WiFi phone recommendation?


#1

Hello all…

I’ve done a bit of searching on this topic, but so far turned up little in the way of useful info (“they all suck” not being useful). Hopefully this hasn’t been talked to death already!

Until recently, all the Asterisk-based systems I’ve built have involved SIP hard-phones (i.e., Polycoms, Ciscos) or analog phones. But several weeks ago I ended up needing some cordless SIP phones. Cost was the main factor involved - so after considerable reading I decided to grab a few Cisco 7920’s and install chan_skinny. There was already a WiFi network on site, and by all accounts the phones were enterprise-grade and fairly mature, so that seemed like the easiest way to go. I tested them for a few days around my office, and they seemed to work fine for what limited use I could put them through.

Fast forward to today - after a few weeks with the 7920’s, the users’ murderous tendencies are becoming increasingly difficult to control. They complain that the ringer isn’t loud enough, wish for longer battery life, and generally despise the flakiness associated with their running on Skinny instead of SIP like everything else (seems Asterisk has to be restarted once or twice a day to keep the phones behaving).

So now I’m shopping again. Because this is being done on the cheap, I don’t expect perfection - but I do need to make the users a little happier. I’ve been on the prowl for something inexpensive (as in under $100 each, need 4) that would be reliable enough for daily service. As cost is a big consideration, used units would be A-OK.

What phones have you had success with? Which ones do you avoid? I’m looking at the UTStarcom F1000 right now, but I’m not quite sold on it.

–Keith


#2

I am also in need of this so I hope some people come up with some answers. I’ve used the Hitachi IP5000’s before and they are decent but they don’t support WPA2 (at least the ones I have don’t).


#3

I have also been doing some searching about good Wi-Fi SIP phones, but it’s really hard to find a good product. My experience is that Nokia E series GSM phones with Wi-Fi and SIP support work OK. I have a few customers that are using it and they do not have any problems.


#4

Apologies for a possible thread hijack, but users typically have excellent luck with DECT handsets over any other type of wireless handset, since it doesn’t suffer from the interference and non-voice usage that wifi does.

If you must go the WiFi route, the Polycom Spectralink wifi phones are a good choice.

Cheers.


#5

I’ve heard that those DECT units are supposed to be the thing to use, but have no experience with them personally. From what I understand it involves at least one SIP-DECT gateway/radio and several handsets… but that’s about it. My main concerns would be that each handset would be able to have and retain its own extension, and that the handsets would have “hold” and “transfer” buttons that work as the users have come to expect. The site isn’t too big (two average APs cover it nicely), so maybe DECT would be an easy solution to my problem.

Having said that, are there any inexpensive cordless-only (i.e., not a cordless bundled with a desk phone) options that work well with Asterisk and would be advisable for someone like myself looking to “get their feet wet” with DECT gear?


#6

I have used on several occasions lately with very good luck the Panasonic KX-TGP500 SIP-DECT phones. They are available without a desk phone attached (that is the 550 model I think) and they have pretty stinkin good range. They work great for some clinics that I administer but I was looking for something to supplement or replace our aging spectralink “link 3000” system for use all over a hospital campus. The DECT is restricted to the range of it’s base station… I have tried the newer wifi spectralinks but because of the wireless infrastructure we have (Meru Networks) it is known to not play well. I have used some of the older Hitachi IP-5000’s but they don’t support the encryption level we require these days. But for the record anyone looking for the DECT type handsets I tried the Panasonic and the SNOM and the Panasonic is EXCELLENT just like all their analog DECT sets have always been.


#7

Nokia phones are best in WiFi… I am using one (Nokia X-6) right now and I am very happy…


#8

I use sipdroid on my Android phones, it works pretty well over wi-fi.

Ian


#9

Sipdroid and Bria for iPhone/Android work well. Nokia E series is great but you can hardly get anyone these days to go for symbian… No one has any experience with late model wifi only phones? Something without a smartphone attached?


#10

I went through the same question \ process. It ended being less expensive to buy a new Nokia E71x off eBay for $100 than buying any of the other (“crappy” rated) wifi SIP phones. This ended up as a “no brainer” because now when I travel abroad, I have one GSM \ phone that does it all. It even has Garmin XT to top it off with maps for EU, US, an Brasil. Booyah!

If you have a newer GSM blackberry or Android \ iPhone, you can find a SIP VOIP client.


#11

[quote=“gatorback”]I went through the same question \ process. It ended being less expensive to buy a new Nokia E71x off eBay for $100 than buying any of the other (“crappy” rated) wifi SIP phones. This ended up as a “no brainer” because now when I travel abroad, I have one GSM \ phone that does it all. It even has Garmin XT to top it off with maps for EU, US, an Brasil. Booyah!

If you have a newer GSM blackberry or Android \ iPhone, you can find a SIP VOIP client.[/quote]

I have found Nokia X3-02 to be a really nice little phone with its built in SIP VOIP capability. Nokia has also other feature phones that can do SIP VOIP, developer.nokia.com/Communit … 40_devices