We've tested dozens of IP phones from a variety of manufacturers, made anywhere from China to France. When it comes down to functionality/usability, audio quality, cost, and overall design, Grandstream offers great value.
Which IP phones are better: Grandstream or Cisco?
Besides the fact that Grandstream’s prices are generally 30% lower than Cisco’s, the quality from Grandstream is competitive and the design is superior. Let’s just put it this way, Cisco is for baby boomers, Grandstream is for millennials.
Needless to say, 2 of the 3 recommendations on this list are from Grandstream. As the newer player in the phone manufacturing space, Grandstream is a natural fit for small businesses.
From lowest to highest, basic to advanced, here are 3 affordable and good quality business VoIP phones.
Grandstream GXP1610 – $49
This simple IP phone is your basic yet functional desk phone for a small business or home office. It’s a standard office phone for employees to have at their desk for everyday use.
The Grandstream GXP1610 supports 1 SIP account and 2 lines, which means you can be logged in with one user/extension and have up to 2 simultaneous calls going at any time. With 2 lines, you could be on a phone call when another call comes in, place the call on hold, and switch between the 2 active calls by pressing the button for either line.
With limited lines, the GXP1610 isn’t best suited for call centers or busy receptionist / front desk setups, but it’s reliable enough to support sales teams with high outbound call volume.
When all lines are being used, Telzio provides options for you to automatically route callers either to another employee, department, automated menu, voicemail, or call queue (coming soon). With Telzio’s VoIP service, callers never get a busy signal.
The Grandstream GXP1610 has the basic features you need in a business phone – speakerphone, call waiting, 3-way conferencing, transfer, mute, etc. You can use it with a headset or on speakerphone with decent audio quality.
I’ve tried all models of Grandstream phones including the lower end GXP-series, and so far have had zero problems with quality or reliability. At $49, you really can’t beat it. For the small budget, small business desk phone user, the GXP1610 works great.
Shop the Grandstream GXP1610.
Cisco SPA301 – $76
This little Cisco phone is perfect for industrial spaces and common areas where call volume is low to moderate but necessary. The Cisco SPA series is easily the most widely used office phone across the US. The massive hardware company has shipped over 70 million IP phones, so you’ll be getting a product that’s been highly tested and well-known. It’s no wonder I spy them everywhere I go, and you might start to too now that you’ve started learning about VoIP phones.
The SPA301 is a single user, single line kind of phone, to be used for basic calling. It’s a bit more expensive than the Grandstream GXP1610 but takes up less space and can be wall-mounted.
If you’re already familiar with Cisco IP phones and looking for a small convenient phone, the SPA301 works.
Shop the Cisco SPA301.
Grandstream GXP2130 – $95
The 2100-series of Grandstream IP phones work for higher call volume and front desk environments. The Grandstream GXP2130 offers 3 lines and 8 BLF extension keys. BLF (Busy Lamp Field) extension keys enable a receptionist or live operator to answer calls on behalf of other users, but not call out from those users’ extensions.
There are two models worth mentioning near this price point – the GXP1625 ($79) and the GXP2130 ($95). Both models offer 8 BLF extension keys, but for the extra $16, I’d recommend the GXP2130 and here’s why.
First, it just looks better and more modern. It has a color LCD screen where you can customize the name, image and weather. Your employees will love it. Functionally, the GXP2130 has 3 lines and 4-way conferencing, whereas the GXP1625 has 2 lines and 3-way conferencing. That’s a 50% increase in call volume capability but the customizable screen is reason enough for me.
Thomas is part of the marketing team at Telzio and develops thought leadership content in the areas of cloud computing and unified communications. With an education in electrical engineering and background in software development, Thomas has a strong technical understanding pertaining to cloud networking technologies, trends, and practices.