Sipura SPA-841

The Sipura SPA-841 is another phone with excellent build quality. Strangely, despite being the smallest phone on test, it’s actually one of the heaviest. That just adds to the feeling that you’ve bought a seriously good quality piece of kit. The phone has rubber buttons rather than plastic ones and they’re rather large, giving the phone a far less professional look than say, that of the Polycom.

As standard, this phone supports two accounts, similar to the Polycom, but if you purchase a license key for $30, this is upgradeable to four accounts. Unlike the Polycom however, it only supports SIP accounts. This is a widely used standard so very few people will find this problem.

The display on the Sipura is technically superior to the Polycom’s, in that more information can be displayed on it at any given time due to the smaller typeface used. However, the screen sits at an angle that isn’t viewable easily unless you prop the phone up and that smaller font can be difficult to read. The phone does however have a nice set of LEDs to let you know which lines are ready for use, are being used, and one to indicate if you have voicemail waiting.

The phone is easy enough to set up – in fact, on paper at least, it’s the same sort of scenario to the Polycom. Let DHCP do its thing, or assign an IP manually and then use a web interface to configure the phone’s SIP accounts. Firmware upgrades are done automatically from Sipura’s website, assuming you’ve set up the default gateway on the phone correctly.

The call quality is excellent, and the list of codecs is impressive: G711, G729, G723 and G726 – although again, no GSM. Call quality with each codec was acceptable considering the limitations of each codec, with G723 offering the lowest quality calls but using the least amount of bandwidth at the same time.

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