- Cordless, doubles as a regular landline telephone, excellent voice quality, ability to browse Skype contacts on screen, bright backlit display
- Display only shows two lines of text, no keypad shortcuts for scrolling through Skype contacts, can't retrieve a Skype call started on the PC
The 635ipw doubles as a regular, cordless telephone, and has excellent voice call quality for both landline and Skype calls. One of the better Skype phones we've reviewed.
Price$ 129.95 (AUD)
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The Doro 635ipw is a combined fixed line and IP telephone designed for use with Skype. The cordless 635ipw has a 300m range for home and VoIP calls, the ability to browse Skype contacts on the phones screen and a bright, back-lit display.
The best feature of the 635ipw is the fact that it is cordless, so users aren't required to sit at their PC to make Skype calls. The unit also doubles as an ordinary cordless landline (PSTN) telephone, so it is essentially two products combined into one.
Calling using the Skype program is a simple process thanks to the dedicated Skype key below the screen. Users simply sign into Skype on their PC, and then press this button to bring up the contact list on the 635ipw display. Like many cordless phones, the interface is very simple, but the bright, orange backlight and large text means it's easily readable and a breeze to use. Unfortunately, the 635ipw's display can only show two lines of text at once, although 13 characters fit across the screen, enough to display most contact names. Users are also unable to use the keypad to quickly scroll to the first letter of a stored Skype contact.
A disappointment of the 635ipw is the fact that it can't continue a Skype call that's already begun on your PC. If the call was not dialled using the handset, users are unable to pick up the phone and take the call. However, we were very impressed with the call clarity of this unit. Its one of the best Skype phones we've reviewed, with good volume levels and clear, crisp calls on both ends. The same also applies to the hands-free speakerphone (activated by pressing the dedicated speakerphone button). Keep in mind that the call quality of VoIP phones is really dependent on the path that your call takes through the Internet, and this is something that most of us have no real control over.
The 635ipw base station is separated from the handset cradle, so this means users can conveniently leave the base next to the computer and have the handset where a normal cordless phone would be. The base station connects to a PC via a standard mini-USB cable and communicates wirelessly with the handset, so your Skype contacts and their online status are streamed to the phone. The handset uses DECT wireless technology so this means it won't interfere with a wireless network.
The phone design is fairly standard and besides the dedicated, orange Skype button, you'd be hard pressed to tell this is a VoIP phone. The buttons are large and easy to press and all are clearly marked to ensure ease of use, although the keys aren't backlit, so using them in the dark may be a problem. The base station is black and silver, designed to blend in with a PC, while the phone itself is available in either black or white, just like regular cordless telephones.
The 635ipw also includes a 50-name address book, redial function and six ring tones, and these can either be set to Skype or regular landline calls. The variety of the ring tones isn't great and they aren't polyphonic, but volume should be more than loud enough to be heard from a fair distance.
The 635ipw doesn't work with any other VoIP programs, so it's somewhat limited, but for Skype users, this is a quality handset. It doubles as a regular cordless phone and has excellent voice quality so we have no hesitation recommending it.
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