It wasn’t too long ago that iPevo launched their latest Skype handset, the SO-10W. I managed to get my hands on one and give it a once over. It’s a straight forward Skype only phone that enables you to make and receive both Skype and Skype Out calls. It features a 2-inch LCD and a set of relatively large buttons to navigate the exact same menus found in the Skype PC application.
The iPevo SO-10W can be connected to your network via Ethernet or WiFi. WiFi is not built directly to the phone, so iPevo has included a small, but somewhat cumbersome wireless dongle. The wireless dongle plugs into the handset via USB and draws its power from the phone, which is powered by an AC plug. Setting up the wireless dongle proved to be the most challenging aspect of the device. First, you’ll need to plug the dongle into the handset to be able access the appropriate menus. Simple enough, but that’s where the simplicity ends. Since the iPevo lacks a QWERTY keyboard, punching in any security information can be a timely process. Fortunately, you’ll only need to do it once since the phone will remember it. After entering in all the necessary network info I found myself tapping my foot. In other words, the SO-10W isn’t exactly expeditious when it comes to connecting to a wireless network. In fact, the SO-10W seem to take minutes, not seconds as one would expect, to join the network. Furthermore, it actually took me a few attempts to join my home’s network before the SO-10W would accept it. Fortunately, everything following that was as simple as logging into my Skype account and dialing as normal.
The phone features 3 speed dials buttons, a speakerphone and the usual set of buttons and features you’d expect to find on a corded phone of this type. As previously mentioned it includes a 2-inch LCD that is very bright and easy to read – no complaints there. The handset is derived from previous iPevo VoIP devices and is actually a bit too light weight for my liking – something with some more heft would have been preferred – and is a tad on the slim side for pressing your ear to your shoulder. Nonetheless, these are all subjective observations and some my appreciate the iPevo’s sleek minimalist design.
Unlike some other VoIP handsets I’ve used, the iPevo’s buttons are very responsive (the center green button was a little wobbley, though) and I experienced no delays when accessing the phone’s Skype menus or contact list. And they’ve done the uncoordinated a favor and made the answer and end call buttons large and unmissable.
The speaker phone on the iPevo SO-10W is very loud and crisp, although this resulted in callers complaining that they could hear themselves. The handset on the other hand is a bit too loud and even at the lowest volume was slightly ear blistering, but nothing one couldn’t tolerate although it would have been nice to have the option of less volume.
During my few weeks of use I’ve only had the phone freeze on me once, which required me to unplug its power. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, I had to manual locate my home’s network and select it in order to get back online – I would have expected it to rejoin the network automatically.
The SO-10W is a nice little corded Skype only phone . I vastly enjoyed its ease of use with the exception of setting up the wireless connection, and would have much preferred WiFi built-in since the dongle just takes up more counter space. Given its lack of feature set and simplicity the iPevo is probably best suited for the old school (e.g. my Mom) looking to go new school.
- Bright and easy to read screen
- Large and responsive buttons
- Loud speakerphone with quality sound
- Wireless isn’t the device’s fortey
- Handset volume too loud
- No camera for video confrerencing