RingCentral is one of the leading virtual phone services on the planet. Not only do they have a full suite of virtual calling features built into an excellent app, but they also offer other services that businesses will appreciate. Customer relationship management, sales management, and tools to help your team work together are just some of their top products. But they’re a phone company first and foremost, so naturally they offer RingCentral phones that work with their software.
One of the reasons businesses sometimes are wary of switching to VoIP is because they worry that their team won’t be able to adapt to a new way of handling calls. If you’re looking for the smoothest transition, consider switching your phones to IP phones. RingCentral phones are desktop models that are compatible with RingCentral’s calling service. You’ll make calls just like you always did, but with even more technology underneath. Your business and your team will thank you.
9 Fantastic RingCentral Phones for Their Virtual Phone System
What Is RingCentral’s Phone System?
Before we jump into the specific phone models you should consider, it helps to understand what RingCentral offers. RingCentral is a VoIP provider. VoIP lets you make and receive phone calls over the internet instead of using copper landlines. When you sign up for RingCentral, you get a VoIP phone number that looks and works just like a regular phone number would. You can even choose the area code where you want your number to call from.
To use this system, you’ll have to download RingCentral’s app. It works on Windows, Mac, and even Linux! There are also mobile versions for Android or iOS, which means you can use your cell phone to handle calls using your RingCentral account. Businesses can buy as many numbers as they need, allocating them to individual employees or entire departments. From there, you have the freedom to decide who can answer which numbers.
How Does a VoIP-Based Phone System Work?
The biggest mystery surrounding VoIP is just how it links the public telephone network that is buried underground with the wide world of the internet. It’s actually quite simple, though. RingCentral uses servers located in data centers to manage all virtual numbers and accounts. These servers are connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN. When you dial RingCentral phones from a landline, your call gets routed to one of their servers where it finds the virtual number.
The same occurs in reverse. When you dial out using RingCentral phones, your call is routed to the PSTN where it can then be automatically routed to the physical landline and reach its final destination. Cellular towers are likewise connected to the PSTN, so you can dial to or from a mobile number without any issues at all. The only limit on VoIP phones is that you have to be connected to the internet to use your virtual number.
What Are the Advantages of a Virtual Phone System?
Being fully reliant on internet access might seem like a significant disadvantage, but when you consider all of the positives, it’s easy to see why more companies are making the switch to VoIP systems. For starters, you have much more control over your account than you would with a traditional phone line. If you need a new number or have to add a user, you can do so in seconds through the website. No more calling your phone company.
Better yet, you get valuable data that you can use to improve your business. Now you can track all of your phone calls, see how much time you spend on them, and evaluate your customer support staff with more clarity than ever. You can even record all of your calls, which can be crucial for legal reasons or for improving your customer service. Best of all, you’re free to use your phone system anywhere: You’re never tied to the office.
Why Would Anyone Keep Their Landline?
Convinced yet? You might be wondering why anybody would still use a landline considering the advantages that VoIP phones have. In practice, however, there are a couple of cases that make switching to VoIP difficult or even impossible. One of the biggest issues is internet connectivity. It might surprise you to learn that there are still wide swaths of the US that lack broadband access. Many people still use dial-up internet!
While you don’t need the fastest connection in the world to use RingCentral phones, it obviously doesn’t make sense to use one if you’re dependent on a phone line just to get online. Other companies have no choice but to use landlines by law. For example, emergency service providers have to use landlines because they can still work in a power outage or a widespread internet failure. So while VoIP isn’t for everyone, it’s still a great option for businesses.
Can You Use a Desk Phone With VoIP?
Some businesses worry that switching to VoIP is only going to confuse employees or make it harder for them to perform basic tasks like phone calls. The phone call is such a simple thing. If it isn’t broken, why fix it? RingCentral understands this and that’s why they offer a wide selection of desk phones that are compatible with their service. They have over two dozen models to choose from. We’ve found the best.
With one of these on your desk, it’ll be almost as if nothing had changed. You’ll still make and receive calls with a piece of plastic on your ear. You can use buttons to put people on hold or transfer a call. But what makes these phones extra special is that many of them have color screens and extra features that even you’re most grizzled customer service veteran will come to love. So, let’s see what these phones can do.
The 9 Best IP Phones for RingCentral
1. Polycom OBi302
We’re going to start with the cheapest RingCentral phones and work our way up to the luxury options. This first option isn’t actually a phone at all. It’s an Analog Telephone Adapter, or ATA. Remember when we explained how RingCentral links its servers to the public telephone system? Well, this device is basically a miniature version of that same technology that you can use at home or in your office. It turns your old-school phone into a VoIP phone.
This small box has two phone jacks so you can plug two analog devices into it. It also has an Ethernet jack so you can connect it to your router or internet switch. Then you register the device to your RingCentral account and you’re good to go! This can be a good option if you’re working from home or you run an old-timey barbershop and want a rotary phone to work over VoIP. But let’s get to the real phones.
2. Cisco 6821
The Cisco 6821 is the Toyota Corolla of IP phones. It’s basic, but it’ll get the job done without costing you a fortune. At just $99 and coming from a quality brand you can trust, it’s a solid option for entry-level VoIP users. A modest 2.5” monochrome display lets you see who’s calling or cycle through your contacts. Since it supports two lines at once, you can field multiple callers or easily transfer them to another team member.
Another important feature to mention is power over Ethernet. PoE technology, if supported by your network switch, sends extra power down the Ethernet line so that your phone can be powered by your internet connection. This means no extra cabling or wires hanging off your desk phone. Every model on this list has that feature, and it’s one you should absolutely look for if you decide to shop elsewhere.
3. Yealink T42S
If the name Yealink sounds completely foreign to you, don’t be alarmed. Yealink is one of China’s biggest telecom companies. They manufacture all kinds of devices for virtual phone systems, video conferencing, and more. They’re a reputable brand that has obtained a massive share of the market in Asia. Now they’re creeping into the western market and proving they mean business with quality VoIP phones at affordable prices.
The T42S adds a few features that justify the $149 price tag. First of all, it can handle up to six separate lines thanks to its gigabit Ethernet connection. And in an effort to reduce cable clutter, it has a built-in Ethernet switch, so you can run one cable to the phone and then another to your PC. The screen measures 2.8” and it’s got a headset port with custom volume levels for each audio path.
4. Yealink T48S
The T48S is the big brother to the T42S, and boy is it an upgrade. While the $239 price tag may make some people hesitate, one look at the gorgeous 7” color touchscreen will have your credit card firmly in your hand. It feels a lot more like a smartphone than a desk phone. Of course, you still have your typical suite of numbers and buttons so that you can use the phone the old-fashioned way if you prefer.
The Yealink T48S can also automatically download your organization’s directory. Every account you assign with RingCentral will be downloaded to the phone so your team can easily connect with each other. It also supports USB connections so you can add devices or record calls to USB storage. This is easily one of the best mid-level phones out there.
5. Polycom VVX 450
Sitting at the exact same price as the T48S, the Polycom VVX 450 may not seem like the better buy at first. Its screen is much smaller at 4.5” and doesn’t support touch input. So how does Polycom make up the difference? They focused on phone features first. This model can take calls from up to 12 lines at once! But that’s just the beginning.
You can couple this phone with an attendant console, which gives the user much more control and a much larger interface. These expansion modules let you see all of the ongoing calls at once instead of having to cycle through a smaller screen menu. If you need one person to get a lot done, this is probably the phone for you.
6. Yealink T57W
What do you do when you can’t run an Ethernet line to your desk phone? Maybe you’ve got some futuristic open office layout or you’re just out of cables. Whatever the reason, the Yealink T57W is the solution. While it doesn’t support multiple lines, it has Wi-Fi connectivity to give you ultimate freedom. At $269, it’s a more expensive unit, but it can go where others cannot.
It packs in the same 7” touchscreen as the T48S, but it gives you even more flexibility. Literally, the touchscreen is fully articulating so you can position it however you wish. Bluetooth gives you the option to use a wireless headset. All you’ll need is a single power cable and you’re ready to go.
7. Unify CP400
Unify produces some of the highest quality IP phones on the market. While they lack some of the fancier features of the models we’ve previously looked at, their emphasis on long-lasting components and high-quality audio make the CP400 a solid choice. At a glance, you’d think it’s a traditional office phone. It even has a paper-based speed dial column on the right. This might be the perfect IP phone for those employees that don’t readily adapt to new technology.
Holding it back is its high price. At $354 per month, you’re paying a lot for a phone without Wi-Fi functionality or a color touchscreen.
8. Unify CP600
The CP600 adds features like NFC technology and puts a color screen on its premier model. But like the CP400, it suffers from a high price tag. $427 for a single phone is hard to justify. We do appreciate its emphasis on efficiency and energy savings, but IP phones don’t consume a whole lot of electricity to begin with.
There is a certain premium feel to these Unify phones that other manufacturers don’t quite replicate. It certainly does look nice on the desk. The CP600 would definitely look nice on an executive secretary’s desk. But there are more affordable options with better features if price is a concern.
9. Your Cell Phone
We couldn’t talk about RingCentral phones without mentioning the one you already have: Your cell phone! With RingCentral, you can use your virtual number on your mobile device by downloading the app. That means your cell phone can make and receive calls to your virtual number. You can even configure your phone to make RingCentral your default calling application. With your virtual number in your pocket, you could save serious money.
Instead of paying the mobile phone company for a full calling plan, get a data-only plan and you’ll have internet access to make VoIP calls whenever you want. It’s a great way for a small business owner or solopreneur to get going with VoIP and maintain a professional image in front of customers. You can set up multiple lines too. If you’re not tied to a desk, consider using your phone as your primary option.
Learn More About RingCentral
Check out our more in-depth reviews of the RingCentral service if you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to use RingCentral for your business. And keep coming back to learn more about VoIP phones and service providers.