NETGEAR Dual Mode Cordless Phone with Skype(SPH200D)
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- Call your friends through the Internet without using a PC, for free
- Make and receive traditional phone calls as well as internet calls using the same phone
- DECT Cordless technology is ideal for long range and clear voice quality
- Call ordinary phones worldwide for pennies per minute and no monthly fees
- Supports up to 4 handsets per household (additional handsets sold separately)
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|Item Dimensions||6.6 x 9.4 x 5.9 in||5 x 8 x 10 in||4 x 8 x 8 in||2 x 5 x 3 in||6 x 10 x 7 in||5 x 4 x 8 in|
NETGEAR’s Dual-mode Cordless Phone with Skype (SPH200D) combines your cordless phone and Skype calls, all in one. Just connect the base station to your phone line and router and start making calls---no PC required. Simply plug the Dual-mode Cordless Phone Base Station into your Internet router (Ethernet port) to enjoy making Skype calls. Additionally, you can plug the base station into your phone line (PSTN) wall jack to make land line calls---from the same cordless phone. Up to 3 additional phones can be added---so you can replace your current cordless phones throughout your home with NETGEAR’s Dual-mode Cordless Phone with Skype. The SPH200D delivers crystal clear voice quality and longer range with DECT technology--Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
|This Product Is ENERGY STAR® Qualified|
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Another key problem that I've found is that when you put this phone on MUTE, the remote party often hears a clicking noise that sounds like a machine gun. This is especially problematic if you intend to use this phone to join conference calls where you prefer to put yourself on MUTE when you're not speaking. The clicking noise is totally obnoxious and the other people on the conference call will be very annoyed at you. You will probably be asked to dial in on a regular landline or drop the call.
One other problem that I've noticed is that sometimes the Skype phone or service will not properly send the touch tones to the remote party. So if you are calling an automated prompt system and need to press touch tones, then they might not be recognized properly by the remote system. One specific service is Global Crossing (audio conferencing provider) that does not always recognize the touch tones sent by this Skype phone. To be fair, it tends to happen no matter what Skype phone you're using, e.g. softphone or hardware based phone. This is a Skype problem, not a Netgear problem.
If you can live with these problems, then this is a great way to save some dollars if you make a lot of long distance calls. It gives you the feel of a real phone and the quality is on par with most other traditional cordless phone systems.
These two big advantages : no PC required (not even for setup) and it works with both Skype and land line. It doesn't seem to support 3 party calls to land line and skype with 1 handset, but I did not try very hard and I did not read the manual.
Voice quality is good to average. There is a 2.5mm headset jack, but I haven't tried it.
All cables are included. Nice change from printer manufacturers. The handset runs off 2 AAA NiMH batteries (included), so you don't need to get those expensive cordless phone batteries when they start to die.
The whole thing looks plasticky. Yes, it is plastic, but there are many grades of plastic. This is definitely not iPod grade (or even iPEVO Free-1 grade).
Source code for the firmware is available from Netgear. Go to Netgear support site and search for GPL. I have not tried it myself.
I've only encountered a few minor irritations. I wish I can rate it 4.5 stars - it deserves more than 4 stars. And some of the problems should be firmware fixable.
1. After I finish a land line call, the unit seems to restart. Never happens with Skype calls. My firmware version is 126.96.36.199 dated 11-29-2006. Hardware version 4.10.610.
2. No phonebook for land line calls. You can add a SkypeOut contact and call through landline though.
3. Ergonomics (or lack of) of the handset.
4. In speakerphone mode, mic is weak.
5. No answering machine.
6. Your time is always shown on your contacts' screen as GMT +0. Time displayed on handset is correct (provided you set your time zone correctly).
7. When the light on the handset goes off, it is completely dark. Good for battery life, I guess. But hard to figure out if it's off (battery dead - there is no off button) or just in power savings mode.
8. Not sure what happened once with a new contact : I accepted a contact using the handset, then 5 minutes later I rebooted the base unit (moved it to a different location) and the contact was lost. It eventually recovered.
9. It'll be nice if you can program it to show you as unavailable some hours of the day. You can change your Skype status, but you have to do it manually.
That may seem like a long list of things I'm not happy about, but I really do like the phone.