Skype Integration

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2006-10-29 Print this article Print

Skype Integration

According to Belkin officials, the Skype organization is very specific about how a GUI should look and how a keypad should behave for a device to be Skype Certified. Indeed, we had a nearly identical experience while configuring and using each of the phones we tested. However, we found Netgears SPH101 much more responsive than the Accton-based phones, with screens quickly painting and commands quickly executing.

Part of the reason we liked Netgears overall experience was its superior TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD screen, which was much brighter and cleaner than the CSTN (color super-twist nematic) screen in the Accton-based devices.

Polycoms speakerphones reception was excellent when used for Skype calls in eWEEK Labs tests. Click here to read more.
Each phone we tested automatically downloaded our Skype contacts from Skypes servers within minutes of connecting to the network. The process of navigating each phones interface to find and dial contacts or to dial a SkypeOut number from scratch was intuitive.

In fact, each of the phones left us satisfied—we found sound quality and radio coverage up to our expectations. But our level of satisfaction dropped like a stone when we started moving around with the phone—a rather critical problem for mobile devices.

We consider the lack of real mobility, both inside and outside the corporate WLAN (wireless LAN), a deal breaker with these phones. When considering the price versus capabilities of these devices, wed prefer to get a little more bang from a mobile device—something more along the lines of Paragon Wireless GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and Wi-Fi dual-band Pocket PC device, the Hipi 2200. We could install Skype on the Hipi 2200, but we also could use it with cellular and SIP networks.

Its also worth noting that none of the phones we tested for this review supports Skype Chat. Anyone who attempts to start a chat session on one of them will get a message indicating that the recipient does not support chat and cannot join the conversation.

Next Page: Device-specific.

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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