Freshtel Holdings 4030 Stickphone
- Doubles as a USB key, ideal for travelling, VoIP software and drivers included, contact list attached to your account
- Plan needs to be upgraded to call landlines, audio could be louder, minimal storage for USB key
The 4030 Stickphone is a handy on-the-go VoIP solution ideal for travellers.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
The Freshtel 4030 Stickphone is a USB VoIP phone that connects to a PC, and is able to make VoIP calls via the Freshtel service. The package consists of a USB stick, a headset with microphone handset, and a free Freshtel account, which can be upgraded to make calls if you wish. Conveniently, the Stickphone also doubles as a 128MB USB key.
The 4030 has been designed for travellers and can be used on any PC with a USB port. It isn't cordless, so it can't be used away from a computer. Setup is a fairly simple process; users plug the phone into a spare USB port, and let Windows configure the installation itself. The Freshtel Firefly software, which is necessary to make or receive calls with the service, is installed automatically each time you plug in the Stickphone, so there is no hassle of installation, or having to restart your PC.
The Firefly software is pretty easy to use, as the interface resembles the shape, look and feel of a mobile phone. There is a keypad (although it's easier to use the num pad on your keyboard), two selection buttons answer/end call keys as well as volume and microphone sliders. Dialling a phone number is as simple entering it and then pressing the green call button. The Firefly software also features a contact list, similar to a phonebook on a mobile phone. Conveniently, your contact list always stays with you, even if you change PC's, as contacts are linked to your Freshtel account. The contact list looks remarkably simular to the Windows Live Messenger interface, as users can create groups and hide contacts that are offline.
The Freshtel service works the same as a regular landline, with the exception that the PC and broadband Internet service must be running to both make and receive VoIP calls. The default Freshtel service bundled with the 4030 is a free plan that can make free calls to other Firefly users, but can't dial regular landline phone numbers. To do this, users must upgrade to a monthly plan; more details can be found here: https://www.freshtel.net/firefly/signup/?reset=true
During calls we found the audio quality to be satisfactory, but the volume at its highest setting wasn't as loud as we would have liked. In-call quality was a mixed bag, but we were able to hold a conversation without too much fuss. Most of our callers complained of a slight delay and echo on their end, while we experienced a bit of distortion and hissing at ours. However, these issues didn't really stop us from having clear, intelligible conversations, so for the price, the service is decent. The main point worth noting is that the quality of service (QOS) of VoIP depends largely on your Internet connection, and this is something we have no control over. The quality and overall reliability of the Freshtel service relies on the quality and speed of your Internet connection.
The 4030 is very compact, which means it can easily be thrown into a laptop bag for those who have access to mobile broadband. The 4030 is powered via the USB connection to a PC, so it doesn't need any batteries, nor does it need to be charged. For use as a USB key, the Stickphone will provide 112MB of storage, as 16MB is taken up by the built-in drivers and software.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- New wireless tech from MIT promises password-free Wi-Fi
- Facebook to begin testing its Internet drone this year
- Consumers let down by broadband speed and performance: ACCAN
- Apple recalls AC wall plug adapters
- This Asus router is a powerful rebuttal to Google OnHub's stark simplicity
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCProject Master SchedulerVIC
- FTNV2 Defence Project Manager | Canberra | Major exciting White Paper projectsACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - BPRNSW
- CCRuby on Rails DeveloperNSW
- CCDevOps /Systems AdministratorQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant - ServerSA
- CCWindows 2003-2012 R2 Active Directory Consultant/ManagerNSW
- CCIT Technical Writer- understanding in RDMBS,Web server, StorageNSW
- FTEnvironments Lead (Linux/ Automation)VIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160620/AP/623Asia
- CCProduct Solution DesignerVIC
- CCJava Developer with Oracle database experience | Defence intelligence | NV1ACT
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst- BPMN, Testing backgroundNSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCMidrange Technical ArchitectQLD
- CCSecurity Engineer - SUMO focusNSW
- CCAgile Business AnalystNSW
- CCETL Developer - Tableau FocusNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTData Center Operator (1-Year Renewal Contract)Asia
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160628/P/133Asia
- FTTechnical Lead - Tier 1 Customer interfaceACT
- CCSolution Architect - PayrollNSW