We saw some incredibly cheap, ill-thought, Android-based videophones at CES this year, but this wasn't one of them. The SoIP S1 from Inbrics is running Android, of course, but it's under that same fine UI skin that Inbrics has coated its M1 Android slider
in. The result is a finger-friendly device with nice software for making calls and sending messages -- though it could really benefit from an external text-input device of some sort, and luckily there's Bluetooth onboard to make that a possibility. There's HDMI, Ethernet, USB and an SD slot around back, and the device is designed to sling video calls and media playback to a TV over the HDMI plug or DLNA (there's also WiFi onboard, natch). For VoIP there's a wireless handset embedded in the base of the unit. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see a demo of the video calling in action, and the big hangup with most of these video calling stations is still here: there's no mention of the big standards in video calling like Skype, Google Talk or iChat, so it's hard to see this catching fire with people who actually video chat
. Still, at least Inbrics has roughly half of the software problem solved. Check out a video walkthrough after the break.
Inbrics' SoIP S1 tries to make videophone converts out of us yet