AT&T TL86103 Review
Pros: Tons of features
Cons: Sub par range
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$165 List||$190 List||$66 List||$90 List|
$83.89 at Amazon
|Pros||Tons of features||Easy to use, excellent battery life, great sound quality||Exceptional range performance, good sound quality||Exceptional range, great sound quality, best for linking to cell phones||Inexpensive, great value, decent range|
|Cons||Sub par range||Expensive||Poor results in our battery test, sparse on features||Mediocre battery life, a little pricey||Below average battery life|
|Bottom Line||The priciest phone of the bunch, it has plenty of features but mediocre range||If you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to phones, this easy to use and feature-rich model is our first recommendation||If you need a cordless phone with top-tier range, this is a great choice||If you are searching for a cordless phone to integrate with your cell phone, this model is the clear choice||Above average range and sound quality for a great price, making this an obvious choice for those on a budget|
|Rating Categories||AT&T TL86103||Panasonic KX-TGM420...||VTech DS6621-2||AT&T TL96273||AT&T EL51203|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Battery Life (10%)|
|Specs||AT&T TL86103||Panasonic KX-TGM420...||VTech DS6621-2||AT&T TL96273||AT&T EL51203|
|Link - to - Cell||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Caller ID announce||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Unobstructed Range Test||700 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.|
|Obstructed Range Test||180 ft.||280 ft.||390 ft.||300 ft.||220 ft.|
|Call block||Dial *60||Up to 250||Up to 20 with a subscription||Dial *60||Dial *60|
|Expandable Handsets||Up to 12||Up to 6||Up to 5||Up to 12||Up to 5|
|Corded (phone) Base||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Speaker Phone on Base||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Speaker Phone on Handset||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Phone Book Capacity||200 (6000 cell entries)||100||1000||200 (6000 cell entries)||50|
|Redial||Last 10 Numbers||Yes||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers|
|Any Key answer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Push to talk (PTT)||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|HD Audio w/ equalizer||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Optional Belt Clip||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Additional Lines||2 Line Capable||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This model performed well in our sound quality test, showing an above-average performance, closely following our top-ranking models by a single point. Our panel of listeners felt that this phone was very clear, just a little bit of static keeping it away from the top score.
The TL86103 scored below average. This model made it 700' in our open range test, becoming extremely broken-up and intermittent shortly after that. This was about 140' shorter than our top scoring models.
Based on its uninspiring performance in the line-of-sight test, we didn't have the highest expectations going into the obstructed test. The TL86103 proved us right, delivering some lackluster results overall. The call began to cut in and out with only 180' between the handset and the base station when the signal was obstructed by multiple walls.
Ease of Use
This model scored right in the middle for ease of use. The handset did have a backlit keypad, with blue numbers that we felt were aesthetically pleasing, but overall it was a bit dim and was only illuminated enough to make dialing out a number easy.
We found that the ringer for the lost handset function was on the quieter side, measured at 61 dBa on our meter at 6' away. The display became hard for us to read at 5' away from the handset, and almost impossible at 6'.
This model ranked about average at navigating through its various menus and slightly above at inputting names to the phonebook, but this phone excelled at linking to a cell phone. It would easily reconnect if the mobile device was brought out of range of the base, and will announce the name of the person calling if the directory is already downloaded.
This model is feature-rich. It can host up to 12 expandable handsets and is also capable of linking to mobile devices. Additionally, there is a corded handset on the main module. This product also has an answering machine. The handsets for this model also have a belt clip and headphone jack for adding an external headset for hands-free operation.
The TL86103 had above-average battery life. This model lasted for 13 hours and 32 minutes in our talk time test, couple with a manufactured claimed standby time of up to 7 days and a charging time of 11 hours to fully fill the handset battery. Surprisingly, the TL86103 surpasses the manufacturer claimed talk time by 6 hours and 32 minutes.
The TL86103 is the most expensive phone we reviewed, and while it had an above-average performance in our tests, we found the high price unpalatable, severely reducing the value of this model.
While this is a capable model of cordless phone, it is hard to recommend this due to its high price, as well as being outperformed in every category that we rated by a different model. This model of phone is capable of linking to mobile devices and is capable of voice command when hooked up to a computer.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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