You can get Skype on your computer and you can even get Skype on your mobile phone plus there is various telephone looking methods but this device looks more like a conventional desk phone. It was introduced back in 2009 and I must be honest and say that I had not seen this device anywhere during this time. The price for this unit seems to be about £200 ($275) but this might be the touch screen version (this one I am reviewing is not touch screen).
202 mm (L) x 123 mm (W) x 253 mm (H) – this stands about half the heights of my 19″ TFT Monitor, it is not small by any stretch. It Features a 800 X 480 pixel 7″ TFT LCD, this is needed for video calls. It has Wireless: 802.11 b/g or Wired: 10/100Mb Ethernet port, the built in Webcam is CMOS (640 X 480 pixels).
If you wondering about the usb port, I have no idea what this is used for, my only thought was a USB headset maybe?
Setting up and running the phone.
When you first switch it on, a nice bright sun appears and the it looks for your wireless signal, this managed to pick up all the one’s around me no issues at all. This is handy as it allows the phone to be placed anywhere, not just next to a computer. The next task is to log into your Skype account of course. When the phone needs some input, it brings up a keyboard on screen (A – Z, no Qwerty here) and you move about with the arrow key on the right hand side. You get to pick some rings tones, brightness and a few other tasks but that’s about it for the set up of the phone.
The phone displays a rather nifty clock when it just sits there:
I never managed to find a way to change the background which is a shame but serves its’ purpose well I guess.
After a period, it then start to float across the screen all the people that on-line in Skype, again this is handy at a glance to see who is logged in.
Finally if you leave it long enough, the screen turns black and displays the time in white:
To save power I guess this finally goes all black – I have yet to find a way to change these power saving settings, it would be nice for example (as it is always plugged in) to have the clock always on display.
In-use – Handsfree mode
At the top of the device is a microphone and in the middle a speaker and this device works very well indeed placed on the desk with you speaking. The other person can hear you fine but it does pick up background noise. As it has a built in Webcam, you can start a video chat but the quality is not amazing but good enough for a video chat of course. I am going to have a guess here and state that multi person calling is not going to happen as is the case with most Skype phones.
Of course on the back it has a Mic in and a Speaker out, this means if you want a more ‘private’ chat with a person or just better quality (no background noise) then shove in a headset and away you go. Once you plug in a headset, all audio is diverted to this, much like a PC for example.
First of all there is the price, £200 or even £150 for such a phone seems a LOT to me personally. I am guessing the Screen might account for a lot of the cost in this instance. I already have Linksys CT200 Phone which I now never used, that is a lot cheaper at £30 but you do not get Video or handfree with this option.
Using this phone, you can do away with a computer for Skype, you can place in around the house and people just use it like a normal house phone minus the handset of course. It makes a great addition to an office for example and just makes skyping easier in my mind, it rings, I press a button and I can talk away – all without a headset of a computer.