27 Eylül 2008 Cumartesi

DU@LPHONE 3088 Skype Phone Review


Dualphone 3088

After having reviewed the first Skype phone from DualPhone, their new version of combined Skype and PSTN phone has now come to market, and this time there is no need for a PC anymore. When I received this phone I directly noticed the major steps forward in design which makes it more pleasant to have on your desk.

Packaging

As with other DualPhone products, attention is given to the look and the contents of the packaging. This usually gives a good first impression on the product for me. When opening the box - all components are nicely wrapped including: a multi-lingual manual, a little cheat card, the telephone with its battery, base station, power supplies for the base-station, a separate charger cradle and the necessary cables both for network and for the phone-line. Additionally there is a skype voucher to get you started straight away.Installation

The installation of this phone is a breeze, especially as there is no need for a PC anymore, it is a question of plugging the base station both into the PSTN line with the supplied RJ-11 cable and into your network with the supplied RJ-45 cable. After that, putting in the 2 AAA batteries into the handset and putting it into the seperate charger cradle for it’s first full charge is all you need hardware wise to get started.

After the initial charge period (dualphone has now catered for impatient users, allowing you to do the setup after an initial 10 minute charge - nice touch), I went on with the actual ‘software’ setup.

This is all quite easy, just take the phone out of the charger, hit the reset button on the base station and put the phone back in the charger cradle. Like with any good DECT system, the phone finds it’s base-station nearly instantly. With this a little startup wizard appeard on the screen of the phone, to allow to set some phoneline details as well as accept the Skype Terms of Service.

After that you have 2 choices: Login to skype with your usere details, which I did as an existing a Skype user. All I had to do from there was put in my Skype username and password and the phone logged in straight away. Hitting the contacts button directly showed me all of my Skype contacts with the usual Skype icons to indicate their status.

The 2nd option is to create a Skype account directly from the phone, which is great if you don’t have a skype account yet (or want to create a different account for you family/office phone than for your pc).
Getting and making calls
The first test I call made was to the echo system in my contact-list which is the test server in Skype. It was as easy as any normal phone. I pushed the contact button, then scrolled to the Skype contact.
As I have over 80 contacts in my skype list, it is very handy that you can also search by name. When in the contact list just start typing by selecting the first (2nd etc) letter of the contact you are looking for. This will narrow down your contact-list directly and makes it far easier and quicker to find the person you need. The contact list will also show the persons status icon if it is a Skype contact or just the standard phone icon if it is a phone-number entry.
Then after that all I had to do was hit the green button and the call was made.
Sound quality is good and there is no echo whatsoever. After I had made that initial test call I made some other calls to other Skype contacts which all where fine. All sounded nice and clear - as we have come to expect from the DualPhone DECT’s. And the same goes for the landline calls I received on it - crystal clear on that side as well.
Skype Features
As there is no PC needed to use this phone, it comes with a nice set of things you can do from the handset directly. You can search for Skype contacts, change profile details, change your online status, manage your blocked users as well as set your privacy details (e.g. only allow Skype calls from known contacts or just allow it from anyone, same settings can be applied for SkypeIn). It also integrates with Skype Voicemail if you have it and you can scroll through the history of in, out and missed calls as well.
On the Stand-by screen the phone shows the battery life, signal, your Skype username with status icon, time and the level of Skype credit left on your account.
Range
Again this shows why DualPhone has gone with DECT for all of their products. As DECT is a good and well known standard which performs great for both home and office use. And, most importantly, it greatly outperforms WiFi phones on range.
Battery Life
Battery again is good with the DECT standard - you easily get a couple of days out of a battery without charging in normal use. The batteries are two standard rechargeable AAA, so easy to replace in the future.
Conclusion
This is a superb phone for anyone that is using Skype on a day to day basis for calling, it has replaced the USB version I have been using up to now. I liked the USB version as it was the only thing on the market at that time, but I will adjust the rating on that one now as this one out performs it, even on the design factor.
All in all a recommendable phone that has earned it’s way into my office and a place on my desk.

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