Some People Still Want a "Home Phone"
I had really been considering a home phone lately and let me tell you why. I want a phone that allows me to talk to another person, but doesn't need apps installed. I want a phone that is just that: a phone. I wanted a phone with less heat and charging requirements than my mobile phone. I wanted a phone that is "less connected", and where I can check my voicemails just when I get home, not having the pressure of push notifications in my face all day.
That paragraph was pretty repetitive, so you probably get my point. While more people have moved toward a mobile phone, there is still a market for home phones and people like myself are the reason why. That's right - Home phones still exist and you don't have to go to your parent or grandparent's house to see these vintage items. Source: Statista
Long story short, I wanted something "separate" from my mobile phone. No, I didn't want a second phone number on my mobile phone. I wanted LESS MOBILE PHONE.
This is when I contacted Ooma to look into reviewing a wireless home phone. They were kind and sent me the Ooma Telo Air 2, along with an HD3 handset to review. Full disclosure, I was not paid any money to write this review.
What is the Ooma Telo Air 2 and the HD3 Handset?
Pretty much the only thing you need to get started with Ooma's phone service is their hardware, and an internet connection. It was so easy to setup, I don't know why I didn't do this soon (because I had been thinking about it for a while).
After unboxing the Ooma Telo Air 2, it provides clear instructions in the box regarding downloading a setup app, plugging in the power and (optional) data cable (or it can connect to your internet via Wi-Fi), and scanning a QR code to activate it.
The HD3 handset is super easy to pair to the Telo Air 2 base and just takes a few seconds to get connected. When you connect the phone to the base for the first time, it's very-likely you'll be waiting for it to auto update the handset's firmware (this is obviously a good thing!). Once the updates complete, the app walks you through picking a phone number, so you'll be ready to start making calls. I was pleasantly surprised how many local area code/exchange numbers were available in my area, so I was able to pick an awesome easy-to-remember number. I am using the base free plan for Ooma's service, so the only thing I'll be paying for (not Ooma's fault) is the local taxes and 911 usage, which will be like $4 a month. Amazing, honestly. I remember how much my parents used to pay for a home phone, and it was more than cellular service.
Where the HD3 Handset Comes In
The Ooma Telo Air 2 base can support up to 4 HD3 handsets. Something I really like about these handsets is that they don't feel obnoxiously proprietary and cost $49.99 on [Amazon](Ooma Telo Air 2). The handset feels exactly like the home phone I remember when having a cordless phone on my parent's landline. The difference is that this HD3 handset can support HD-Quality calls, much better audio than I remember having in the land line days.
The handset has caller ID support, call blocking, and even a Do Not Disturb mode. I still am baffled at how this is free, after the one-time cost of the hardware, and the tiny monthly tax from outside entities. Totally worth it!
I conducted plenty of test calls to and from my mobile phone to the HD3 handset. I even did an hour-long conference call to a person that was using Microsoft Teams on their computer. All calls were crystal-clear. The voicemail box on the Telo Air 2 is also a cool thing to have. It makes me more likely to listen to a voicemail and not delete them like often do on my mobile phone. The reason is, I have to physically press a play button on the Telo Air 2, in order to play the message. There is just something that's more satisfying to me about this.
There is still a market for home phones, as some people prefer a separate phone that is less connected and has fewer features than a mobile phone. The Ooma Telo Air 2 and HD3 Handset provide an easy-to-set-up and affordable option for those looking for a wireless home phone with HD-quality calls and additional features like caller ID and call blocking. As far as the quality and use of this product, it deserves as 5 out of 5!