Samsung SMT-W6100

I recently acquired another SIP-based VOIP Wi-Fi handset, the Samsung SMT-W6100. The appeal was the inclusion of a mini-web browser (WAP 2.0) which could be used to log into hotspots that required authentication (or clicking on an “I accept” button before gaining access). The only other VOIP Wi-Fi handset that features a built-in browser is the Linksys WIP 330. However, the long term competition for this type of phone will likely be the dual mode (cellular/VOIP) handsets such as the Nokia N95.

Voice quality seemed good. It appears to support both WEP and WPA type encryption. It can copy phonebook contacts from a SIM card. It supports both 802.11b and 802.11g standards. It weighs approximately 108 grams and has a 1.5″ 128×128 pixel LCD display. It supports multiple codecs including G.729a (a low bandwidth codec).

However, the phone has a number of “issues”:

– it does not support multiple SIP profiles. That means you can set it up to work with a single VOIP provider only.
– when scanning for a new wireless access point, it does not easily display the signal strength or whether a particular access point is “open” or is encrypted with WEP or WPA
– the headset jack is non-standard (10 pin)
– scanning for a new hotspot is not automatic and requires numerous keys to be depressed (navigating through 4 levels of menus)
– after scanning, the list of access points does not easily distinguish between open and encrypted access points (although the list is sorted by signal strength)
– it does not support STUN (a means of helping traverse firewalls/routers)
– it only worked with one of three VOIP providers I tried. In particular, it had a lot of trouble with a VOIP service provider that did not utilize the standard SIP port (5060)
– many types of small configuration changes (even changing the SSID or access point being associated with) resulted in reboots of the phone
– there does not appear to be a “status” function that displays the current access point, codec, etc.
– the phone can play certain types (MMS) of Internet radio stations but does not have an email client
– no connection to a computer (so all settings must be re-entered manually if the phone is reset)

At present, the phone appears to be primarily available from Net2Phone resellers. Cost is approximately US$250-300.