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Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service Device Review

by The Review CrewMay 30, 2010

The “revolutionary” Ooma Telo was released to the general public in October of 2009. The sleek, compact device appears to have taken design elements from Star Fleet, which is cool, too. After plugging the unit in, you’ll experience a sort of cute red and blue light-show-thingy as the device downloads and installs necessary firmware and updates. The Telo is suggested to be plugged directly into your modem, but works equally well plugged into the router, which is what we at Reviewboard did.

The Telo is controlled by touch controls, which are suprisingly sensitive and functional. A USB port located in the rear of the device isn’t a necessity but one can assume any future expansions would start from this port. Two RJ45 ethernet jacks, two RJ11 phone jacks, and support for four DECT 6.0 handsets, and HD voice for telo2telo conversations are the core features of the model. As of now, the unit does not support Bluetooth or cell-phone integration although the company asserts these features will be available with future firmware/software updates.

The Ooma Telo holds its own when compared to other VoIP, or phone bundled cable options. The service is generally cheaper, although we did discover a significant qualm with the unit. The adverstised UK calling rate of 1.9 cents per minute is not a considerably cheap price, but Ooma Telo is doing all they can to assure you that you’re paying for call quality. Yet, after using the service you’ll note that you’re being billed 3.2 cents per minute. This is due to the FCC levying a toll on telecom service providers, many providers make up for this by increasing prices slightly across the board. Ooma Telo does not, and this 1.3 cents per minute increase is not advertised.

Overall, the Ooma Telo delivers a higher quality call for a fairly cheap price. The firmware/software is steadily updated as complaints and suggestions pour in, and the device’s touch controls and sleek design make it sort of unneccesarily cool.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.