VOIP phone – Joe
SUMMARY: Compact, easy to use and integrates very well with Skype functions.
The good guys at Brando.com were nice enough to send a sample of their USB Skype Phone with LCD Display to try out (model # ADS-870). As I have been using Skype and have been impressed, I thought readers might like to check out a USB Handset as an alternative to the headphone/mic setup.
- LCD blue dot-matrix display; displays Skype titles, Contacts, Dial, Call List, time and date
- Full duplex communication
- Volume control, Mute button, Number keys, Receive/Dial and Ring Out button
- Supports Echo cancellation, noise reduction
- Supports Skype and Skype speed-dialing functions
- Languages: English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Netherlands, Japanese, Korean, Chinese
- Size: 150 x 20 x 38 mm, Weight: 175 grams
- USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 compatible, Driver/Software CD included
- Skype Button: Cycles among Contacts, Dial and History Tabs on the Skype page when “USB Phone” displayed on LCD
- C Button: Brings up a Menu for Contacts, Missed Call, Dial Call, Receive Call and Balance
- Center Toggle: Toggles Menu choices; when Contacts are displayed on the Skype page, toggles through Contacts; When History is displayed, toggles through History events
- Yes/No: Initiate / Cancel functions
- Ring: Plays ring tone
- Mute: Mutes call (right side)
- Vol +/-: Raises/lowers earphone levels (left side)
Before using the USB Phone, install the Drivers/Software on the included CD. Then plug in the phone, install and reboot the PC. When rebooted, go into the Skype page and using Tools/Options/Sound Devices, select USB Headset for Audio In/Out and Ringing – done!
In use, I found the phone very handy – when someone calls, the ring tone is plenty loud. I also found that the full duplex feature works quite well – I had no problem with clipping. The integration with Skype is particularly well done – it works basically like a remote control keypad with Skype functions. The LCD display is pretty basic –
no fancy colors, just basic dot matrix letters.
The only negative I can find is that as small as it is, it is not conducive to cradling on your ear – it’s too small. If you have a long call, holding the phone could be tiresome.
Brando’s USB Skype Phone with LCD Display is a very nice handset for Skype or other VOIP use, particularly handy when travelling (very light and compact). It’s easy to use and integrates very well with Skype functions – overall, a very nice package. Price: US $34.