Why don’t cordless phones have a global phone book?

I want to get a new 4-handset cordless phone, ideally 5.8GHz, but as far as I can tell, none of them have a global phone book.

They all store the phone books in the handsets, and most give you a way of copying between handsets, but none just store it in the base-station for all handsets to use.

One I found (AT&T I think) that actually has a base-station stored phone book, but it only works when using the base station!

Anyone know of a multi-handset system (even 2.4GHz) with a global frigging phone book? Why is this such a bizarre requirement? Am I the only person who wants this as a feature?

Comments (18)
  1. Mine all do, Philips DECT models have a ‘shared’ phone book – in European models at least…

  2. Sean says:

    It’s been ages since I’ve added/removed phone numbers from my phone, and I believe that it has a global phone book, but I can’t recall:


    Definately, each phone is personalized and has it’s own ringtone, personal phone book, etc..

    What would be nice if there was a wireless handheld phone base station that synched with exchange/outlook.. keep dreaming I know…

  3. Sean says:

    I’ll update when I get home if it does or not..

  4. Andy Pennell says:

    According to a review on Amazon, the 42xx series will automatically download the phone book (from the base station I presume). I have a 2400 system now but its getting long in the tooth, I will research this more. Thanks!

    FYI Some Panasonic phones will sync with Outlook via a service called openLCR, but it looked a bit suspicious to me (looked like they changed your long distance co as a part of the deal but not 100% sure).

  5. Andy Pennell says:

    Looks like those are European only. Shame.

  6. Northwestern Bell SYL-2400 Bluetooth 2.4GHz Cordless looks like it can download from Outlook.


  7. Andy Pennell says:

    I downloaded the PDF manuals for 4200 and 8800 series phones, both offer easy ways of copying the phone book between handsets, but no automatic way. Still looking…

  8. Wade Matveyenko says:

    I have this Olympia phone and it shares the phonebook among all four handsets.


    Olympia also has a new phone with bluetooth that can synchronize its phonebook with outlook. http://www.olympiaphones.com/adtemplate.asp?invky=913462&wid=488414

  9. Andy Pennell says:

    Thanks Wade! I picked up the bluetooth/Outlook Olympia phone yesterday, and it does have a global phone book! Lets see how it goes. No-one sells locally it here except Fry’s.

  10. Rik Heywood says:

    I have a philips phone and it lets you store numbers in the base station or the handset (base station is default).

    I think it is this one, though is looks slightly different…


  11. Brian says:

    Someone needs to design a "wireless" cordless phone. Take a multi-handset cordless phone’s basic "architecture", cut the plug into the wall, and replace it with a GSM or CDMA cell chip. Then I loose the last reason for keeping POTS service in my house (well other than 911).

  12. Jake says:

    My Panasonic KXTG5672B cordless phone does not have a default global phonebook.  However, it is a matter of a pushing a few buttons to copy from handset to any handset.  I prefer it this way as different users may want different phonebooks.

    What I would really like to see in a cordless phone, though, is muliple numbers for one named entry.  That is Joe/home/cell/work/fax/etc. instead of the lowsy one number per one name entry ie: Joe/home then Joe/cell then Joe/whatever, etc.  This old way is nutty and very inefficient.  I don’t think that there is a cell phone around today that uses this old method.  It’s archaic.

  13. rohit says:

    I downloaded the PDF manuals for 4200 and 8800 series phones, both offer easy ways of copying the phone book between handsets, but no automatic way. Still looking…<a href="http://www.gadgetheaven.co.uk/buying-guides/cordless-phone-buying-guide/">Cordless Phones</a>

  14. motorola MD781:

    i listed some of its specs for you…hope it’ll help you:

       * 5.8 GHz signal with digital spread spectrum transmission; expandable to 8 handsets, 1 include

       * Digital answering system with up to 15 minutes of message space

       * 50 private and 48 shared phone book memory locations

       * Customized ring based on caller ID subscriber’s service

       * Battery back up for power outages; speakerphone, dual keypads

  15. Alan says:

    Andy, I totally empathize with you on this!  What is wrong with the phone manufacturers that they don't get this?

    I have hundreds of contact entries, which are changing frequently.  As it is, I have to update on my PC and my landline (thankfully my mobile syncs to PC via Android at last), so the last thing I want to have to do is also sync the various DECT handsets with the base station.

    I think the reason why the dumbasses haven't done it is because it takes too much time for it to sync, between picking up the non-base handset and wanting to view the addressbook.  The solution, OBVIOUSLY, is for the handsets to quietly sync in the background when you put them back to their charging station.  I don't expect any updates to replicate out immediately every single time I lift up a DECT handset; I just want them to get there eventually, say, within 1 hour or the day of change.

  16. Guy says:

    I totally agree with Alan – it ought to be obvious to cordless 'phone manufacturers that customers expect such products to provide the phone book functionality that the whole world is now accustomed to in the most basic mobile phones.  I often 'collect' new numbers when I take a call from a new or existing contact – on whatever handset was convenient at the time.

    Here in the UK, many households do NOT want their cordless phone system to include an answering machine because all land-line providers can include an answering service as part of the package (often free) – this facility is much better because it can take messages when the line is engaged or out of order.

    Manufacturers have tunnel vision with their customer base – the assumption is that we are all fit, healthy and living in a modern box with a pocket handkerchief garden so the only reason why we might want multiple handsets is so that family members can have personal ones – NO, that's what mobiles are for!!  Multiple handsets are so that anyone in the household can easily make and answer calls anywhere in the house, the garage, the garden…

    My additions to the wish list:

    – base station with no handset cradle – so the base station can be sited close to the master phone socket but ALL the hansets can sited where they are most useful.

    – a hard OFF switch on the answering machine so if you don't want it used it doesn't default to ON whenever there's a power outage.

  17. Les Greenberg says:

    Also how about a simple way to copy the phonebook from an old cordless handset to a new one when you have to buy a new basestsation.

    I now have 4 different handset phone books to put into 5 new handsets GRRRR!!!

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