Archive for the ‘Skype Mobile’ Category

Skype Mobile Version Beta – Test Drive Results

September 5, 2006

Click to see the SMC Skype Wi-Fi Phone Preview

Since the SMC (Netgear, Belkin, and Edgecore) Skype Wi-Fi phone does not have a built-in web browser, we still need to use a PPC solution if we want to make Skype calls while on the road, at those Hotspots, without turning on our laptops. Skype released the Skype Mobile Beta version in the mid of Augut 2006, and after trying it for two weeks, we wanted to share our experiences with you.
There are three major improvements:

1. Convenience:

After installing the Skype program, the Skype icon is placed on the PDA desktop, which makes it very easy to access the program, by users. The new beta version also comes with a larger dial pad, which makes it more difficult to dial the wrong number.

2. More available Features:

The following are some important new features that are offered in the latest version.

• Privacy setting (can set allowed calls, messages, or SkypeIn contacts).
• Call forwarding (will use SkypeOut credits).
• Can use Skype voicemail.
• Can add new contacts during a chat. Chat between multi-users is now possible.

Click to see more features offered in the change log.

You can see that the Skype Mobile suite is no longer a strip-down version of its desktop cousin. It now offers abundent features. The two features we think are important but have not made into this version are video and file transfer functions. We’ll see if Skype can include them in the next revision release.

3. Huge Voice Quality Upgrade:

What happened before:

When we tested the old version of the Skype mobile solution last October (by using the PDA’s built-in speaker / microphone), the voice quality is full of background noise to the person at the receiving end. The only way we could make the voice quality acceptable was by using a good Bluetooth headset with a good built-in noise canceling microphone. The one we used was a Plantronics Voyager 510.

Big improvement now:

With the new 2.1 Beta version, the noise canceling function in Skype Mobile is a big improvement. When using the built-in PDA microphone and speaker, the background noise has been reduced to a minimum level. Although the voice quality in Skype Mobile solution 2.1 still cannot match the crystal clear performance with a desktop or laptop PC, it is still pretty good. You can expect to hear a little distortion here and there, though, but it won’t affect the conversation quality.

One thing you should know is that Skype puts the noise canceling function non-activated in the default mode. We suggest you go activate this function right after you install the Skype Mobile suite.

Do you still need the headset?

Yes. But, it is not because the PDA’s built-in speaker / microphone are not good enough. It is because you wouldn’t want others to hear your conversation over the device.

(Tested with: Skype Mobile, Dell Axim X50 with 520MHz CPU and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, Plantronics Voyager 510, corded headset)

Click to read the Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset review

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