3 SkypePhone review

  • £50

Skype, 3G and a few other funky features make this a nifty little handset

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Our Verdict

Does exactly what it says on the tin. A basic mobile with a useful Skype capabaility among a few other handy features

For

  • Sturdy build
  • Skype functionality works well
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Keys a bit too close together
  • Basic features

This 3G handset is the result of a collaboration between network provider 3 and VoIP service Skype. In addition to offering all the features found on a regular mobile phone, you'll also be able to make calls to other Skype users.

The phone is compact if unremarkable. The casing is available in white, black or pink, and is constructed from metal. It's well made and robust. The 1.8-inch display is bright, but not the sharpest we've seen.

Good Usability

The menu is logically laid out and easy to use, with a large directional pad in the centre of the phone. Within this, you'll find a button that launches Skype functions. The keys are slightly too close together.

In order to use the Skype function, you'll have to put credit on the phone, although this is a certainty for those wanting to make regular calls or send messages. As long as you have credit, you can make an unlimited amount of Skype calls for free. Your friends don't need to have a similar phone - you'll be able to talk to them as long as they have a microphone and speakers attached to their laptops.

Decent Call Quality

Perhaps the most convenient part of having Skype integrated is that your Skype contacts and regular mobile numbers are combined into one address book. Call quality when using Skype was reasonable. It was slightly distant at times, but no worse than it would by using your laptop and a set of headphones. Things improved when using 3's network, with calls of a similar quality to a regular mobile phone.

Features include a 2-megapixel camera, which produced reasonable photographs. There's no autofocus or flash. Files can be stored on the removable 256MB Micro-SD card, with cards of up to 2GB supported. You'll also be able to use this for storing music or video files, both of which the Skype phone can play back.

The 3 Skype phone may be little more than an entry-level mobile phone with a VoIP client pre-installed, but it's an appealing package.