Phone features to help you

We've got phones to suit everyone, with features like big buttons, compatibility with hearing aids, call control – and more.


Amplify button

Some phones have an amplify button which you can use either to boost the incoming sound on your call — or to make your own voice louder for the other person.

1471 and 1571 buttons

These keys make it easy to listen to your BT Answer 1571 messages – and find out the number of the last person who called you with 1471.

Big buttons

Some of our phones, like the BT Big Button 200, have big buttons with clearly contrasting colours – so you can easily see which numbers to press.

Memory buttons (speed dial and quick dial)

Memory buttons store the numbers you call most often and let you ring them by pressing one or two buttons.

Emergency button

Some phones have a button you can use to call for help in an emergency.

Last number redial

Most phones have a ‘redial’ button – so you can just press one button to try calling engaged numbers again.

Raised dot on '5' button

Most phones have a raised dot on the '5' button so you can easily find the centre of the telephone keypad by touch alone.

Speed dial

Call your favourite numbers by pressing one button.

Keypad lock

If you make unwanted phone calls by mistake – or care for someone who does this – it can mean an expensive phone bill. The keypad lock lets you lock the phone (normally by pressing a certain key combination) to stop calls being made until you decide to unlock it.

Ringtones, alerts and volume

Ringing tone and volume control

On some phones you can choose how loud your phone ring is. Lots of phones have several different ring tones, so you can choose the one you can hear the best.

Audible alert for messages

The audible alert feature means that when you have a new message, you’ll hear a beep to let you know.

Outgoing speech amplification

If you have a quiet voice, you can use amplification to increase the volume so the person you’re talking to can hear you better.

New message indicator

A new message indicator is a light that flashes if you have a new message.

Call indicator light

Some phones have a built-in light that flashes when the phone rings. This might be helpful if you find it difficult to hear the phone ring.

Different ringtones

If you feel anxious about speaking to people you don't know, using different ringtones can help. With some phones, you can set different ringtones for each person you know. So when they call, you’ll be able to tell who it is straight away.

Display text and messages

Text messaging

If you find speaking on the phone difficult, you can use some phones to type and send text messages to home phones with the same text messaging facility, or to mobiles.

Backlit display

A backlit display is easier to read.

Zoom text

This makes the phone number bigger on the display as you’re dialling it.

Two-way record

Some phones with answering machines let you record your conversations. This can be useful if you find it difficult to hear everything that’s being said on the phone – you can play the conversation back afterwards to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Answering machine

With an answering machine you don’t need to rush to answer the phone straight away. People can leave a message for you and then you can call them back when it’s convenient if you need to. You can use a built-in answering machine or a network-based answering service like BT Answer 1571 or BT Call Minder to take messages for you. For charges, see

Pre-recorded message

Some phones have a pre-recorded answer message, so you don’t have to record your own. This can help if your speech is sometimes difficult to understand, or if you don’t want people that call you to know who you are. You can get pre-recorded answer messages in male and female voices.

Memo feature

The memo feature lets you record audio messages for yourself or other people, which can be useful if you find writing difficult.

Caller display

A caller display service lets you see the number of the person who’s calling you, so you can decide whether you want to answer. Charges may apply for this service.

Handsets and add-on services

Easy grip handset

Some phone handsets have been designed to make them easy to pick up and hold.


Using a phone headset can be helpful if you find it difficult to hold the phone, or if you want to use your hands for something else (like taking notes). A cordless phone headset lets you move around as you’re talking to someone.

Hands free

Using your phone ‘hands free’ means that instead of listening through the earpiece, you’ll hear the person you’re speaking to through a loudspeaker. This can be helpful if you need to write or take Braille notes when you're on the phone.


Pre-dial (also called ‘on-hook dialling’) lets you dial a number without having to lift the handset first. This means you can check the phone number you want to ring before your phone dials the number – useful if you worry about dialling the wrong number.


This means you can put the phone on the wall at eye level so it's easier to use.

Next Generation Text

If you find it difficult to speak or hear on the phone, the Next Generation Text (NGT) service can help. Find out more on the NGT website.


If you find it difficult to move around your home, a cordless phone can be useful as you can keep it with you.

Other features

Inductive coupler

An inductive coupler works with many hearing aids (when they’re on the ‘T’ setting) to actively reduce background noise, giving you a clearer sound.

Voice prompts

Some phones have voice prompts to help you set up and use your phone – useful if you find it difficult to read printed instructions.

Call screening

Call screening sends your calls to your answering machine, so you can hear who’s calling and decide whether to pick up the phone to speak to them.

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