It may not be Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! but the big showdown between Netgear and Belkin is going down today, via their respective WiFi Skype phones. Who will walk out of the arena bloodied, but victorious? And who will lie there, clutching their gonads like a man who got kicked...in the gonads? Count along as the champion of each category is noted in bold and italicized.
Note: This may be a bit unfair, as the version of software on Belkin's unit is pre-release and Netgear's is release. We'll do another match-up once Belkin releases a final version of the firmware.
Size: Netgear's is smaller, easier to hold.
Comfort: Belkin's finish may look better, but Netgear's is easier to hold in your hand and up to your ear.
Heat: Both got pretty hot, but Belkin stayed a bit cooler than Netgear's.
Call Quality (includes reception): The overall quality was about the same, but Netgear had noticeably less lag than Belkin. The Belkin unit is still a pre-release version, whereas Netgear's version is release, therefore more stable.
Skype-to-Skype: Tie. Both were decent.
Skype-out: Netgear's was definitely more stable and didn't have the lag that was in Belkin's unit.
UI: Netgear's was faster, more responsive, and the keys have a better tactile feedback than Belkin's. But the Belkin phone had a brighter screen, and didn't have the annoying problem of having to manually type in the "+" key whenever you wanted to add a Skype-out contact.
Talk-Time: Belkin wins at three hours compared to Netgear's two.
Speakerphone: Netgear wins. Belkin doesn't have one.
Cost: Belkin's was only $179 on Amazon before it was taken down. Netgear's is $249.
Conclusion: Netgear wins 7-4, thanks to its better call quality, smaller size, and more responsive UI. However, the race may be a bit closer next time after Belkin updates its firmware. We're going to say award Netgear the crown now, but check back in October for a re-match.