Bottomline: A cheap, decent phone with free calls to other Skype users
While Skype and other internet telephone services are great for cheap or free calling from a computer, if you're out and about it's not much use.
That is, unless you use the 3 Skypephone, which includes the Skype program and free access to calls.
The phone is solidly built, slim and with a clear screen, and the buttons and menus are easy to use.
It works as a normal phone on the 3 network, and is available without cost if you are on a contract, or for £40 on pay-as-you-go.
Skype calls are free at any time – and can be made anywhere you can get reception.
However, there is a catch – while Skype on a computer can be used to call any phone number, the phone can't be used for this.
You can only call other Skype users, and all other calls need to be made using the normal 3 network at standard rates.
It's not a bad deal, particularly if you know lots of people using Skype, but it does mean there's no way around the high costs of calling internationally from a mobile phone. Admittedly that's no surprise, given that the phone is sold by a mobile network, but it's still a shame.