40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Better than the earlier model, but still not 5 star
, 7 Jan. 2013
This review is from: RTX DUALphone 4088 Skype and UK Landline Phone - Black (No PC Required) (Electronics)
My better half dropped our Skype phone in a sink full of water, so we had to buy a new one!
But the old one (the earlier version of this) had problems even before my wife drowned it - the ringer had stopped working when it was only about 15 months old (if you read the reviews you'll find this is a very common problem). We couldn't return it as we bought it directly from Skype and it appears to be impossible to engage in any sort of dialogue with Skype. Hopefully they've sorted out the ringer problem, but if this one starts to play up it's going straight back - and the stars on this review are going down to 1!
The phone itself is quite an improvement on the first model. It is lighter and sleeker (and no longer has that odd 'belt clip') and, most importantly, it has 'normal' buttons, not the awful rubber ones the previous model has. It also appears to have a much better sound quality, and we have been able to have problem free calls with people who used to not be able to hear us half the time. With Skype you never know if call quality is the phone or the connection, so this might have nothing to do with the phone at all, but it does seem to be fairly consistently better. It's also very easy to set up, and, much to my surprise, we didn't have to re-enter the landline numbers we had stored in the old phone.
But, as well as making some very necessary improvements, the designers have also made a couple of changes for the worse - hence the loss of one star. Rather oddly, the screen is smaller than on the earlier model. It's only slightly smaller, but, as the screen on the previous model was too small, I would have expected a much bigger one on the new version. Given the size of screens we're used to on mobile phones these days, the decision to use such a tiny screen is really odd. And it IS tiny - I have to wear my reading glasses just to make a phone call!
The other backwards step is the charger base. They've redesigned this completely (why? the old one was fine) and cocked it up completely. First, the phone doesn't fit snuggly into the base, it just sort of wobbles about in it, so you've no idea if it's 'home' properly, and secondly, they've taken away the LED that used to tell you the phone was charging! So now you have no idea if the phone is inserted properly and charging - the only way to tell is to check the microscopic charging icon on the TINY screen. And you can only do that for a few seconds before the screen goes blank. (And, by the way, they've redesigned the bottom of the phone, so you can't just pop it into the old base!)
They've obviously carried out a production cost audit and listened to the idiot who did it ("LED - no one needs that and no one will notice it's gone, let's save 2p a phone and get rid of it").
Given all the problems with the earlier version, this was a golden opportunity to redesign this phone and make it really fit for purpose. It's such a pity that they didn't take that opportunity fully. Especially as this is the only real 'option' for a Skype phone. If there were other (and hopefully better) Skype phones on the market, I'd have given this one 1 star and the review would be entitled "Don't buy it". But as it is, you don't really get a choice, so I've given it four stars for trying.
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