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    12 Reviews
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      09.11.2010 08:19

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      Not a bad little phone, looks nice and never lets me down

      I got 3 of these phones for me and my girlfriend and i even got my mother 1 and its now the only mobile i use, (others have always broke after ive had them about a year). Ive saved a small fortune using it for the free Skype and MSN.
      The S2 is a definite improvement over the S1 in looks and over all performance and has never let me down (even if the network sometimes has). Im sure i read it only takes 4 gig memory card but mine works well with an 8 gig memory card in it that im filling up full of music. It looks a nice phone the black with silver buttons and the steel back cover. The battery life for a 3G phone is great and unless ive been chatting for a long time i dont need to charge it for a couple of days at least

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      30.07.2010 19:49
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      Slightly flawed but great value and reliable

      The skypephone S2 is a solid little phone, that gives very good value for money. Included in the box is the phone, earphones, charger and instructions.

      When first using this phone you find that the buttons are a little unusual being slightly raised. When people with larger fingers use the keys they have said to me that the buttons are hard to press, however for people with average sized hands like me the buttons are fine.

      In general, navigating your way around the phone is quite easy, and I was impressed with the built in web browser. One advantage of this phone is you can have multiple programs running at the same time, which is not possible with many other phones.

      The camera is 3.2 megapixels but it has no flash. The camera can be quite slow to react when taking photos and in poor light pictures can be quite poor. There is no option to zoom and the video camera function is equally quite poor.

      The phone does take a long time (30 secs) to turn on which is a shame. When the phone has over about 100 messages it does run very slowly and the inbox takes a long time to initialise. Disappointingly it then takes a long time to delete messages one by one.

      The rear of the phone has a shiny metal battery cover. Although this does look nice when first purchased, this does scratch after a few months use.

      The phone is charged, connected to the pc and used for listening to music through one usb port, so these functions cannot be done at the same time. The sound quality on both the built in speakers and earphones is fairly good for general use .

      In conclusion, this phone does have a few flaws and is not the highest performing phone, but for a low price this phone has got some good features. I have had this phone for nearly a year and in that time it hasn't broke in any way and does its job well, its just a shame the camera isn't slightly better and the phone is so slow.

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      02.06.2010 22:33
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      An amazing phone that would suit anyone who uses Skype frequently

      I bought this phone recently after I (very stupidly) dropped my brand new contract mobile while I had no insurance. At the time I was just looking for a cheap 3G phone that I could use while I saved up for something decent, however, I really love this phone. I went with 3 as my boyfriend is working abroad so I use the Skype functionality a LOT. For this reason, I really love this phone. It's so easy to use and it's fine to just leave it running in the background. The only problem I've had at all with the software is that sometimes it reports there are new Skype messages and when you open the programme there are no new messages there. Despite this slight glitch, I love this phone. It's saved me a small fortune and become a permanent fixture in my handbag. Who said you need something expensive for it to be great. I've also found the battery life to be amazing. I feel like I hardly ever charge it and never really notice the battery running out on me like I did with my last phone. This is absolutely perfect for my needs.

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        12.05.2010 01:39
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        Buy it for what it allows you to do, cheaply. Not for what it is or what it looks like.

        I have had some issues with 3 - let me get that out in the open first. I had web - browsing problems with a Nokia E71 that they couldn't rectify despite making up various reasons why it didn't work and exercising immense skill in poor customer service - failure to read account notes, repeating their call centre crib sheets ad nausem, not following up on their promises, failing to listen to me trying vainly to describe the problem. The list is endless. Suffice to say I was extremely unsatisfied and they agreed to cancel an 18 month contract after only 4 months. SO you might wonder why I went with them again, right?

        Well, I happen to use Skype a lot. How does 3-5 hours a night sound? From mid last year until March I was regularly making hours and hours of Laptop/desktop web camera video calls a night. My girlfriend lived overseas, and this was the best thing I could do under the circumstances. The only problem was that when I wanted to talk, her laptop wasn't always switched on. And what do most girls have glued to the right side of their face for hours on end? A mobile phone of course!

        I was making a lot of calls generally to a specific South East Asian country and decided to opt for Skype's country specific deal. It costs me about £3 a month, and it gives you 140 hours a month or 6 hours a day under their fair usage policy. I will go into that elsewhere, but suffice to say I wasn't always at my laptop or desktop either.

        I was left with no option but to buy the Skypephone. It was promptly despatched and arrived only a couple of days after. Coming with all the usuals (SIM card, CD, instruction booklet, USB cable, hands free and charger), I charged it up in anticipation.

        As I held the phone itself in my hand, I was not sure what to think initially. The 3 Skypephone S2 is a strange beast, to be sure. It's slim, ugly, has plasticy chunky keys and a cheap feel. After inserting the SIM card and connecting to the internet, I could check my balance. I had a free £10 credit voucher, and a 150 megabyte internet usage and about 200-300 texts included in this. I was pleased with that, as I only paid £40 for the phone and got a free credit too. Good value when you think about it.

        With the Skypephone, 3 to 3 calls are listed as free, and you apparently can keep doing this a couple of months after your credit has expired. But I don't have any 3 contacts, so I can't verify it. You are supposed to also have free MSN and Skype access for 'life' too. I enquired about this with a 3 customer services operator, and she stated that as both were free services, there was no way 3 could charge for it. I was slightly dubious about this, but as yet I haven't been charged for using either and my data allowance hasn't been compromised by it either.

        I wasn't too interested in the telephones features as I bought it primarily to use as a Skype interface device. I entered my Skype username and password, and there was a reproduction of my PC Skype screen before me in my hand. All my Skype contacts were there, with a green tick if they were online or a grey cross if they were not. There is a message screen if you scroll right, and if you scroll left (using the directional push keys of the central cursor) there is the ability to call telephone numbers using Skype.

        Calling phone numbers with Skype is why I bought it. My deal allowed me to call mobile phones or landlines without extra charge. I called my girlfriend. I was in my bedroom yet still the sound appeared muffled. This is partly to do with the data transfer over thousands of miles after having gone through Skype's computer and bounced off of satellites, and partly because the handset is incredibly cheap and nasty. For conversing, I was alright if both parties were indoors or stationary, but if either of us was outside or doing something, atmospheric noises seemed magnified and often rendered the conversation inaudible. I tried to speak with her a couple of times whilst on the bus, but gave up after the engine noise drowned out everything. It wasn't like the handset volume wasn't a factor either, as the setting was on maximum. Calls would drop often too, and without a consistent pattern. Sometimes I could speak for an hour without a hitch, and other times the call would finish after 9 or 10 minutes. This happens with Skype on the PC too, so I wasn't too annoyed by this, but it does get irritating when you are talking for about 5 minutes before you realise the other person is no longer on the end of the phone.

        But to be honest, a lot of this is nothing much to gripe about. The simple fact is I got this phone to be able to use my Skype account to make international calls at a tiny fraction of the cost it would be to use calling cards or a regular mobile phone. Whilst seeing each other on screen is preferable, it's not always practical. Like when I am brewing a cup of tea, in the office at work, or lying in bed. The Skype phone may be made with budget in mind, but it satisfied me overall. When my girlfriend has to return home again, I will once again be using it to speak to her long distance.

        In terms of the chat features, I wouldn't bother personally. As the keypad is chunky and clunky, you will be there all day bashing out those conversations. Most people type fast using keyboards, so waiting for someone to reply on Skype using a keypad is immensely boring. Even using predictive text it is painfully slow. As a blackberry user, reverting to an ABC DEF etc format is like having my teeth pulled.

        If you try to call someone over Skype and they are using their computer, the results depend on how they are using Skype. If they have a USB or audio/recorder jacked in headset, then conversing couldn't be easier. But quite a few times I have called people and their web camera answers the call and hearing any kind of response - due to the distance of the microphone to the user and when factoring ambient noise - is muffled, garbled or simply inaudible. Of course, this is just my own experience and I don't know anyone who has a Skype phone, so I can't report on that. Although I am sure its simplicity in itself.

        Many times I have tried to get my family members to purchase a Skype phone by saying "think about it, the handset is cheap, and if you just register free for Skype you can call each other for free. Forever." In terms of budgeting, it's a great idea, but as many people have contract phones (myself included) with inclusive minutes, they aren't interested.

        In terms of other features, the phone has a 3.2 mega pixel camera which is pretty good. It's the same as my blackberry, but I have yet to bother taking more than a handful of shots with the Skype phone. If you use MSN a lot, you will appreciate this too, and there is a '3 quick links' icon on the menu screen that takes you to popular internet sites such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo, etc. You can download premium games easily too and there are many other options on the 3 homepage which is also quick-linked.

        You can rig the Skype phone as a modem by using the included USB cable, and you can install a data usage monitor with the enclosed software. I have a net book, and considered doing this as a kind of 'wi-fi pay as you go' system, but I simply do not need to use my laptop on the go that often. But the idea is quite good, and it is very precise on how much data you are using. You can easily check this against your data allowance on the 3 homepage.

        I mainly use the Alarm clock feature, hands free occasionally, make the odd regular phone call and use some of the inclusive texts. Other than that, I use it entirely for making Skype calls internationally. Now that my girlfriend is here, she is calling her family and friends on their mobile phones too. All in all, I might hate the design and bog standard features of the handset, but the idea is great and I have got a great deal out of it. I have a Blackberry, and use this extensively, and if 3/Skype came up with a snazzy little phone that actually made you want to use it as a regular mobile phone - with all the demands we place on them in our daily lives - I think they would be onto a winner. A cash cow, if you will. I have my Blackberry with Vodafone and they bar Skype calls. There are ways around this, but you end up using your free minutes and pay for minutes when they are gone, thus defeating the whole point of using Skype. Now I had a nightmare with my E71 and 3 as a contract provider and vowed never to go back to them, but simply put, this Skype phone was too good an opportunity to miss. I would recommend it to anyone on a budget or who needs to make international calls and finds other options prohibited. The phone might be poor quality, but what it allows me to do is well worth the paltry outlay.

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          27.02.2010 18:05
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          great internet phone

          I'm the kind of girl that loses my mobile phone every few months, so I set out initially to buy a no frills cheap and cheerful phone.. but ended up with the best phone I've owned for years.
          Yes, its No iphone.. but it offers FREE Skype-to-Skype calls forever, FREE 3-to-3 calls, FREE Voicemail, FREE Windows Live Messenger and 150MB Mobile Internet data allowance for 90 days (works out you can check FB 100 times a day). So, for anyone that checks their facebook regularly (yes that's my guilty pleasure) it's perfect - especially when you run out of calling credit you can take advantage of the other free services. I'm lucky as my partner is on 3 so we can always contact each other. The Vivid 2.2" QVGA display is perfect size for internet browsing although can be a bit slow. It comes with all your other key features and is a very easy to use phone. I cant beleive how cheap its is all my friends comment on it and think its much more expensive!
          I also really love the size and candy bar design.. it's nice and slim and fits perfectly in my back pocket for a night out on the town! I recommend this phone for anyone addicted to social networking sites especially teenagers and young adults.
          The only disadvantage is the poor camera quality - no flash and 99% of the time takes a blurred photo.

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            16.11.2009 01:08
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            Don't risk it, buy something reputable instead.

            When I first bought the skypephone I was very impressed by it. I had been using a Samsung on O2, but decided to switch to 3's Pay Monthly deal since it would give me great value for contacting my girlfriend. Since my old phone did not have 3G (a requirement for using the 3 network) I had to quickly find a cheap handset with 3G capabilities. I jumped at this handset when I saw it, since it was just £40 new!

            As I say, to start with I thought that this phone was excellent. Other reviewers have described the 'switcher' system that it uses and I found it incredibly useful. Many applications from the internet were compatible with this phone (despite it being a one-off sort of model) and it handled everything very well.

            Right from the start, however, I began to have problems with the handset. Before receiving a text message, the phone would freeze for about 3 seconds while it received the data, and the same would happen for a few seconds after sending a message or while receiving delivery reports. Also, whenever one friend texted me his messages always came through twice. At first, I didn't blame the handset for his messages coming through twice - after all, it could have been a problem with his phone. I wasn't in a place to investigate.

            Soon after, however, the multiple text message fault extended to all of the messages I received, from every contact. I often received the messages as many as 6, 7 or even 8 times each (usually over a period of several days).

            I have some basic understanding of computers, software systems and the like and for various reasons (largely the combination of the multiple text messages and the freezing when receiving them) I determined that there were some serious issues with the firmware on the phone. About 2 or 3 weeks after buying the handset I was on the phone to Customer Services.

            This was a shambles. I found it hard to communicate with the customer service advisers on the other end, whom I presume (based on the consistant nature of their accents) were in India and when I did get their problem, they gave useless solutions again and again. Eventually they decided it was probably a fault with the SIM card. Reluctantly, I accepted that this might be possible and they sent me a new SIM.

            Not surprisingly, the new SIM did not fix the problem. Everything persisted as it was. I rang them again. Eventually they came up with the most ridiculous suggestion of all. "Your inbox is too full". I had approximately 300 messages in the inbox. Admittedly, I could have managed with less but many phones are quite capable of operating correctly with this volume of inbox messages. The call centre staff advised me that the maximum number of messages I should consider having in my inbox was 15. Unfortunately this irritated me somewhat, as I knew they were probably making this excuse up since they didn't have a script for this problem. Anyway, following their advice I used the 'delete all' function on the phone. This took over an hour. Clearly, it had no effect on the problem in hand. Eventually the call centre staff informed me that the only thing to do was to send it off for repair. I took it in to the local 3 store from where I had bought it exactly a month before, and was told that if I had brought it in within 28 days of purchase (just 3 days earlier) they would have exchanged the handset for me. I explained that I had been in contact with 3 customer service for over 2 weeks and that the customer service should have advised me to this solution. Anyway, the 3 store weren't budging so I reluctantly allowed them to send it for repair. The 3 stores have loan handsets available for these circumstances, but unfortunately these are in short supply and there were none left at this store. I was advised that there were some handsets available in other stores in the area that I could go and pick up. I was relatively happy with this solution, as long as I could still make phone calls while the handset was being repaired.

            When I contacted the other stores to arrange loaning a handset from them, I discovered that the original store had lied to me. The 3 store computer system was so limited that it did not allow me to take a loan phone from another store. Had my local store advised me of this in the first place, I could have simply got my phone repaired through another store and used one of their handsets. The phone was away for 10 days, and I had no replacement.

            When the phone returned from the repair, it worked absolutely perfectly. In the polite letter that they sent back with the handset they explained that all they had done was reinstalled the firmware. As I have mentioned, this was the solution that I had expected would work - rather than stupid suggestions about deleting inbox messages, etc.

            This was not to last, however. After just one week, the phone was back up to its old tricks. I took it in to another 3 store (having moved in the meantime) and they sent it for repair without asking any questions, which I was pleased with. They were able to give me a loan handset which made the experience far easier. I was doubtful, by this stage, that the phone would be properly fixed so during this time I bought a new handset (a completely different Sony Ericsson one to replace it) but noticed in the letter that came back with the repaired Skypephone that on this occasion they had replaced some parts. I decided to hang onto it as a spare in case I ever had phone problems again.

            In fact, it was my girlfriend's phone that stopped working, so I gave her this newly repaired Skypephone to try while her normal phone was being repaired. Even with the replaced part, the handset once again started receiving messages multiple times and freezing up.

            I've given up on it now. From internet research I have discovered that it is not a rare issue for this to happen, indeed there is another review on this site that describes similar symptoms. Unfortunately, 3 do not recognize this as being a problem. Their call centre staff were totally untrained to deal with it, and I've a feeling that they will continue selling this product with the same issues to all who are lured in by its cheap price.

            If it wasn't for this blatant firmware issue, which is probably easily fixable on the part of the manufacturer, I would be giving this phone a very good review. Unfortunately, through a combination of the faulty phone and the poor customer service received I would not recommend it to anyone.

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              10.11.2009 21:55
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              A good handset that is liable to some very frustrating problems

              In many respects this handset is pretty decent, and works, as they say, a bit like a mini computer. It contains all the tools and apps that you would want in a phone, with a moderate camera (though lacking a flash). The 'switcher' running along the bottom of the home screen provides easy shortcuts to applications of your choice.

              However, a word of warning. After owning this phone for a few weeks, it began playing up. The entire handset freezes for a few seconds when sending or receiving texts, which can be very frustrating. Also, texts began to arrive multiple times, sometimes as often as 8-10 times. There were also problems making and receiving phone calls. Despite being sent of for repair twice, the problem seemed to return. Searching the internet seems to reveal that this is not a rare phenomenon, and springs from a software issue which the manufacturers appear to choose not to acknowledge.

              Therefore, buy if you wish for a cheap nifty phone, but be prepared for some phone calls to customer service.

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                03.11.2009 23:44
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                Be prepared for problems

                I got this phone yesterday well 2 of them after loosing my beloved Samsung 2 weeks ago I needed a cheap handset that had a keypad (I have an I phone and dont get on) I saw this one and the deals it offers and had to try it! To me it seemed to good to be true but yes when you turn the phone on and set up you have free Skype to Skype calls and free MSN Messenger!
                This is fab they do this as you dont have to top up at all if thats all you wanted it for. Also in the deals are some fab offers. For example with my old provider when I topped up £10 a month I would get 300 free sms messages and also 5mb free internet but I was always running out. With 3 they offer the same nmber of texts for £10 but also 150 mb of internet! Also if you top up online or by your phone they double your texts bargain.
                The phone has alot of features on it and is mainly based around the internet-it has quicklinks to facebook youtube yahoo google etc so by the touch of a button you can be on them. It has the usual calender calculator camera media player etc. It also has an sd card slot something I struggle to find on cheap phones.
                The phone itself is nice-alot better then the picture I was very surprised.
                I am happy with this phone and have already recomended to my friends and family so we can all have free calls! (The £50 you aoy for the phone pays itself back in calls)


                **Update**
                After a few days of using the phone it started turning itself off for no reason. To get back on I would have to remove the battery and then turn on. It would do this every day randomly but would happen 15 times plus daily!! I took it to a 3 store who sent it off. I got alot of phone calls about the problem of the phone-no one seemed to take in it was switching off. I later recieved back claiming to be fixed. After an hour of it being on it turned off again and also started to randomly freeze something if didnt do before hand.

                Back to the store I went where I was told to send back to the person I bought it from-not possible as was from a catalogue and they dont take electricals back once opened. The lady at 3 was very rude telling me I had to do it that way. Someone from 3 phoned me for a courtesy call, explained was still turning off so he sent me packaging straight away to send it back. Over the following week the same person called me letting me know what was happening-it had been looked at no problems found he had it on his desk it was staying on. Ok sent back.
                Within 24 hours it turned off! I phoned 3 and because I phoned via the broken phone they couldnt help mem very rude customer services.

                2 weeks later managed to borrow a phone and phone them again. a 45 minute call it turned into as for some reason even though it had already been sent in twice I had to go through a whole process of taking things out explaining what it looked like etc finally agreed to have a look at it but and I quote " to not expect anything to be found as there is not a problem with the phone", off it went for a 3rd time.

                2days later i get a knock on the door and I have been sent a new phone. By the looks of it they didnt bother looking they just sent me a new one.

                I have since googled alot about this phone and found quite a few people reporting the same problem and being 'fobbed' off. It seems this and the old skype phone have some sort of issue. (the 2nd one webought also switches off very now and then. thankfully the new one hasnt yet but is messing up other ways i.e.media player not working and text messaging playing up)

                My words for this phone and 3 to others is if you like the deals they offer and the price they charge for the handset go for it but be prepared for a battle if it starts playing up. I think I was a lucky one who was able to finally after 3 attempts to get a new handset as I didnt leave it.

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                19.09.2009 07:40
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                Overall a decent handset, with a few minor issues.

                Having recently purchased this from my local 3 store, I was initially very impressed, telling all my friends about it, in particular the 'lifetime free Skype-calls' which I thought were great.

                Unfortunately, after about a week of trying to make calls using the Skype functionality on the phone I realised that not only was it actually very difficult to find a position where the 3G signal was stable enough to maintain a decent call quality, when you did the sound quality was pretty dire.

                This is no real reflection on the phone itself, which is a very nicely rounded handset, including all the functions you'd expect to find on a more expensive model, however if you're planning on buying this to take advantage of the free skype calls, I'd think again.

                The handset itself is very comfortable, although feels a little cheap (as another reviewer states - has obviously been made to a very tight costing plan) and the lack of flash on the camera is particularly irritating. However ignoring the Skype issues, it's been very reliable, and although has locked up once or twice when I've been trying to run multiple applications at once, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a low cost alternative to the expensive handsets out there.

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                01.09.2009 22:24
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                I would happily buy another if necessary

                By all accounts, the 3Skypephone S2 (exclusive to '3') is a very good specification phone for the price (currently available for just £49.99!), sporting an integrated Facebook application, a 3.2MP camera, full HSDPA internet, along with support for Java applications and MicroSDHC memory cards. The finish is a combination of plastic and shiny metal, and it is of reasonable size with a 2.2" screen and a standard T9 keypad (the buttons on which do take a little while to get used to, but are certainly big and easy enough to use). It also has an application switcher button on the side that allows you to multi-task with ease.

                However, it has clearly been built down to a price, evidenced by the lack of a memory card in the box, the lack of a lens cover for the camera (very important for high picture quality) and more tellingly, the lack of a flash on the camera. This results in pictures that do not turn out well indoors, and has restricted my usage to the just the odd snap.

                I have also found other niggling problems, such as the way the phone can freeze for anything up to 10 seconds whilst it receives a text (which can produce awkward results if you happen to be composing a text at the time), and the way in which integrated applications such as Google Maps can take a long time to load up (anything up to 60 seconds), during which time the phone is pretty much unusable even if you do try to switch application.

                All in though I would definitely recommend the phone as on a pound for pound basis, I believe that it represents excellent value, allowing you to do most of the things a high end smart phone can do (albeit more slowly), for little more than the price of a basic Nokia handset.

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                03.08.2009 21:24
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                A brilliant phone, but sadly let down by it's reliability.

                The Skypephone is the product of mobile network 3's handset team. The aim of the handset though not officially advertised, is clearly to help promote the network's recent(ish) scheme of offering free Skype coverage.

                --Prices--
                Well although this review is focused primarily on the phone with a contract it's worth me pointing out that it is also available on Pay as you Go at a current price (2nd August) of £39.99.

                On contract it becomes a little bit more complicated as Three don't sell you your handset up front and instead incorporate it into the monthly bill that is your tariff but as it was put to us, it was free on a £15 'mix and match' or more tariff essentially making it a sort of budget handset.

                Our £18 a month contact that we took the phone on offers a great deal for us.
                Free Live Messenger, eBay and 3 to 3 calls (300 minutes a month, the same as five hours).
                500 Minutes or Texts - this was valuable to my wife, who for the life of her won't/can't/forgets to respond to almost any text message sent to her - how it works is simple, for your £18 a month you essentially get 500 units, each text costs 1 unit, and each minute of calling costs 1 unit. This means you can have 500 texts a month, or 500 minutes, or 300 minutes and 200 texts, or any other combination - easy enough right? Yep.

                Voicemail is of course included as a freebie.

                --Software--
                The software included is fairly standard for a mobile device these days, obviously calling texting and MMS features are included, as is camera software. All of this seems rather robust and we had no complaints with any of it on the whole, the phone book was a little slow on initial load up but this tends to be the case with almost all phones so is hardly S2 specific.
                Skype comes preloaded onto the phone which is perhaps a bit of an obvious statement as the phone is branded as a Skypephone, now this is where the really clever things start.

                -Skype-
                Create yourself a free skype account either on the phone or as is perhaps easier, on your computer - not that that's a fault with the phone, just a fact of mobile internet vs computer internet.
                Once your account is created you can add friends and family through their skype usernames, this then enables you to send either chat messages (like a desktop instant messaging client) or call them to speak to them as a normal phone call.
                That probably comes out a lot more garbled than it really is but Skype allows you to call anyone with a Skype account, either another 3 user or someone with Skype on their computer for free, this can be a real money saver, or a neat gimick, depending what you make of it. Personally the wife and I use it when we can to save a few minutes here and there but still generally call each other over the standard phone network's when we need each other in a hurry, this isn't any huge problem with Skype, it's simply that we don't tend to keep skype on on the computers. Perhaps where it is more useful is for people calling the mobile for example those who would rather not pay the thirty or fourty pence a minute that someone such as BT charge to dial from a residential line can just plug their microphone into their PC and click on the phone owner's username to call them completely for free.
                It's a bit of a mish mash of a service, but it's for free and as Skype seems to be becoming a bit more mainstream these days it's something that will almost certainly develop over the coming few years into a real cornerstone of the market. Perhaps it's also worthy of note here that you do need a decent Network coverage to talk on skype but the requirements are fairly minimal.

                -Value-
                Well having just come off of a rather expensive Vodafone contract this felt like very good value for my wife, cutting her bill in half per month and keeping the same number of minutes was a real deal. The only thing we really miss is the 'Stop the Clock' feature that Vodafone have, that said the free Skype service is brilliant but we've already covered that for the most part.

                --Construction--
                In spite of it's budget pricing the S2 does feel a very well constructed handset, it comes in a 'candybar' style, essentially meaning it's a normal phone, not a flipper, not a slider, nor anything else weird and wonderful, just a phone. This lack of movable parts actually makes the phone feel very robust and sturdy something that can easily be overlooked in today's world of all singing gadgets - not that there's anything wrong with gadgets and what have you but sometimes solid construction can be just as important.

                The keys on the keypad are small and slim with a chrome finish but in spite of this seemingly fiddly layout they are actually well enough spaced that you wouldn't know how small they are and rather feel like they are 'normal' shaped buttons that you would expect on a phone from a few years ago. This is a real bonus given that in todays world keys are getting smaller and more fiddly, or on occasion touchscreen and therefore losing the tactile sensation that comes with real keys.

                The screen is bright and clear, offering a good view of whatever you should happen to have on screen at the time which is of course a definite bonus especially as the camera packed in the phone is halfway decent at actually taking photos as opposed to drunken night snapshots, it's not state of the art by any means but it's not terrible either - take that for what you will, I always view mobile phone cameras as being a bit naff, I would still rather carry a seperate point and shoot with me given the choice as I believe that even the best phone camera still has a long way to go in terms of quality. The screen is highly scratch resistant and withstood being kept in pockets full of keys and loose change, as in fact did the rest of the phone now that I think about it which is nice as although I don't consider phones a fashion accessory it is nice if they're not covered in scratches.

                --Reliability--
                Now here's where the phone really let itself down. I suppose the first thing I should state that this is all a case of being 'in our experience' and 'your mileage may vary' as the staff in the shop repeatedly told us how good the phone is, but for some reason the two that we owned weren't.

                Essentially the problem comes that the phone loves to turn itself off, it didn't seem to matter what we were doing with it - talking, texting,or even charging it. It would just turn off for no evident reason. Now whilst this may not sound like the end of the world it was certainly a concern for us, as my wife uses her phone alarm to get up for work at stupid o'clock in the morning. We took it back into the store, somewhere in the region of 15 days after purchase, just a little over the 'cooling off' period that comes with a typical contact these days within which you may change your mind for whatever reason. The staff apologised and told us that this was a rather unusual situation and that the phone was well known for being reliable, but after we insisted our case we were told that we could have the phone sent away for diagnostics and the like. Obviously this wasn't to our liking after a little over two weeks of having a shiny new phone with shiny new monthly contract we were unkeen to pay for something we couldn't use. We pressed our point and the manager (or perhaps supervisor) in the 3 store offered to do a 'good will' exchange, after mumbling something about what good will really meant we took the exchange and went home 'reasonably' happy with the situation.

                Sadly a couple of weeks later the new phone started doing the same trick, around ten days I think it was as it falls, so sadly we had to go in and push our point again, this time in a few less discreet voices in front of some other customers - I don't like making a scene but when I'm being told that this phone is perfectly reliable when it's the second one that I've had with the same error we couldn't help but feel a bit put off - eventually we managed to get the staff to offer us an exchange to a similar model of the Inq1 thus ending our experience with the Skypephone S2. The end result is we're not sure if this was a hardware, software or user fault, but it is something that I feel is well worth reminding people about if they are considering purchase of this otherwise brilliant little device.

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              • More +
                29.07.2009 19:21
                Very helpful
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                Very good and reliable phone

                I bought this phone at the weekend as I needed to buy a reasonably cheap handset after having my lovely pink samsung stolen :( I must admit I wasn't completely sure when buying this phone as I've always usually had quite girly phones and thought it would be more of a man's phone. I was pleasantly surprised however and would definitely recommend this for anyone who just wants a reliable and easy to use handset.

                What it looks like: The phone is thinner than I thought that it would be, probably just over a centimetre thick and is small enough not to be considered a 'brick'. The design is nice and simple and would be good for a range of age groups.

                Features: I'm not really into fancy features and internet applications, however this phone has a variety of useful apps including Facebook, Skype and Windows Messenger. There are also the usual features that you would expect to have including a good camera, mp3 player and bluetooth. One of the most important things that i consider when buying a phone is the battery life and so far I'm still waiting to charge it up after buying it 4 days ago which can only be a good sign!

                Advantages: The main advantage of this phone is the price as it is around £45 on Amazon and would be great for either a replacement handset like mine or simply as a new phone. It's also really easy to use and I've had no problems with how to work it.

                Disadvantages: The Skypephone is on the three network and this may be a problem for some people who are on different networks. Personally I have never had any problems with this network but some people may be reluctant to change networks.


                Overall a great little phone!

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