Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Excellent cordless phone system for a small office
on February 3, 2014
I looked and looked, and finally decided to try this system.
The product is very high quality office grade equipment, not "consumer" grade. All buttons have a nice feel.
Nice glossy black finish. Looks high tech and is wall mountable. It has an LED on the front that changes color to indicate the connection status... green means it is properly connected, orange means trouble. There is a Page Handsets button on the side that causes all handsets to ring in case you misplace one. Handset battery life in standby mode is about a week, so you should be able to find it before the battery dies. The only other feature is the ethernet port. Just connect the base station to your router, and you're good to go. The base station has a built in web-based control panel, so you can setup most of the features from your PC. Just get the IP address and enable "Embedded Web" access using a handset. This access turns back off after a short time, which can be a bit annoying. But it is a security feature, so probably not a bad idea to protect the system.
Speakerphone in the cordless handsets is a very welcome feature! The handsets are extremely lightweight and fit your hand and face. The screen is clear and easy to read. The buttons have a nice, crisp feel to them. The charging cradle is wall mountable, so you can stick them anywhere with AC outlet nearby. The batteries last a super long time (like a week) in standby mode, and talk time is great (several hours) due to DECT technology. If you should ever need replacement batteries, you can just buy rechargeable Duracell or Energizer NiMH batteries off the shelf, no weird proprietary batteries to hunt for.
We really like the Intercom feature, which has an "auto answer" speakerphone feature. When we ring a coworker's extension, they can respond without touching the handset. You can use this system with a single phone number/account and have it ring one, all or any combination of the base or handsets. You can also use separate accounts for each handset if you need to, since the system supports up to 8, which can be assigned in any combination. In our case, we just have one account that rings our receptionist and office manager. We signed up with a company called voiSip (highly recommended) and saving a TON of money versus our old telco. They helped us connect our voiSip account via a remote support session. They even helped us update the firmware. Call quality is superior to our old AT&T office phones, and also better than my own Vonage service at home. I purchased a similar Gigaset C610A IP system for my home and switched my home number over to voiSip.
The handsets show "New Voicemail" and have a small LED blinker, but the Gigaset brand handsets have a much brighter voicemail light. It would be nice if these could do 4 simultaneous calls instead of 3. And we may eventually want more than 6 handsets, so having up to 12 per base would be comforting (but probably not necessary in reality).
WISH LIST UPDATE: Some of our offices are now using this with the voiSip PBX systems, which let you tie together up to 4 base stations and 24 cordless handsets into a single group of extensions, each with its own voicemail box.
Overall, I would highly recommend this for an office with up to 6 people. For a larger office, you should probably consider using these with a PBX system, to get up to 24 handsets.
UPDATE July 2013: Be sure to update the firmware when available. Unlike other brands, Panasonic's menus do not have any means of setting the "Registration Retry" duration. This setting defaults to 3600 seconds (1 hour). Your router may kick the phone offline before 1 hour, causing inbound calls to fail (outbound calling works fine since it causes a registration event). I don't know about other service providers, but voiSip has a firmware customization they can apply to these phones that sets the registration to 3 minutes. The phones are rock solid once this patch has been applied. (This is only necessary if your phone is connecting to a voip provider or pbx system through a firewall.)
UPDATE Feb 2014: We have several of these now, at various offices around the country. Some of them are connected directly to a voiSip "Clone Line" account, and others are being used with a PBX system. Quality and durability has been excellent. We've just had to replace some of the batteries at this point. Luckily, they use standard AAA size rechargeable batteries... look for either Duracell or Energizer NiMH AAA batteries.