Linksys WIP 320 WIFI Phone For Skype Product Review
The Good: The Linksys WIP320 is extremely easy to set-up and use. Besides an easy set-up and easy use, the WIP320 has a sleek design and user interface that makes it a conversation piece inside of the home and a great introduction to Skype for those visiting who may not know anything about it.
The Bad: The phone is sort of pricey ($169.99) for a phone with limited features. As with all WiFi phones, the Linksys WIP320 also suffers from a dismal battery life. If you turn it on and leave it on the table, like you would a cell phone, you will be lucky to get more than six hours before you have to plug it in…not exactly ideal. The biggest drawback, however, is that fact that you can not send text or sms messages to other Skype users, severely limiting it’s appeal for those of use looking to Skype for more than POTS replacement.
Linksys WIP320 Features and Functionality
The Linksys WIP320 is, of course, all about sending and receiving call via Skype. The WIP320 supports SkypeOut dialing and rings when you have a Skype or SkypeIn call coming in, displaying the callerâ€™s ID on the screen. The WIP320 also supports call waiting and Skypeâ€™s optional Voicemail service. When youâ€™re on a call, you can hit the Mute button for privacy, or use the handsfree speakerphone function to let everyone join in. The speakerphone functionality is great, especially if you tend to talk via Skype and while doing something else (like typing on a laptop). The phone also has a 2.5mm headset jack, in case you need the handsfree functionality but don’t want the whole world to hear your conversation.
Using the center thumb scroll to navigate the menu can be cumbersome, but luckily there is not much to the phone feature wise that can be accessed. As stated before, the phone is very basic. You can browse and search your contacts, view your call history, change your status, add and remove contacts, and also adjust ring tones for your contacts. Something else that bothers me, is that you can add any Skype services (SkypeOut, etc) via the phone. To do this you still have to go to your computer. Sort of inconvenient, especially for a device that is supposed “move Skype away” from the desktop.
The Conclusion: The WIP320 is not bad, but it is not great. It is just good. For it’s intended user, a mainstream consumer, it is an adequate solution. For the more advanced voipnophile, it feels limited and water down. Would I recommend this product? It depends on who you are. If your a mainstream consumer looking to leverage Skype for POTS replacement, yes. If you are, like me, looking for an advanced WiFi phone solution for use with Skype, I would say no, as it is not what you would be looking for.