BT Reveal Cordless Phone

BT Reveal is as stylish a cordless phone as you might want. But is it style over substance?

BT’s Reveal DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication) phone looks stunning with silver and darkly translucent screens on both the matched handset and the base that ooze stylishness.

A cool blue light inside the base station pulses attractively if you’ve got a message on the built in answer phone, and indicates the phones readiness for action with a constant blue glow. There's also an illuminated display that shines out at you from inside the base of the handset.

BT reckons the Reveal is the “ultimate in high-end, chic home technology” and it says it “offers a little slice of style and luxury”. So, this £130 phone is pitched firmly at those wanting to add a tinge of luxury to the ultimate 'pad'.

When you look at the phone's features and specification it fits the bill too. It includes the basics such as hands free operation and use as an intercom (great with more than one handset), plus a name and number directory for up to 255 entries.

Other neat kit includes a mobile phone SIM card reader: you can import numbers and names from your mobile onto the Reveal with the ability to send and receive text messages - although you can only store a meagre 30 texts. The phone also doubles as a sort of sculptural timepiece, because, with the handset sat laterally across the base/charger, the time is displayed as if from deep within the device.

A slightly clunky-looking button layout on the business side of the handset means it is pretty straightforward to use but the ergonomics are poor. All those beautifully crafted dark, shiny surfaces are easily marked and are hard to hold.

A couple of other issues include a handset and base that don’t have the same ring melodies, so you get a bit of a cacophony when they’re perched together. The hatch that covers the dual AAA battery housing has very flimsy catches; one broke on the phone I was testing.

But there’s another, far more serious problem. The BT Reveal does not work properly. Despite all the bells and whistles, the stylish design and neat features, the phone keeps crashing during calls. This annoyingly frustrating habit occurred at random during almost every call made or received on it. 

The Reveal comes with a helpful helpline number, in case you have problems with the phone. If you buy one, keep it handy because you’ll probably need it more often than you think.

BT’s Reveal is a classic case of style over substance. It’s expensive, looks brilliant but proves unreliable in use.