Skype backgrounder:Â Skype is a service that allows a PC connected to the Internet be used like a phone by using a technology called Voice over IP (VoIP). You can call other Skype users and others and have a conversation. Now, companies such as Netgear, are coming out with devices that let you take that concept to the next level.
Most Skype phones that are available today require a PC. The PC must be on and not hibernating or on standby with Skype running for you to make Skype calls on a Skype phone. Enter Netgear’s SPH101: No PC required. But a WiFi connection is.
The phone is pretty small and weighs only 0.25 lbs (0.11kg), uses WEP & WPA on 802.11b and g networks. Talk time is a scant 2 hours with a 24-hour standby time. I am sure the next version, the SPH102 (?) will have improved talk and standby times. The display seems to be a fairly low resolution (QCIF?) ~2″ CSTN display.
The SPH101 is not cheap. At Amazon.com the unit goes for about $250. Belkin’s F1PP000GN-SK looks very similar but goes for quite a bit less at $180, but is only available for preorder at this time.