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Skype phone unveiled on 3

VoIP-meisters Skype and 3 have announced a phone that will let you make cheap Skype-to-Skype calls without being tethered to a PC

Today Skype and 3 announced a mobile phone that will allow users to make free Skype-to-Skype calls and send free instant messages over 3G, in addition to making normal phone calls and browsing the Internet.

3's Skype phone also packs a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, an expandable micro SD card slot (up to 1GB) and weighs a pocket-friendly 85g. The star feature however, has to be the ability to make cheap Skype calls.

You can call friends or relatives anywhere in the world via Skype and not spend a penny, or have to be tied up to a laptop or PC -- we like.

According to 3's press agency, this handset is much more integrated with Skype and easier to use than previous Skype-running handsets, such as 3's X-Series range of phones, but we'll wait for a proper hands-on to make any final judgements.

The Skype phone will be available from 2 November and cost £49.99 on pay as you go, or free on a monthly contract. Skype-to-Skype calls will be free on contract, but you'll need to top up your credit every month to get free calls on pay as you go. -Andrew Lim