A couple of weeks ago, the nice folk at 3mobilebuzz.com contacted us to see if we’d like to user test the new 3 Skypephone for them. Now, if you’re reading this, you know how much into gadgets and gimmicks we both are, so you can imagine how long it took us to decide to agree! Plus here at Geektown, we have a some what love/hate relationship with Skype on the PC. We love the convenience and sound quality, but hate the fact that it can be a bit flakey, and suddenly decide to stop you hearing the person your calling, or drop the call all together. So, it was going to be interesting to see how the technology faired on a mobile.
What is the 3 Skypephone?
Well… it’s a mobile phone, on the 3 network, and it lets you use Skype from anywhere (the 3 Skypephone does what it says on the tin!) ;)
What’s it look like?
It’s 100 x 44 x 13.6 mm and weights 86g, so very nice little lightweight phone.
What’s the Spec?
3G phone, with 2 megapixel camera, MP3 Player, 16Mb internal memory expandable to 1GB by micro SD.
The phones arrived promptly and we got them charged straight away. Once the lil green bar reached maximum charge we were off.
Setting up a Skype account is really easy via the phone. Or you can log in via an exisiting account if you have one. Personally, I’d advise setting up a 2nd account on the phone. InitiallyÂ I tried using my exisiting account, but if you don’t log out of the PC when you log onto the Skypephone, it really confuses the hell out of Skype. This would result in replies to text messages I’d sent via Skype on the PC only showing on the skypephone, not to the PC. It’s either a seperate account, or log out of the phone everytime you want to use skype on the PC, which is a bit of a pain.
Once that was sortedÂ we made the first call. Sound quality isn’t up to Skype PC quality, but the call quality was better than expectations, and was easily as good as a regular mobile phone call.
What’s it Like to Send a Skype Text (Skype Chat)?
We then discovered the chat facility, now this is good fun! Maintaining an on-going chat is sooo much easier to follow then text after text, if you forget what you are talking about you just scroll up the chat!
However, there’s an odd delay between the phone beeping to say you have a new Skype Chat and it appearing on the screen. It’s like it goes
Skypephone: “Hey, i’ve got a message for you!”
You look at the phone
Skypephone: “Ermm… hang on a min… I wrote it down somewhere…”
Still looking at your phone…
Skypephone: “Oh, one sec… There it is!”
It’s not too much of a problem once your used to it, it’s just a little weird at first.
What’s the Tariff Like?
Pretty decent actually. Â£49.99 for the phone on pay-as-you-go, and Â£10 a month topup, or free on contract.
So, What’s Your Final Verdict?
The phone is a nice little gadget, incorporating some clever software. Skype (obviously), plus all usual 3 network 3G functions (ability to watch streaming TV channels, internet access etc…), and the launcher app, with links set up to popular site such as Google and eBay.
The overall design of the phone is lightweight and looks very similar to Nokia type phones, but actually when put side by side next to Daryl’s Nokia N73, it makes the N73Â look like a house brick!
There are little niggles, like the Chat system delay but nothing that would stop us buying the phone, and nothing that won’t get ironed out in time.
A really good little gadget.
â€œInexpensive 3G phone with free Skype calls in a nice little package.â€