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First Test: SMC's WiFi Skype Phone

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September 5, 2006 1:44:20 PM

Been wondering what's been taking all those Skype Wi-Fi phones so long to hit the shelves? Tim Higgins looked at SMC's WSKP100 and thinks he knows why.
September 5, 2006 8:22:47 PM

15 min talk time...was that battery defective? ouch
September 5, 2006 11:34:48 PM

I might actually get this when I need a new phone system. Just for the sake of making cheap calls without the PC. I also don't make many calls. Can this make calls on normal phone calls like from wireless telephone signals?
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September 6, 2006 11:59:11 AM

Quote:
15 min talk time...was that battery defective? ouch


That's possibility. I haven't heard anything from SMC as yet.
September 6, 2006 12:20:42 PM

too bad. I was getting thoroughly annoyed with new product after product still using a USB connection to your PC to use skype. Totally useless for me. If I'm sitting near my PC, I'd rather use my plantronics headset for skype.

I LOVE the concept of a wireless pc-independent skype device. I am not sure why you feel that text chatting is so important, skype seems like a very unusual platform for text chat, I'd rather use another messenger software on my PC. Leave the text for full keyboards. It's annoying enough sending text with a cell phone, this would be no different. Besides, why would you ever use text if you're making free skype-skype calls?

Since Skype will only be free to land lines until the end of this year however (In North America that is), I'll be interested to see if phones are later released for that other voip software which will be free indefinitely, and I can't remember its name right now (hopefully someone can help here). Was it gizmondo?

anyways, they have to start somewhere. If it had better battery life and was LARGER and more comfortable to use, I would buy it for sure, and get rid of my monthly cost voip service. this one is just TOO small, and therefore not comfortable to use at all.
September 6, 2006 12:59:22 PM

Quote:
I LOVE the concept of a wireless pc-independent skype device. I am not sure why you feel that text chatting is so important, skype seems like a very unusual platform for text chat, I'd rather use another messenger software on my PC. Leave the text for full keyboards. It's annoying enough sending text with a cell phone, this would be no different. Besides, why would you ever use text if you're making free skype-skype calls?

To me, Skype is a text and voice messaging platform and I use both. Since cellphones all have SMS (or better) text messaging capability, I thought it odd that the phone would not support that capability.
September 6, 2006 1:45:27 PM

I can see that perspective, except that I believe the reason most people text message is to save money (text messaging costs less than voice calls). Considering that voice skype-skype is free, I do not see the usefulness of that function?

it takes longer for me on any cell phone to type text, than to just call and speak to someone (and it requires no bouncing back and forth to ask questions for clarification, etc). Without the cost savings that comes from cell phone text messaging, I do not see a purpose. Even if you can telephone-type very quickly, if you're driving you should not be typing, if you're walking it is easier to talk than try and type and keep your pace (very annoying in crowds). If you're sitting down somewhere, where's the disadvantage of using voice instead?

of course with skype on your keyboard at home you can type pretty fast, and perhaps multitask better than you could while making a voice call instead.

I guess what I'm getting at, is that for you this is a "con", but perhaps it should have been suggested as a minor one, as it seems to have a very limited scope of usefulness (with no e-mail integration etc).
September 7, 2006 5:16:02 AM

I think the real future lies in a "Do Everything" (well, that is) device. I have a T-Mobile MDA, which is a great little Pocket PC Phone (WM5) that does quite a bit, though it's almost painfully slow (even thought mine is OC'd to 240MHz from 180MHz), does not support 3G, and lacks a VGA screen. However, I have 802.11b, Bluetooth, GSM Worldphone, a QWERTY kb, and EDGE. I have every app and util I could ever want, AND, I have SKYPE MOBILE on my MDA, and IT WORKS GREAT! The only issue is that Skype saps every MHz of CPU so I can't multitask (at all) while Skyping. I've been able to carry on uninterrupted conversations with people from all over the world while at a T-Mobile Hotspot at my local Starbucks, or at home.

A device like this with more CPU, a better screen, and 3G support will allow anyone to do EVERYTHING (Text, Work, Phone, Skype, Surf, EVERYTHING!). That device can only be another year or two away, at which time I can toss my laptop altogether in favor of something that fits into my pocket and does more.



Brendan
September 7, 2006 11:51:29 AM

sounds like a good device getchel. I do agree, that "doing everything" seems to be the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, as devices get more functions and features, the price seems to be rising for these conveniences. I have a Nokia 6200 I think it is? Anyways, it has no keyboard or e-mail, but it has outlook contact and calendar synchronization, which are absolutely vital for someone like me with a HORRIBLE memory. These functions have dramatically increased my ability to contact anyone anywhere, and also never to forget anything.

I find this device was a nice in-between, without having to buy a device with a partial/full keyboard (which I do not want/need) and e-mail integration I also do not require. However, since it was discontinued, there is no replacement option here in Canada using Rogers network (last I checked anyways). It is now either buy something with a partial/full keyboard (larger face with more keys) for a LOT more money, or have no contact/calendar synch at all with just a camera phone.

make me a cheap cell phone with no camera and outlook calendar/contact synch, and I'll advertise it to my friends!

back to the skype topic though, I did not realize there was already a cell-phone compatible version of skype, that is fantastic. Although hotspots are developing slowly where I live, they will be there eventually. Throw that function into my ideal cell-phone design and I'll disconnect my land line forever!
September 15, 2006 2:48:03 PM

We have some detailed reviews on the SMC Skype Wifi phone. Please see the review at: AmperorDirect Blog

We can put our sample in non-stop using for 3.5 Hrs. (The stand-by time is less than 24 Hrs though.)
November 2, 2006 12:21:22 AM

I got this Wi-Fi skype too, and I didn't see any problem on the "Notifications" area you mentioned. Also, the phone can be kept talking more than 2.5~3 hrs but not 15 minutes only. I suggested you pay much time to play any of your machines next time.
November 2, 2006 11:11:18 AM

Quote:
I got this Wi-Fi skype too, and I didn't see any problem on the "Notifications" area you mentioned. Also, the phone can be kept talking more than 2.5~3 hrs but not 15 minutes only. I suggested you pay much time to play any of your machines next time.

I used the phone for over a week, charging it fully each night and turning it on each morning.

It is possible that you had newer firmware than I had in my sample.
December 8, 2006 9:15:35 PM

We build up a DIY (do it yourself) cradle for the Skype WiFi phone. Come to our Blog: amperordirect.wordpress.com to check it out. With a little modification, you can put the cradle to work with your cell phone, too.
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