(Pocket-lint) - Last year we reviewed Philips Skype handset, the VOIP321, which promised the ability to make Skype calls from a regular DECT-enabled phone rather than having to sit in front of your computer.

A couple months on, things move fast in the world of technology, and Philips have released the VOIP841 a similar offering, however with one vastly improved feature; You don't need to have your PC on for it to work.

Rather than insisting that you've got Skype running on your PC, the VOIP841 has been designed to not need to and plugs directly into your broadband router.

Anything that makes Skype easier to use has got to be a godsend when it comes to using the service and while we've had this phone on test, we found that we've used the Voice over IP application more than without it.

The VOIP841 phone sports a new black design and an improved colour display (now 64k) and overall the interface of both the Skype and regular phone functions is very easy to use.

For the die-hard connected out there, the phone can store up to 500 Skype contacts, 10 times that of the previous version, as well as being able to call regular people via Skype's SkypeOut function.

You can also now attach a wired headset to the phone that is likely to appeal to the office worker.


The fact that you can access the whole thing with the press of a button and not have to be anywhere near your computer is very much welcomed - we might be geeks, but we don't like showing it.

It means that laptop owners, and there are more and more of us, can keep that laptop tucked out of the way and still benefit from the phone's Skype functionality.

While we liked the VOIP321 we criticised it for its need to be connected to a PC, this time Philips has listened to us and the experience and product is better for it.

This might actually make us want to make Skype calls.

Writing by Stuart Miles.