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Sammy00 Posted:
Has anyone setup a
W52p phone for
vonage? I have
a W52p with two
wireless handsets,
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
W52p Setup
On Aug 30, 2016 at 10:38:01

James44 Posted:
Hi, I am
looking for a good
Sip Trunking
provider in
Canada. they
should offer
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
A good sip trunking provider
On Jul 17, 2016 at 23:42:46

James44 Posted:
Which network
connection do you
use?
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Wireless Access Point plugged into switch
On Jul 13, 2016 at 22:55:00

jjatsk Posted:
We are renting a
few offices right
next door to our
main building. I
have a wireless
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Wireless Access Point plugged into switch
On Jul 09, 2016 at 12:00:54

Pman Posted:
Hello, While
Vonage has been a
great service over
the years, it is
time to part
...

In The Forum:
LNP – Local Number Portability
Topic:
Cannot port phone number to new carrier - repeated failures
On Jul 05, 2016 at 09:12:07

jbugz67 Posted:
We recently
purchased 5
Polycom VVX 300
phones from
Vonage, and have
regretted
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Nothing but problems with VVX300
On Apr 15, 2016 at 14:58:07

RichardPi Posted:
Hello, does
anybody recollect
how to get into
wifi password from
diggings router?
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
How to arrive at wifi password?
On Mar 31, 2016 at 02:39:07

RichardPi Posted:
Hello, does
anybody know how
to get into wifi
watchword from
home router?
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
How to be noised abroad wifi password?
On Mar 30, 2016 at 18:48:05

achow26 Posted:
BrettaMan, I am
having the same
problem. I do not
have the loopback
plug. I tried
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
Vonage issue with USTec UX-226
On Feb 16, 2016 at 14:13:37

alicesmith Posted:
I have used the
PBX phone system
in my new office.
I was very
confused about
phone
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Jan 29, 2016 at 01:49:14


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Vonage vs. Time Warner Cable SoCal



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Vonage Pros and Cons for 2006
Vonage Pros and Cons for 2006



Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review
Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review



Salt Lake City: impressions after several months
Salt Lake City: impressions after several months




Vonage Reviews

Vonage Review: The UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s WiFi Phone


Vonage In Print News



Review Of The UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s First WiFi Phone

April 15, 2005

By Peter Rojas



It’s been almost a year and a half since we heard the first rumblings about this, but we finally got to spend a few days with the UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s long-awaited WiFi phone. Is it everything we were waiting for? Well, not exactly, but as a proof-of-concept we definitely like where they’re going with this. Read on for our impressions.

Design

First off, the handset itself has all the cutting edge styling of a late Nineties Nokia and if you’re the type that’s embarrassed to pull anything but the latest Sony Ericsson or Motorola out of your pocket (it’s ok to fess to this!), you might feel a little “weird” using the UTStarcom F1000 in public. Otherwise, the phone will remind you of a vintage cellphone in more ways than one—if the design doesn’t do it, perhaps the small, grayscale LCD or old school interface will do the trick.

[Note: Vonage made it very clear to us before they sent us the handset that the F1000 is in beta, so keep that in mind as you read this.]



Getting connected

Anyway, once you have the phone turned on, you have to connect to a wireless access point before you can start making any phone calls (obviously). This can be a little difficult to figure out without actually reading the instructions (as we’ll explain in a moment). To make that initial connection you just set the phone to Auto Scan (why it’s not in that mode by default isn’t clear), and the F1000 automatically connects to the nearest open access point. If the access point is encrypted you have to enter your WEP Key, which, is tons of fun to do with a phone keypad, trust us. If you’re at a hotel or Starbucks or someplace that requires you to enter a password or otherwise log-in via a webpage, you’re out of luck; the F1000 just won’t work.

Unfortunately, we decided to just give this whole process a shot right out of the box without reading the instructions first (instructions what?). After more than a couple failed attempts to connect we were able to get it going, but what caused us all this grief is a classic case of poor interface design. It’s not unreasonable to have to flip through a few menus to connect to an access point, but when you fire up the F1000 you are presented with two options: “Menu” and “Search”, and it’s that “Search” option that’s so confusing. When we first fired up the phone we instantly selected the “Search” option. The phone scanned and found our wireless access point, along with several others, but actually trying to connect this way was problematic. We scrolled down the list of detected access points until we found the one we wanted, clicked “Save”, entered our WEP key, clicked “OK”, and then…we were bounced right back to the list of access points. So we clicked the one we wanted again. Fortunately this time the WEP Key was already in there, but then hitting “Save” brought us back to that list of access points again. The smart thing would be to have you simply connect, right? Yeah, we thought that, too. Instead, we exit out of the AP selection menu, and are confronted with the main screen, which says that the F1000 is trying to connect…to the wrong AP! Finally we switched off the phone and switched it on again, and this time we were able to connect to the correct AP with no trouble. Beta blues, no doubt.

Frustratingly, we encountered this same problem again when we wanted to switch the phone from one access point (it had connected to our neighbor’s open AP) to another. We went through the exact same process, but this time we followed the instructions and already had the phone set to Auto-Scan. We were able to finally get things rolling again, but there’s no way the average person is going to want to deal with jumping through these kinds of hoops.



Call quality

Once you’re connected, it’s pretty much like using a regular cellphone, which means that voice quality is acceptable (but not amazing). On occasion the sound quality was absolutely horrible, and was so bad that we could barely understand anything that the person we were speaking to was saying (though oddly enough every time this happened the person we were chatting with would say that everything sounded fine on their end). We thought perhaps it was a bandwidth problem on our side, so we did some side-by-side comparison tests using a regular Vonage line. The calls on the regular Vonage line sounded considerably better, and even people who didn’t complain about the quality when using the F1000 could tell the difference between the two.



Battery life

This was where we were pleasantly surprised. Vonage had hinted back in January that the F1000 would only have about three hours of talk time, but in our tests we were able to get almost six hours of talk time before the battery completely died on us. Part of that may have had to do with the phone’s proximity to our wireless access point during the bulk of those hours, but regardless, the F1000 kept on going far longer than we expected.



Conclusion

So what’s the verdict? Obviously we’re not in love with the F1000, but for a first-generation product (which, even though there are other WiFi phones, this essentially is) we’re actually not displeased. Yes, the voice quality varied and it wasn’t always a snap to get connected, but we were able to successfully make and receive phone calls both here at Engadget HQ and while we were out and about in Manhattan, which is exactly what we wanted it to do.

It’s important to keep in mind is that the F1000 isn’t meant to replace your cellphone, and Vonage doesn’t even come close to suggesting that anyone would want to carry around one of these instead of their regular cellphone. And while it’s true that the average person probably won’t see the point in owning a WiFi phone, anyone who travels a considerable amount, especially overseas, is probably going to want some sort of Voice over WiFi capability, whether it comes in the form of standalone handset like the F1000 or integrated into a regular smartphone or PDA phone. The prospect of being able to be make incredibly cheap phone calls from a hotspot anywhere in the world is pretty tantalizing (that’s a word we hardly ever use around here), and we really wish we’d been able to schedule a trip out of the country to really test this thing out. We’re supposed to send the F1000 back to Vonage next week, but we’ll try and see if we can borrow it again next time we’re out of town for a followup.

Like we said earlier, technically the F1000 is still in beta, but unless Vonage can improve the voice quality and make the user experience a bit less frustrating, they’re going to have trouble getting anyone but the most hardcore business travelers and globetrotters to buy this thing.






 
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1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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