Here’s an admission of sorts. I quite admire Dave Michels’ friend Colin Berkshire. He’s a consistent source of both wit and wisdom. For example, today he describes his somewhat unusual use of a Grandstream GXP2160 IP Telephone in My Line-less Desk Phone.
Not to spoil the punch line, but the phone can be paired to a mobile phone via Bluetooth, making it effectively a great handset for his iPhone. So it’s genuinely useful even without having a SIP line registered.
Other companies like Mocet & Invoxia (review) offer similar capability in dedicated function devices, but these cost considerably more than the GXP-2160, which is currently listed on Amazon for just $99.
I wish I could do the same with my Polycom VVX-600!
I recently found myself trying yet another new desk phone. I’ve tried may different makes and models over the years, literally from Aastra to Zultys, and many in between. They’ve addressed all different price points, from Polycom’s VVX-1500 Business Media Phone to an entry-level Yealink.
In every case I could find some fine qualities worth reporting. Also, in each case I could find some questionable attributes worth discussing. To be plain, even in something as mature as the business class desk phone, there are no perfect products. Every product involves some kind of compromise.
Continue reading “Back To Basics: A Telephone Handset Should Just Feel Good”
After a final edit this product review is online at Small Net Builder.
I finally managed to accumulate enough experience using this device to get the review written. It’s in the hands of the folks at Small Net Builder for a final polish before publication. It’ll probably be online in a couple of days.
This was a very interesting review process as it required that I upgrade my network, which is never as easy or quick as it might seem. I now have a nice new Wifi AP which was probably overdue. My old Linksys WAP54G was a first generation model.
I like to take my time and really use a new device in anger before starting to develop a review. Often that’s a period of weeks, sometimes even months. It depends upon the nature of the device, the amount of work required to get it working, and home much I’m traveling at the time.
Not to belabor the point, but SIP Wifi handsets have been a pretty rotten product segment thus far along their evolution. While the concept is good the implementations have been lackluster. I suffered through 6 months with a Hitachi Cable WIP5000 some time ago before pursuing a SIP-DECT as a better solution.
The problems of prior offerings have been well enough described elsewhere. So when Cisco/Linksys issued a release about a new SIP Wifi offering, the iPhone Wireless-G IP310, it was easy enough to just ignore it as yet another bad idea. However, this product was announced many months back and only now finding its way into release. That’s certainly intriguing. And of course Cisco knows networks…wired or wireless.
Matt Brunk over at CMPs No Jitter blogged about this device today and reports that the device is capable of using 802.11 b/g/n wifi networks. Type B and G has been done before…type N is something new in a SIP handset. Type N wifi has provision for the wireless equivalent of QoS, which is known as WMM…for Wifi Multimedia. This is a key technology in providing workable high bandwidth streaming media over wifi networks.
Apparently Matt has a sample device to try in real-world testing. That will certainly be very interesting to follow.
Update: With little digging on the Linksys site I found this, which indicates 802.11b/g…but not n or WMM capability.