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by Alfie

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I make things on the web, mobile and in the actual world.

I've done lots of bits and bobs over the years, and right now I'm mostly working on this.

I enjoy speaking about things I like, most recently this. You can email me if you'd like, and I'm on twitter.

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Tovo VOIP/GSM hybrid phone

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So I got asked to review this phone thing. It came through today and I checked it over; acceptable form, has a VGA camera, polyphonic ringtones, some games, an organiser, GPRS etc, basically what amounts to an entry level cameraphone from about a year ago (mostly because of the VGA camera). You can either slot your sim in or leave it just on wifi - if your sim is in you can set your preferred connection, WLAN first, GSM second etc.

Looking at the service (essentially a Skype like service, but their strategy seems firmly set in driving handset purchases to promote use of the service) I don't think it's going to be that useful for most of the target audience; their target audience have all got contracts, generally between 400 and 1000 free minutes per month plus text bundles, so why use the Tovo as your at home handset if you have to pay for it at all?Their pay as you go package looks like this:

Price Free
tovo to tovo *Free**
UK Local, National 2p
InternationalTier 1 5p
InternationalTier 2 10p
UK Mobiles 15p

and their UK freedom 12 month contract looks like this:

UK Freedom Per Month Cost per min Price �£14.95

tovo to tovo *Free**
UK Local, National *Free**
InternationalTier 1 2p
InternationalTier 2 10p
UK Mobiles 10p

That's really not bad, either of these beats pay as you go mobiles hands down.Anyway, this isn't a review or anything now, Im just sort of airing my initial thoughts whilst I've been playing with it.

I've made and received a few calls, UK landline and mobile plus abroad - the quality is good, but ultimately it's what you'd expect from a VOIP service; there's packet loss, but it's not too bad - it's just not for a business user imho. Anyhoo, kinda interesting I reckon!! Next step is to wander about town and see what it's like jumping onto random open networks and calling.

ps - you get given your own 07911 number with the phone.
22nd Nov 2006, 21:02   | tags:,,,

James says:

Sounds interesting at the very least - looking forward to reading your expert opinion in the future!

22nd Nov 2006, 21:41

gofes says:

A bit like Netgers one but with with GSM
Sounds a good idea, but you would never be able to use the skype on public hotspots, unless you happened to stumble up on an open one.

22nd Nov 2006, 23:06

Alfie says:

Yeah, itll only be on open networks, wherever I've been in London, and even Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, open wifi networks are fairly plentiful. The real bugger with this phone is that it's locked into tovo's service, and you can't use skype.

22nd Nov 2006, 23:51