Networking
Review: VTech DECT ip8300 Phone
This connected cordless phone allows users to reach out and touch someone in more ways than one.
iVTech DECT ip8300
The web enabled VTech ip8300 allows users to email, surf and text from the handset.
April 15, 2008 by Rachel Cericola

I hate the phone. At work or at play, most will know that I am not the type that springs for the ring. Also, you’d better leave a message and let me know what my callback will entail; your name and number on Caller ID are not the same as a message.

Email and instant message, on the other hand, are my friends. We’re close. In fact, we’re so close, it’s the first “face” that I see in the morning and the last I see at night. I’ve actually had friends tell me that if I don’t respond to email within 30 minutes or less, they have considered sending paramedics. Not saying it’s a healthy relationship, but it’s a relationship nonetheless.

The VTech ip8300 is destined to make me a phone person, combining the best of both worlds. This web-enabled cordless landline telephone allows users to check email, news, sports, weather and horoscopes, all without turning on a computer.

Aside from the various cords and other accessories, the ip8300 only came with a Quick Start guide. I love to keep things short and sweet, and frankly, how hard should it be to hook up a phone, right?

A full charge, assuming the battery is completely drained, should take about 16 hours. After that wait, it’s easy enough to get your gums flapping. Just plug one end of a phone cord into the telephone base station and the other into your phone jack. Then, plug the handset into any electrical outlet. Boom—that’s communication magic.

That full charge promises seven hours of talk or three hours with the speakerphone.

However, the real hook is adding some of the “extras,” which is why you’d bother to buy this unit in the first place. That’s also pretty easy. Hook an Ethernet cable to the back of the base station, and the other end to your router. The handset prompts you to enter your zip code, and within seconds I was looking for Italian restaurants in my area and checking sports standings.

The only glitch: That endless hourglass, which you often see while searching the web, made a few “special” appearances. However, this did not happen often, and wait times were minimal. 

A full phone charge should get you about three hours of web time. Most likely, you won’t be spending three hours on any of the offered web services. Although the feature is certainly cool, you won’t be downloading movie trailers and playing Chess over the handset. The web content is limited, and that’s probably a good thing since the handset limits and hinders your abilities anyway. 

That said, the phone does allow you to “customize” via any computer. Find the access code, which can be found under the unit’s Settings icon. From the site infophone.com, you’ll be prompted to set up an account. The handset actually allows you to access information without the setup. However, you will need to create an account to change any of your phone’s widgets and/or add instant messaging capabilities. 

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.

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