Telephones. I’ve been using the same Uniden cordless phone for the past six years, and it’s been a decent phone until the batteries go. So I went out in search of a battery, knowing that this phone is two generations behind the current state-of-the-art. The best price I could find on a new battery was $8, which seems a bit steep considering that a new 900 MHz cordless phone, including battery, costs as little as $20. You won’t get the highest quality at that price, but even today’s junk has a decent chance of outperforming a mid-range 1994 model. So I looked long and hard at new units.
Gatermann had just bought a new 2.4 GHz phone (these rates refer to the frequency at which the phone operates–higher is better, giving shorter, more nimble waves for greater range and clarity) at Radio Shack last week, and I was fairly impressed with it. But I’m a tightwad, so I searched for a bargain. A basic 900 MHz phone should be fine for my apartment, but as long as I was getting a new phone, I figured I might as well get one that could operate a headset, and I couldn’t find a 900 MHz model that could. I did find a Southwestern Bell 2.4 GHz unit that did, for $60. As far as I can tell, both Southwestern Bell and AT&T are still buying phones from Lucent and relabeling them, so your local Baby Bell probably does something similar. I was also glad to see this phone uses an NiMH battery, rather than a NiCad. While NiMH is more expensive, it’s a much better battery technology. Longer lasting, less prone to developing memory (though not immune to it)–it’s just worth looking for.
I also got a $10 headset. I’ve had spasms in my hands while holding a phone a couple of times, so the headset will eliminate that problem.