The Cost-effective Phone for Microsoft Teams
As a Microsoft UC consultant recently I have been busy talking to customers about moving to Microsoft Teams, however one of the major blockers in making the move from a legacy PBX solution to Teams has been the lack of cost effective and future proof desk phones with modern Teams functionality.
But now all that has changed, behold the Yealink T55A Teams Edition desk phone for only $219 “MSRP”. That’s $70 cheaper than any other Microsoft Teams certified desk phone on the market at the time of writing.
So now we know the price is good, but is the phone any good?
First thing you will notice is the sleek clean lines and easily identifiable buttons, yes actual physical tactile buttons, not some buttons on a screen that you need to look at to know if they are still there. No, these buttons will always be there just waiting for you to blindly reach over and push them without even having to think about what you’re pushing or even needing to look at the phone. Now don’t take me wrong, I am a huge proponent of modern technology and UC soft clients, but if a customer is asking for a desk phone they probably want physical buttons and not just another screen. So yes, it looks good and it has buttons, we are off to a good start!
The second thing you will notice is the 4.3 inch touch screen. The user interface on the screen is quite response and gives you access to call history, searching for contacts, visual voicemail, and all the normal calling features you would expect from a Teams edition desk phone. But the screen itself has a resolution of only 480 x 272 which means it isn’t the sharpest but it is still easy to read and gets plenty bright. I would consider it adequate and about what I would expect in this price range, just don’t expect it to blow you away in the crispness department.
The handset is of the standard Yealink HD variety so no complaints here, good volume and a quality microphone. The phones built in HD speakerphone is great as well.
On the back of the phone we have all the standard ports you would expect, A gigabit ethernet port in, and another out, a plug for the handset as well as for a traditional headset, power “for those that don’t have POE switches”, and a regular USB Type A port. And I really do love that USB port, plug in any Teams Certified Headset and it just works, answer and hang up buttons, volume control and everything, amazing! I tested this with a handful of different headsets some wired and some wireless including my Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, Plantronics Blackwire, and just because it was laying on my desk at the time, a Sennheiser SP20 Speakerphone “completely unnecessary due to the phones built in speakerphone, but hey I was curious :)” This is so much better than the headset connectivity of yesteryear “remember handset lifters?”
So what’s the catch?
I think the hardware is great and I don’t see any deal breakers here. However on the software side there is a few issues, none that I would consider deal breakers but I think you should be aware of them. Providing some user training in these areas should prevent too many complaints. Here is a list of the problems I noticed and I will try to keep the list up to date as the phone continues to receive firmware updates.
When the phone is sitting idle and you start pushing the number buttons to dial a number without waiting for the dialing screen to load it can skip the first about 2 or 3 digits till the dialing screen loads. – Solution: Train users to pick up handset first “this loads the dialing screen” then key in the phone number.– Fixed When making an outbound PSTN call there is no ring-back, but on internal calls there is, this can be confusing to new users.-Fixed