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Wi-Fi Phones Reviewed 77

prostoalex writes "With municipal Wi-Fi taking off and startups distributing free wireless routers for those willing to share their Internet connections, Wi-Fi phones or hybrid phones with both cellular and Wi-Fi access, are attracting interest. Dr. Dobb's Journal runs a review of 6 wireless phone devices available on the market today. The cheapest ones start around $80, but lock you into T-Mobile branded hotspots. The more expensive ones, Sony Mylo in particular, offer support for 3rd party clients, such as Skype, GTalk and Yahoo! Messenger."
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Wi-Fi Phones Reviewed

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  • Linux (Score:4, Informative)

    by bendodge ( 998616 ) <bendodge AT bsgprogrammers DOT com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:36PM (#17867338) Homepage Journal
    How about some much cheaper Linux smartphones! html []
    • I run Familiar Linux [] on an IPAQ pocket PC that has phone capabilities. The problem with these devices is finding a decent carrier in the US. Cell phone markets tend to be anti-competitive in the sense that third party devices are often excluded. For example, I bought a Treo-650 from Sprint but when I switched to Cingular I had to buy another phone because the one from Sprint doesn't work on Cingualr's network.

      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        That has nothing to do with 'third party devices'. To a cellular provider, ALL phones are third party.

        And NO phone that works on Sprint can be moved to Cingular. They are completely incompatible. On the other hand, if your phone is unlocked, you can freely move to AT&T (now Cingular anyhow, ugh) and T-Mobile, and quite a few very tiny companies on the same system. Metro-PCS in Central Florida is on it, I believe. (Not real sure, though.)

        The 'problem with these devices' is not 'finding a carrier' bu
        • It went AT&T -> Cingular -> AT&T. That's where the "ugh" comes in. AT&T: Your World Delivered ... illegally to the Federal Government.

          To quote, "Cingular is now The New AT&T." Although that slogan itself is somewhat confusing, you had it backwards.
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            lol I dunno anymore. The TV commercial I just saw tonight showed both freaking logos. (I was fast-forwarding, yay for DVR!)

            And honestly, I don't care about them. I've never liked either company and my entire family has had more problems with both of them, especially AT&T, that it'll be a miracle (or a travesty, maybe) if we're ever a customer of theirs again.

            I've heard bad things about T-Mobile, and the local customer service sucks pretty bad, but ... ah well. How do you choose between evils? If
            • Always check with people in the area who use a particular carrier what their experiences are before signing up. You can't really go on "I heard bad things about...", "I heard good things about..." because if you go by that logic, they all suck.

              All carriers are strong in some areas and weak in others. (Worse still, this situation changes over time, as carriers gain subscribers (bad) and expand their network (good.))

      • by Cato ( 8296 )
        In the US, Sprint and Verizon run CDMA-based wireless networks, whereas T-Mobile and Cingular/AT&T run GSM, which is the standard used everywhere in Europe and by 80-90% of the world's mobile phones. So it's nothing to do with Sprint policies that you can't take a CDMA-based Treo 650 and use it on a GSM network.

        The FCC is largely to blame for this situation btw - it decided that US carriers could buy spectrum without mandating technical standards on top of this as Europe did. So the US has five mobile
    • I seem to recall that the MyLo IS linux based.
      They just haven't opened it up to other developers.
      Frankly, if the MyLO had a general SIP phone capability (with or without Skype and/or Vonage), and could do a 80x24 text screen with an SSH client... I'd be all over it. (and I hate linux, so that's saying quite a bit)
    • what makes you think these are cheaper? I've yet to see a linux based pda/smartphone that's cheaper than any comparable non-linux product. WinCE is damned cheap per license and finding vendors that are linux friendly for the chipsets is not nearly as easy. In most cases, it's a wash monetarily, and in some cases the linux devices cost more if only because the hardware chosen ends up being more robust due to it being from that linux friendy chip maker that isn't simply trying to turn out the cheapest crap
  • Joke (Score:5, Informative)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:37PM (#17867348)
    First off the title of the article is "Wi-Fi phones reviewed" not Skype phones reviewed, not dual mode phones reviewed, not Vonage phones reviewed. None of the models discussed actually support any sort of generic Voip, although I think Google Talk is sorta SIP based so the Sony might qualify if it can be delinked from Google. They ignored the actual standards based WiFi VoIP phones which do exist.

    Add in the fact the idiot confused 802.11a and 802.11n(draft) and you really wonder what happened to the editorial standards Dr. Dobbs used to have.

    So does anyone have experience with a WiFi SIP phone that isn't a horror story? I have tried a Zyxel and a D-link and hate em both.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sipmeister ( 615618 )
      Yeah, the best one I've found is the E61 from Nokia. It's a regular GSM/UMTS phone which also has WiFi and a full blown SIP client on board. And you can find it on Craigslist for ~$350.

      Much better then any of the crappy Taiwanese "VoIP" phones, or anything that does Skype only.

      The SIP client is fully integrated with the contacts, just overall very well done by Nokia. Plus they release firmware updates on a regular basis, which can be done from a Windows PC.

      The phone detects WiFi coverage, e.g. home or work,
      • > It's a regular GSM/UMTS phone which also has WiFi and a full blown SIP client on board.

        Sounds nice, but overkill for my need. We binned a aging AT&T/Lucent/Avaya key system for an Asterisk PBX. The Lucent system had cordless phones that were freaking huge, generally crappy and cost a fortune. But it had them. Now our choices are:

        a) a standard cordless phone with an ATA on the base station. Cheap but since you lose the extra features it is only good for a few situations.

        b) a Wi-Fi SIP phone. E
        • I am just evaluating a Siemens Gigaset C460 SIP/DECT Phone. So far so good - we have an Asterisk server in the office but I have taken the phone home and it's connected to both our regular land line and network, registered with the Asterisk server via ADSL - in fact, it's connected to my home network via a wireless bridge too!

          The phone comes with a charging base and a separate base station to which the land line and network are connected. Cost £70+VAT in the UK.

 [] (link to broa
          • Nice gadget, but I don't think it will work in my situation. That one isn't Wi-Fi so would only work within the range of it's supplied base. And unless I found a US version it probably isn't using the right freqs and would not be legal in the US. Finally, it says it can transfer between its handsets but since they aren't SIP (the base is) it an open question if they could transfer to a regular SIP phone.

            Great idea for the SoHo market though.
    • First off the title of the article is "Wi-Fi phones reviewed" not Skype phones reviewed, not dual mode phones reviewed, not Vonage phones reviewed. None of the models discussed actually support any sort of generic Voip, although I think Google Talk is sorta SIP based so the Sony might qualify if it can be delinked from Google. They ignored the actual standards based WiFi VoIP phones which do exist.

      Vonage offers the Starcom phone, but you can get that one separate from them and use it as a regular SIP cl

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LBt1st ( 709520 )
      Also no mention of battery life, range, ease of connecting etc.. this is hardly a review. More like a PSA or something, "Hello, VoIP exists!". The "review" even says that the Skype phone has gotten good reviews. That's like a definition using the word in it's definition! Not to mention I've read nothing but bad things about this phone. Such as the battery life being nil. From my research, the bottom line is this: These are first-gen phones and they simply are not ready yet. I use Skype, and the service ha
    • Joke Correction (Score:3, Informative)

      by khanyisa ( 595216 )
      Google Talk is not SIP based, it uses Jabber with the (being standardised) Jingle extension for transferring the streaming audio for talking...
  • Presuming that when in wi-fi mode, the phone uses VoIP. Is there any layer of security for this connection, or could one simply take a wireless card, packet sniffer and a media player to listen in on calls?

    Sort of reminds me of the good old AMPS analog phone days (and 49MHz cordless home phones as well) when a scanner was all you needed to eavesdrop in on other people's calls if you were so inclined.

    • Skype data is encrypted [], apparently: When you call another Skype user your call is encrypted with strong encryption algorithms ensuring you privacy.

      Which is just as well, since my Belkin Skype phone doesn't want to talk WPA-whatever to my wireless router. Open network? Yep. :-/
  • Their comparison chart calls the utstarcom f1000 a "vonage" phone, but in reality it's a regular SIP phone. Works great with asterisk or any other SIP-friendly service.
    • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) *
      > Works great with asterisk or any other SIP-friendly service.

      Do you actually have one? Does it suck? I'm still looking for a WiFi SIP phone that doesn't suck. So far Zyxel and D-Link have failed to pass muster. Both have wretched battery life, such that they can't be relied upon to spend a work day off the charger in standby. Both suffer from random lockups. I'm talking HARD take the battery out to recover lockups. The Zyxel also has the nasty problem of requiring a reboot if it loses association
      • I've spent the past few months working with a few different phones in an Asterisk environment. First off, I agree with your assessment of the Zyxel - the P2000W looks pretty but is dogshit when it comes to being functional. I've also worked with Ascom i75 phones, and have only a slightly higher opinion of them. Fortunately the UTStarcom phones work and they work well. They associate and register quickly, sound quality is okay, and the battery life isn't too bad. I think they'd fit your uptime requireme
      • Lest there be any confusion, the Zyxel P2000W that I referred to in less-than-glowing terms was the newer v2 phone. :-)
  • BUY A MOBILE PHONE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:41PM (#17867404) Homepage
    From someone who actually owns one of these things [], I really can't imagine how painful it would be to attempt to use one as a general-purpose telephone. It was awkward enough to get my Belkin Skype phone to talk to my wireless router - and the bastard thing crashes and restarts when I'm not looking. It's working quite well as a cordless Skype phone now, but I really wouldn't want to use it for anything remotely serious. Business contacts have not been given my SkypeIn number; that's for family and friends only.

    When I go anywhere, the Skype phone stays at home, while my proper, Nokia GSM phone goes with me.
    • These things are not replacements, they compliment your mobile phone.
      Unless you like paying for mobile calls at places where you could be making calls for free that is.
    • You're right, of course. Skype seems to work best PC to PC. However, I have used it very succesfully, including over Wifi at airports and stuff. Skypein is useful for my clients in different countries - they don't need to know where I am - they just dial a local number (for them), and - presto - my PC rings. If I'm offline, then call diects to regular GSM. Best of both worlds.
  • nokia n770/800 (Score:2, Informative)

    by ihatethetv ( 935399 )
    It's a shame they left out nokia's internet tablet. The 800 is supposed to ship with google talk, and its wide-open linux so it's possible to add other clients as well.
    • by elgaard ( 81259 )
      I have a Nokia 770.
      Gizmo ( works fine on it which means that the microhone and speaskers will do.
      I plan to geat a real SIP-phone on it (preferably Twinkle)
      so I can use other PSTN than SipPhone.

      I have a Zyxel P2000W. The main attraction of a SIP-phone on the 770 (apart from carriens one thing
      less) is that the 770 have a prowser that can be used to accept stupid disclaimers that cafe and hotels put up.
      It feels very stupid when the Zyxel phone is not working because it cannot press
  • Nokia E70 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:49PM (#17867512) Homepage Journal
    I bought a Nokia E70 [] a while back. It's not particularly easy to get ahold of one of these things in the USA but it's the first phone I found that does everything I want it to. It's a regular cellphone (Takes my T-Mobile SIM card just fine) but it also has wifi and a SIP client on it. When I wander in-range of my wireless network at home it detects it and registers as a SIP client on my asterisk server. Incoming landline calls hit the asterisk server and then can ring through to my handset.

    Overall it's a great little phone and I don't have to keep track of which handset I need to be using. Now if only I could get my company to adopt asterisk and wireless...

    • And I'm not talking Java MIDP. I want a phone, I want wi-fi on it, and I want to write native apps for it. No such thing exists or has even been announced to my knowledge.
      • There's been cellphones for decades that are programmable in an unrestricted fashion. I bought my Nokia 9000 back in 1997, well after it came out, and that ran GEOS and came with a full SDK. A significant number of modern Nokias run Symbian and every few months there's an announcement of something that runs Linux, Windows CE (or whatever they call it these days), PalmOS, and others.

        The key thing is, stay out of the markets where "proprietary" is considered a feature by the operator (IS-95/CDMA2000 in par

      • by Puh ( 96627 )
        It's running Symbian so yes, you can write apps for it (c++:ish, That is to say, C++ with some special quirks).
        Symbian has existed since 1998 and is probably the most used operating system in smart phones.
        Then there is the open source Python interpreter by Nokia that is getting on quite nicely. Not native apps of course, but much more to my liking than Java. [] There is still some subsystem support and standard libraries missing, but it is already useable. An
      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        Can't you compile or cross compile with Symbian phones? You can get a python interpreter for it and they're working on a Ruby one. I suppose they could be writing those in Java. I haven't looked into development too extensively since the phone already does everything that I want it to.
    • Now if only I could get my company to adopt asterisk and wireless...
      Wow -- your company hasn't even adopted the asterisk yet? What do they use for bulleted lists? Or is it numbers only....
    • by glomph ( 2644 )
      I have one of these and I love it. It is still a bit temperamental(yes, I've done the firmware upgrades), but is much better when you learn exactly how to configure it. Using it just as you are, having it connect to my Asterisk boxes. For calls -to- the phone I ring both the SIP entity and the standard cell phone number, with a 10 delay on the latter, so that the call does not immediately drop into voicemail should I be in a bad-mobile-signal area (which in the US is all over the place).

      Like most Aste
  • by Renesis ( 646465 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:52PM (#17867538)

    I've been using VOIP (SIP) at home for a few years now. From the UK I call my girlfriend on her landline in the USA for almost nothing.

    I've used lots of different phones and adapters. I don't generally use any "softphones" (VOIP applications that require a PC), nor any of the phones that require your PC to be on.

    The absolute best voice quality, and ease-of-use is the Nokia E60 I recently bought. It was about US$300 from eBay (SIM free - i.e. generic, not locked to any network). It's standards-compliant (802.11 + SIP) and connects to both of my current VOIP providers (Sipgate [] and VoipBuster []) without trouble.

    Whenever I get home (within range of my access point) it instantly registers with my VOIP provider of choice as well as staying connected to the cell network via 3G/GSM. Whenever I click a contact to make a call it simply asks whether I want to call by "Cell" or "Internet" - and that decides how the call is routed. Incoming calls on SIP and cell work great - so you can have more than one number on your phone at the same time.

    The voice quality is superb and it is so totally easy-to-use once configured (configuration is slow when you have to type all the server names on a numeric pad). The only downsides are that I only get about 2 hours of talk time over WiFi (after that I have to plug in the charger to keep talking), and that there is no built-in camera.

    There is a review here: _E60_Preview_The_Candybar_With_Almost_Everything.p hp []

    It's very stable and reliable, unlike it's N-Series brothers which are a POS. I can highly recommend the phone.

    • Just to add a thumbs up regarding Wi-Fi in the e-series (I have an e70), though I don't do VOIP; I prefer text:

      the Apple WebKit based web browser [] is pretty neat, supporting JavaScript and CSS. It's not as fluid as the iPhone demos, of course, but then again it is on sale ;) . Also, always on IM (MSN/AIM/Yahoo/ICQ) is well covered by Agile Messenger [].

      For text based stuff I find the e70 display (352x416) nicer than the e60 (320x240, but larger).
  • Wi-Fi is unreliable enough with regular PC connections. I can't imagine what a headache it would be to try to make a phone call via Wi-Fi. Ugh. It must be like sucking glue through a straw.
    • I've used my residential VoIP gateway through a WiFi connection (using my Mac as a Wifi to CAT5 gateway, at that) and it worked just fine. I could pull up and park wherever there was WiFi and sit in my car and make calls as if I was sitting at home. It was a bit unwieldy given I was using a hardware based VoIP box that usually resides on my computer desk at home, but it worked.
  • Mine has wifi built in.. any way for me to get into this deal too?
  • T-Mobile UMA Works! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by imcdona ( 806563 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:21PM (#17867844)
    First off, the article is flat wrong, I can use my Nokia 6136 on ANY WiFI I want. I am not limited to just t-mobile hotspots. I roam all over the country and latch on to different WiFi networks without a problem. The SSID "linksys" is my friend. I get unlimited WiFi calls and it seamlessly switches to GSM when I leave the WiFi area. One thing nice is, if I start a call on WiFi and roam to GSM, it's still billed as a WiFi call.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've never been happier with a phone -- although you are too late to get a free year of T-Mobile along with a Mylo purchase. Sometimes the wi-fi is too slow at schools or other free places to use Skype, but at home or at Starbucks it works great.
  • Samsung SCH i730 (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArmedLemming ( 18042 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:49PM (#17868092)
    Although it's abit pricier [] than the models listed in TFA ($199 with 2-year contract), it does everything those phones do and more. Since it runs Windows Mobile 2003 (or later), it can run Skype to make the calls, it has WiFi built-in, and of course does EV-DO. Add in its bluetooth support and basically this thing does it everything you need (except run Linux I guess)

    The downside to this model is its relatively short battery life, but it's even got a slide out qwerty keypad so texting isn't half bad...

    Here's a link [] to it...

  • by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:05PM (#17868246) Homepage
    I blogged about this recently. -wifi-on-your-phone. []

    I own a Sharp Zaurus and a Palm Treo 650 along with a WiFi card for both. I never use WiFi. Here's why.

    There are several scenarios where you think it'll be useful to have WiFi on your phone, either for e-mail, browsing or VoIP.

    At Home or Work

    Once the novelty wears off, you will realize that the computer in the corner is much better suited for internet and e-mail usage. If you want to curl up on the couch or wander the house doing chores while talking to your Mom via VoIP, add a $20 bluetooth dongle onto your computer, router or NSLU2 and use that instead; you'll double your battery life.

    At a Friend's House

    Most friends have computers they'll let you borrow. Extensive surfing or VoIP'ing is antisocial, you won't be taking advantage of that as much as you think you will.

    Out on the street

    By the time you find a free, open WiFi hotspot, your battery will be dead. GPRS is so much more reliable that once you hook it up, you'll just end up using that instead.

    On vacation

    I spent two months in Europe and blogged every day for the entire trip using my Treo 650 and a bluetooth keyboard. I brought along the WiFi adaptor and never used it because it was such a pain to find and connect to a hot spot. Instead, I transferred articles from the Treo to computers in Internet Cafe's via the SD card and a USB adaptor. At a coffeeshop to work outside the office

    A laptop is so much more usable that you'll end up lugging the heavy thing to the coffeeshop rather than taking along just your phone.


    WiFi is nice to have, but it shouldn't significantly affect purchase decisions. Don't ignore beautiful phones like the Neo1973 or Treos just because they don't have WiFi.

    • There is a use for WiFi on your phone, which is to support the new UMA (also known as GAN) system for GSM. This is "GSM over the Internet" and effectively turns any AP into a pseudo-GSM tower. Walk out of range of the AP, and the GSM network picks up, even if you're mid-call (so no call drops.)

      What's the advantage? Well, aside from the fact some operators, notably T-Mobile in certain parts of the US, are promoting flat rate (as in $20/month, no airtime charges for Wifi calls) service with UMA, there's al

  • by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:06PM (#17868268)
    traditional cell carriers are launching dual-mode phones and services that run over the cellular networks, but switch to cheaper (for carriers), faster (for customers) Wi-Fi networks when one is available.

    It would be nice if carriers just sold mobile IP addresses and let consumers choose their own devices, services, etc.. Many of us would think it odd if we bought our computer from our ISP and it didn't work with other ISPs, yet this is the norm for cell phone companies. Your ISP mostly doesn't know/care whether you use your network for data or voice, but with cell phone companies every protocol, text messaging, email, voice, Internet, etc. is a separately billable service. From a administrative point of view this is just dumb.

    Perhaps, finally, cell phone companies are leaving the old 20th century telco-mindset behind and becoming part of the Internet.
    • It's called 4G and that's exactly what they're planning to do, except they will offer a bundled telephony service because nobody really wants to have to deal with three different companies to get phone service. That doesn't mean you have to use it, obviously.

      The UMTS system is being upgraded via something called the Long Term Evolution [] project. You'll get a 100Mbps (shared, obviously) internet connection, and the high level protocols will essentially be an evolved IMS. CDMA2000's equivalent is something

  • IMAGINE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:13PM (#17868312) Journal
    Imagine that most people turn on a wifi (Like the free Fon mentioned)
    Now, just enable these to connect and route traffic automatically
    1. Everybody can now have a wifi phone with free
    2. Nobody will need an ISP
    3. Nobody will need a phone company
    4. Nobody can shut you off
    5. Everyone can have a fast connection
    6. You do not have to sign a service agreement
    7. what else?

    • by F34nor ( 321515 ) *
      Close but not quite. You still need a phone company. Never POTS is a utility, Wifi is not even close to being a utility. 911 calls are a good thing to have on a battery backedup physical network. Also you need the ISP for the people to provide their own cloud. To get rid of the ISP you need to run fiber over the fence to your neighbor over and over again till you have your own broadband physical network with a cloud floating over the top of it, meshed hopefully.
  • A few months ago I purchased the Audiovox XV6700 through Verizon.. Its a damn amazing phone and I'm very glad to have bought it.. I personally use the Wifi capabilities to sync up with the exchange server at work.. even when I'm home, I have a little crappy belkin wireless router and it's great when I need to sync up my appointments and email before I leave for work.. plus, i think it's a good way to experience a free way of using the Internet on a cell phone without paying those ridiculous data plans.. it'
    • I have the Sprnt version of your phone... the PPC-6700.
      I agree it's an amazing phone... aside from a relatively short battery life and being a teensy bit larger than I would like... it's dang near perfect.
      I chose Sprint because their data plans are cheaper -- $15/mo instead of Verizon's $40+ for unlimited data.

  • I look forward to the day where blanket WiFi reaches most Canadian cities and WiFi devices like this can compete on a level playing field (for both data and voice) with the monopolistic cellphone carriers.

    Cellular data is so ridiculously overpriced in Canada ($100 for 200 megs!), so finally having to compete with cheap WiFi handsets will be one hell of a wakeup call to the cellular industry here.

    I look forward to the day that I can call my cellphone carrier and tell them to get stuffed because there's n

  • What I want (Score:2, Interesting)

    by johnkzin ( 917611 )

    HP predicted that in 12 or so years, we'll have watches that act as a communications gateway. The watch is the cellular/wifi router, and your various personal devices (handset, ear piece, PDA, laptop, camera, etc.) will connect to your watch via Wifi or Bluetooth. (so, you'll have an external (watch->hotspot) Wifi network, and an internal (device->watch) Wifi network).

    So, your handset becomes just a bluetooth device that can tell the watch what # to dial, whether to use the cellular network to make

  • by r00t ( 33219 )
    Is there some other Sony, maybe not the famous one?

    The Sony I know does not play nice with protocols, file formats, or even CD audio standards.
  • by Cerebus ( 10185 ) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:02PM (#17869240) Homepage
    Why isn't the Nokia N800 []?
  • []

    Skype / Google talk client for symbian

    free as in beer

  • The headline for the Dobbs article is "Wi-Fi Phone Buyer's Guide" which, for something that discusses the technology and its advantages and disadvantages, is about right. It doesn't really review the phones though. You could pretty much write the article without ever having touched one! And, unfortunately, that's a very big difference. As far as I know they're all very much Version 1.0 products with some pretty serious problems.

    I liked the concept and bought a Belkin Wi-Fi Phone [], but ultimately I was pretty
  • I was really hoping to see some objective insights into HTC's PDA phones here... I've been toying with the idea of getting one.

    I especially like the Atermis [ [] ] and the Trinity [ [] ] - though I'd love to read a comparison with other connected PDA/Phones on the market.
  • I remember reading a review on the SMC skype phone [] (which surprisingly wasn't reviewed here !). It is about the same price as the other Skype phones ($150 dollars) but the main objection against it was that it doesn't have echo cancellation [] aboard. This will definitely make you hear quality difference between a GSM and this Skype phone. I guess the time-to-market is now more important for a lot of companies than the actual quality of the set.
    It is feature-complete, but wifi+skype client is not enough to mak
  • when will a company come to it's senses and release a home Skype device that non techies (my folks) can just plug into their home broadband routers? Wi-Fi Skype enabled phones are ok for some folks on the move but there is a huge untapped market of people who would like this type of connectivity at home.

    Ideal would be a Skype base station with integrated camera and screen (or using the TV like D-link's device) for non-techies to use.

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