We have always been great fans of Grandstream. In fact two of their corded VoIP phones the GXP280 and the GXP 2000 were our work horse every day phones. But with Grandstream new to DECT we wondered how it would shape up against the established master the Gigaset A510?
Since it is impossible to get machines to review without buying them we went and bought the Grandstream DP 715. It duly arrived in a plain white box with no instructions. This was not a good start the Gigasets all arrive in nicely branded display cases.
However we put it through it’s technical paces and it performed as a SIP phone with none of the annoying quirks that some models have. The set up screens were more complex than usual but we configured it and then worked well as a phone on our system.
The Grandstream is a 2 component system with a base unit and the handset. The base unit functions as charger and transmitter at the same time. The Gigaset has 3 components the charger, the transmitter and the handset. This means that it is possible to situate the transmitter right next to the router and then have the handset plugged in remotely on a desk. With the Grandstream you need to either have the phone near the router or have data cabling out to the phone. A lot of people use DECT simply to avoid data abling and the Grandstream set up precludes this
However in fairness the one base solution does mean one less device. The base station on the Grandstream is feather light which means that we were forever knocking it over which became really annoying. We didn’t get the same problem with the Gigaset.
The handsets look pretty identical but we found the keyboard on the Grandstream was really rubbery and lacked positive action. The big let down on the Grandstream was the lack of dial tone. When you make a call you expect to hear to begin with a ready tone which goes quiet as the phone connects followed by a ring tone. The Grandstream doesn’t do a ready tone so you don’t know if you are dialing or the phone is out of range of the base station. We don’t think you would want to live with that.
The Grandstream felt very slow in operation and took an age to find the base station and connect on initial set up. We left it charging for several days but it failed to ever register fully charged. We suspect this is a problem with the cheap rechargeable AAA batteries that it is supplied with. The Gigaset on the other hand had none of these problems and seemed intuitive in use.
The display on the Grandstream required us to find a manual on the Internet to understand it’s meaning. There was a mysterious flashing icon which turned out to be a missed call indicator we had to read through to page 15 of the 52 in the manual to figure that one out.
Overall there is an element of you get what you pay for. The Grandstream is priced from VoIPon at £49.40. The A510H is priced by them at £21.50 with the N300IP base station at £45.60. If you wanted say 4 phones then the Grandstream would actually work out more expensive. This is the first DECT handset that Grandstream have produced, whereas Gigaset ( and previously Siemens who owned them ) have been working in this field for years. We think that future models of the Grandstream may hit the spot but at the moment we wouldn’t recommend it and we will continue to offer only the Gigaset.
Has anyone any ideas what to do with a spare DECT phone, we wonder will it blend?
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