The landline; remember that discarded piece of telephone equipment? Sadly though because it has no apps, lacks a camera, and it certainly can’t fit in your pocket, no one wants it anymore. It has become yet another piece of technology that is slowly headed for the garbage dump.
So what is a company to do in order to breathe new life into an old dinosaur? You design a retro looking landline handset of course. VTech’s Retro phone is no blah / ordinary looking cordless landline handset. The Retro phone takes its design cues from the classic rotary phone of yore. With this updated sleek design, the “rotary” phone has entered the millennials.
The Retro phone is sexy, there is no doubt about it. Its curvy lines, slick assortment of colors (black, cranberry, orange, white and cyan) and even the rotary inspired keypad make this landline handset a star versus a chump. The handset on the Retro phone is cordless and is charged when placed to rest on the telephone in its cradle. Built-in voicemail, Caller ID/Call Waiting, the ability to store upwards of 50 calls, and a backlit keypad and display, all only add to the sophistication of this updated phone.
So it looks good and has some nice features but does it work well? The Retro phone is nothing short on looks but sadly call quality could be a bit better. Granted we did have the phone placed near a computer and several tablets. We also were using a Magic Jack to test, but regardless the sound quality is not as sharp and clear as other VTech handsets we have tested in the past. We also tested it using a POTS line (plain old telephone service) and callers still sounded distant with some hints of noise on the line. With that said, callers said we actually sounded clear and sharp.
Also, the “rotary” keypad is a tad on cheap side and required you to apply a bit of pressure when dialing. We could see that under heavy use, this keypad might become worn away over time. So dialing using the handset is probably the better way to go.
The handset has a nice grip, but like with many high-gloss gadgets these days, fingerprints are bound to become a problem. The Retro phone is no stranger to collecting them and will require constant polishing to prevent from turning into a grease ball.
All in all, the VTech LS6195 Retro phone really is a neat handset, despite its few flaws. As a matter of fact, the VTech Rotary phone is so lovely, it makes you want to use a landline again. The VTech Rotary phone retails for $54.99.
The Good: Unique design emulates the classic rotary phone. Available in an assortment of fun colors. Comes with all the features you would need in a modern handset. Affordably priced – heck, for the price, it is worth it just to have as a decorative piece in your home, even if you dont have a landline!
The Bad: Call quality is not as strong compared to other VTech landline handsets we have tested, and rotary keypad looks good but requires a bit of pressure when using.