Netgear SPH101 Wi-Fi Skype Phone

If you're hopeless Skypeaholic with a home Wi-Fi router, the SPH101 is your dream product. If you're a budget minded VoIP fanatic, maybe not.


8.7
CNET Rating
5.5
User Rating

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Design
Netgear's SPH101 Wi-Fi Skype Phone looks just like ... well, it looks just like a phone, to be honest. Rather similar to many of Sony Ericsson's cheaper phone lines -- if you took the W200i and dunked it in a tin of iPod paint, you'd end up with something not dissimilar to the SPH101, in fact. It's a rather plain and (subjectively speaking) ugly design, but there's no mistaking that this is a phone, and not in fact some kind of tool for removing stones from horses' hooves, for instance.

Features
So it's a phone - we've got that far. Specifically, the SPH101 is a Skype phone . They're not particularly rare, given Skype's dominance of the VoIP market internationally. What makes the SPH101 stand out is that it's a Wi-Fi connected Skype phone that requires no PC connection whatsoever for making and taking Skype calls.

Set-up of the SPH101 is very simple indeed. Once it's charged, via the supplied USB AC charger, or a mini-USB cable if you've got one handy, it's a simple matter of powering the phone up. It'll seek out nearby Wi-Fi networks, and automatically try to connect to any unsecured networks unless you tell it not to. It's got inbuilt support for WEP and WPA authentication, although any network that requires a Web login - as you'll find for a lot of public area wireless pay networks -- is beyond the SPH101's abilities. Once you've got an IP address, you just enter your Skype username and password, and it'll keep you logged in for as long as its batteries last. It supports SkypeOut calling, although you'll have to do your financial management from a PC - there's no way to add credit directly from the SPH101.

Performance
Netgear rates the SPH101 as having up to 20 hours standby time and two hours talk time. In real mobile terms that's quite low, but then we can't see too many users taking the SPH101 with them everywhere the way you would with a regular mobile -- well, not unless you know of a lot of unsecured wireless networks and have a terminal addiction to chatting on Skype.

Voice quality is always a highly subjective matter when it comes to assessing Skype; some days it's great, and other days it's decidedly adkshlal;;;;;;; hisssss..... five dollars!....zzzzzttt... if you know what we mean. If you are in fact hopelessly addicted to Skype, we're sure you are. In our tests the SPH101 worked well with a nice clear speaker for our conversations, both local and international. The quality of both your broadband and Wi-Fi connection may change that, however.

At an asking price of AU$369, the SPH101 is a somewhat expensive gadget; there's no doubting that a 10 dollar set of headphones will technically do the same trick. Having said that, the SPH101 delivers a very simple and easy way to keep in touch with your Skype contacts without the need to install additional software or hardware, as is the case with many other Skype phones.

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NoSpam posted a comment   

Skype spam, in particular lack of support to disable it, is bad enough online. According to Skype tech support this is OK, and by design. Dont know whether or not I want phone-spam as well!

 

DanielD posted a comment   
Australia

Or get an iPhone...

cristina
8
Rating
 

cristina posted a review   

feelyou
7
Rating
 

feelyou posted a review   

I use Skype to make free internet phone callsto usa and canada, and I hope that Netgear SPH101 Wi-Fi also offers free calls

david
9
Rating
 

david posted a review   

skype phone also giving challenge to Mobile Phones.

amit
8
Rating
 

amit posted a review   

Netgear Skype Phone also provide advance facilities to make Free Calls across over the world.VoIP plays major role in this.VoIP PBX also play role .

netgear_sux
2
Rating
 

netgear_sux posted a review   

The Good:-cool idea (but not really 'ground breaking')
-small, looks nice
-good quality audio (as long as the battery isn't flat or it isn't randomly rebooting).

The Bad:-Buggy, unreliable (random reboot, short battery life).
-Worst customer support ever! You'd never guess that Netgear are a well know company. I've had better product support with dodgey Chinese stuff bought off eBay!
-I think its criminal that such a POS product is still on the market for such a high price.

Netgear sux, I'm never buying anything from them again....NEVER EVER!!

Fenix
8
Rating
 

Fenix posted a review   

The Good:* Good display (compared to the Belkin)
* Good audio quality
* Higher quality feeling compared to other (cheaper) models.
* No stuttering audio during longer calls (Belkin had this problem)

The Bad:* Battery life
* No fon support (like the SMC updated Fon-firmware)
* No text chat
* Gets very warm during longer calls.

Having used the Belkin Skype Wifi phone (and also the SMC model) before the Netgear SPH101 I found it to be a big step up in terms of audio quality. The interface is much more responsive on the sph101 and the display is also better. The SMC skype phone is also very similar to the Belkin model.
Due to a recent price drop on the sph101 there is just no point in looking to the Belkin and SMC models since the price doesn't differ much at all. The Netgear model is superior in almost every aspect aside from slightly shorter battery life than the Belkin.

nerds r us
2
Rating
 

nerds r us posted a review   

The Good:it looks kind of nice i guess... but the shape dont suit me.

The Bad:wi-fi oooh a big step is it ha u wish buddy and um the price kind of like the nintendo wii can do more for that price they have no chance of sellin many of these things like come on

Did nintendo make wi-fi before these guys i think so. so y is it such a (BIG) step to have a phone with it and the keys are to damn small like you would have to have like baby fingers to work the damn thing.

phil
8
Rating
 

phil posted a review   

The Good:Easy to set up, easy to use. small, looks good

The Bad:Battery life average

Fantastic product. For everyone having problems make sure you update to latest firmware. Since update i have had no problems with this phone., great quality phone calls and perfect skype phone for the price and size.


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