Easy Skype phone

One of the first things I did upon my return to Amsterdam today was install a very cool gadget I bought in CompUSA on Saturday – a Linksys Skype phone.

This is a phone that works with the Skype internet phone service which you use to make and receive phone calls via Skype as you would make and receive calls with a normal cordless phone. The contact list in the phone replicates the contact list in the Skype application that runs on your computer. So, as with a normal phone, you select a contact, hit the ‘call’ button and make your call. Dead easy.

Not only that:

[...] The Handset supports SkypeOut dialing as well as your Skype contact list. It rings when you have a Skype or SkypeIn call coming in, and shows the caller’s ID on the screen. The Handset also supports call waiting and Skype’s optional Voicemail service. When you’re on a call, you can hit the Mute button for privacy, or use the speakerphone function to let everyone join in. You can even use the phone as an intercom — each Base Station supports up to four Handsets.

This phone is also sold here in The Netherlands, but the price is quite a bit more than in the US – for instance, Dixons has it on sale for €140 ($167) versus $130 in the US ($140 including California sales tax).

The only negative was that, after buying it, I discovered that the power supply for the charging unit was US voltage only. You would have thought that it would have been universal to work in any country. But a $10 purchase at Fry’s got me a step-down voltage converter which works fine. Adding that purchase, the total cost is still less than if I had bought the phone here.

Very neat.