One of the main reasons why people prefer cloud phone systems over landlines is that they can throw away their desk phones and use their mobile devices and/or computers instead. Granted, you can save a lot of money this way, but keeping your desk phones or replacing them with VoIP-compatible units has many pros. The use of analog or IP phones with your VoIP service holds many advantages, aside from just being ergonomically more comfortable for the person handling incoming and outgoing calls throughout the day. Next to the classic-looking desktop phones there are clever mobile desk mount units that let you turn your smartphone into a full-fledged desk phone. Whichever desktop phone solution you prefer, there is usually the choice between purchasing and renting your phone units, the latter giving you the opportunity to discover which phone hardware works best for your phone system.
Pros & Cons of Desk Phones
Desk phones are still the most reliable and comfortable way of handling voice-only communication. Furthermore, aside from slight design changes over the past decades, the basics of a telephone haven’t changed since its invention. In other words, less tech-savvy people can easily operate even more complicated devices. You have the option to choose a regular desk phone with extra hard keys to forward, merge, transfer, hold calls; cordless phones for mobility within a certain range; conference phones for meetings and many more. And as we mentioned in our article dedicated to headsets for VoIP, most phones can be used with headsets or, you can put callers on speaker if you prefer the traditional approach.
However, there is a catch with desk phones: they are not compatible with VoIP, unless you buy an IP phone or purchase an analog phone adapter (ATA). Furthermore, desk phones still have to be integrated into a physical/cloud PBX to be able to host separate extensions/lines. And let’s not forget that cordless phone docking stations need their own power source.
Mobile Desk Mounts
Desk phones are separate “entities”, therefore they must be configured once installed. However, if you have hundreds if not thousands of contacts, there is a pretty clever solution: turn your mobile phone into your desk phone with a desk mount like the Invoxia NVX 200.
By purchasing such a unit, you only have to connect your mobile device (iOS, Android or Blackberry smartphone or tablet) with the mount via Bluetooth connection and voilà, you have a desk phone with the capabilities of your smart device at your fingertips. Desk mounts also work as speakers, makeshift video conference phones, phone chargers and, in certain cases, as full-fledged VoIP desk phones.
Although they advertise themselves as comfortable complementary with featherweight and radiation-free handsets, these mobile desk mounts are extremely pricy: the above featured NVX 200 sells for $249.
Getting New Desk Phones
Since desk and conference phones are essential parts of any phone system, many VoIP service providers offer their clients the option to purchase phones as well. The range of available devices is enormous: you can buy phones with a mono- or polychrome screen, with or without touchscreen. There are regular desk phones with or without expansion modules, cordless or conference devices, phones with audio jacks and ATAs. Furthermore, VoIP companies always pre-configure these devices before shipping and even offer the option to not buy, but rather rent phones for a monthly fee.
However, due to being preconfigured, phones purchased from VoIP companies are always more expensive. Furthermore, it is very likely they are locked too, meaning you cannot use them with other providers. Therefore, opt for buying your desk phone hardware from other retailers like Amazon, where most of the devices are available for cost-friendlier prices.
Recommended VoIP Desk Phones
Like we said before, there are countless quality devices to choose from, but we managed to pick three of the best IP desk phones for your consideration: