Nick Denton Likes Netgear Skype Phone

…but he doesn’t “like like” it.

While running up cellphone bills and running out of pay-as-you-go phones in Budapest, Denton wished he had the Netgear phone. Instead he had to resort to the d

class

look of cruising to a wi-fi cafe, popping open the laptop and strapping on a headset.

He could’ve been walking around, fancy free, making calls inside the country for only 3c a minute. Arranging a hotel in Croatia for 5.3c/min. Chatting with the USA at 2.1c/min.

Just like computer-based Skype, you can call regular phones (with Skype-Out) and have a local phone number (with Skype-In).

Denton had several unkind things to say about a clunky user-interface, some missing features, and only a six-hour battery life, but considering he was spending $500 a month on European roaming charges, those are drawbacks he can live with it. Except for the battery life thing. That really sucks. Best pack an extra one.

Overall, this sounds like a product rushed to market before its time. Personally, we would wait a generation or so until they can make something comparable to at least a bare-bones mainstream cellphone. But if you’re really on the go, especially internationally, and you don’t feel like paying exorbitant roaming charges, and you don’t want to have to whip out the laptop and headset every time you want to make a call, the Netgear Skype phone could be for you.

Netgear SPH101 Skype Wi-Fi Phone [Amazon.com]

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  1. orielbean says:

    You gotta imagine that Skype / Netgear doesn’t have the same agreements and revenue streams like the big carriers, so the phone designs will either be inexpensive and poor design, or expensive with so-so design… Too bad for now, will wait for next gen.