Monday, November 16, 2009

Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype Review

A few years ago, when their was a sale, I purchased a Belkin Wi-Fi phone for Skype (F1PP000GN-SK) when I was subscribed to Skype's unlimited North American plan. I was looking for a way of making calls without needing my computer to be on. Even when my computer was on, I did not want to always be running Skype in the background. This phone seemed like a good idea.

In terms of the physical construction of the phone, I find that it is okay (not great... just okay). The keys don't seem to be that great and sometimes the phone will not detect that a key has been pressed.

This phone supports WPA (as well as the weaker WEP) and is also capable of connecting to wireless routers that aren't broadcasting their SSIDs. The phone supports the B & G wireless standards. Connecting to the Skype service is fairly straight forward. Once connected, the phone automatically displays the time (you have to configure the settings and manually adjust/change the time/date based on your time zone), your Skype balance, as well as your online status. Using the joystick pad on the phone, you can navigate through the menu system. Your Skype contacts' availability status will be displayed when you access the "Contacts" menu.

The phone is rechargeable and it recharges via a standard USB cable. According to the documentation, the battery is the same rechargeable lithium ion battery for digital cameras/camcorders made by Fujifilm, Pentax, and Panasonic. I haven't had to replace the battery so I'm not sure how easy it is to find the battery (NP-60).

In terms of sound quality, I find that the Belkin Wi-Fi phone for Skype does a sub par job. I find the sound to be very low when speaking to someone and my Skype contacts have informed me that there are sometimes gaps in the sound. They have also informed me that sometimes the sound level is very low.

Another negative thing about the Belkin Wi-Fi phone is that if someone decides to text chat with you because they see your status on Skype is "Available/Online", you won't get the text message. You will also not be able to reply to their text message on the phone.

I have used the Belkin Wi-Fi phone both to contact Skype users and I've also used it to make regular phone calls. The sound quality is similar in both cases. The sound quality would get better when I approached my wireless router but it would never be what I would consider great.

If you have any questions/comments regarding my review on the Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.

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