(Pocket-lint) - With landline telephones catching up in features, you need to stay ahead of the pack if you want to make the most out of what is on offer out there.

To help you do this, BT has created the BT Zenith Flip, a phone that will allow you to maximise your landlines capabilities like caller ID and Text Messaging.

The device comes in two parts, the base unit and a clamshell handset. But it's the feature list on the handset that is most impressive:

A 65K colour screen, 200-number directory, SIM card reader, 5 games, 20 last number redial, 8 wallpapers, clock screensaver, external black and white graphic display, and Polyphonic ringtones are just some of the features this handset has on-board.

It is no wonder then that you might mistake the Zenith Flip for a mobile phone and in day to day use of the phone we found ourselves treating it like one.

So what's the catch? Well, while BT might believe the styling is cutting edge, but mobile phones and their designs move considerably quicker than that. In the case of the Zenith Flip you are left with a device that reminds us of the Sony Ericsson handset launched around 3 years ago.

The “Hard Keys with glass-effect laser-etching and blue blacklit look rather dated as does the rather bulky design. Furthermore for a Base Station that doesn't do too much apart from allow you to find your phone by paging it if it's lost down the back of the sofa, the overly large design and feel won't be to everyone's taste.

That said, the phone is extremely easy to use and retro design or not it will certainly allow you to get the most out of your landline's capabilities.

We aren't sure that you'll be bothered about playing the phone's games when you've got a spare moment at home, but we did like the ability to load all your numbers from your mobile phone on to the handset simply by slotting in your SIM card and copying them over. A big time saver.


In use and the phone performed well. The phone has 15 ringer melodies and these stem beyond the usual "bring bring" to Mozart and Beethoven. Calls themselves were clear and crisp from both a voice and listening perspective and overall there is no complaint to be had with its performance.

What you have to ask yourself is whether or not you are after a phone that offers a considerable amount more than just the ability to make phone calls. If the answer is yes then this is certainly one to check out and it's so feature packed we are surprised they managed to get everything in here.

If you can get over the Zenith Flip looking a bit dated compared to your shiny new mobile, this will give you more than you ever wanted from a home phone.

Writing by Stuart Miles.