Polycom SoundPoint IP 550 / IP 650 Reviewed

Originally published at www.smallnetbuilder.com on August 13, 2008

When I was asked several months ago about reviewing a pair of new Polycom desk phones, I simply could not believe my good fortune. It was a little like being asked if I’d like to have a Tesla roadster for a few weeks. But of course my good man! Where do I sign?

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Looking For A Wideband Capable Soft Phone

Over the coming weeks and months I hope to explore wideband voice in greater depth. My recent purchase of a couple of Polycom IP650s and the Siemens S685IP provide me with some hardware end-points. I may also buy a snom phone as well, with the optional Klarvoice handset.

However, some of what I wish to undertake would be well served by a soft phone. As yet I have been unable to find a software that supports the G.722 wideband codec.

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Two Cases Of Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

This weekend I faced two instances of living up to things that I’ve written or said.

Firstly, I ordered a couple of Polycom SoundPoint IP650s to replace the hardware that I’ve had on loan for review these past few months. There was just no way to go back to my old IP600 when the 650 offers such a list of compelling features. So, the IP600 will be demoted to lesser duty.

Secondly, I finally got around to converting my FWD account into a paid account. My sense of this is that I’ll stick with FWD for a year and see what happens. I have the highest regard for some of the people involved. It would be great to see the service evolve into something more, perhaps leading us into using the PSTN less.

Polycom SoundPoint IP550 & IP650 Reviews

After several months of using this pair around my office I’ve finally submitted a written review to www.smallnetbuilder.com. I have to thank Tim, the editor at SNB, for his patience. It took me a while because I really wanted to explore the latest v3.0 firmware and the optional Polycom Productivity Suite.

It’ll no doubt take them a few days to get the review ready for publication. I would expect it to be online some time in the next few days.

Not to ruin the surprise, but I’ll be very sad to turn in the sample phones and go back to my old IP600. I may need to find some resource to procure a couple of IP650’s for myself. Once you get used to them it’s hard to go back.

Update: Here the link

Polycom Soundpoint IP670 Available For Order

It appears that the Polycom IP670 with the color backlit LCD is finally available for order. It also has gigabit ethernet like the IP560 released last fall.

The IP650 (pictured right) that I’ve been using lately certainly benefits from the backlit LCD. This is one of the reasons why I started to use Aastra phones a couple of years ago.

I really want to be using HD Voice as I go forward. The real question before me is does the color LCD and faster network merit the extra cost over the IP650? My old IP600 is likely to be retired to a lesser role one day soon.

Update: I see that VOIP Supply has these listed at $429. That’s actually less than I might have expected!