Cordless Phone Reviews

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Whether you just want a reliable alternative to your mobile phone, you have no need for a mobile, or you just want something convenient for the home, a cordless phone can be a great – and cheap – way to call friends and family. Canstar Blue reviews the top cordless phone brands, and what home phone plans are out there.

Even with the popularity of mobile phones and cheap unlimited phone plans these days, there is still a significant market for cordless phones and home calling. Often, internet providers still like to charge extra for line rental – $20 or more in some cases – with their phone plans, so why not try to make use of the extra cost? This is especially the case for ADSL plans, but NBN plans may also be bundled with an NBN phone plan, which is a similar type of deal. Cordless phones are available from about $30, so let’s review what’s on offer from the top brands – Uniden, Oricom, Panasonic and Telstra.

Cordless Phone Reviews

Cordless phones are pretty cheap, but not all brands are made equal. Uniden, Oricom, Panasonic and Telstra all seem to be the top cordless handset brands in Australia.

Uniden Cordless Phones

Uniden produces a fairly large range of more than 30 cordless phones, starting at around $40 for a single handset. There is even a hearing-impaired handset (E353) for about $80 or so, that features extra loud audio controls as well as quick emergency dial buttons. Uniden also produces a waterproof handset (8305WP) for about $90 that would be an ideal fit for the garage or next to the sink while washing up so you don’t have to worry about water and spills.

Uniden’s most expensive kit includes three phones, including one ‘home base’ dock (XDECT). It costs around $200, and has a feature where you can see dialled and received calls from both the handset and your mobile phone.  It also features a phonebook capacity of 6000 – how many people do you know?! Uniden is perhaps one of the biggest cordless phone companies, and its range is large enough to suit most budgets and household needs, from the one-phone family, to the ‘mothership’ docking station with multiple handsets.

Oricom Cordless Phones

Oricom claims to be the world leader of ‘phone tech’. While landline phones may be a bit of an ageing technology, Oricom still makes a fairly concise range of cordless phones, start from about the $60 mark. The ‘M800-1’ seems to be the cheapest mobile, and features a basic docking station with features such as caller ID, 10 ring tones, up to 10 hours of talk time, hearing impairment clarity and quick-dialling of 100 numbers. If you’re just after a cheap handset, this could be the one.

Alternatively, there are dearer models, such as the ‘PRO910-2’, which features a corded handset with an answering machine, plus two cordless phones, which boast amplified sound for those hard of hearing. This model costs a little over $300. Oricom also produces a range of baby monitors.

Panasonic Cordless Phones

If you’re after a cheap cordless phone to satisfy your home phone needs, Panasonic may provide the answer. It produces a large range of cordless phones, starting from just $30 with the KX-TGB110ALB model… say that 10 times quickly. Seeing as it costs around $30, you can expect fairly basic functionality with a 1.4-inch LCD with a narrow base station for discreet storage and the ability to fit in a tight space.

None of Panasonic’s cordless phones are priced at more than $300, and its most expensive model (KX-TG8033ALB) costs around $230. For this price you get three cordless phones plus a ‘Power Failure Talk System’, which enables the phones to even work during a blackout. This would be especially handy for checking in with loved ones in a storm or adverse weather… or if you live in South Australia. It also features a DECT repeater, which can double the transmission range for peace of mind if working out in the yard. Panasonic is an electronics giant known for making premium household appliances, but its cordless phones start at a nice price.

Telstra Cordless Phones

Telstra is Australia’s largest telco and claims to be the “network without equal”. As such, it produces a range of cordless phones to enable you to experience said network. There are two ways you can go about acquiring a Telstra handset – either buy outright, or pay a small fee per month over 24 months. For example, the cheapest phone is the ‘503’, which costs just $48 outright, or $2 a month over 24 months. Telstra also produces a range of funky-looking handsets, named the ‘Colombo Neue’ and this handset is exclusive to Telstra. The telco also offers a range of rebranded Motorola handsets.

Many of Telstra’s cordless phones have a one-touch ‘Nuisance Call’ blocking feature, and the most expensive models are still under $200. Seeing as Telstra is a telco, it also produces a range of home phone plans, which may also be bundled in with an internet plan. So let’s see what home phone plans are on offer, including internet bundles.

Home Phone Plans

A number of internet service providers also offer home phone plans, either by themselves or as part of an internet bundle. While standalone home phone plans may look good, chances are you could probably find better value if you bundle it. It’s also worth seeing if your current provider offers a home phone package, which can cost as little as $10 extra per month. Providers to watch out for are:

Internet and Home Phone Bundles

If you’re happy with your current internet plan, don’t have an internet plan, or just want to keep the two services separate, a standalone plan may be what you’re after. Alternatively, you could stand to save if you bundle your home phone plan with an internet plan.

Exetel Home Phone Plans

Exetel runs off the Telstra network and has a base price of $30, which covers line rental and PAYG calls. Local calls are 20c/call, national calls are 15c/minute plus 35c flagfall, mobiles are 35c/minute plus 35c flagfall and 13/1300 numbers are 30c a call. You’ll be put on a 12 month contract. However, for just $10 a month extra you can get landlines and 13/1300 numbers included, plus PAYG rates for mobiles. An extra $20 sees everything included, while for $30 extra you get everything included plus unlimited calls to 10 countries.

OR

You can bundle 100GB of data and unlimited landline and 13/1300 calls from about $50. This comes on a no-contract basis, so you can leave any time. You’ll incur a $100-odd set-up fee to go no-contract,. You also get unlimited international calls to selected countries as part of the deal. If you’re looking for internet, plus a home phone, Exetel is a compelling option, and uses the Optus wholesale network.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Exetel

NBN Basic Unlimited (12 month contract)

  • NBN Basic Evening Speed (NBN12/1)
  • $20 Upfront

min. cost $679.88 over 12 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $54.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel

NBN Basic Unlimited

  • NBN Basic Evening Speed (NBN12/1)
  • $0 Upfront

min. cost $54.99 over 1 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $54.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel

NBN Standard Plus Unlimited (12 month contract)

  • NBN Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN50/20)
  • $20 Upfront

min. cost $739.88 over 12 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $59.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel

NBN Standard Plus Unlimited

  • NBN Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN50/20)
  • $0 Upfront

min. cost $69.99 over 1 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel

NBN Premium Unlimited (12 month contract)

  • NBN Premium Evening Speed (NBN100/40)
  • $20 Upfront

min. cost $1099.88 over 12 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $89.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel

NBN Premium Unlimited

  • NBN Premium Evening Speed (NBN100/40)
  • $0 Upfront

min. cost $89.99 over 1 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $89.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Internode Home Phone Plans

Internode’s home phone plans start at $29.95 a month, which features pay as you go (PAYG) call rates. Local calls start at 18c each, national calls are 15c per minute with 44c flagfall, and mobiles are 29c a minute plus 44c flagfall, while 13/1300 numbers are 40c untimed. International rates vary and come with per 44c flagfall. Beyond that you can add on a local, national and mobile pack for an extra $20 a month, while an international pack costs $10 on top of that.

OR

You can bundle and potentially stand to save. Internode’s internet plans include line rental, with varying degrees of call inclusions. While the call packs seem to be the same price, the internet plans are then discounted, starting at around $60 a month for 500GB data and a home phone bundle. NBN plans with unlimited data start off at about $70 a month and feature optional VoIP call add-ons.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Internode Logo

Bronze

  • Basic 12/1 Speed
  • $99 NBN Setup fee upfront

min. cost $168.99 over billing period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Internode Logo

Gold

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $99 NBN Setup fee upfront

min. cost $178.99 over billing period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Internode Logo

Platinum

  • Premium 100/40 Speed
  • $99 NBN Setup fee upfront

min. cost $198.99 over billing period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.99Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details

Telstra Home Phone Plans

Telstra has four plans available – ‘XS’, ‘S’, ‘M’, ‘L’. Prices are $25.95, $40, $50 and $85 per month respectively. With the XS plan, you get PAYG calls, with national calls capped at $3 from 7pm to midnight, while mobile calls are capped at $3 for the first 20 minutes, 7pm to midnight. As you’d expected, the dearest plan includes everything, including discounted rates to 72 countries. These plans also work on the NBN, making transitioning simple if you’re going from a copper to a fibre connection.

OR

You can pay $99 a month for unlimited data plus optional call pack add-ons. Considering that Telstra’s dearest standalone home phone plan is nearly $90 by itself, if you want to bundle with Australia’s biggest telco then you probably won’t have to pay much extra.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Essential

  • Standard 25/5 Speed
  • $99 connection fee for new customers
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $1,755 over 24 months

100GB Max Data**/billing period $69.00Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Unlimited

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $99 connection fee for new customers
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $2,235 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $89.00Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Unlimited + Streaming

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $99 connection fee for new customers
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included
  • Telstra TV & 24 Months Foxtel Now included

min. cost $2,475 over billing period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.00Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

iiNet Home Phone Plans

iiNet’s base home phone plan costs $29.95 per month, which includes line rental. Local calls are 20c each, national calls are $1.98 up to two hours, while mobiles are up to $2.48 up to 20 minutes, and 20 international countries are charged at $1.98 up to 20 minutes, while 13/1300 numbers are 40c each. Beyond that you can add on a call pack, starting at $10 which includes local, national and mobile calls, while an international pack is an extra $10 as well.

OR

iiNet’s broadband internet plans all include line rental with PAYG calls, from about $60-odd per month. Alternatively you can bundle in local, national calls and mobile for around $90 a month. For about $100 a month, this plan also includes international calls. Alternatively you can go the naked DSL and NBN route, which uses iiNet’s VoIP service instead.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

NBN 12 Limiitless

  • Basic 12/1 speed
  • Fetch included

min. cost $1,679.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

NBN 50 Liimitless

  • Standard Plus 50/20 speed
  • Fetch included

min. cost $1,919.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

NBN 100 Liimitless

  • Premium 100/40 speed
  • Fetch included

min. cost $2,399.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

NBN 12 Liimitless

  • Basic 12/1 speed
  • Plan + $79.95 activation upfront

min. cost $149.94

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

NBN 50 Liimitless

  • Standard Plus 50/20 speed
  • Plan + $79.95 activation upfront

min. cost $159.94

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

NBN 100 Liimitless

  • Premium 100/40 speed
  • Plan + $79.95 activation upfront

min. cost 179.94

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Home Phone Plans

Optus offers just one, arguably lacklustre, home phone plan with PAYG calls for the most part. For $22 a month, local calls are charged at 30c each, national calls are 28c per minute plus 52c connection fee. National calls are capped at $2 for the first hour. Mobiles also attract the same rate, while Optus offers discounted rates to 15 countries. 13/1300 calls are 35c each, so if you’re entering a competition or calling a hotline, the flat rate is handy.

OR

You can spend $65 a month and you get unlimited data. From an extra $5 a month you can ‘bolt on’ a home phone pack, which includes landline calls, while the mobile phone pack also costs $5. Considering by itself you’d be paying a minimum $22 anyway, why not bundle with one of Australia’s largest telcos? From $90 you can also bundle Fetch and Optus Sport in with this plan.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus Ultra Plan – nbn™ M2M

  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN Standard Plus Evening Speed

min. cost $275 over 1 month plan period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus Ultra Entertainment Plan – nbn™ M2M

  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN Standard Plus Evening Speed

min. cost $290 over 1 month plan period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus Ultra Plan – nbn™ M2M

  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN Premium Evening Speed

min. cost $305 over 1 month plan period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $105Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus Ultra Entertainment Plan – nbn™ M2M

  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN Premium Evening Speed

min. cost $320 over 1 month plan period

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $120Advertised Data^^/billing period

Dodo Home Phone Plans

Dodo seems to offer two types of deals – a PAYG deal and a plan. PAYG rates for national calls are 29c/minute plus 39c flagfall, while mobiles are 10c more expensive per minute. 13/1300 numbers are 44c each call. International rates start at 18c/minute. Alternatively you can purchase a $39.90 monthly call pack which includes calls to landlines and mobiles. Dodo also puts a few countries and territories into its extra-value pack, whereby you only pay $1.95 for the first 30 minutes. Countries in this pack include many European and Asian nations.

OR

You can pay $70-odd a month, and get unlimited data, plus local, national and mobile phone calls as well as line rental. If you’re on the NBN, Tier 4 prices with this same bundle are around $90 month and carry several contract options, which vary on price. With the package you also get a static IP, which is great for server hosting and the like.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

Unlimited Plan

  • NBN Basic Evening Speed (NBN12)

min. cost $1,440 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Dodo Logo

Unlimited Plan – Turbo

  • NBN Standard Evening Speed (NBN25)

min. cost $1,560 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Dodo Logo

Unlimited Plan – Supercharged

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN50)

min. cost $1,800 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Other Bundled Providers

Other service providers tend to offer bundled home phone plans from about $10 a month extra. They include:

Although, be aware that some of these providers do prefer VoIP bundles over the traditional copper wiring home phone line bundles. Prices for unlimited data start from as little as around $45 and you really can stand to save if you choose to bundle internet + phone. Be aware that some providers may charge extra for line rental, however.

A special mention should be made for Vodafone, which has a a relatively rare call diversion service from $5 a month. With this you can use your landline number that redirects to your mobile – it’s like your home phone, but without the wires.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
TPG Logo

Fast Unlimited

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $99.95 setup fee on no lock-in contracts

min. cost $199.94 over 1 month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Start Logo

Faster Unlimited Plan

  • NBN 50 speed

min. cost $139.95 on no lock-in contract

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
MyRepublic Logo

Unlimited Essential plan

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN50)
  • $1 Upfront modem

min. cost $1,680.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Vodafone Logo

Unlimited NBN Plan (Month to month contract)

  • NBN Standard Plus Evening Speed

min. cost $259 in first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.00Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details

The final word on Cordless Phones

Cordless phones and home phone plans may seem like a bit of a redundant product or service these days, especially with the advent of cheap unlimited mobile plans. However, there is still a significant market for them out there. Elderly people in particular may still get great benefit from the old landline telephone, where some are still operational even in blackouts.

However, where many people put a foot wrong is not bundling an internet service in with their home phone plan. While this is understandable if you don’t have an internet connection, you are probably paying too much by keeping internet + phone separate. In fact, with some providers you can even save money by just buying an internet plan with home phone calls included. Prices for internet and a home phone service start from as little as around $40, with big data inclusions and international call packs coming as standard for a lot of plans in the $70-$100 a month range. When home phone plans by themselves can cost around $80, you probably now know what sounds like a better deal.

Either way, cordless phones are the easy bit, especially when they cost as little as $30 – finding a suitable home phone and internet bundle can be a bit harder.

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