Don’t Buy This Phone: Motorola E52 by jimmycanuck
September 29, 2006, 4:41 pm
Filed under: gadgets, reviews

motorola e52

Looks pretty, doesn’t it? Unfortunately looks are about as far as this POS goes. Our household has recently jumped on the VOIP bandwagon (my wife works for one of the bigger VOIP companies so we thought we should give it a try), and as a result we really needed to get a multihandset cordless phone. I spent a few days shopping around unaided (apparently the everything-gets-reviewed-online rule doesn’t apply to home phones) and decided that my best bet would be to spend the extra money and get a quality name brand I could trust. Sure, V-Tech and Uniden have been around long enough to establish a name for themselves, but they still feel so… crappy? Like the K-Car’s of cordless phones. Don’t get me wrong, both companies could make a quality product, but I’ve only had one experience with a Uniden phone and it wasn’t very good, so my bias is set. That being said, I may have to consider shopping around for one of these phones now that I’ll be packing these little nightmares back up and bringing them back to Future Shop (that’s two trips today for those of you keeping score.)

So what’s wrong with these phones? One word – range. We don’t live in a big house. It’s far from a castle, a mansion, or even a yacht. But for some reason, when anyone tries to call and we’re using the handset designated “upstairs” the words “OUT OF RANGE” pop up, mocking my abilities as a consumer to pick a quality product.

Do I have other complaints? Sure, but they’re all petty. The really cool blue LED on the base? It’s as bright as an attack by the solar people of Venus 5, which makes sleeping a bit of a challenge unless you cover the damned thing up. And the caller log? Unless you decide to hunt for more info, it only displays the name of the most recent caller rather than name, number and time of call.

So all in all, an absolute waste of money, especially at the $119 MSRP that you’ll be forced to pay. So remember kiddies, steer clear of the Motorola E52, aka model #MD7251-2.


25 Comments so far
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That’s so unfortunate. And I *totally* agree with you about v-tech and uniden. It’s like you completely skip over them on the future shop page because they’re not even worth your time.
Then again, I had a v-tech phone that worked like a charm for 4 years (which in the cordless world isn’t too bad I’ve found).
Can you return them?

Comment by Jenifesto

I returned them right after writing that review. One again – why I shop at Future Shop. Bought a much cheaper set that I’m much happier with. Review coming soon! 🙂

Comment by jimmycanuck

I bought this phone combo.
I am happy with it and our voip service.
The out of range was an issue until I moved the baseset to the second floor and away from the basement. Still not even close to the range of the panasonic 5.8 cordless I bought years ago. $99 @ BB

Comment by darcyg

For the blue light from Venus I’m agree, I can’t understand why they put this strong light ? In other way, now I don’t need to swich on the light ,in the night, I can see clearly in the room where the phone is.

For the range, I haven’t problem, in my backyard or in basement, everything are Ok, and also with my VOIP system. But I never try the maximum distance that I can go.

Comment by Ruddy

I agree. I’m using it now. Sound quality is good. I had to put tape over the blue light so I could sleep at night.

Range problems abound.


Comment by Mark Joppru

Thanks for the heads up! I was thinking about buying this phone because it looks so sweet, but I’m scratching it off my list now. I need good range and that blue light would keep me awake all night.


Comment by Mark Thomas

I bought these phones, also at FS – I found this site by doing a google on Motorola, MD7521, and LED; I was looking for a way to tone down the light show. We haven’t hooked them up yet – just the bright light in the spare room when we were charging them overnight was enough to scare us off; we were going to put one in our bedroom, and we are both past the age where we need a night light! I guess it’s another trip to FS for a return; I don’t know about the range issue since we haven’t used them, but it seems pretty silly to buy (and pay a premium for a big name brand!) a piece of consumer electronics that you can only use when you put a strip of tape over the display straight out of the box.

Comment by DCardno

Has anyone had the problem with the light on the main base turning off after 5 minutes then coming back on after a few seconds?

Comment by Melissa

I have had this unit for a couple of weeks. I have had no problems with it. Good reception,works eveywhere in my home. I am really happy with it. the light has not bothered us at all. It’s just a little light….

Comment by M. Kenny

Well, great. I saw a phone like this in a local store, and found other reviews that said it ok. Plus it looks cool and the buttons are large, which is important for my purposes. But now I have to find another phone. I like Motorola, too. I don’t trust Uniden. Mixed reviews on the range, but bad blue light. Gotcha. Next

Comment by Mr. Peabody-not

I had one given to me for Christmas 2006. Worked great – for about a month! No problem with range – while it worked. The base unit quit. So, exchanged it for another – this has also just quit. Gonna look for a different type now. Used to trust Motorola for a good product, but no longer.

Comment by Mike

i purchased this phone (before reading your site)
and i haven’t any problems with range, (for a 2 bedroom 2 level house built in 1921)
but that blue light on there is overly bright as hell, and i can’t get my phone to be loud enough to hear well, but for it being on sale for 75, i may have been a good deal

Comment by steve

Thanks for the phone info. As for the bright light I’d try a swipe across it with a permanent marker like a sharpie. It’s worked for other lights dancing in the night.

Comment by Dave

Sorry to hear about your purchase, but hey, at least you can think of yourself as one of the first home phone reviewers online. How has VoIP worked out for you, in general, though?


Comment by vic

LOL! I went throught the same thought process when making the purchase. Too Funny. Bought it over Christmas thinking it would be a cool new phone (Stocking Stuffer for the wife!) Anyway, other than the light their are no other features to rave about with this phone. I’m wondering why some one has not invented the home “cell” type phone. A home phone that you can connect to Outlook (Your PC) to download your address book, have Bluetooth for an optional headset, all the good stuff we love from our cell phones. Heck, make a home Black Berry.

Comment by Gavin


I am really excited. Very useful. All the best!

Comment by lokimikoj

I bought a pair of these phones for use with Vonage and my experience is the absolute same as yours. Heck, for a second there I wondered if I’d written this blog post myself while drunk and since forgotten about it – that’s how similar our experiences are.

The blue light of death has been a constant irritant – the wife throws laundry on the phone overnight to kill the shine – and the range on our second set is a nightmare.

On the ground floor set, things are pretty decent – just the usual Vonage dropped calls now and then while downloading. But the second set is based upstairs, about forty feet away, and it’s a nightmare. Constant popping, drop-outs, fading in and out, ‘out of range’ messages.

I just wish I’d taken them right back when we had the problems and not blamed Vonage for six weeks while our return policy expired. Now we’re stuck with the fricking things.


Comment by Oz

I have these, I bought a set of 3 with Airmiles points. Only 2 worked, and these treat me to a blasting ear piercing screech occasionally for a reason we can’t pinpoint. We think these phones have a sense of humour combined with a big attitude. I agree about the blue light comment. WAY too bright. And my small 2 bedroom bungalow frequently finds me OUT OF RANGE. Avoid at all costs!

Comment by Linda Longbranch

Thank you for best information.

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