Product Review: DualPhone 3088 for Skype

If you are like me, and you have family members living in another country, you would appreciate every bit of savings you can avail of. My older brother who lives in the Philippines first introduced me to Skype. Skype offers free calls to those who are also on Skype and low rates if you call landlines and mobile phones no matter the distance. I love the fact that is is free. Even in this day and age, with a lot of long distance carriers battling for lower rates on long distance and overseas calls, they do still add up if you tend to talk longer or if you have a lot of friends and family you want to stay in contact with. Skype makes it possible to make phone and video calls economically, resulting in huge amount of savings for the consumers.

There are, however, limits to what Skype can do on its own, you would have to be on the Internet to avail of those free calls to members and make cheaper calls to any landline and cell phones. The good news is, there is a new phone system that you can use without having to log into your computer. The DualPhone 3088 is designed to allow its users the ability to make Skype calls without having to plug it into the USB of a computer to get signals from Skype- something that the older dualphone model requires. This is because the new DualPhone 3088 for Skype have clients built into its interface, eliminating the need for connections to the PC.

The DualPhone 3088, by appearance, looks like any other cordless phone you use at home. It has has a base station that it uses as a charger, much like a regular home cordless phone. It can also be used anywhere around the house, so long as the base is plugged into the socket and telephone jack. However, there is a third connection to make VoIP (Voice Over IP) possible, it makes use of an RJ-45 input for its Ethernet connection. So, you would need to have the base close to your Ethernet jack or router to make that broadband connection.

Designed by Skype, the phone interface is functional and provides excellent sound quality, allowing you to hear the other person clearly. One bit of an annoyance is that every time you try to use it for landline calls it asks if you would like to call the number via Skype or via landline. You can set it to default to Skype’s SkypeoOut calls if you use Skype more often or default for landlines call if you use it for that more often. Switching to use the alternate can be a bit frustrating at times especially if you are in a rush.

Setting up a Skype Dualphone 3088 is fast and easy. First, plug-in the Skype charging dock to a wall outlet. Put the rechargeable batteries into the handset, then dock it to charge. Plug-in the transceiver to any wall outlet, close to the base charger and ADSL router. Plug in one end of the Ethernet cable into the transceiver and the other end to your ADSL router. You should see a solid red LED light indicating connection is good. Once the handset is fully charged, you can now turn it on and start programming your Skype account.

Programming your Skype account onto the handset is necessary for you to be able to use the handset for Skype calling. This can be easily done by first selecting the default language, then select your country, your country code, and your local area code. Using the handset keypad, enter your Skype user ID and password. You then have an option to set it up to either remember your user ID and password or to ask for these information whenever you use Skype. The former option is great when you are at home, if you run a business, you may need to choose the latter.

After programming your Skype account, you are then connected to Skype. The great thing about this is that it can retrieve your contact list for you sou you do not need to program each one on the handset, and every time you add a new contact on your computer, it gets automatically added to you contact list. The great thing about this is that it is reciprocal, meaning, if you add the contact on the Skype Dualphone 3088 handset, it gets transferred to your computer as well. This feature makes it easy for people like me who hates punching in numbers two times.

Other noteworthy features: The DualPhone 3088 for Skype comes with several adapters that would make it easy for an international traveler to bring this system anywhere around the world and be used for calling; it has excellent sound quality, you would think you are using a regular landline using this phone. You can use it to make calls to and from Skype and non-Skype users. The handset comes with a colorful screen which makes it attractive to use. It doesn’t eat up too much space, it is compact and portable.

Negative feedback: from time to time you may experience a 1/4 second delay, depending on your DSL or broadband connection, this is normal with any VoIP, so it is not a big issue. The bigger issue is the lack of support online, which, hopefully will be improved by Skype someday. Another minus if you are on a budget crunch is the price. It averages between USD150-170.00 each, however, considering all the included equipment in the package plus the international call savings, you will earn that back soon enough, especially if you use it a lot.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

By susan