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Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by Badgerdata, Feb 19, 2018.
Just looking for opinions as to which phones work best with 3cx?
Any of the support models, except probably Grandstream as this have only been added in the latest update and people are experiencing some issues
A good consultant always says "that depends"... and this is just one person's point of view... but if we are talking purely on quality, and not on price or aesthetics, my opinion is as follows:
Now I know I'm opening myself up to lots of flaming comments from users, partners, and manufacturers alike. But I should point out that the differences in "quality" are minor, and all of the options are very, very good. In truth, I think cost and aesthetics (a subjective perspective to be sure) are much bigger decision points. But here are some observations to backup my position.
It's a little feature, but I love the fact that Snom phones don't have a handset plunger. Nothing is more frustrating than a sticky plunger. Snom uses magnets (I presume) to detect when the handset is on hook. This alone is enough to win me over. And their firmware has great support for VLANs, and VPNs. My experience with hardware reliability has been very good. Snom has historically been the most expensive option, although I hear their pricing has gotten much better recently. Snom has the most robust wireless offering, and the PA1 is a great option for paging.
I've sold more Yealink than anything else. It's a good mix of quality, broad model selection, features, price and (in my opinion) appearance. Yealink falls into the category of "nobody gets fired for selling Yealink". Perhaps my favorite phone is the T46S. In my tests (a few years ago) timing the provisioning process of several phones (Snom, Yealink, Grandstream, Cisco, Polycom) the Yealink phones provisioned faster than any other manufacturer every time. Yealink has a couple of conference room phones but my customer reaction to the older model was mixed at best. I've not tried the new model.
I've had very little experience with this phone manufacture, but the quality seems good on the 3 phones I have. Their model selection is vary sparse. I'm told that these phones are manufactured in the same plant as the Snom phones, but I suppose that doesn't necessarily equate to the same quality as the Snom phones. This is the first phone I ever tried the RPS provisioning and it was absolutely flawless. From a price perspective, they are very competitive
They work, they provision easily, they have some very capable phones, including supported door phones, but I don't believe they have an option for bluetooth (or wireless?). But from a cost perspective they are the least expensive. Personally, I feel their audio quality is ... not as good as some of the other manufacturer's. But Fanvil is making strides in quality. Their original phones had perhaps the worst screens I've ever seen on any phone, but that's been completely fixed in later modes. I also had trouble provisioning the early models, but now they are as easy to provision as any of the other phones.
Now enters the newest (long time) option, the black horse of the manufacturers... once the beloved phone of just about everyone, but sidelined due to business reasons, rather than quality issues. I'm not ashamed to say that for a long time I had more Grandstream phones in production than any other manufacturer. Only after the unfortunate change from "supported" status did I start selling other phones. But happily Grandstream (apparently) is back in the fold of supported phones. From what I hear, there have been some teething issues with the new beta firmware, but that's why they call it "beta", right? The price is right, the quality is good, and so I have nothing to complain about. While they are listed at the bottom of my list (for now), don't read too much into that -- that's only because we are in beta and I can't really make a fair judgement until the firmware is "production". I am a bit sheepish to admit that I've been running a Grandstream phone as my primary (albeit unsupported) phone for most of 10 years and I can choose any phone I want. What does that tell you?
Second Level Phones
There are several manufacturers list as semi-supported. Polycom makes some great phones, but features like RPS provisioning that are not supported with these phones is a real limitation (in my view), and there are several more limitations that I'll leave others to expand upon given I've already written a novel with this post. My advice is stick with the 5 "supported" phone manufacturers listed above.
For what it's worth, reasonable, intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced people can and will disagree with my view. Let the flaming begin...
I'm getting ready to deploy a new system in our office, and am looking at Yealink phones. We've experimented with both the Yealink T46G and the Fanvil X4, and have preferred the Yealink.
Many, if not most of our userbase don't need the fancy features of the T46. The T19E/P2 looks like it would work fine for most folks, but I'm wondering if it has the same sound quality?
I have used Yealink constantly with 3CX and they have never let me down. I find them a nice solid phone for both build quality and price.
Where they are not the "cheapest" supported or un-supported phone out there, I think they will give you the best as far as performance and ease of deployment go.
I also like that they have a wide range to choose from - from entry level to high end Android phones. The most popular models that we sell are the T23G's and T46S models:
Only ever used Yealink...
The T19PE2 phones aren't of the same quality as the T4x series but they are good low cost phones. I have a customer with several of the previous T19P (non E2) model and they are happy with them.
I only use T4x or T5x series phones. There was one exception where I had a client that needed to purchase 130 phones we went with T23's just to keep cost down. I have no issues.
I have used mainly Yealink in the past. However, I am testing the HTek UC9xx series. I like them a lot so far and will probably deploy some soon.
When comparing phones, consider the support. Yealink support has been fantastic. I've reported a couple bugs in the firmware that they've confirmed and built into subsequent releases. That's simply good customer service. I also like the phone's web interface and their provisioning guides have been very helpful.
I find Snom documentation is much more difficult to find what you're really looking for, but the devices are solid.
Been on Grandstream for last 2+ years. Had some minor issues along the way as an unsupported device. Been solid since SP3 on the recommended firmware and BETA templates. There GAC Conference Phone is ok at best. Complaints here and there about sound quality.
Used Yealink on the last job. Had T38's before they were discontinued. At the time, they were almost the only one with Gigabit connectivity (for passthru mainly) and color screens. Yealink remains solid - but yes, one of the more expensive.
Have a handful of Fanvil X4G. I like the digital BLF's. Sound quality is "ok" Had some issues at first with phones going offline. Seems ok now. Probably won't be buying more only because Grandstream is supported again.
The Fanvil X6 supports bluetooth wireless. You have to purchase the USB bluetooth adapter for the Yealink T46g and use that. We could not find any Fanvil produced adapters. We have about 10 of them working with the Fanvil X6.
Before our 3cx deployment I tested out Yealink 46g, Fanvil x4, x5, x6, HTEK uc926, and yealink t42g.
What was most important to us was:
1. Functionality or Ease of Use
2. Features (Bluetooth supported)
3. Quality and Price
We had some of our users try out the models listed above.Almost every single user said they preferred the Fanvil X6 due to:
1. Screen size and font size of incoming calls and dialing numbers.
2. Font size of BLF key labels on secondary screen.
Basically our users appreciate the ease of use of larger text on their phones vs most everything else. The button size and font on the physical buttons was large too.
I liked that about the Fanvil x6 I could view first and last name of the BLF keys vs the Yealink T46 where if I had multiple BLF keys with the same first name, I couldn't see the last name since there was not enough space on the single screen.
Build quality seems good on the X6, but I would say the Yealink appears better quality and has a better reputation. However, for the price of one T46 I can buy 1 1/2 Fanvil X6's. Which means we could have spares for the same price.
The other thing about the Fanvil X6 is because it is so new, there was a significant issue with most earlier firmwares. Almost every single phone on the stock firmware would not pull the gateway from DHCP. After manually updating to the latest firmware, that was solved. I've posted about another firmware issue in the recent edition 1.2.5, how it advertise it's support for video calls, so now when a fanvil x6 calls a x6, by default, it will display a black video feed on the screen. We went in and turned video support off until they fix this.
I was able to do a video call to an x6 and it displayed the video well using a third party soft phone. Unfortunately 3cx codec support doesn't include h264, which is the only one the X6 supports currently.
Another note is currently the Fanvil X6 doesn't have a wall mount available.
The HTEK was just OK. By itself it is a solid phone, but compared to others there is nothing that stands out when we tested it. One minor issue with the HTEK is customizing the templates or options seemed easier on the yealink or fanvil and you had more choices. Yealink and Fanvil both seem like they are developed or updated firmware more often by their respective companies.
It is somewhat of a moving target and largely depends on the client need, their budget and your resulting margins and, of course, your own opinion in working with the various makes and models. I might also add, that the source from which you buy is also a factor. While the source may have nothing to do with the 3CX aspect, it may impact you for price, delivery and support.
All of the supported phones work rather well with 3CX, but a quick look at the forum will also tell you that even with the supported phones, there can be some issues along the way. Firmware and templates play a key role and especially so with the later 3CX releases where one may have automatic updates employed.
I prefer the Yealink and Grandstream lines followed by Fanvil. The first two have the larger breadth of models to include low end to high end, conference, video, cordless versions, expansion modules and more readily accessible accessories (dongles, EHS, headsets, etc,). They also seem to maintain a similarity of operation between their respective models so that the look and feel of the GUI keeps you from having to hunt for specific settings and users know pretty much how to use them even if their own extension is a different model (same make). While I tend to think the Yealinks have a little better sound quality, this is my own opinion and most clients have no real expectation and tend to gravitate towards the features and looks (Cisco and Polycom have better sounding audio to me, but are legacy and expensive). I have had very few sound quality complaints and those that I have had are not with any single make or model.,.,,,,,it is highly subjective.
As an example, using Amazon as a pricing comparison tool as a client might do, one can buy a Yealink T23 for ~ $74, a GS GXP2130 for ~ $62 (2135 for ~$85) and a Fanvil X4 for ~ $74. If I were to place all of these in front of a customer (powered up of course), the Yealink would probably never get touched as the color screens and buttons are more appealing. Logo brand the screen and then see which they look at.
Fanvil is also a favorite nowadays. While their product line is not nearly as broad, the models they have in the X4, 5, and 6 are really quite innovative with their appearance, multi-screens and physical BLF buttons galore. These are quickly gaining ground as the physical press keys are still paperless naming, but the navigation to use them is easier and does not interfere with the main screen.
The Yealink is in there as well, but the price points tend to hurt their appeal. I do have a few clients where cost is not an issue and the T46 and T48 definitely come into play and have been fantastic. I did sell a lot of the T2X and T3x, but not so much now days due to the others being more appealing.
From a support perspective, both Yealink and GS have capable folks. Firmware is updated frequently (although not always flawlessly). I have not had to use Fanvil support, so cannot comment. I have had no Fanvil failures to date, but the installed base is not as large. I had some GS screens fail (washed out appearance), but GS replaced them even after the warranty period as there was a bad batch and my client managed to get more than their share. Somewhat of a pain, but they stepped up. I have had 1 T48 failure where the touch screen quit working, It was 2 weeks out of warranty and Yealink declined. I went ahead and replaced it as the client's future business and satisfaction were worth it to me.
Using any of these as remote phones presents no real issue, all 3 makes are suitable.
I am elated that GS is back in the fold and I hope the relationship expands to include the gateways and ATAs in the future. Thank you, Nick!
I have used many other makes, but I have not personally used SNOM other than the PA1. I would consider them as well, but for me the Yealink, GS and Fanvil suit my needs nicely.
Hi all, if anyone here is in the UK and is interested in testing any Htek handsets let me know. I work for the sole UK distributor for Htek. My email is email@example.com.
We also have some very aggressive reseller pricing which I would be happy to share via email also so drop me a line.