GE 28310EE1, a Skype/cordless handset is very similar to other dual-mode cordless phones with Skype and would have been rather run of the mill had it not been for the one distinguishing feature which sets it apart: it allows you to switch between Skype and landline calls and enables you to have a three-way conference call. This feature is novel and unique among Skype phones and at the present time GE 28310EE1 is the only phone offering it.

Although GE 28310EE1 needs a wired link, Ethernet, to a broadband connection to function, it operates independently of the computer. This allows the user to use Skype’s voice-over-IP in a more traditional way- i.e. by using a normal handset. This phone can be used as a normal cordless phone- you can go hands-free as it has a built-in speaker phone, you can move around the house while you talk instead of being stuck in front of the computer.

This offering from GE is made up of three pieces. The first is a grey box, which is the size of a DSL modem, which is the Hub. It has an included Ethernet cable, which connects it to a router or broadband modem. An AC adapter is used to power this hub.

A smaller AC adaptor powers a single handset and its small cradle –cum-recharging station. This is the other part of the kit. Advanced DECT 6. 0 technology allows the hub to communicate wirelessly with the handset. Advanced DECT 6.0 operates at 1,900 Mhz and hence does not interfere with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other cordless phones. The handset is a little larger in size- more the size of a regular cordless phone than of a cell phone and the buttons are laid out in an easy to use style and are appropriately sized. The GE 28310EE1 has a colour screen (128 X128 pixel) i.e. it has 65,000 colours.

GE 28310EE1 has an intercom option in its menu system, which enables you to connect with other handsets in your home. Since this system is expandable by up to four handsets ( at an additional cost of course), the intercom option is extremely useful and viable. The ringer on the handset has many ringtones to choose from and the ringer is loud and clear. So, finding your phone if you’ve misplaced it is easy!! Also inputting information like your account number, password, etc is simple as it is like text messaging using a dial pad.

Once you log into Skype, you can bring up your contact list, which incorporates the usual Skype icons. To call, just navigate the Contact list, select the contact and the contact is automatically dialled and the call is through without any delay. The call quality was quite good especially on the landline; however on Skype it was dependent on your broadband connection. However, the GE 28310EE1 is geared more towards a Skype phone than a landline with a lot of its advanced features catering to those individuals using Skype’s optional services.

GE 28310EE1 as a landline phone supports caller ID, flash button for call waiting, etc. The best part about this phone and the reason why it wins hands down over others is that one can toggle between landline and Skype calls without disconnecting the other. It is also possible to have a three-way conference with a Skype and landline caller.

GE 28310EE1 has a pair of AAA900 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries included. According to GE a fully charged phone is able to give you 12 hours of talktime and up o 120 hours of standby time. This phone is firmware upgradeable and an option in the menu system is available to let you upgrade to the latest version.

We feel $179.99, the price of GE 28310EE1, is worth paying for all the features offered by this dual-mode Skype phone.

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