For cheap skates like us Voice Over IP has to be the greatest technology ever invented. Basically it means you can phone anywhere in the world for nowt. Well at least that’s the theory. In practice you will still need to make/receive phone calls via your landline to speak to less thrifty landline-loving mortals. So it’s great news that there’s a new dual DECT/VoIP that offers the best of both worlds. Called innovatively enough the Du@lphone (yes they do insist on that stoopid ‘at’ sign in the middle) it combines Skype’s popular VoIP software with standard telephone line features. Because it’s wireless you can use it all over the house to make/receive calls though you will need to plug it into the USB port and have the computer switched on for VoIP calls.
We’ve been testing the Du@lphone for over a week now and are quite impressed. It’s a little bulkier than a standard DECT phone, battery life is a little on the poor side, and call quality via Skype on a 512Kb broadband connection isn’t quite as good as a conventional landline – but hey it’s free so we’re not complaining. What’s particularly impressive about the handset is that you can see when your Skype contacts are online and call them just by pressing a single green button on the handset (you don’t need to use the computer at all).
Costing around £80 the Du@lphone is very competitively priced – not much more than a standard DECT phone. You only get one handset as standard but up to four can be used on the same connection.