays a recording to them, saying that the call cannot be completed. You never get bothered anymore.
Call Waiting Caller-ID
When on a call and another caller is calling, the Caller-ID of that new caller will be displayed. You can look at the screen to see who it is while you’re on an existing call. If you decide to take that call, just press the flash key.
This feature requires “Call Waiting,” as well as “Call Waiting Caller-ID” service from your phone company.
How to Call From Handset to Handset
You can call from one handset to another without making an outside call. Just press the "Menu" soft button, and then you will see INT (for intercom) as the left soft button, as shown in the image below.
Just press the INT button, and you will see a list of the extensions available. These are all the other handsets assigned to the base.
Scroll down to the headset you want to call. If you only have two handsets, then you will only see the other one listed. Click the SELECT soft button, and the other handset will start ringing.
Multiple Function Button
That big button (with up, down, left, and right arrows) has several functions, depending on which arrow you press.
- The left is the Caller-ID (CID) of your prior received calls.
- The right is redial.
- The up and down arrows control the volume when you’re talking.
When you're not on a call, the up and down arrows scan back and forth through the menu settings:
- Caller List
- VM Access
- Set date & time
- Initial Settings submenu
The Initial Settings submenu includes:
- Ringer Setting
- Handset name
- Call Block
- VoiceMail Access Dialing String
- Message Alert
- Display Settings
- ...and more.
The up and down arrows scroll through the names in your directory after pressing the name directory button (left soft button).
How to Program the VoiceMail Access Button
A single button will automatically dial your remote voicemail service and pass along the pin to log in. It does all after you program it once.
Press MENU (soft key) then press down arrow till you get to Initial Settings. Then select that and scroll down to "VoiceMail. Then store your voicemail access.
That might be your own number or a particular number provided for voicemail access. Follow it with two or three pauses. You’ll see the pause as a special character when in this programming mode. Then follow the last pause with the pin. Try two pauses first. If it needs more time before sending the pin code, then add another pause.
Panasonic Cordless Phones Quick Shipping From Amazon
Information current as of January, 2020
Phone Without Answering Machine
Model KX-TGC352B Cordless Phone, 2 Handsets
The Panasonic Cordless Phone System that I bought, and discussed in this article, has been upgraded to with an amber backlit display and a call blocking feature. The one I purchased is no longer available. The features are still the same, but now you can expand it up to six handsets. this newer version
If your phone provider includes Voice Mail service, then you can save money with this Panasonic phone without the built-in answering machine. No need to duplicate message taking options.
Phone With Answering Machine in Base
Model KX-TGE232B Cordless Phone, 2 Handsets
If you only need one handset, that's available too. You get what you need at the price point that works for you.
People Also Ask
We have two cordless phones with two base units. Every once in a while, I pick up a ringing phone, and I can’t talk to the caller. I get a dial tone instead. What’s wrong?
Since you say you have two base units, I suspect you or someone in your family is placing the handsets on the wrong base units. An easy solution is to place colored stickers on the bases and handsets. Color-coding will indicate which handset goes with which base unit.
My cordless handset started beeping while I’m talking. I do let it charge by placing it on the base when not in use. But it still beeps soon after I start a conversation. Why is that happening?
You need to leave the handset on the base for eight hours to completely charge. If you’ve done that, and still have the problem, then you need to replace the batteries. They probably are no longer holding a charge. Rechargeable batteries don’t last forever. Replace them, and you should be fine.
How do I delete a phone number in the phone book?
When you browse through the directory, the erase option is on every entry. It’s a soft key on the screen.
I can not figure out how to increase the volume of the caller on my phone. My parents have hearing issues and can never decipher what the person calling is saying. I would appreciate any help.
The large center button functions as the volume control if you are using a phone similar to the one I reviewed here. When connected to a caller, press the top or bottom of that button to change the volume higher or lower, respectively.
I have a cordless Panasonic phone, and I have various callers who cannot get through. The calls do not ring on my phone. Yet others can get through. People tell me to turn off the anonymous private caller setting to see if that helps, but I can’t find how to do that. Any ideas?
Since you are blocking anonymous callers, that must be your problem.
Many people have their privacy set to avoid sending their Caller-ID, and those callers will not be able to get through to you.
That has nothing to do with the phone. It is a function of your phone service carrier. You need to turn off your blocking of anonymous callers with your phone service.
If you have a login portal, you should be able to change it there. Otherwise, ask your carrier to disable anonymous blocking.
Is there a phone with multiple handsets that can be used to talk on the same phone call?
Yes, you can do that with the phone I discussed in this article. If you buy the version with multiple handsets or add more handsets later, each handset will be on the same phone call.
The blinking light goes off after I’ve played the messages. I want the light to stay on until messages are deleted. That way, if I play messages that are for someone else, I don’t have to remember to tell them. They will notice the light is still blinking and will play the message.
I understand your dilemma. Unfortunately, that is not a function of the phone. Your voice mail service controls the status of the message light. Most carriers shut off the message light when you access your voice mail to listen to messages, even if you don’t delete them.
I’m trying to figure out how to use the intercom system on the phones. We don’t have an INT button on ours.
On many of the Panasonic cordless phones, the intercom option is in the menu. Press the MENU button or soft key, scroll to “Intercom,” and you will see INT appear as a soft key. Now you can press INT, and it will show you all the extension handsets. Select the one you want to call.
My Panasonic phone doesn’t ring anymore. There is an icon of a bell with a line drawn across it. How do I correct this problem?
The crossed-out bell icon indicates that you had shut off the ringer. You might have done this by either of two methods—the silent mode set by time of day, or by setting the ringer volume to “off.”
To turn it back on, follow either of the following steps, depending on which is the case:
If you enabled silent mode:
- Press the menu button
- Scroll down to the “initial setting” and select it.
- Select the ringer setting.
- Select Silent Mode.
- Disable silent mode.
- Save the setting.
If you previously turned off the volume:
- Press the menu button
- Scroll down to the “initial setting” and select it.
- Select the ringer setting.
- Select Ringer Volume.
- Increase ringer volume to the level you want.
- Save the setting.
We have an old Panasonic phone system that started showing the message “No link. Re-connect base AC adaptor.” Any suggestions?
First of all, make sure your base unit is plugged into an outlet that has power. Maybe a circuit breaker popped. It's also possible that your AC adapter transformer or its wire had been damaged.
If the power is okay, then the handset is not recognizing the base. Try following the steps to register the handset with its base to re-establish the link. See the instructions in your user manual for that.
Questions & Answers
I currently have a Panasonic kx-tgc220c with an answering machine. But when I am on the phone, a new caller just hears a continuous ringing and the answering machine does not kick in. Is this a flaw now corrected in the new series?
That is not a flaw of the phone. When your line is busy because you are talking, another caller cannot get through. Therefore your answering machine will never get the call.
The reason why you are confused about that is because the second caller is not getting a busy signal. There are several reasons why that is happening:
1. That can happen if your service provider has the option for voice mail, and you did not enable it.
2. Or you specified a large number of rings before going to voice mail.
3. Or you have call-waiting enabled and you are ignoring the beep tones, in addition to reasons 1 and 2 above.
Having said that, I would recommend that you stop using a premises-attached answering machine, and use voice mail instead. That's the only way you can let your callers leave a message while you are talking to someone else. Most phone providers include voice mail service as an additional option these days.Helpful 1
Does the Panasonic cordless phone prevent batteries from overcharging?
Yes, it’s an important feature built into any cordless phone since it’s usually placed back in the charging cradle when not in use.
In order to avoid damaging the rechargeable batteries, the unit detects when they are fully charged and stops the trickle charge.
The phone I use, that I mentioned in my article, also displays “Fully Charged” on the screen.Helpful 9
Can I answer a call on a Panasonic cordless phone by just picking up the phone from the cradle, and not have to push a button?
Yes. You can enable that feature by setting "AutoTalk" in the settings menu to the "on" position. Then when you pick up a ringing phone from the base or charger cradle, it will automatically answer the call. If AutoTalk is off (the default), then you need to press the "TALK" button or the speaker button to answer a call.Helpful 8
If my Panasonic phone is ringing, can I mute it?
You can set the ringer off on any handset. The other handsets will still ring unless you shut off the ringer on all of them.Helpful 8
Does the blocked caller hear a spoken message? If so, what is said? I have a Panasonic phone system.
The call blocking feature on the Panasonic phone sends a busy tone on the caller's end, and then disconnects the call from the line.
I noticed that it still rings the phone one quick ring, but then stops. I guess that’s useful just to notify you that a blocked call attempt had happened.
Keep in mind that you require Caller ID subscription from the phone company for the call blocking feature to work.Helpful 7
© 2015 Glenn Stok