back to article 3 launches second-gen Skypephone

Skype and network operator 3 obviously think they’re onto a winner with the Skypephone, so the duo’s teamed-up again to launch the brand’s second handset. 3_Skypephone_S2_pic2 The Skypephone S2 has a higher resolution screen and HSDPA Although the new handset features the same Skype connectivity as before, the new Skypephone …

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Tim
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A word of caution from a 3 customer

If you don't set up a direct debit, they treat you like crap.

Also, you may be able to set up mobile broadband but with their "fair use policy" which doesn't strike me as particularly fair there is a limit to how much you can use it.

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@Tim

I think you'll find it's not a particularly unusual thing for a fair use policy to exist on mobile networks. Actually, it appears to be common in general. So I'm not sure 3 deserve any particular slating.

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SyncML?

The first skypephone suffered from a lack of a SyncML conduit - meaning it could never sync with OSX. Aside from that I would have bought one - my girlfriend lives in Australia and using Skype on my mobile with three saves me a ridiculous amount of cash.

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From another 3 user

I'm sick of all the fud against 3. I've been a happy customer with their PAYG service for years. 3G signal's good, fallback 2G signal is everywhere. £5 for 30 days' unlimited* internet is a bargain, and i've never hit any limits.

/ typing on 3/LG U890/Opera Mini

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I want one!

I already use the Skypephone - its awesome: does all the expected stuff, plus the skype calls to my friends and family, and then there's the bonus of 2Gig download for a mere £5 a month (Ubuntu bluetooth DUN gives me around 50Kps).

The only problem i see is people tend to disbelieve me when i tell them about it... you can lead a horse to water but....

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Nice in theory.

From my experience the Skype and other services such as msn and mobile tv are simply used as a carrot to get people to sign up to 3. Once locked in to the contract you soon realise the customer support can be hard to deal with (sales call centre is in Glasgow, support call centre is in India) and that the promised services work poorly if at all.

Skype for 3:

- random log out of skype even in areas with full signal

- incoming Skype calls rejected even though you're logged in with full signal (caller goes straight to voicemail or gets a message that you can't answer at this time)

- outgoing Skype calls often fail even though calling the same person from a pc works fine

- totally unreliable presence information, contacts shown as logged in when they're not - or vice versa.

- very variable call quality - ranging from good to totally unintelligible - seems to be capacity problems at peak times.

All the above and more are commonplace on the original Skype phone or the "Skype for 3" java or s60 client. Take a look at this complaints thread on the Skype forum:

http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=159891

I'd be very interested to hear whether three have corrected any of these problems with the shiny new Skypephone S2.

Also note all calls will cut off if you move from a 3G to a 2G area whilst in a call, forcing you to redial. Be very cautious if you live near the edge of their 3G area, the contact small print (clause 5.9) mentions the 2g/3g call drop problem but you can be sure the sales rep won't. (No other UK network drops calls in this manner but as three don't own a 2G network they have to rent one from O2 and they'd rather cut you off than invest in the equipment which would allow smooth call handovers from 3G to 2G)

That said for basic telephony/mobile internet 3 are *cheap* compared to the competition and if you maintain the patience of a saint whilst speaking slowly and clearly, you can usually get things done when calling the Indian customer support centre.

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@Kenwb2

Totally agree. Been with them since 2005 and have had any problems resolved with minimal fuss and excellent customer care. Got one for the missus, when contract ran out wanted to go PAYG but they agreed to give us the same deal, numerous mins/text plus video/pic messages and vid mins plus £5 downloads per month all for a tenner. They even give her a new phone with it every year. Really happy with everything about them. Was out of the country for years so hadn't heard of them. If I had I probably wouldn't have gone with them as when I tell people I'm with 3 they say things like,"but they're crap ain't they?" and I guess they may have been when they started but they couldn't afford to fail with the amount of money invested and so they are far better now than then and better than all the others if you ask me. Was the 1st to offer a decent internet package when others were and as far as I know still are blocking skype and other things.

Good on ya 3.

From a loyal and very satisfied customer.

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