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RTX Dualphone 3088 review

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RTX Dualphone 3088

Summary

Our Score:

10

User Score:

There does seem to be general consensus that Skype is the best thing since Sporks were invented. In our office, people regularly make calls all over the world, both Skype to Skype, as well as Skype Out (to standard lines). I haven't had quite as much luck, with intermittent performance when trying to contact my parents in Italy. Much of this, I believe can be blamed on NTL and my World of Warcraft loving house mates, but that is hardly an uncommon combination and does prove that you can't always rely on Skype.

We've seen our fair share of Skype phones come in and out of the office, but none of them have quite hit the spot for me. Although the Netgear and SMC have come close, as these don't require a computer – just a WiFi connection. But these can't do standard land line phone calls, so you'd be carrying two phones around the house. Although the VoSKY starts to go in the right direction, using a standard telephone for connectivity, this lacks portability and requires connecting to your PC via USB.

With models as cheesy as the ones above, this phone has to be good – right? The RTX Dualphone 3088 doesn't require a PC, doesn't require wireless, and gives you a cordless phone that will place Skype calls as well as standard land line calls.

The base unit is where most of the action happens. Into this, you plug in an Ethernet cable which connects to a switch or modern combination router. A telephone cable can also be plugged in (although of course, not mandatory), for land line use. These two reasons mean that keeping this unit near your ADSL router makes sense – as hopefully there is where your phone line connection is, and your corresponding Ethernet connection.

The unit itself uses a Conexant CX8101 ARM processor, which is a fairly powerful CPU that coupled with other VoIP specific processors on the PCB help turn our voices in to that digital stream that costs us so little.

Communication between the phone and the base unit is the standard DECT communication, which has not been used in a Skype phone yet. One of the benefits of DECT is that using a single base unit, you can have multiple handsets. At this stage, I don't think this is the case for the RTX Dualphone 3088, but it will apparently be added in with a new firmware release.

man in a box

June 26, 2008, 2:51 pm

Unfortunately I have been quite disappointed with this phone. I have already had to have it replaced once (which was quite a tedious process in itself) but now after a few months use the replacement handset abruptly loses power and switches itself off without warning even if it has been sitting on the charger for a long period. Generally speaking I feel the quality of the components leaves something to be desired. The audio levels are frustratingly low and slow to regulate, the menu navigation is clunky and the landline only works through the transmitter unit which therefore must be powered at all times. Not very eco friendly and renders the landline useless in a power cut. Updating the firmware is a long tedious business too. It's great to have a voip handset but frankly, I'd like one that just works thank you very much. This just makes me use my mobile phone in frustration.

Gilly484

July 18, 2008, 8:56 pm

I too bought one of these phones and it worked very well... for a while. Then came the day it wanted to update its internal software (or whatever)... it hung! I couldn't do anything with it... and it has never worked from that day to this. In effect, then, I paid out to have a phone that worked for 3 months at most!! Trying to find out where the company was located and what to do to get a replacement was beyond tedious... I gave up and counted my losses!





I wouldn't recommend this phone to anyone! A shame, as it was/is a great idea.

Raymond Stephen Young

September 9, 2008, 3:12 pm

Same as above, worked for a while then base station crashed, trying to get a replacement is near impossible, Invoice said i-voip but I brought on the Skype website now nobody will except responsibilty!!!!! Waste of money don't bother

Rinfrance

September 15, 2008, 8:48 pm

I have had mine for a while now, the updates all worked automatically, and the machine works quite well. The received audio is a bit down or maybe its the position I hold it but putting it straight to speaker and its magic. I have had the opportunity to contact the Manufacturer / Supplier in Holland but they did take a few days to respond. There does seem to be a small glitch with some french numbers and sometimes a bit of a delay. Range here is limited to less than 100m but that is almost certainly due to the radio black hole of this part of france.


The manufacturer importer can give updates so they can be loaded manually (so I was informed).


Down sides, no land line logging, only skype names, neccessity to go thru all contacts to find a number, in my case over 200, slow!! needs a search by initial.


Incidentally, all our stuff now runs on a UPS (on line) to allow calls without power and to stop modem problems.


Nice bit of kit, really easy to install, use etc.


any further info I will update this

Mark Stronge

June 22, 2009, 5:01 am

Does this phone have backlighting on the keypad?

Ian Johnson

August 1, 2009, 11:10 pm

This phone is quite honestly a piece of junk, after initial purchase the first thing i noticed was that caller display would vanish, the only way to get it back was to reboot the base station, meant to be fixed with a firmware update it never has been.





Secondly the Skype ringtone decided to distort, this got worse until one day it disappeared completely along with the landline ringtone.





Next came the strange thing where the handset would not charge until the battery was completely exhausted, the only way to fix this was to remove it from the cradle and return, whereupon it would charge fully.





Next, it would switch off in the middle of a call and to get it switched on again took several attempts.





Next the speaker sound distorted and although i am able to still understand a caller it is not good.





All this has happened within 15 months, the final straw came today when the base station power supply failed rendering the entire thing useless.





All in all i am disgusted, no wonder RTX have not produced any more.

Mark Stronge

October 9, 2009, 2:22 am

I bought this phone and have been using it for a few months. It has worked flawlessly and the menu is excellent. No backlight on the keypad but screen is very good and clear to read.





A couple of weeks ago the phone prompted me to update the software and it did that perfectly after downloading the update itself and applying the update to the base station and then to the handset.





The speakerphone isn't great but normal earpiece call quality is excellent.





There is a choice of quite a few ringtones varying in volume which are quite good too.

Alan Son

January 26, 2010, 3:16 pm

Fatally flawed. The lack of being able to capture voicemail on landline is a big design flaw. Furthermore, you can not control the time it takes for voicemail to kick in (ignores skype computer settings). Sound quality is also poor.





The manufacturer also confirmed that they would not update the firmware to solve the voicemail issue. I have urged them to release a statement on their website. Do not buy if you are using it for business. It will cost you.

nickwilcock

July 10, 2010, 12:46 pm

I've had one of these for a while. Audio quality isn't brilliant, but the handset is really rather cheap and nasty. The numbering on the keys is hard to read and is getting faint now - the markings on the main function buttons wore off months ago. A higher quality handset would substantially improve this product.


I tried to replace my DUALphone 3088 with the latest Philips VOIP8551B/05 which is also a 'no-PC' DECT / Skype phone. But the VOIP855 base station causes a background buzz on the landline system if the Ethernet cable is connected to my wireless router. At least the DUALphone 3088 didn't cause any such interference. Philips sent me another VOIP8551B/05, but the fault remains - so now they're escalating the issue.

quentin 1

July 24, 2010, 3:17 pm

I bought one recently and spent several hours trying to connect the phone to the base,something all my other devices do automatically through Bluetooth. I have seen much negative feedback How can the review be so good and the received product so bad??

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