VoIP Phone for $19.99? What?

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Tom Keating
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VoIP Phone for $19.99? What?

genica-ph210-pb.jpg On Buy.com I came across a VoIP phone listed for $19.99. The product description catches my eye because it says "VoIP/Skype Desktop IP Phone w/Digital Answering System - Use Your Internet Connection to Make Calls! - PH210-PB". So it's a Skype VoIP phone with a digital answering machine. Intriguing. I decide to check out the rest of the specifications. I'm curious if this is also a SIP phone. Buy.com says it supports the H.323 v2 protocol. H.323? How ancient! I scan for SIP, but no mention of it. I'm beginning to wonder if that explains how this product is only $19.99.

I come across another website Geeks.com, which lists the full specifications:

  • PH210 VoIP Desktop IP Phone

  • General Features:
  • Integrated digital answering machine with up to 20 minutes of recording time
  • Supports ITU-T H.323 v2 protocol
  • 2 x 16 character LCD display
  • 38-key keypad
  • Caller ID
  • Hold, call transfer function
  • Data and time function
  • Red LED indicators
  • Works with Gatekeepers and Gateways
  • Enable P2P (Peer-to-peer) connections without Gatekeepers and Gateways
  • Firmware upgradeable through network by TFTP

  • Phone Functions:
  • Full duplex speakerphone
  • Handset/speaker phone volume adjustment
  • Ring volume adjustment
  • Music on hold
  • Ten (10) Speed dial
  • Phone book

  • Dialing Method:
  • Phone to phone
  • Address translated via H.323 Gatekeeper

  • Buttons:
  • Menu
  • Speed dial
  • Phone book
  • Cancel
  • OK
  • Navigation button
  • DAM/Message (Digital Answering Machine)
  • DAM Setting
  • M1 - M10
  • 0 - 9 numeric keypad
  • * button
  • # button
  • Speaker on/off
  • Function
  • Flash
  • Redial
  • Hold

  • Ports:
  • Two (1) 10/100Base-T RJ-45 Ethernet ports (PC and LAN)
  • One (1) RJ-11 Line port
  • DC in 9V power plug

  • Specifications:
  • Protocol: ITU-T H.323 v2
  • Codec: G.711, G.723.1
  • Voice Quality: VAD (Voice Activity Detection)
    • CNG (Comfort Noise Generation)
    • AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation) G.168
  • QoS: IEEE 802.1Pq. VLAN, ToS field identify
  • Tone: DTMF, Ring tone, Ring back, Back tone, Dial tone
  • TCP/IP: Static and DHCP for IP address assignment
    • PPPoE (PPP over Ethernet for ADSL environment)
    • SNTP (Network Time Protocol)
    • DNS (Domain Name Service)
  • Configuration: Profile download
    • Web setup
    • Key and LCD
  • Operation Temperature: 0 ~ 40°C
  • Humidity: 5% to 95 %
  • Unit Dimensions:
  • 2.25 x 6.6 x 8.6-inches (H x W x D. approximate)
Still no mention of SIP in the specs. In fact, no mention of Skype. Huh? Skype doesn't use the H.323 protocol and who still sells H.323 phones anyway? Could just be someone trying to offload some old inventory. It's possible this is a standalone Skype phone that has the Skype software embedded, which would be a cool product, but I'm a bit skeptical. Would certainly be pretty cool to have an Ethernet Skype phone with built-in digital answering machine, but information is very scarce online about this product. In fact, Buy.com says the item is currently unavailable and out of stock. Geeks.com is still selling them, but I'm not sure I want to gamble $19.99 + S&H on some unknown product that may or may not have Skype functionality. Do we have any takers out there? If so, let me know how it goes in the comments.

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