IP Phones Guide and Selection Process

Deciding which IP phones to purchase can be a challenging and somewhat overwhelming task. There are so many different options and it is difficult to decide what features are important to you and your business. Buying IP phones can often result in a larger up front expense than necessary if the wrong choices are made.

WhichVoIP has performed the research for you to save you time and to help with this important decision. If you are not sure which phone might be right for you continue on to our selection guide, including links to editor and user reviews for many phone makes and models.

How to Decide Which IP Phones to Buy?

WhichVoIP provides IP phone lists that compare different phone models and pricing. However, as there are so many options to choose from, it can still be a tough decision to decide which phone is best for you or your business. Here are some suggestions to help you with this process:

Decide Which Type of IP Phone you Need

There are various types of IP phone available on the market today. The most common is the desktop phone. Other options include conferencing phones and video phones. Check out the Desktop Phones guide for more information regarding each main type.

Decide Which Phone Features are "Must Have"

Most phones have very similar feature sets while having very different price points. First of all, decide how many lines each phone will need as in most cases, the more lines a phone has, the higher the cost. Secondly, decide what type of display you need. Most phones have monochrome backlit displays while the more expensive models have color displays that are often touch screen control. Connection protocols are important as well because if your current or new service provider does not support one of these protocols, then the phone will not function. Other features that can affect the price are:

In summary, all of the technical items are generally taken care of by any service provider.

Do you Need a Power Supply With Each Phone?

If you are not going to run the phone using Power over Ethernet (PoE) then you will need to purchase a power adaptor for every phone that you buy. This can get expensive so check to see if the power adaptor is included with the phone model that you are considering purchasing.

Consider Refurbished Phones

Buying refurbished IP phones can save a lot of money but it is important to evaluate the warranty and determine the overall value proposition. For example, the phone price may be cheap but if it has no warranty and only lasts a year, then they are going to end up costing you more than a new purchase would have cost in the first place.

IP Phone Price and Your Budget

IP Phone prices can range from under $100 to well over $500 per phone depending on the make and model. This can become a big upfront cost that needs to be considered in detail before making the final switch to VoIP service. The cost of IP phones can vary greatly however depending on what features a business needs and what make and model of phone that is ultimately selected.

Although an ATA can be used to avoid the need for IP phones, it is next to impossible to take full advantage of all the features that VoIP has to offer without an IP enabled phone. There are many different ways to purchase phones, keep the IP phone price down, and make it less of an upfront burden to businesses that want to switch to VoIP.

Read Some IP Phone Reviews

Before you make the final decision on which phones to purchase, it is useful to evaluate some user reviews. WhichVoIP has a collection of VoIP phone user reviews that may help with your decision. We have also created our own editor reviews for many of the popular models.

Use the below table to compare IP phone pricing for various makes and models and types of options. Use the links to access our editor review of the phone as well as user submitted reviews to find out more about the phones you are considering.

Editor and User Reviews

Model Type Cost Lines
Yealink T22P Desk $ 3
Grandstream GXP2130 Desk $ 3
Grandstream DP715 Cordless $ 5
Polycom IP335 Desk $$ 2
Cisco SPA303 Desk $$ 3
Yealink T29G Desk $$ 16
Yealink T41P/S Desk $$ 6
Yealink T52S Desk $$ 12
Polycom VVX300 Desk $$ 6
Polycom IP550 Desk $$ 4
Cisco SPA504 Desk $$ 4
Cisco SPA525 Desk $$$ 5
Yealink T46G/S Desk $$$ 16
Yealink T48G/S Desk $$$ 16
Yealink T54S Desk $$$ 16
Yealink W52P/H Cordless $$$ 5
Yealink W56P/H Cordless $$$ 5
Yealink W60P/H Cordless $$$ 8
Yealink T58V Video $$$$ 16
Yealink CP860 Conference $$$$ 1
Yealink T49G/S Video $$$$$ 16
Yealink CP960 Conference $$$$$ 1
Cisco Spark Softphone Free 1

If you have used IP phones at your work you can add your opinion for others to read.

Check With VoIP Providers

This last part can be very important depending on whether you have already selected a VoIP service provider or not. If you have selected a provider then many only focus on supporting certain makes and models (there are just too many makes/models out there for each provider to regression test as they make updates to their service features and platform etc.). Most providers sell the IP phones that they support, often at wholesale pricing.

The following tables provide information on makes/models of IP phones sold by some of the top providers, and likley acts as a rough guide to supported phones by each provider.

Yealink Phones

Model Vonage Jive 8x8
T21P-E2 YES YES NO
T23G NO YES YES
T40P/S NO YES NO
T41P/S YES YES YES
T42G/S YES YES YES
T46G/S YES YES YES
T48G/S YES YES YES
T49G YES YES YES
T58V NO YES NO
W52P NO YES YES
W56P YES YES NO
W60P YES YES NO
CP920 NO YES NO
CP960 NO YES NO
More Info Vonage Jive 8X8

Cisco Phones

Model Vonage Jive 8x8
SPA502G NO YES NO
SPA504G NO NO YES
SPA525G NO YES NO
6841 NO YES NO
6851 NO YES NO
7811 NO YES NO
7821 NO YES YES
7841 NO YES NO
7861 NO YES NO
8811 NO YES NO
8841 NO YES YES
8851 NO YES NO
8861 NO YES YES
More Info Vonage Jive 8X8

Polycom Phones

Model Vonage Jive 8x8
VVX130 NO NO YES
VVX201 YES YES YES
VVX250 NO NO YES
VVX301 YES YES YES
VVX311 YES YES YES
VVX350 NO NO YES
VVX401 YES YES YES
VVX411 YES YES YES
VVX450 NO NO YES
VVX501 YES YES YES
VVX601 YES YES YES
VVX1500 YES NO NO
VVX D60 NO YES NO
IP5000 YES YES YES
IP6000 YES YES YES
IP7000 YES YES YES
TRIO8500 YES NO YES
TRIO8800 YES YES YES
More Info Vonage Jive 8X8

Panasonic Phones

Model Vonage Jive 8x8
TGP600 YES YES YES
TPA60 YES NO NO
KX-TPA65 YES NO NO
More Info Vonage Jive 8X8

While the tables above list some of the more popular phone makes and models, there are many other options to choose from. Some other manufacturers that may be worth evaluating are Aastra, Avaya, Digium, Grandstream, SNOM and Toshiba. Continue below to search by manufacturer.

For a detailed comparison of the important features of the most popular vendors models, please read our article that provides a detailed comparison of Yealink vs Polycom vs Cisco Phones.

Still Not Sure? More Ways to Search for IP Phones

Search by IP Phone Manufacturer

Simply click on the manufacturer logo of interest to learn more about their available phones.

Search by Popularity

Compare different manufacturers phone models and features by evaluating our list of some of the most popular and best IP phones.

Conclusion

Although there are indeed many different IP phones to choose from, when you take a closer look, they are actually all very, very similar. Basically every manufacturer seems to offer a specific model that is similar to what other manufacturers offer. The big difference is often the asking price. There are of course the more recognized brands such as Cisco and Polycom but you may end up paying more for that brand comfort. There is also a personal factor with phones such as look and feel, and if they are aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing. The easiest way to determine that is to order one or two of each model that you interested in and test them out prior to making a bulk purchase. You can then send back the phone model that you decided against.

In summary, decide on your budget, know how many phone lines you need, be sure you know what critical features you want, then go ahead and buy some phones and test them before committing 100% to a bulk purchase. After you have tested a model for a period of time and you are comfortable that you like it and does everything you need, you can go ahead and make that bigger investment with confidence.

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Last Update: October 9th 2018


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WhichVoIP Visitor Comments

#1 : Posted by Dan N.

Can all VoIP phones go wireless? Since there are no cables between my office and the facility room. I just want to ask AT&T to leave the land line in the facility room, and use a wireless router to connect all phones.

-> Response: Actually most of them cannot go wireless unfortunately. There are a few that have WiFi adapters or there are DECT IP phones but the vast majority are Ethernet based with CAT5/6 cables.
Presumably you are referring to AT&T DSL when you state landline. I would bring it outside the facility room if there is no way of getting cables out. Normally the Ethernet cables will be branched out from a facility room to each desk or cubicle in a building (in my experience). The IP phones tend to have a WAN and LAN port so if you have an Ethernet cable to a desk/cubicle you can take advantage of the built-in switch inside the IP phone to connect to your laptop/pc so no additional external switches are required.
If there is no way to get cables out I would bring the DSL outside the facility room and then connect wires accordingly from there to your desk/phones. Alternatively get a Dect phone such as DP715 (Grandstream) or the W52P (Yealink). You may lose some features though compared to desktop type phones but you could keep the base in the facility room, just would not be my personal preference.

 

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