With more and more of us opting to use our mobile phones, landline providers like BT are having to really attempt to spruce up the boring landline phone to entice us back, so can British Telecom's latest handset do that? We get calling to find out.
Called the BT Reveal, the idea is that it reveals itself to you, not like a flasher in the park, but more like: "Oh that's a phone".
Sitting in a cradle that combines a cordless handset that's concealed in a glossy black stand complete with glowing blue light, the phone offers virtually all the latest mod cons to get you to spend the most with BT. There's SMS text support, Caller ID support, and even a hard coded button that allows you to have direct access to BT to check or order these services.
In the stand (see pictures) we have to admit the phone looks very cool. There is a hidden display (think LG Chocolate phone where the screen appears from nowhere) that shows the time or when a call comes in the number or contact who is calling (as long as you've paid for the Caller ID service of course).
Underneath this, the answer machine features a Blue light which depending on what is happening glows a constant blue or flashes to suggest you have a message.
However turn the phone over to actually look at the keys and you can see that the beauty is only skin deep with a rather bulky and dated looking handset now in your hand. That swish glossy black fails to make it to the keypad side of the design and you are left with a monocrome display too boot. It's as if BT only wants you to only look good when it's sitting on the desk, not in your hand.
That base unit provides a digital answering machine with up to 20 minutes recording time, and a SIM card reader so you can transfer and copy over your mobile phone contacts without having to re-key them all in: a nice touch.
Other features include the ability to SMS, polyphonic ringtones, handsfree operation, and a contact list address book of up to 255 names.
While the BT Reveal looks great sitting on the sideboard, once you've got it in your hand it's a rather clunky bulky looking device.
That said there are plenty of features here for those willing to pay the £130 price tag; including the Sim Reader, text messaging functionality and the ability to add up to four more phones to the system via DECT.
Good, but not great.