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Turn Your Cell into a VoIP Phone

We test four mobile apps that transform your regular clamshell into a low-cost Internet phone and instant-messaging center.



Cell-Into-VOIP-talkster_shSupported Cell Phones: 
Talkster's Web application works on any GPRS phone with a mobile Web browser, as well as any 3G or Wi-Fi connected device.
Talkster lets you talk to your buddies on Gizmo Project, Google Talk, and MSN without the need to download any extra software to your phone. Not having to look for that certain handset for this service makes this service especially compelling--at least on paper. Any ordinary mobile phone with a Web connection and browser should do the trick, but you'll get better results if your phone uses a high-speed EV-DO or HSDPA connection. Talkster also uses your cellular minutes to call a local-area number, which we discovered through our hands on tests.
Before you can go mobile with Talkster you have to register for the service online at the company's Web site. After you register your name, e-mail, and mobile number you'll have to input your contacts' names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. If you're adding friends on Gizmo, Google Talk, or MSN, you just type in their user names. These contacts will be your mobile contacts and must accept your invitation to be called over Talkster.
After creating an account on we were ready to put the service to the test by pointing our mobile browser to Using our Verizon MOTO Q's EV-DO data connection, we simply scrolled through the contacts we had entered at the Web site and hit the Call button while highlighting a contact who had accepted our invitation. Talkster then sends a signal to the Talkster VoIP network to initiate the call, which in turn tells your phone to call one of the local-access gateways. (This uses your standard cell phone plan, as the call is made as a regular local phone call.) Once our call was connected to the VoIP gateway over the standard cellular voice network, Talkster rang up our Google Talk buddy. We could hear him perfectly with absolutely no delay or breakup. In fact, the call sounded as clear as a regular landline call.
While it was cool to call a computer buddy using a normal cellular voice call, the benefits of this service really lie in the ability to make inexpensive international calls with your cell. Talkster has its own termination offerings to make international calls or local calls by adding money to your account through the Talkster Web page on your PC. The international call, which is routed through a local-acccess number, can cost as low as two cents per minute.
You can't text chat with your buddies on Talkster yet, but the company will be adding this feature to its service in the next few months using a downloadable Java downloadable application. We got a preview and found the chatting application just as easy to use as the VoIP functionality.
Although Talkster falls short by not automatically generating your buddy lists, we found the call quality to be quite good. If you don't mind forfeiting some local calling minutes to make cheap long-distance and international VoIP calls, this is a good service to try.
Download here: 

Supported Chat Services: 
Gizmo Project, Google Talk, and MSN
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