Linksys has released two VoIP phones for use over WiFi connections. Both phones allow users to choose which VoIP carrier they use (e.g. Vonage, BroadVoice, etc.). One of the interesting things about these Linksys’ VoIP phone offerings is the fact that they have packaged many of the features one normally finds in a cell phone, such as a phone book, customizable ringtones and wallpaper.
The entry-level phone is model WIP300 which features a 1.8-inch color LCD display and has a retail price of $219.99. The WIP300 opeartes in the 2.4Ghz band and is 802.11b/g compatibile. Some of its features include caller ID, call forwarding, call transfer, SIP v2 support, WiFi survey tool, backlit keypad, signal strength and battery level indication, and a USB charger interface. It also allows you to customize your phone by selecting from a large variety of ringtones and different wallpaper images. One of the downsides of the WIP300 is the fact that it isn’t prepared to work at hotspots that require credentials.
The higher-end phone model WIP330 is thinner and sleeker than its entry-level cousin yet features a larger 2.2-inch color LCD display. It retails at $369.99. In addition to the features in WIP300, the WIP330 adds a web browser, Quality of Service support, and access to hotspots (so you can literally connect anywhere you can find a hotspot connection). You can also do 3-way conferencing and use call hold and resume. The browser support allows for users to connect to the web to check email or even watch video.
Tarun Loomba director of product management at Linksys had this to say about the company’s first entry into the WiFi VoIP phone market:
Voice over IP has clearly emerged as the future of telephone communication and Linksys is leading the way. With the launch of our family of WiFi phones, we can take the technology to a whole new level.
Looks like Linksys has two nice products on their hands here, and so far as the WIP 330 is concerned, I Want One (Badly!).