Lync devices: Phone experience review

On the last weeks I received 3 telephones gently borrowed from two distributors: A Polycom CX600, a CX700 and a Snom 821.
Unfortunally with only enough time for some basic setup and make the demonstration to some customers, I can only write some impressions. In commom all phones are PoE capable which is good to save extra wiring. But if you lack of PoE switching, be aware that CX600 and the Snom 821 are not shipped with an AC power adapter.

Polycom CX600

Once you managed to configure your network for Lync phones (DHCP, DNS, firmware upload), things are really a simple ‘plug-and-use’. On the initial setup you can configure the phone automatically by connecting (using USB cable) to a PC client, or you can use it as a standalone unit by providing the extension and PIN number.
Then you can use your contact list or search for a person and make a voice call. When you receive a call (or get contact details), the GAL picture is displayed.
The audio quality is great and the presence is consistent and updates by (in)activity, locked or manually.
But Outlook integration (today’s calendard, call logs, MWI and voice-mail) can only be achieved if you load your credentials  using an USB with your PC client.

Polycom CX700

This is the executive model, with a touch screen, touch wheel scroll and biometric authentication.
You can pair and configure with an USB pc connection, but it can also work as a standalone client with your SIP address and credentials which allows you to have Outlook integration directly.
You can search the GAL, manage your contacts and presence. Voice quality is just… Polycom perfect.
The touch display is large and easy to use . But this top of class model doesn’t show any contact pictures :(… only the name and details of the caller.
On the bright side: just take the phone home, connect to your internet router, sign-in… and you have work deskphone working without any additional configuration (plain remote Lync user access).

Snom 821 UC

I was particullary curious about this German product, because of  the announced high resolution color display, xml browser support (can stream video), multiple SIP users  and fully customizable.
When you configure this phone remotly using a web browser (or use autoprovision server), you soon discover how much flexible it is… too much really… especially with  limited (or confusing) documentation.
After updating with the UC firmware you soon discover that the phone can register with the Lync server (up to 4 accounts at least), setup presence, and assign SIP contacts to buttons. But that’s all the integration you have. No Outlook calendar, voice-mail and even pictures are URL or locally stored contact locally assigned.
After some dissapointment I’m pretty sure that with some ‘mastering’, this phone can be configured to its fully potential (I only had time to make active directory search and display customization)
Sadly the Vision accessory was unavailable for test. The extra buttons with color LED display (to show pictures), can really put this phone on the model top list for a recepcionist / secretary.

In conclusion,
I can say that these 3 phones are very good examples to support Lync as a corporate VoIP.
They are more than simple desk phones and can match (if not beat) other well known Lync competitors…


2 thoughts on “Lync devices: Phone experience review

  1. ghatothkach 24/02/2012 / 18:17

    Can you comment on the call quality of all the 3 phones. The Polycom has HD Voice, I am not sure if something similar is available on the 821, but any experience would be useful.


    • LuisR 27/02/2012 / 08:48

      I spent too much time on getting the technical features of the 821 working, that I couldn’t made a quality test for the sound 😦

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