Grandstream are still trying to crack the IP DECT market with the launch of the Grandstream DP720 and base the DP750. We wondered how it would shape up against the established master the Gigaset A540? Would Grandstreams third DECT phone finally make it or would the Gigaset remain supreme?
We were interested in comparing the new Grandstream DP720 and the Gigaset A540H DECT handsets. We started by buying them both. We cannot buy them from one wholesaler but have to go to different suppliers. They have contrasting sales strategies which matches the brands. The Gigaset supplier will configure, ship and support the unit whereas the Grandstream supplier will simply ship. Usually, this reflects in the price with the Gigaset equipment being more expensive but here surprisingly the Grandstream Equipment was more expensive, to us and it will be to the end customer.
Both of the handsets should be bought with base stations which will support multiple handsets. The base station is the unit that you plug into the ethernet. The Grandstream base is called the DP750 base. It is a great looking unit with blue status lights on the top. It sits squarely and Grandstream seem to have really cracked the style and function of the unit. On the other hand the base station of the Gigaset is the N300P. It is a vertically configured unit which feels light and topples over at the drop of a hat. It supports six handsets compared to the Grandstream’s five.
The handsets comes with charging stations which are light and just about adequate. Neither are going to do your desk any cosmetic favours.
In use both of the handsets have good keyboards, microphones and speakers. The Grandstream handset is pleasantly curved and has a good - if not premium - feel to it. One nice touch is that it comes with a belt clip. The Gigaset is marginally larger and is more linear. Both handsets are functional and neither is going to win any design awards. You wouldn’t want to hold very extended calls on either.
The stand by battery life on the DP720 is quoted as 250 hours and on the A540H it is quoted as 130 hours. Talk time is quoted as 20hours vs 13 hours. Both will see you through the working day adequately and be ready recharged for the next day – if you remember to drop the phone back on the charger.
Both units claim a 50 metre indoor range and a 300 metre outdoor range. In our tests the Gigaset won hands down achieving the stated distances whereas the Grandstream came nowhere near. In the real world though, where the phone gives you the ability to move from desk to desk rather than building to building it probably isn’t an issue.
On both systems the screen on the handset is tiny. They both display the functions as best it can in such a small package. It is always a problem with these devices that you cannot look at the screen and talk at the same time. Using a software package such as our Easydial+ where functions can be performed on your computer screen can help. However, transferring calls using the handset in common with all DECT handsets is a matter of typing in codes.
Grandstream have at last come up with a good solution. The Gigaset solution is well known and widely used. It does have issues in use, especially the delays between key press and dial, but then the Grandstream will also have issues.
For the time being we are sticking with “the devil we know”- the Gigaset – not least because it is significantly cheaper.
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