I must preface this post by saying Netgear gifted me with their new $199 Dual Mode Skype Phone, part of my CES Blogger In Residence prize package (AKA ‘Dave got paid’). So, it’s entirely possible I’m not objective and therefore I won’t do a formal review. Having said that, quite a few products sit (unopened) on my floor for months waiting to be reviewed… whereas I immediately put this phone into production when I returned from CES.
Unlike Netgear’s previous WiFi Skype phone, this model has a base station which you wire to your home router. The base station will also accept a telephone connection from your “land line” — hence the “dual-mode” moniker: Skype + Land Line. Which brings me to the first point (of two) that I wanted to share…
I don’t have a POTS land line, I use Vonage. While my 18 month experience with Vonage has been mixed (which I’ll cover in the near future), I’m not ready to return to Verizon until they improve their pricing and provide voicemail as email attachments. So, I was pretty happy to discover connecting my Vonage router to the Netgear base station (via RJ11) works: Skype + Vonage on one cordless phone!
The second point I wanted to bring up is that the phone uses rechargeable AAA batteries (which charge within the phone, within the cradle). I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it was a surprising thing worth mentioning.