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RTX Dualphone 3088 - RTX Dualphone 3088

By Andrew 'Spode' Miller

Reviewed:

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RTX Dualphone 3088

Summary

Our Score:

10

User Score:

The second base unit is nothing more than a charger, but the cable is hard wired into it, unlike the communications base unit which has a socket for the mains adapter. If the transformer goes, the whole unit is useless. On the plus side, it uses two standard Ni-MH AAA batteries, so you could always use a standard battery charger should a freak accident damage it. This of course can be positioned anywhere you want within reason – with a range of 50m inside, and 300m outside.

Putting the phone into the base unit doesn't require any fiddling around, and you can wobble it in every direction and it still maintains contact.

Once the phone had charged, I turned it on. It discovered the base unit straight away and I logged in with my Skype account. However, if you don't have one, you can sign up with one through the phone itself.

The phone has a good weight that feels comfortable in my hand. After a 30 minute phone call, I certainly didn't feel any discomfort. After a certain point, any phone will become uncomfortable though.

The buttons have very little action, but there is a responsive click. The menu was quick to respond and easy to navigate. It actually felt incredibly similar to the SMC and Netgear units. I do wonder if Skype has some sort of say in the firmware, or might even be dishing out a reference firmware to companies to modify for their own uses. Incidentally, the firmware can be updated through the menu system without ever having to touch a computer.

All the menu items have the familiar Skype icons, and all the functionality of Skype can be found. I was however annoyed to discover that it didn't support Skype Chat. Considering you can enter text using the number pad (much like you would when sending a text message on a mobile phone), I'm surprised the same input method couldn't have been used for chat. Any users trying to chat with me, were told I had an outdated Skype version that didn't support chat.

Plugging the base unit into our network it was given an IP address via DHCP (as most networks will), but should you need to – all of those settings can be adjusted via the phone, including the ports used. My initial Skype performance was not great, which may be due to the number of people using our Internet connection in the office, and concurrently connected Skype users (albeit not in calls). Interestingly, port forwarding only made things worse, and removing the port forwarding is actually what solved the issues. I then had a 30 minute phone calls with my parents to an Italian land line, without any squelching or cut-offs. I had to actually tell them I was using Skype for them to realise I was (and they are both technologically literate). This in itself is testament to the sound quality.

Making land line calls was easy, but there was no separate contacts section for land line numbers. Even inside the Skype contacts, where I have contacts that are just land lines (not Skype contacts) there was no option to make this is as a land line call instead of on Skype Out. Instead, each number must be typed in manually. This is disappointing. In reality though, there is no real reason why you wouldn't just use Skype Out to make these calls. The land line fall back, is only really for making emergency calls – which Skype doesn't support.

Verdict

As the Skype market gets more attention, the quality of phones is increasing dramatically and this is by far the best Skype phone I've used. Without ever needing to touch a PC, anyone can be up and running on Skype, while also having a phone for making standard land line calls. At £88.11, I really feel there is no better option out there.

Overall Score

10

Scores In Detail

  • Value 10

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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