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3Skypephone, originally uploaded by *Tom*.

Tehm and I recently bought a pair of Skype mobile phones from mobile operator ‘3‘. The “3Skypephone” as it is called is a wonderful little device. Skype works well for voice and text chat (with a few minor synchronisation niggles), and overall the phone is small, light, and packed with enough features to keep me playing with it for hours.

We opted to get the phones for free on a £12/month contract, which comes with 100 minutes of cross-network voice minutes or texts, and 300 minutes of 3to3 calls. Add Skype to that, and it was too attractive a deal to ignore.

Assuming the Skype ‘fair use’ is 4000 minutes per month, with 10,000 Skype Chat messages, that’s a potential total of 4,400 minutes of chat. My jaw would fall off before I could use all of them up, I’m sure.

If that wasn’t enough connectivity, you can add their “Internet Max” (1GB) data add-on for £5/month. I did this as I know for the first month I’ll be playing endlessly with the phone, and installing every Java application I can find on it.

I’ve whittled the applications on my phone down to:

Google Mail
Google Maps
Opera Mini 4 (an alternative web browser for your phone for those who don’t know)

These are the essentials in my opinion, especially Opera Mini 4, as the built-in web browser isn’t very good. Opera Mini 4 set to small fonts on a 3G connection is great!

I’ll blog more about the phone over the coming weeks with some tips and discussions about some of the bugs (no phone is perfect, after all).

If you’re bursting to ask a question about the phone you can leave a comment here, or head over to the busy 3Skypephone forums.