engin Internet Phone 121
- Doesn't require a PC connection, colour display, can switch between a VoIP and landline call, ease of set up, value for money
- Design, tactility of keys, constant hissing sound during calls, keys not backlit
engin's Internet Phone 121 represents good value for money. It allows users to make regular calls, as well as calls over the Internet through the engin service using a single handset.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
The engin Internet Phone 121 combines the flexibility of a regular cordless telephone and the convenience of VoIP calls using a single telephone handset. The 121 allows users to connect to their standard telephone line, as well as an engin service, meaning they can make both regular and Internet calls using a single phone.
The key point of the 121 is the fact that it doesn't require connection to a PC to operate. The package consists of two parts, a base station that houses all the connections, and a charging dock, which holds the phone. The 121 is very easy to set up. An installation guide on the included CD-ROM runs the user through the setup process, and this only takes a couple of minutes. An included Ethernet cable runs from a modem or router to the base station (for making VoIP calls), while an ordinary landline (PSTN) connection also plugs into the base station (for making regular telephone calls). Both the base station and the 121's charging dock run off AC power, so you'll need two free power points. The base station also includes a number of green LED status lights to ensure ease of use (LAN, WAN and engin ready).
As the 121 doesn't require a connection to a PC, it offers users the freedom to roam around their home or office while on a VoIP call, just as they would a regular landline telephone. We were setup with a free, trial engin account and were pleased to report that the 121 works quite well. Most of our test calls were fine, although we did experience some occasional poor quality, but this only lasted for a few seconds at a time. Our main complaint was with a soft, yet constant hissing noise that affected all of our calls. Although it won't affect a conversation, it is still something worth mentioning. Keep in mind that downloading from your Internet connection while making VoIP call will more than likely detract from the quality of the call.
One point worth noting is that the quality of service (QOS) of VoIP depends largely on your Internet connection, and this is something most of us have no control over. The quality and overall reliability of the engin service relies on the quality and speed of the Internet connection. Most of our test calls didn't experience any significant problems, although naturally a VoIP call isn't as clear or crisp as a regular landline call.
The 121 phone is fairly straightforward to use, although we weren't impressed with the design. The keys feel soft and they aren't sturdy enough, so pressing them requires more force than usual. The same applies to the rest of the buttons, comprising of two selection buttons, an answer key, a power button (which doubles as a key to switch from landline to VoIP calls) and dedicated speakerphone and recall keys. Unfortunately, the keys aren't backlit, so night time use may be a little difficult.
The backlit, colour screen is quite small, and it isn't very bright either. While we liked the attempt to re-create a mobile phone experience, the text needs to be larger and clearer, as the interface can get confusing. The menu is quite good though, with large, coloured icons and a text description beneath each one ensuring users won't have too many issues with navigation. The phone runs off two AAA batteries and these are included in the sales package. The handset is finished in a rather bland silver and grey colour scheme with prominent engin branding on both the phone and the base station.
The 121 also features a 50-entry phonebook, nine ring tones, caller ID, call forwarding, voicemail and V-mail (for VoIP calls). Users can switch between a VoIP call and a regular landline call using the power/switch call key.
engin offers five call plans, depending on whether you are a home or business user, or whether you intend to call internationally. The cheapest plan is $9.95 per month, while the business 50 plan peaks at $50 per month. Each plan offers different call rates and advantages, a full list found here.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Internet Security
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Smart Security Premium
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear introduces new weather resistant Orbi outdoor satellite
- Netgear introduces Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Extender
- Netgear delivers insight Instant VPN router
- Synology launches mesh router
- D-Link launches next gen DGS3130 Series Lite Layer 3 stackable managed switches
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies