Review: Sony SPP-ID975 900 MHz Phone

After reading some reviews here and there, I was hesitant. My old Sony ID910 was having its own problems, with the LCD losing entire rows of pixels. But I loved it otherwise, and still wanted a 900 MHz phone which wouldn’t interfere with my 2.4 GHz 802.11b computer network. The ID910 always had great range, the digital 900 MHz quality was great, I wanted a speakerphone, and I needed Caller ID. The ID975 was one of few choices.

Thank goodness! I haven’t had any problems with battery life, scrambled directory entries, or reliability. The range is at least as good as the ID910, and it still charges an extra battery (the same T23) in the base. Best of all, it improves many annoyances of the ID910: The handset is much lighter. The 3-line LCD display shows both the Caller ID title and number, so you can try to figure out who it is even if Caller ID doesn’t know. The jog wheel makes a user manual completely redundant – I’ve never even looked at the paperwork, but had no problems entering speed dial numbers or changing the ringer. There are two bright red LEDs on the base unit which indicate if someone has called, and if you have any messages (I’m guessing it listens for a stuttering dial tone when you’re not on the line).

All is not perfect, however. Where the ID910 handset had no real external antenna, the 3-inch extra at the top of the ID975’s handset is a step backward. The extra battery charging in the base unit cannot power the base unit during an outage, as the ID910’s could. And while the New Call and Message LEDs on the base are very nice, there is no indication on the handset of either. Sony still won’t let us control the volume of the ringer. It’s either style 1-4 or off (0). But these are minor issues.

Overall, I’m very happy with this phone. I hope I don’t need a new one until cordless phones and WiFi are no longer competing for the same frequency space. With 2.4 GHz phones becoming popular, good digital 900 MHz phones (most are analog) are becoming hard to find!