Single post

Picked up a Sony Mylo (to use as a Wifi Skype Phone) amoung other things…

So you are probably wondering what the hell I got this for. Well I’m a heavy Skype user and wanted a WiFi enabled phone I could use WITHOUT the computer being on for skype. I already have a Linksys wireless skype phone that requires a USB connection to the PC, though it does work great. I shut down most of my machines at night and needed a solution. Had to add this just to remind some folks… remember this is NOT a cell phone, it does not require any cell phone contracts, or a mobile carrier etc. No Monthly fees. This is a WiFi device that connects to most ANY Wifi internet hotspot, including the one in your home. Once connected to the internet you can make / receive unlimited calls, chat etc through your skype account. I looked and tried several things from Windows Mobile PDA skype clients to this Mylo and found that the Mylo works the best and the $350 price tag is actually justified compared to other solutions. Lets look at what I considered and why some did not work for me.. 1) Run a Skype client on a PDA (Windows Mobile) iPaq or other…. Cost: $299 – $400 (for the PDA). Reason it did not work: Battery life on a PDA is terrible with WiFi Enabled and I found the skype client unstable when used with my other apps on my PDA. I have 2 iPaqs and just didnt work out well for me. 2) Linksys has released their iPhone (not apple’s iphone.. haha) which is basically a base station and cordless phone that plugs directly into your network. Vonage Style. Cost $199 – $250. Reason it does not work for me: This setup is basically like having a traditional cordless phone for your home, but for skype. So it only works at home (easily) unless you want to move the base station around along with the wireless phone. IE its not a self contained WiFi phone device.. it requires the base station. 3) Netgear or Belkin WiFi Phones. Cost $179 – $250. Reason it wont work for me: Both of these totally self contained WiFi phones appear great, but the current software revision does not allow web browsing via a built in web browser. This means while you have a cool self-contained wifi phone you can take to starbucks… you can’t use it there because many hotspots require web browser login / authentication… plus these phones look like mini cell phones.. and typing passwords on a 9 number pad SUCKS. So when they upgrade these phones to include a mini web browser one day.. it will still bite chatting using T9 or worse on a 10 digit number pad. MORE: Which leaves the $249 Mylo… It only really suffers 2 flaws (lets start with the flaws), neither of which affects me.. 1) it’s a Wireless B device as opposed to G…. BUT so are ALL iPaq PDA’s currently on the market (which are also B). The Netgear and Belkin phones are G, but that does not help skype since B is plenty fast for VOIP and most ALL routers are B/G routers and despite what some may think, you will not downshift your wireless network to B when using B and G devices at the same time… they both work at full speed and work perfectly well together. Including at most ALL T-mobile wireless hotspots.. which the Mylo device includes FREE for one year ($350 value right there). 2) the keyboard is not backlit. which would be nice for chatting / typing in the dark, but since this is a secondary use for me.. no biggle. and thats it.. no other gripes.. But what the Mylo DOES do well is skype… it sounds great, the device is self contained, has a built in Opera web browser for logging in at public hotspots, plays video and music, built in speaker, has a gig of onboard ram, built in QWERTY keyboard, yahoo, gmail, etc..elegant on screen animated interface, etc. You can see it at Sony’s site here: The skype performance was excellent, calls were clear with the device itself and amazingly clear using the device’s included mic / headphone setup. People I talked to thought I was on a land line or cell phone. All my skype contacts, my Skype-in numbers and skype-out services work excellent. Another thing that also works is the number pad on the mylo’s keyboard, you can num-lock and only have those digits active on the keyboard, and the skype client creates all the DTMF dial tones so you can “press 1” or whatever on services etc. I was wondering about this.. I called a store and they had a menu, I glanced down at the mylo and thought I was screwed, but pressed the number pad and got the dial tones, so no worries, the skype client on the mylo is complete. I guess one more gripe would be the speaker cant be used as a speakphone, but the headset offers hands free with better sound isolation anyway. The mylo is running an embedded Qtopia Linux so in the future Sony can update the whole device, and perhaps when Sony drops the device in the future.. hackers can re-flash it and run some homebrew on it. Battery life is also amazing.. 3.5 Hours talk time and I leave it on all day long for calls, and charge it at night.. so basically its similar to a PDA phone or smartphone. Plus I found watching video on the device great as well. Sony claims 3.5 hours of talk, 7 hours of web browsing and 45 hours of music playback… and amazingly, if I’m finding those numbers to be accurate. Its one of the few portable devices I can use to cue up a few hour long podcasts and watch them all on the sofa and the battery actually lasts that long. Don’t forget the free year of T-mobile hotspot access to boot… you can only activate use it on the mylo unless you IP spoof the mylo’s mac address on your laptop.. haha So a day after I bought this thing I had deep second thoughts about keeping it (since it was $350) but after looking at the current alternatives, decided it’s the best thing for me at this time for true portable self contained WiFi skype calling, web browsing at hotspots (to log in) then using the skype client, neat Wifi hotspot locator for when you are looking to steal Wifi on your laptop later on that day (haha), and amazing battery life (which it’s a removable / swappable battery I might add). I’ve read other reviews on the net where people could not connect to some hotspots using the mylo, so far I’ve had no trouble with the device and found it picks up all the hotspots including my neighboor’s router which is at least 200 feet away, only a few of my laptops pick it up and the mylo does as well, so far so good.
Powered by Horse Power