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Monday, January 07, 2008

3 Skypephone Reviewed

3 recently launched the Skypehone. I was keen to check it out and managed to get hold of a pair to put them through their paces.

What's in the box?
  • 3SkyphePhone
  • Earphones
  • USB Cable
  • Driver CD
  • Manuals
My first impressions of the handset is that it feels quite basic. That's not at all a derogatory statement though. Many of us have grown used to ever more complicated handsets which are weighty and slow to navigate through. This is light in the hand and very spritely to use, with menus very responsive to key presses and simple to understand.

The big feature of this phone is an integrated Skype application, launched from a prominent Skype button on the keypad. From Skype you can make free calls across 3's data network, as long as you have bought phone credit within the last month or are on a contract. Your free calls allow you to phone any other Skype user on a computer, or other users of the Skype phone.

I tested it out and the quality was generally pretty good. The application itself was fairly similar to the desktop version which makes it very easy to use. Even if you haven't used Skype before, it's quick to pick up and creating a new user account is very quick.

As a regular Skype user myself, I was disappointed to find that when I logged in, it didn't pick up my SkypeIn number, and incoming calls receiving through SkypeIn weren't picked up - only from other Skype users. The ability to basically have unlimited call time between Skypephones or Skype users is great and is probably why there's the option to buy the Skyphone as a twin pack, so close friends and partners can take advantage.

The phone has a decent enough 2mp camera, which I used to take this picture below.

Other onboard stuff includes a media player, internet browser, Java for downloaded games and apps, and organiser utilities. It comes with a USB cable which allows it to be charged down the wire, and the bundled software that lets you use it as a USB modem. Thanks to its HSDPA (3.5g) download speeds, it's great for getting broadband on your laptop wherever you are.

The 3SkypePhone is available on Pay as You Go and contract deals from 3. If you use Skype have a plenty of contacts, this phone is going to be perfect for you. It's worth pointing out also that Skype is also available on selected X-Series handsets from 3.

Goto the 3 Homepage for more information

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