Some years ago I bought a network radio.
The one I bought looked like a VHF handheld complete with PTT and antenna. In fact it was an Android phone using the internet as the main link.
I used mine with Echolink so I could talk with people via distant repeaters. At the time solar conditions were poor and I thought it would be well used.
The main issue was a lack of repeater activity. I can see the attraction if you are unable to put up antennas (e.g. in a care home),, but to me it was not "real radio". If you just want a chat maybe network radios are fine. Being able to speak with locals on handhelds on the other side of the planet is fun!
Other forms of network radio are CQ100 and Hamsphere. These simulate amateur radio whereas Echolink actually uses amateur radio.