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Philips CD645 review

Philips has fashioned another attractive glossy black DECT phone – but are its claims of aural hi-def fair?

High-definition audio has come to home phones with the CD645, or so Philips says. Apparently, an internal acoustic chamber delivers call quality better than corded or cordless landlines usually have.

Before we clean out our lugholes to test this, let us tell you more about the phone making the claims. The CD645 is part of a two-model range – its CD445 brother costs about £10 less and has a smaller-capacity answering machine (15 minutes as opposed to the 30).

Text away

It also lets you text like a mobile – well, almost. There’s no predictive text and the software isn’t great at changing between caps and small letters, but it works well enough.

The phone has polyphonic ringtones, but none of which are really desirable and sound like the constricted ‘plinky-plonky’ ringtones that so tortured us a couple of years ago.

Its screen is colour – bright and gaudy. This is fine, except that next to the high-resolution colour screens of mobile phones it looks like a down-at-heel brother: small, fuzzy and blocky In comparison, the larger, monochrome screens of phones like the Panasonic Globarange and BT Verve 450 look sharp and clear.

Answering machine on board

There’s an above-average capacity for the digital answering machine (30 minutes) and an illuminated display to tell you how many messages have been left.

It’s with design and looks that the CD645 really excels though. Like the VOIP841, it’s sophisticated but functional. The keys are easy to dial – well-spaced with decent travel – and the menu system is straightforward and easily understood.

What’s more, the base station, is notably attractive, although it does have a tendency to get a little on the warm side.

Hi-def audio?

But how does it sound? It’s certainly clear and audible, but simply sounds as good as a regular DECT connection in strong signal area. If there was a difference, we couldn’t hear it. Still, if you can ignore this hype the CD645 is a strong, well-designed handset with a lot going for it.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5