Review: Cordless DualPhone makes Skype your home phone

The whole world can now talk for free. The Cordless Dual Phone bridges the gap for Skypers and lets them use the service as if it was from a regular telephone company. By connecting your Wireless Dual Phone to a PC via USB, you can access your Skype directory and place calls just as you would on a standard cordless phone. It even shows you which of your contacts are currently online. When you plug the Cordless Dual Phone in to your old landline it even allows you to send and receive calls just as you would from your ordinary telephone line. Nothing is lost, only free calls are gained. This is where the name comes in to play, get it now? DUALPhone.

This product will appeal to the masses. A hardcore Skyper for one, It will just make using the service much much easier and convenient. It will even appeal to your less savvy, but wanting to save money long distance caller. By purchasing SkypeOut credits you can use the Dual Phone via Skype to make calls at extremely low rates, even free if calling another Skype user. Purchase a SkypeIn number and you won’t even need to keep your regular phone line, unless dialing 911 of course.

The system works just as easy as you would imagine. Once you have a Skype account setup, you just install the Cordless DUALphone software Suite, connect it to a free USB port, and your on your way to free communications. The software checks to see if your running the software, doesn’t make much sense but it likes to check itself, just like dogs like to lick themselves I guess. Then it checks to see if the Cordless DUALphone is connected, then to see if your Skype is running, and finally it checks your sound. Once all the checks have passed you can close the application and proceed to Skype. Your handset will display “Ready”.

I have 6 mbps cable Internet and tested Skype calls while downloading some large files, this was done to put a bit of a burden on the connection by taking away some bandwidth. Regardless, the sound was crystal clear and I was very impressed at how well it performed. Landline calls are just as clear as any other DECT cordless phone, it does work in a similar way your GSM mobile phone would, so the range is excellent; approximately 150 feet.

You can add up to 3 additional handsets to the system, totaling 4 handsets. This is a great way to expand Skype to each room of the house. Battery life on the handsets is rated at 6.5 hours talk time and 100 hours standby. The entire system is “Future-proof”, this simply means it will accept firmware updates — mine immediately updated when I setup the software and connected it. Caller ID is supported from your regular telephone company with subscription. It even has Call Transfer, Call Waiting, distinctive ringtones for Skype or landline calls, Call Logs, Telephone book and all that jazz.

And after all this talk about cordless freedom you find that you still need to use a headset, it does have an external 2.5mm headset connector.

Just to clarify, the calling methods supported are;

- Dialing via PSTN: Standard telephone landline
- Dialing via Internet: Skype to other Skype users (Free)
- Dialing via Skype to landline (standard telephone numbers): With the purchase of SkypeOut credits

For some reason I believe the DUALPhone was designed for use with a wide range of softphone providers, then Skype came in and got exclusive rights. Why do I say this? Well the entire manual says nothing about Skype, it describes everything as “Softphone to Softphone”, the box is the only place it says Skype. Surely some hackers out there are already figuring this one out. To Skype or not to Skype, that is the question my friends.

The Cordless DUALphone sells for US $139.99, additional handsets are US $69.99 each and can be purchased here.


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