VoIP, or Voice over IP, has been the alternative answer to expensive landline bills and over-the-top cell phone charges for quite a while now. Using programs like Skype or MSN Messenger, you can call anyone in the world for very little cost. However, more often than not you're bound to your computer when making these calls, which can be a hassle. A few companies have since come out with dedicated devices specifically made to handle VoIP calls. Voiis, for example, has the Mini Pocket Messenger Phone, which pairs up to an accompanying Bluetooth dongle, thus letting you make and answer Skype calls even when you're within 100 meters of your computer. The package will set you back around $90, but you can find lower prices if you shop around.
The Voiis Mini package consists of the Mini Pocket Messenger phone and a Bluetooth dongle. The Mini Pocket Messenger is a tiny little device, measuring only 3 inches long by 1.88 inches wide by 0.7 inch thick. It has a smooth curved back, and a simple flat front surface. There's a tiny 1.2-inch 65,000 color display, plus two soft keys, a four-way navigation toggle, and Call and End/Power keys. We felt that the buttons were a bit on the stiff side.
The installation process is pretty easy. We installed the software and the drivers per the instructions, and plugged the Bluetooth dongle into the PC. Then we went through the Bluetooth pairing process, which took a few minutes. After the two devices were paired, we launched Skype, and the Mini Pocket Messenger phone recognized it immediately. We were then able to access our entire Skype contacts list and make calls as usual. Call quality was actually pretty decent--about the same as regular Skype calls with a headset. Included with the package is a wired headset to plug into the Mini Phone for better sound quality.
The Voiis Mini Pocket Messenger Phone is compatible with Skype, AIM voice chat, and MSN Messenger voice chat. It can list about 500 contacts, and the software included has a list-editing feature. It alerts you when your contacts are online, and you can set the phone to ring or vibrate with incoming calls. The Voiis Mini is a Class 1 Bluetooth device, meaning that you can use it within 100 meters of the Bluetooth dongle.
Another nice feature of the Voiis Mini is that it can stream audio from your PC. Once the stereo connection is activated, the PC will immediately launch either Windows Media Player or iTunes, and you can then start playing songs from your music library directly to the Voiis Mini. You can play, pause, fast-forward, or rewind using the Voiis Mini device as well. One caveat, though: the Voiis Mini's included speakers are pretty weak. We had to use the included wired headset to hear the music. Also, we're not sure if it's all that great to have a portable music streaming device that you can only use within your own home. That said, it's a nice bonus feature if you want to listen to some music around the house and not miss any incoming Skype calls at the same time.
Overall, we think the Voiis Mini Pocket Messenger is a decent VoIP phone with some nice extra features.