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Philips Msn Messenger Handset Dect VOIP 4331B/37 Phone Review

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Philips 1 Handset Dect 6.0 VoIP (VOIP4331b)

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Talk to millions for free, Free worldwide Internet calls to your online contacts via Windows Live Messenger, Internet calls anywhere at home. Traditional and Internet phone, Land line and Windows Live Messenger calls on one handset, Cheap calls to standard phone numbers via Windows Live Call, Direct Windows Live Messenger key, Automatically see your contacts online. More Info

Mfr. Part Number: VOIP4331B


* Battery Type: AAA NIMH
* Backlit LCD: Yes
* Backlit Keys: Yes
* Headset Jack: Yes
* Caller ID Handset/Base: Yes
* Answering Machine Built-In: No
* Speakerphone Handset/Base: Handset
* Speed Dial: Yes
* Speed-Dial Memory: Yes
* Volume Control: Yes
* Product Dimensions: 38(W) x 51.3(H) x 69.4(D) cm
* Product Weight: 24.4g
* Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labour

My Review:
Hi everyone I'm going to share a bit of light on this new msn messenger voip phone because there are no reviews on this phone online and this here was the only way for me to create one. If you stumbled upon this page by searching for one on google you came to the right place. I bet you've been reading up on the little material there really is to find on the net about this msn messenger/house phone. A couple people made some reviews at amazons website but they seem a bit fabricated if you ask me. As you know many companies do send reps online to write great reviews about a product just so it sells. They also do this so good reviews pop up first! Anyways I'm going to shed a lot of light on this phone today. I've been a computer technician for 9 years now and also do sound engineering as my second night job so I know massive information about sound. This review is very important because a lot of non-technological people will be seeing this phone at their local pc stores and frankly there's no real info about this phone on the internet. People are going to want to buy this to speak with family and friends so it's best that they know what this product is really about. I spent 5 hours online searching for info with google before I went out to buy this phone. I found no info at all other than a couple short fabricated company reviews from philips.

First of all the phone is a true msn messenger phone, as well as a house phone. You can use it for both purposes at the same time. Someone mentioned that this isn't a true voip phone. Newsflash but using msn messenger to talk to someone with your voice is indeed voip. Hence the definition for voip is "voice over internet protocol".

As for setup you'll need to charge the phone for 24 hours before it's first use. You can plug the usb base in your usb pc port once 24 hours have passed. Windows Xp will automatically detect and configure the phone. It would be good to note that there is NO ACTUAL SOFTWARE installed on your pc. The cd-rom that comes in the package is just a 60 page pdf manual disc for you to read in case you want more info than what's on the quick start paper sheet. Once windows xp recognizes the phone a pop up will appear on your computer screen. You must allow it to "call contacts through msn messenger". If you do not do this the phone will not connect to msn. Anyways back to the usb features my friends, please note that the usb base is hot swappable which means you can disconnect or connect the usb cable from your pc at anytime without going through any safety prompts on your windows xp systray. You can also leave the usb base plugged into your pc's usb port and turn off/on your pc or restart your pc whenever you want.

Now let's get into sound... I'm a sound engineer so I know a lot about the way sound should be heard. Well the audio is good while using the phone on msn. It's not spectacular, but it's not horrible either. I'd have to say it's in between, but definitely not such sound that would get on your nerves. It does sound crisp when you and the person your talking to has no background noise such as tvs on or radios. The sound has a lot more treble than it does bass. It's the type of treble sound you would hear using a public phone on the street. What I am about to mention is only for the advanced pc user so if you know nothing about this don't worry as this is just for people that do advanced sound work on their pcs. The phone does not need to be setup in windows xp's sound devices panel. It automatically configures itself when you make a call. So if your the type that think your pc's sound card settings will be messed up when you use this phone your wrong. It won't mess any sound settings providing that you have your pc sound card settings on "integrated sound" when you make a call. When you use the phone it automatically overrides any pc sound settings so it can use the generic usb soundcard in the base and phone. Once you finish talking to someone your pc sound card settings go back to normal. & no you don't have to change any settings on your msn audio/video setup tools options, because as mentioned they just become overridden when the phone is in use, and than go back to normal when it is not in use. & by "in use "I mean WHILE YOUR ON A CALL, not while your not using the phone.

As for ease of use it couldn't be easier. All you have to do is be signed into any msn account on msn messenger and click the green button on the phone to choose a contact to call. The phone manual states that you need to have your password and address "remembered" by msn messenger. But that is only if you want to automatically sign into your account to make a call from the phone at anytime. For people like me who prefer some privacy when leaving my msn open, I just don't do that. Instead I sign into my msn messenger account on my pc when I want to make a call using msn through this phone.

As for connectivity, well if you don't have many electrical outlets in your home and need to unplug the usb base from the power source on your wall outlet or surge bar you can! Just make sure you unplug the usb cable from your pc usb port before doing so. You can than plug in the usb base later on whenever you want as it will not affect the separate phone base at all. Also note that you will see a phone icon in your windows xp systray whenever the usb base is connected to your pc. The phone icon in your systray which is next to your windows xp time does nothing at all. So don't click on it or anything as it does nothing but let you know that the usb base is connected.

Why I bought it? I bought it so I can speak with family or friends in other countries. I'm going to send some people one of these phones since I find it to do the job. I used to use a microphone headset when talking to friends and they still do. But I just hate sitting while your talking to someone especially when your hungry or have to reach for things. This is a great phone for walking around. I'm in a five floor home and walked all over with this phone working fine. I also went in my backyard where I often cook on the barbecue and near my pool and I still didn't get disconnected when I was talking to my family. The phone has great distance. It will notify you if your about to step out of range. All in all a great phone for the price of about $40. It works well as a house phone too which I would assume is clear as heck. But I wouldn't be able to describe that feature as I've only used this phone on msn. Look for the phone in your local major pc shops or online. This is a great product for those of you that need to talk to family and friends without sitting down using a headset. A lot of people don't have the money to subscribe to voip services and so msn messenger is good enough to make free calls over msn.

Overall Rating Out of 5:
Looks 5/5
Sound 3.5/5
Functionality 5/5
Windows Xp Compatibility 5/5
Range 5/5
Msn Function 5/5
Phone Function [I did not test]
Setup Difficulty Out Of Box EAS

Edited by superstar, 01 April 2008 - 11:00 AM.

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