I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If there was a country called “Hightechistan” this is it’s capital. There is so much technology innovation surrounding you here it’s effectively impossible to stay ahead of everything going on. While it’s true that much of the innovation is Web-based or infrastructure services (such as the demos at the Web 2.0 Expo being held this week, which you won’t see me blog about any more than this due to them not giving me a press pass. Although I may blog about exactly that once more, we’ll see) there’s also new gadgets and gizmos coming out fairly frequently.
Sometimes, gadget makers seem to build model after model, leaving consumers in a bit of a lurch to determine which one is right for them. In the past two years, NETGEAR’s introduced two different Skypephones, the original (but first) not-so-memorably named SPH101 and this year’s similarly named followup SPH200D model. With my fun role as their “guest blogger” I have had the chance to use both for the past couple of weeks. In an interesting twist, there actually is a reason to have two different models on the market at the same time, as they serve two different purposes! In a nutshell:
- If you want a Skype Phone that you can use at home or carry around with you and use WiFi networks, you want the SPH101.
- If you want a Skype Phone to use only when at home, and would enjoy the convenience of using only a single handset for both Skype and regular phone services, you want the SPH200D.
Over on the NETGEAR blog (nope, still no RSS), I put up a post that explains the difference between the two models. If you are in the market for a Skype phone and want to know about their units, take a read.
At home, both my wife and I are using the units. She has the DECT phone (which doubles as a home phone as well), and I’m using the Skype-only SPH101 handset. I haven’t really put them through the paces yet, but some quick thoughts and observations:
Pros: easy to use, setup/configuration worked well right out of the box, the handsets feel nice and are lightweight, bright LCD screens, lots of advanced options for geeks like me, sound quality generally good enough
Cons: poor-to-bad battery life, sound quality occasionally dips into unacceptable range