SMC Networks Wi-Fi Phone WSKP100
- No PC needed, ease of use and setup, excellent Skype integration
- Stiff and squashed controls, low resolution display, sluggish interface, no text chats
The SMC Wi-Fi Phone may be worth a look if you're an avid Skype user, but there are plenty of improvements that could have been made.
Price$ 239.00 (AUD)
SMC's Wi-Fi phone allows you to access Skype without using a PC, it also offers SkypeIn, SkypeOut and voicemail and features a 1.5in colour display. The WSKP100 comes preloaded with Skype on the handset itself and its wireless capabilities allow freedom for Skype users away from their PC's.
Aesthetically, the Wi-Fi Phone is quite plain. Its white and silver finish may look refreshing compared with many other bland Skype phones on the market, but the keypad and controls are a bit of a let-down. They require a firm press to activate as they are quite stiff and squashed together. Further, the five-way navigational joystick is small and thin, so it can be annoyingly difficult to grasp when trying to navigate through the handset.
The Wi-Fi Phone is straightforward and simple to set-up. When powered on, it automatically scans for a wireless network and presents a list of available access points. If the chosen network is encrypted, the handset will prompt for a WEP or WPA encryption key. Once connected, simply enter your Skype user name and password using the keypad. You only have to enter these details once, as the Wi-Fi Phone saves them and automatically connects and signs you into Skype each time you turn the handset on.
From the home screen, the Wi-Fi Phone displays Skype status, wireless signal strength, a battery life indicator and the available credit on your SkypeOut account. The menu is straightforward, but the low resolution of the display is a bit of a let-down while the speed of the interface is sluggish and slow, especially when trying to quickly scroll through lists.
Call quality is standard and like most Skype calls, the quality of each call will depend on the quality of the Internet connection between callers. SMC includes an earphone in the sales package, but strangely there is no handsfree speakerphone.
Holding the power button at the top of the handset allows the user to change any Skype settings including status, silent mode, profile details and networks. Skype status can only be changed to a preset setting, meaning users can't create a customised status message like they can on the PC version of Skype. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi Phone doesn't offer multi-way calling or text chats, despite the presence of a keypad.
Battery life is average, rated at up to three hours of talk time and 30 hours of standby time. Depending on your usage patterns, you'll have to charge the handset quite regularly.
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