In my opinion, few cordless phones can be described as being good designs. The Freeway, above is typical of early cordless phones – very dumpy in design to accommodate the radio transceiver and battery pack. It only had loop pulsing. The flaw with this design is that the battery pack was not user-replaceable, a problem addressed in the later Freelance 100, below.
The Freelance did have tone pulsing. Like answering machines and fax machines, cordless phones need mains power, which makes them susceptable to lightning surges on the line.
The latest generation of DECT digital cordless phones are far more compact, but most seem to be produced in black, to emulate typical cellular mobile phones, despite the home setting that most will be used in.