Counterpath’s Bria is one of the most recognizable softphones on the market. The app first was first developed for Windows and OSX users, offering an all-in-one solution that handled voice, video, and presence under a single roof. Since then, Bria has expanded across multiple mobile platforms, including smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS.
The Bria iPhone Edition interface is immediately familiar to anyone who's seen Bria before. Its design has become, in many respects, iconic in the softphone space. The signature sleek black and yellow coloring is consistent with its PC apps and its other mobile platform apps. The controls and navigation fit the iOS design scheme nicely. If you know how to use an iPhone, you can use Bria's intuitive controls with ease.
From the main menu, you can browse through your phone’s existing contacts. You can also use a shared external account, such as your Google account, to place a VoIP call. If you purchase the presence and messaging features for $2.99, you can monitor the status of contacts and message them directly. These features require an XMPP domain to work.
There was never any lagging when we selected various keys in the app. The various account options and preferences allow for a fairly granular level of customization, in an effort to operate seamlessly with your provider. Overall, we didn't find much added to the outward design features. However, considering that Bria already has an excellent presentation, this was not an issue.
Bria iPhone Edition comes with one of the most powerful feature sets of any softphone on the market. Most importantly, the features are well-implemented and actually work when you attempt to use them. This isn't always a given with some of the softphones we've reviewed in the past. Features that come with the Bria iPhone Edition include:
- Multiple account support for up to 25 accounts, on any SIP-compliant server
- Contact List and Contact Favorites, leveraging the device’s native contact directory
- Call display and voicemail indicator
- Speakerphone, mute and hold functions
- Call history with a list of received, missed and dialed calls
- Call recording
- Multiple call support – swap between two active calls, merge and split calls, transfer calls (attended and unattended)
- VPN support
- Security and encryption via TLS and SRTP
- Audio codecs include G.711a/u, G.722(HD), GSM, OPUS and SILK
On first glance, Bria iPhone Edition puts most deskphones to shame, with the ability to register up to 25 SIP accounts. The phones we review typically support 4 to 8 SIP accounts at best. Bria's business phone features are comprehensive, supporting functions such as call recording, and a plethora of multiple call support options. These are the solid features that would anchor any deskphone.