Junction Networks Labs: Stromberg Carlson Candlestick
All around, this phone is pleasurable to use and has a competitive price to other mid-range phones. It has a very authentic ringtone that makes it ideal for VIPs. Unfortunately, the phone is not able to store speed dials or integrate with contact lists as other SIP phones can do, but the retro clicking dialing experience makes manually dialing the number a small sacrifice. Additionally, the rotary dial does not have letters printed on it, which may be a small setback for some.
The major problem with the Stromberg Carlson Candlestick is that it cannot pass DTMF tones, which provides some difficulty for dialing conference bridges and auto-attendants. All other features that we would expect of a fully-fledged enterprise phone operate appropriately. We worked around the DTMF issue by a liberal use of the transfer functionality. There are also currently no published future plans for the Candlestick to support high definition telephony.
Sound quality of the Candlestick is surprisingly good if the user follows the phone's usage guidelines and surpasses the quality of some other SIP phones that we've reviewed. For proper usage, the user should maintain a 3" distance from the transmitter (the "stick") and rest the elbow of the arm holding up the earpiece on a desk to resist fatigue. Deviation from the 3" distance can result in the user sounding faint to the other party, but the quality is still better than a call on the cellular network.
It is difficult to imagine a more durable phone than those produced by Stromberg Carlson. The craftsmanship far surpasses any other phone or PBX that we've seen in our labs. The etching of the company name on the back of the transmitter shows a real dedication to quality by the manufacturer that was readily apparent. Our inner geek also appreciates Stromberg Carlson's insistence on using bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.
Stromberg Carlson really ups the voice hardware game and provides a true challenge to other manufacturers. We look forward to seeing what results from this competition.